Mexico’s new ‘common man’ president hits the ground running

12/3/2018 – Washington Post

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(Marco Ugarte/Associated Press)

MEXICO CITY — Mexico’s newly inaugurated president hit the ground running Monday with his pledge to govern as a common man and end decades of secrecy, heavy security and luxury enjoyed by past presidents.

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador sported slightly ruffled hair at his first early morning news conference as president, which started at 7 a.m. local time Monday.

“Isn’t that a change, that I am here, informing you?” Lopez Obrador asked reporters. While past presidents have very seldom held news conferences, Lopez Obrador promised to do so on a near-daily basis, much as he did when he was mayor of Mexico City from 2000-2005.

Lopez Obrador took his first airplane flight as president Sunday, boarding a commercial flight with the rest of the passengers. He has promised to sell the presidential jet as an austerity measure.

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Mexico’s Lopez Obrador Promises Radical Change in First Speech

12/2/2018 – New York Times

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Source: Reuters

MEXICO CITY — Veteran leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador was sworn in as Mexican president on Saturday, promising a radical change of course in a country struggling with gang violence, chronic poverty and corruption on the doorstep of the United States.

The first leftist to take office in Mexico in a generation moved to reassure business after markets crashed last month on worries about his policies. He promised investments would be safe and that he would respect central bank independence.

Following are some reactions to his inaugural speech:

ALFONSO ESPARZA, ANALYST AT OANDA IN TORONTO

“There were no great surprises in the speech. It reiterates criticism of the neo-liberal model with the example of the energy reform, and puts forward increasing the number of refineries. Lots of problems were raised but not much time was left to get into solutions.”

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Tariff tensions shadow US, Canada, Mexico trade pact signing

11/30/2018 – Washington Post

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Photo: Martin Mejia/Associated Press

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — President Donald Trump teamed up with the leaders of Canada and Mexico on Friday to sign a revised North American trade pact, a deal that fulfills a key political pledge by the American president but faces an uncertain future in the U.S. Congress. The celebratory moment was dimmed by ongoing differences over Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs, as well as plans for massive layoffs in the U.S. and Canada by General Motors.

The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement is meant to replace the 24-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement, which Trump has long denigrated as a “disaster.”

Trump appeared with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and outgoing Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto at the Group of 20 nations summit in Buenos Aires for the formal signing ceremony. Each country’s legislature must also approve the agreement.

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Latin America in flux as G20 leaders descend on the region

11/26/2018 – Washington Post

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Natacha Pisarenko, File/Associated Press

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — Argentina had hoped to show off its newly market-friendly economy to the world when the G-20 group of the world’s top economies begins its first South American summit this week. Instead it’s looking for help to avoid an all-out crisis.

 

The two-day meeting that starts Friday is meant to focus on development, infrastructure and food security, but most of the talk on the sidelines is expected to center on trade disputes between the U.S. and China and the signing of the new North American free trade deal.

Argentina, a darling of Wall Street just a year ago, finds itself hosting the summit while scrambling for international aid to fend off a collapse.

“The original vision for Argentina was to use the G-20 to showcase that it had transformed the economy, and instead it welcomes world leaders to the economic wreckage. So, the timing is inconvenient, to say the least,” said Benjamin Gedan, an Argentina expert at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

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Foreign leaders, including Maduro, to attend Mexican inauguration

10/29/2018 – Reuters

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REUTERS/Daniel Becerril

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – At least 15 heads of state will attend the December presidential inauguration of Mexico’s Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, including fellow leftist Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela, the president-elect’s pick to be foreign minister said on Friday.

Among the confirmed presidents who will attend are fellow leftists like Maduro and Bolivia’s Evo Morales, but also conservatives like Colombia’s Ivan Duque and Paraguay’s Mario Abdo Benitez.

Marcelo Ebrard, who is set to serve as Lopez Obrador’s foreign minister, revealed the updated attendee list for the Dec. 1 swearing-in ceremony in a series of posts on Twitter.

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Mexico Deals With Storm Damage as Willa Weakens

10/24/2018 – Wall Street Journal

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Photo: Alfredo Estrella/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

MEXICO CITY—Willa weakened rapidly Wednesday to a tropical depression over Mexico as authorities worked to assess damage from a storm that hit the Pacific coast as a Category 3 hurricane.

There were no early reports of deaths caused by the storm, which made landfall Tuesday night at Isla del Bosque in Sinaloa state, about 50 miles southeast of the Pacific port of Mazatlán.

Sinaloa Governor Quirino Ordaz said there were no deaths in the state, but a significant amount of material damage in Escuinapa municipality, where the center of the storm hit.

“There are a lot of posts knocked down and fallen trees, there’s no electricity or drinking water service,” he told the Televisa network.

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Mexican radio host Carmen Aristegui to return to airwaves

09/28/2018 – The Washington Post 

21925977329_1875391f93_kThe crusading journalist who once led Mexico’s top-rated radio news broadcast has got her own radio program again, 3 ½ years after she was fired after reporting about the president’s mansion.

Journalist Carmen Aristegui will broadcast a three-hour morning program for Grupo Radio Centro starting Oct. 17.

Aristegui was fired from MVS Radio in March 2015, a few months after publishing a report that President Enrique Pena Nieto had purchased a house with financing from a frequent government contractor.

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