Trump to skip inauguration of Mexico’s president

10/03/2018 The New York Times

2970386265_26b63eb120_bMexican President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Wednesday that U.S. President Donald Trump informed him he won’t be coming to his Dec. 1 inauguration and will be sending Vice President Mike Pence instead.

During a telephone conversation, Lopez Obrador talked to Trump about plans for development projects in Central America and Mexico aimed at reducing the need for people to emigrate north. Lopez Obrador said Trump “reacted positively” to the discussion.

“It was a very good call,” Lopez Obrador said. “We have achieved a good understanding.”

Lopez Obrador said he proposed the U.S., Canada and Mexico join forces to generate jobs and economic development “so that Mexicans and Central Americans can find work where they were born, where their families, cultures and customs are … so that migration is a choice, not a necessity. “

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Mexico’s President Says Ruling Party Should Change Name

08/24/18 New York Times

Photo via Reuters

Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto said the long-time ruling party should consider changing its name after its July 1 election defeat.

The Institutional Revolutionary Party has held the presidency for all but 12 of the last 88 years. But the party known as the PRI came third in presidential elections and will be the fifth-largest force in the lower house of Congress.

Pena Nieto told the newspaper La Jornada in an interview published Friday that the PRI should change “its name and essence, because if you keep the names it won’t work.”

He said the elections showed “the erosion and rejection of the PRI as a brand.”

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Mexico’s outgoing President Peña Nieto and President-elect Lopez Obrador vow to work together despite differences

08/21/18 Los Angeles Times

Image result for epn amlo reutersPhoto: Reuters

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and his once-fierce rival, President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, on Monday pledged cooperation in confronting the nation’s challenges despite differences on issues such as education reform and a controversial airport project.

Pena Nieto and Lopez Obrador — along with many current Cabinet members and the president-elect’s designated ministers — appeared together at the National Palace downtown and stressed themes of mutual respect.

It was the latest in a series of gestures meant to demonstrate stability and continuity as the leftist Lopez Obrador prepares to assume power amid pledges for a far-reaching “transformation” of Mexican society. Pena Nieto has faced widespread unpopularity and the perception that he has been an ineffective leader.

“It is an institutional transition but it is also a respectful transition because we have received help without conditions from the constitutional president, Enrique Pena Nieto,” said Lopez Obrador, who won the presidency after losing in the two previous national elections, in 2012 and 2006.

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Mexico’s ‘AMLO’ to Rely on ‘Professionals’ for Security

08/09/18 New York Times

AMLO 3President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Thursday he will rely on a group of 10 women and 10 men for his personal security, sticking with a promise to fold into the Defense Department the service that has long guarded Mexico’s leaders.

Lopez Obrador said they will include “professionals” such as lawyers, doctors and engineers, all with a university degree or higher. They will receive some training, he said, “but not for the use of weapons.”

He described it as more of an “assistantship” than a bodyguard corps, and added he will also be protected by Mexicans of all stripes — police, soldiers, ordinary citizens.

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Mexico’s next interior minister leaves board of financial firm Banorte

08/02/2018 Reuters

Olga.PNGOlga Sanchez, who has been selected as interior minister by Mexico’s president-elect, said on Thursday she had resigned from the board of Grupo Financiero Banorte, one of the country’s largest financial institutions.

Sanchez said she left the board because she had won a seat in the Senate, which she will assume in September.

“(I resigned) because I considered it to be more meticulous and more transparent in my conduct as senator and, afterwards, as minister,” she said.

Starting in December, she will serve as the interior minister of leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who won Mexico’s July 1 presidential election in a landslide. In that role, Sanchez will oversee domestic policy and serve as a bridge between the executive and state governments.

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Mexican President-Elect Vows to Improve Public Health Care

07/31/2018 The New York Times

AMLOPresident-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Tuesday he plans to direct spending in the public health system so Mexicans can enjoy European-quality free health care.

Mexico has near-universal health coverage through a network of public clinics and hospitals. However, the facilities are often understaffed or lack medicine.

“We’re going to guarantee that medical attention and medicine are free,” Lopez Obrador told reporters. “There will be good attention, and doctors, in health centers.”

He said he will stamp out corruption and free up public funds by consolidating medicine purchases at the federal level. There’s enough money in the budget to cover medication, he said.

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Carlos Slim sees no threat to Mexican business from leftist’s election

07/31/2018 Reuters

Carlos SlimMexican tycoon Carlos Slim said on Tuesday he sees no risks to his telecoms-to-banking empire from the new left-wing government of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, a self-styled radical who clashed with business leaders before his election this month.

Slim, whose America Movil (AMXL.MX) owns Mexico’s largest telecommunications network, said he had not met with Lopez Obrador, whose landslide victory put him on a path to take office on Dec. 1.

Asked at an event in Madrid whether he thought Lopez Obrador, a social activist and economic nationalist, posed a risk to his business, Slim said, “No, risks, no.”

“He is proposing, planning important investments before he has even started, which is unusual,” Slim said, singling out expected projects in trains, roads and energy.

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