New Study Asks Why Voters Don’t Punish Mexico Officials

3/29/2017 InSight Crime

cast vote mexicoA new study from a Mexican academic seeks to establish under what circumstances Mexican voters punish politicians for insecurity, offering valuable insight into a major impediment to the nation’s democratic accountability.

Sandra Ley’s new paper, “Electoral Accountability in the Midst of Criminal Violence: Evidence from Mexico,” starts from a premise that is both true and unfortunate: Mexican politicians are rarely held to account for the declines in security within their jurisdiction. This seems to contradict the natural reaction of any democratic electorate, and the challenge is further compounded in Mexico, where politicians are often not just unable to cope with security problems, but also active agents of insecurity.

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Mexican leftist casts shadow over Mexican banking convention

3/25/2017 Reuters

Andres_manuel_lopez_obrador_oct05Mexican financiers and politicians blasted populism at a top banking conference this week in a thinly veiled attack on the frontrunner for the 2018 presidential election – but some worry they overdid it and may have played right into his hands.

The chosen theme of the annual meeting at the beach resort of Acapulco was “liberalism versus populism,” with President Enrique Pena Nieto, senior ministers, former U.S. Treasury Secretary Larry Summers and ex-Secretary of State Colin Powell among the grandees squarely lined up on one side.

Without a voice but very much on the lips of the Mexicans was Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, a leftist former Mexico City mayor and twice presidential runner-up whose relentless campaigning has put him in contention to go one better in 2018.

Lopez Obrador’s broadsides against corruption and inequality sting a Mexican political establishment tainted by allegations of graft, even as U.S. President Donald Trump’s populist jabs at Mexico have generated some sympathy for Pena Nieto at home.

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Mexico Populist Steals Investor Spotlight as Nafta Woes Ease

3/21/2017 Bloomberg

AMLOThe calm that’s settled over Mexico trading is at risk of getting upended.

With White House officials saying they’re confident a trade deal can be reached to benefit both Mexico and the U.S., the peso has regained more than half of the losses it saw after Donald Trump’s victory pushed it to record lows. Talks aren’t expected until late this year, allowing investors to turn their attention to the next big risk for the Latin American country: a presidential win by opposition candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, known as Amlo.

Early polls show him in the lead or second place, but investors see a more reliable test of his prospects coming in June elections for the governorship of the State of Mexico, where his Morena party is vying to oust President Enrique Pena Nieto’s PRI for the first time ever. A win for Morena would be a wake-up call for investors who have become too complacent and could send the peso tumbling 10 percent, according to Nomura Holdings Inc.

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Mexico presidential hopeful files complaint against Trump wall

3/15/2017 Reuters

REUTERS/Daniel Becerril

Mexican presidential hopeful Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador filed a complaint with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on Wednesday against U.S. President Donald Trump’s planned border wall and his administration’s treatment of immigrants.

Lopez Obrador, a fiery leftist who has led recent polls for the 2018 election, said he expects the commission to “speak out in accordance with the law to protect immigrants from the harassment they are suffering since Trump took office.”

Trump has ordered a wall built along the nearly 2,000-mile (3,200-km) U.S.-Mexico border, has moved to strip federal funding from “sanctuary” states and cities harboring illegal immigrants, and expanded the force of U.S. immigration agents.

During his election campaign, Trump described Mexican illegal immigrants as rapists and criminals and insisted that Mexico would pay for the wall. That caused simmering diplomatic tension and angered everyday citizens south of the border.

Lopez Obrador, a former Mexico City mayor and two-time runner-up for the presidency, said he hoped the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights would view Trump’s moves as a “violation of human rights and discriminatory.”

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Mexico’s Radical Candidate Blasts Trump and Can’t Wait to Redo Nafta

3/14/2017 Bloomberg

AMLOMexican President Enrique Pena Nieto may be taking a cautious stance in his public comments on President Donald Trump, but the man who currently figures to be his successor is showing no such restraint.

In a 90-minute interview Tuesday in New York, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the radical outsider who’s the early frontrunner in next year’s election, blasted Trump’s “campaign of hatred” against Mexican immigrants, accused him of violating human rights laws, called his border wall plan a “propaganda” tool and said he couldn’t wait to handle the renegotiation of Nafta himself.

“Pena is too quiet. And Donald Trump speaks very loudly,” Lopez Obrador said. “One doesn’t beg for liberty, one seizes it.”

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Leading Mexican Presidential Contender to Address National Press Club Newsmaker March 15 on President Donald Trump’s Immigration Initiatives and Other Issues

3/9/2017 National Press Club

obradorMexico is gearing up for a presidential election in June 2018 and the leading contender in a crowded field, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the founder of Mexico´s new leftist Morena Party (Movimiento de Regeneración Nacional-National Regeneration Party) will speak at a National Press Club Newsmaker on Wed., March 15, at 1 p.m. He will address a number of timely topics including his opposition to President Trump’s immigration policies and plans to build a border wall. The press conference will take place in the club’s Lisagor Room.

López Obrador, also popularly known as AMLO, served as mayor of Mexico City from 2000 to 2005. He ran unsuccessfully for president in both 2006 and 2012. He is currently touring the United States speaking on immigrants’ rights and discussing the relationship between the U.S. and Mexico.

During López Obrador’s visit to Washington he will meet with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IAHRC) and file a petition calling for the IAHRC to immediately issue an injunction to protect immigrants subject to arbitrary deportation as a result of the Executive Orders issued by Trump.

The National Press Club is located on the 13th Floor of the National Press Building at 529 14th St., NW, Washington, D.C.  This news conference is open to credentialed media and NPC members, free of charge. No advance registration is required.

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Trump’s Nafta Revamp Could Near Boiling Point at Mexico Election

3/9/2017 Bloomberg

cast vote mexicoPresident Donald Trump’s timetable to negotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement threatens to slip into an election year for Mexico, which could feel the economic impact of the uncertainty especially if the agreement starts disintegrating.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Wednesday that the trade talks will probably begin in the latter part of 2017 and shouldn’t last much longer than a year. “I would like the results tomorrow, but that is not the way the world works,” Ross said in an interview with Bloomberg TV.

Even at that speed — and some observers warn the negotiations could take years — the uncertainty of Nafta’s fate will likely hang over the July 2018 presidential election in Mexico, the main target of U.S. complaints.

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