Head of Mexico’s ruling party resigns after record loss

07/16/2018 Reuters

PRI logoThe head of Mexico’s ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) stood down on Monday after the party’s record defeat in the July 1 presidential election, reducing the long-dominant force of Mexican politics to a fraction of its former strength.

Battered by corruption scandals, surging violence and poor economic growth, the centrist PRI was trounced by Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, a veteran leftist and staunch critic of the establishment who has pledged a major shakeup of politics.

The PRI, which has ruled Mexico for 77 of the last 89 years, secured just 16.4 percent of the vote and saw its representation in Congress cut by about three-quarters.

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AMLO’s Top Cop Backtracks on New Border Police Force in Mexico

07/13/2018 Bloomberg

border-circa-1990-usa-mexico-borderMexico’s incoming head of public security, Alfonso Durazo, said he is modifying the strategy he supplied in the past about plans to create a border police and instead will form a special force in tourism spots like Cancun hit by high crime.

Durazo told Bloomberg News about the correction after Mexican non-profits criticized the plan for a police force on Mexico’s southern and northern borders, saying it would cause an increase in human-rights violations.

Instead, Durazo said, a new specialized force will focus on bringing down crime in Cancun, Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta and Acapulco, which have been plagued by narco violence and are areas that contribute to one of Mexico’s largest sources of foreign income: tourism.

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Mexican President-Elect Slashes His Own Salary

07/15/2018 The New York Times

Mexican politician Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador,  leader of the National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) gestures as he addresses the audience during a meeting at Plaza Zaragoza in Monterrey, Mexico

Mexican President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Sunday he plans to earn less than half of what his predecessor makes when he takes office in December as part of an austerity push in government.

“What we want is for the budget to reach everybody,” he told reporters in front of his campaign headquarters.

Glancing at a piece of paper with numbers on it, Lopez Obrador said he will take home 108,000 pesos a month, which is $5,707 at current exchange rates, and that no public official will be able to earn more than the president during his six-year term. The transition team calculates that current Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto makes 270,000 pesos a month.

Lopez Obrador said he’d like to reduce his salary even further, but that he doesn’t want to cause resentment among future Cabinet members who are in some cases leaving private sector positions and academic posts that pay more than the new ceiling for public officials.

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Mexican president-elect to launch public peace forums in August

07/12/2018 Reuters

amloMexico’s president-elect, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, will begin a series of “popular consultations” next month for people to discuss his proposals to fight drug crime through negotiation and amnesties, the program coordinator said.

Lopez Obrador, a leftist who won the presidency by a landslide and is scheduled to take office on Dec. 1, has suggested “transitional justice” to stem the violence resulting from 12 years of a militarized drug war.

The plan could include truth commissions, special courts, reparations for victims and reduced sentences for low-level offenders. The idea is for it to move forward with public support, he and his team have said.

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Mexico’s new government to focus on boosting fuel output at home

07/11/2018 Reuters

energy - oil pumpsMexico’s next energy agenda will prioritize increasing gasoline and diesel production and later decide on possible changes to the industry reform championed by the outgoing government, according to a top aide to President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

Rocio Nahle, tapped by Lopez Obrador to be energy minister, told local outlet Aristegui Noticias on Wednesday that the country’s next government will address the “energy imbalance” in which Mexico produces less fuel at home and turns to imports to meet national demand.

Lopez Obrador won a landslide victory in the July 1 election and will take office in December.

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Mexico’s president-elect will cancel planned U.S. helicopter order

07/11/2018 Reuters

800px-US_Marine_Corps_UH-1N_Huey_helicopterMexico’s president-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said he would cancel the planned purchase of eight military helicopters from the United States as part of cost-cutting measures.

Lopez Obrador, who handily won this month’s presidential election on pledges to fight corruption and cut government waste, said there had been plans to pay 26 billion pesos ($1.36 billion) for the helicopters to be used by Mexico’s navy.

“This purchase is going to be canceled because we can not make this expenditure,” Lopez Obrador told reporters on Wednesday after meeting with incoming legislators from his MORENA party.

Lopez Obrador is due to take office on Dec. 1.

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End of presidential immunity among plans of Mexico’s new leader

07/11/2018 Reuters

Mexican politician Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador,  leader of the National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) gestures as he addresses the audience during a meeting at Plaza Zaragoza in Monterrey, Mexico

Mexico’s president-elect, leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, on Wednesday sketched out his legislative priorities for the next government, including measures to end presidential immunity and curb compensation for high-earning public sector officials.

Lopez Obrador, who takes office on Dec. 1, also reaffirmed that his own presidential salary would be slashed and that privileges and perks for top officials would be scaled back.

“Everything to do with the republican austerity plan and fighting corruption will have priority from the first day of the new Congress,” he said after a meeting with incoming lawmakers from his National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) party.

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