Mexico’s next president could be on a collision course with Trump over immigration

9/21/2018 – Washington Post

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Henry Romero/Reuters

Mexico’s incoming president, a relentless critic of the ruling elite, has voiced no objection to the free-trade deal its current government brokered with the United States.

On security matters, President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s team says it wants a productive relationship with the Trump administration and will continue partnering in the fight against drug cartels.

But if there is a potential source of conflict in the U.S.-Mexico relationship after Dec. 1, when López Obrador will take office, it is likely to be immigration enforcement. There, the left-wing Mexican populist and President Trump appear to be on a collision course.

The flow of Central American migrants through Mexico and into the United States — a matter of intense personal and political interest to the U.S. president — is on the rise again, defying Trump’s attempts to crack down at the border. Stopping migrants and asylum seekers through tougher enforcement is a priority for the Trump administration. López Obrador and his team have a different take.

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Children’s Remains Found in Mexican Mass Graves

9/23/2018 – New York Times

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Photo by Kat Jayne on Pexels.com

MEXICO CITY — Tiny pants for a baby no older than 6 months and shiny pink sandals for a toddler are among the personal items that have turned up at mass graves in the Gulf state of Veracruz, driving home the brutality of rising violence in Mexico.

Mexican authorities have found remains of children along with adults in the clandestine burial pits, a person with knowledge of the investigation confirmed Sunday. Each item of clothing was either found near a body or cut free from remains. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss the details publicly.

The National Commission of Missing Persons posted online hundreds of pictures of clothing Friday to give family members a tool to possibly identify missing loved ones. The images include polo shirts with logos still intact, socks, shoes, colorful boxer briefs and ladies’ panties. One T-shirt says “Live Free” above a picture of a young woman and flowers.

Photos also show multiple children’s items, such as little sweaters or T-shirts with images of Tinkerbell, Tweety Bird and Pokémon.

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Congress Set to Fund Government, but Not Trump’s Wall

9/24/2018 – New York Times

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AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

WASHINGTON — Congress is set to pass a crucial spending bill that averts a government shutdown, but there’s one potential obstacle: President Donald Trump.

Neither party wants the government to close ahead of the midterm elections that will determine control of Congress, but Trump has made clear his frustration at the lack of money for his long-promised wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. He says it is “ridiculous” the wall has yet to be fully funded.

With less than a week before a Sept. 30 deadline for a partial shutdown, Republican leaders hope they can get Trump to set aside his frustration about the wall and sign legislation that funds the military and a host of civilian agencies for the next year. The bill also would provide a short-term fix to keep the government running through Dec. 7.

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Mexico Will Seek Deal With Canada if NAFTA Talks Fail: Lopez Obrador

9/21/2018 – New York Times

Mexico's President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador speaks during a rally as part of a tour to thank supporters for his landslide victory in the July 1 election, in Mexicali
REUTERS/Cristian Torres

MEXICO CITY — Mexico’s incoming government will pursue a bilateral deal with Canada if talks to overhaul the North American Free Trade Agreement falter, Mexican president-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Friday.

 

After more than a year of talks to modernize the NAFTA trade pact between the United States, Mexico and Canada, the United States and Mexico reached a side deal in late August.

Days later, Canada began negotiating with the United States to close a deal on the 24-year-old trade pact. But the talks have hit an impasse over U.S. threats to impose tariffs to Canadian auto exports.

“We would like the government of the United States and the government of Canada to come to an agreement so the treaty can be trilateral, as it was originally signed,” said Lopez Obrador, a veteran leftist who takes office in December.

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Mexican journalist murdered while leaving his home

Reuters – 9/21/2018

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MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – A Mexican journalist was murdered in the southern state of Chiapas on Friday, authorities and his employer said, the latest attack against the press in one of the world’s most dangerous countries for media workers.

As he was leaving his home in the city of Yajalon on Friday afternoon, Mario Gomez was confronted by two suspects and shot in the abdomen, according to El Heraldo de Chiapas, the local newspaper that employed him. Gomez was taken to a hospital, where he died of his injuries. The suspects fled the scene.

“We vigorously condemn the cowardly aggression suffered by our colleague,” the paper wrote in an editorial note. “We demand of the competent authorities the investigation of these criminal acts.”

The state prosecutor’s office said that its homicide department would investigate the crime.

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Regulate: ex-world leaders’ solution to ‘failed’ drug war

Reuters – 9/24/2018

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Ruth Driefuss and Michel Kazatchkine of the Global Commission on Drug Policy. Source: http://www.globalcommissionondrugpolicy.org.

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – More governments should turn away from a repressive war on drugs that has “failed” and look to proven strategies to implement regulated markets for risky substances, a group of former presidents and leaders said in a report published Monday.

Since the group that includes 12 former heads of state began advocating for an end to drug prohibition in 2011, a growing number of countries and U.S. states have created medical or recreational markets for marijuana.

Now the group is looking at ways to smooth the way out of prohibition, recommending countries start regulating lower-potency drugs as well as reforms to international treaties that require prohibition and punishment.

“The international drug control system is clearly failing,” said Helen Clark, a former prime minister of New Zealand. “The health … of nations is not advanced by the current approach to drug control.”

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Canada PM says informal NAFTA talks likely in next few days at U.N.

Reuters – 9/24/2018

Canadian PM Justin Trudeau welcomes Spanish PM Pedro Sanchez in Montreal
Reuters/Dario Ayala

MONTREAL (Reuters) – U.S. and Canadian officials trying to reach a deal on NAFTA are “very likely” to hold informal talks on the sidelines of a major U.N. meeting in the next few days, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Sunday.

With time running out ahead of a U.S.-imposed deadline of the end of September, negotiators are making slow progress on updating the North American Free Trade Agreement.

U.S. President Donald Trump struck a side deal on NAFTA with Mexico last month and has threatened to exclude Canada if necessary. He also said he might impose a 25 percent tariff on Canadian autos exports, which would badly hurt Canada’s economy.

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