Mexico Upset by Presidential Appointments for Key Posts

March 3, 2015

ABC News, 2/3/2015
Enrique Pena NietoPresident Enrique Pena is being criticized for having a possible conflict of interest in his nominations for attorney general and Mexico’s highest court.

Critics are blasting his choice of Arely Gomez to replace Jesus Murillo Karam as attorney general because she’s the sister of top Televisa news executive Leopoldo Gomez. He denied Tuesday he had any influence over his sister’s career.

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The Fight for Mexico City’s Future

March 3, 2015

David Adler, 2/2/2015

Mexico City - nunavut (Flickr)MEXICO CITY — Around the corner from two taco stands and a small cantina, in an otherwise nondescript section of Mexico City’s Doctores neighborhood, there is an unmarked storefront known as the “Prepa Popular Tacuba.” On its outside, two large stencils frame the doorway. One depicts the Virgin of Guadalupe, melancholy, clinging to an AK-47. The other is of Emiliano Zapata, leader of Mexico’s biggest peasant revolution, scowling, looking outward. A poster below him carries the faces of Mexico’s missing 43 students.

Inside, in a large, dimly lit classroom, several leaders of Mexico City’s Urban Popular Movement convene for their weekly meeting. On the whiteboard, someone writes the details of an upcoming march in red marker. Others pass around copies of “Norma 26,” a law that regulates the construction of low-income housing in Mexico City. The rest of the members of the movement — a collection of local community organizations fighting for housing rights — sip instant coffee, eat biscuits and deliberate. “We must defend the city,” one leader said. “This is a matter of our right to the city, and we must defend it.”

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UPCOMING EVENT: The Future of the Mexican Left

February 13, 2015

armando-rios-piterWHEN: Monday, February 23, 9:00-10:30am

WHERE: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington, DC

Mexican political parties across the spectrum face challenges due to recent security breakdowns, issues of corruption, and a decline in public faith in governance. Though not alone in the process, left-wing parties in Mexico, including the PRD, Partido del Trabajo, and Morena, are going through an important period of change, presenting an opportunity for us to reflect on the future of the Mexican left. Will these pressures bring the left together and move it forward, or will they lead to divisions and fragmentation?

Senator Armando Ríos Piter represents the Mexican State of Guerrero. In the Senate, he is secretary of several committees, including Finance and Public Credit; Government; Trade and Industry; and the Special Commission to evaluate Public Finances. He is a member of the Party of the Democratic Revolution, and previously served as a member of the Mexican Chamber of Deputies from 2009 to 2012. During this challenging time in Mexico, Senator Ríos Piter will share with us his vision of the future of the Mexican left and the challenges the country faces.

To RSVP for the event, click here.

A live webcast will be available.

NEW PUBLICATION! A Mexican Utopia: The Rule of Law is Possible

January 28, 2015

A Mexican UtopiaThe Mexico Institute is pleased to publish a new book by Wilson Center Global Fellow Luis RubioA Mexican Utopia: The Rule of Law is Possible.

“The proposal of the book is very simple, and appears utopian, thus its title: the President makes the Rule of Law his own and decides not to violate its elementary principles for the sake of expediency. That is, that he break with all legal, presidential and political tradition that has historically permitted presidents to adapt the laws to their own needs and convenience, to impose their will on legislative and judicial powers, to control the state governors and, in short, enjoy enormous, albeit temporary, power. As practically all former presidents have found after their mandate, that power was in the last analysis ephemeral. The proposal is to institutionalize political power by means of the elevation of the Rule of Law by the President of the Republic.”

Download the book here, available in both English and Spanish.

Obama y el Estado de la Unión

January 26, 2015

1/24/2014 El Universal

By Andrew Selee, Executive Vice President of the Wilson Center and Senior Advisor to the Mexico Institute

3004717988_06761377b7_zEsta semana el president Barack Obama ofreció su informe anual en el recinto del Congreso de Estados Unidos, un discurso que se conoce por tradición como “el Estado de la Unión”. Aunque jamás hizo referencia directa a México, y apenas mencionó el tema de la legalización de millones de migrantes, tocó temas que tienen muchas implicaciones para la relación entre vecinos y el futuro de México.

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Why Did Obama’s State of the Union Ignore Latin America?

January 26, 2015

1/23/2015 Latin Correspondent

3004717988_06761377b7_zFor much of President Barack Obama’s time in office, he has been accused of ignoring his southern neighbors. Drawing down military involvement in the Middle East, along with continued crises in other areas of the world, has resulted in little public attention paid to Latin America for the past six years…

On the eve of formal talks between the two countries [Cuba and U.S.] beginning with a focus on migration policies, Obama was careful not to delve too much into the details of what normalization would look like. While much still needs to be decided, normalization of relations has the potential to be a huge part of Obama’s foreign policy legacy and his State of the Union address referenced this policy without risking the possibility of upsetting the start of talks…

While that approach can be seen as pragmatic, what was more surprising was the way the rest of the speech failed to address any other country in the region. In the past year, a number of major shifts have occurred in Latin America, but Obama did not touch upon any of them.

One the greatest omissions was perhaps Mexico. The past year has seen major upheavals in the country, particularly regarding the distrust between the Mexican state and its people. This past week, another scandal broke to further degrade this relationship when it was revealed that President Enrique Peña Nieto had bought his home in a resort town from the same developer that subsequently won billions of dollars in government contracts.

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A Slap in the Face Reveals a lot about Mexico

January 26, 2015

1/23/2015 Aljazeera

mexican-flag1A rural stage-managed event in impoverished southern Chiapas state – usually not the place where news is made that shines a light on a country’s whole political class.

But as this shaky cell phone video shows, the young blue-eyed governor of the state, Manuel Velasco, slaps an aide in the face (at around 50 seconds)

It happened at a political stop as the 34-year-old Velasco was out drumming up support for his state of the state speech.

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