Human rights groups say Mexico not investigating spyware claims

02/21/2018 Reuters

pexels-photo-534204.jpegA group of human and digital rights activists said on Tuesday that the Mexican government had failed to properly investigate allegations their smartphones were infected with spying software. They have asked for an independent investigation.

Activists, human-rights lawyers and journalists filed a complaint in June with the attorney general’s office, claiming the government had infected their phones to spy on them with software known as Pegasus, which Israeli company NSO Group allegedly sold to Mexico’s government.

“Since filing the complaint we said we did not trust the attorney general’s office would be able to investigate itself, since there is evidence it was that agency that purchased the malware,” the activist groups said in a joint statement.

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Mexico’s Presidential Front-Runner Stirs Firestorm With Ex-Fugitive Senate Pick

02/20/2018 Bloomberg

Mexico City

Mexico’s leftist presidential front-runner Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador stirred up a hornets’ nest of social media outrage by listing a one-time fugitive union leader as a possible Senate pick ahead of July’s general election.

The Twitter storm began over the weekend when Lopez Obrador’s Morena party placed Napoleon Gomez Urrutia among those who would become senators through proportional representation, meaning he’d win through voter support for Morena and not direct election. Gomez Urrutia has been living in Canada since at least 2008, when Mexico requested an extradition order for him to face charges of bilking $55 million in union funds.

‘An act of stupidity:’ Mexicans furious after government helicopter kills 13 quake victims

02/18/2018 The Washington Post

800px-US_Marine_Corps_UH-1N_Huey_helicopterA government helicopter, surveying damage from an earthquake that killed no one, crashed in southern Mexico on Friday evening and killed at least 13 men, women and children, and injured more than a dozen.

The accident horrified and angered people in Mexico, which had seemed to escape the worst after a 7.2-magnitude earthquake hit the state of Oaxaca earlier in the day. Unlike last year’s deadly quake near Mexico City, this temblor caused little more than power outages and structural damage in the town of Santiago Jamiltepec, near the southern coast.

The governor of Oaxaca and Mexico’s new interior secretary had been assessing the damage from the air. The crash occurred as the helicopter was preparing to land in a field in the town after dark, the Associated Press reported.

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UPCOMING EVENT | The Impact of Immigration Enforcement Policies on Teaching and Learning in America’s Public Schools

education2WHEN: Wednesday, February 28, 2018, 11:30am-1:30pm

WHERE: 5th Floor, Wilson Center

Click to RSVP


There has been considerable discussion in news outlets about the impact of immigration enforcement policies on children and families. Recent incidents across the country and reported in the press have raised alarm throughout immigrant communities. Clearly there is great fear in this hyper-sensitized environment. To what extent is this ramped up immigration enforcement impacting our nation’s public schools? How does it vary by region and what is the “collateral” fallout for non-immigrant students? How are educators reacting and to what extent is this affecting them? What rights do students have and what happens to U.S.-citizen children when they are sent to a country and school system they do not know? To address these questions, four new research papers will be presented with brief highlights. There will be ample time for Q&A and discussion. The studies include:

•         A new national survey of the impact of immigration enforcement on teaching and learning in the nation’s schools
•         The impact of immigration enforcement on educators
•         Federal and state policy affecting the children of immigrants and their schooling
•         What happens to U.S. citizen students caught up in deportation of family members


A light lunch will be served at 11:30am. The program will begin at 12:00pm.

Co-sponsored by:


Christopher Wilson, Deputy Director, Mexico Institute, Wilson Center

Patricia Gándara, Co-Director, Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles, UCLA

Bryant Jensen, Assistant Professor, Brigham Young University

Shena Sanchez, Research Associate, University of California, Los Angeles

Julie Sugarman, Senior Policy Analyst, Migration Policy Institute

Lily Eskelsen Garcia, President, National Education Association

Claudio Sanchez, Education Correspondent, National Public Radio

Click to RSVP

Immigration fight down to the wire

02/14/2018 The Hill

immigrationSenators are struggling to break through a legislative stalemate on immigration, with centrists making a frantic push to find a deal that can win enough support to pass by the end of the week.

The centrist senators on Wednesday said that they had finished the contours of an agreement that would protect “Dreamers” in exchange for more spending on border security.

But in a sign of just how harried the push has become, the official language of the agreement wasn’t revealed until late Wednesday night after hours of what Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz) called “tidying up the language.”

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Senate begins debate on immigration and the fate of “Dreamers”

02/13/2018 CBS News

immigrationThe Senate begins a rare, open-ended debate on immigration and the fate of the “Dreamer” immigrants on Monday, and Republican senators say they’ll introduce President Donald Trump’s plan. Though his proposal has no chance of passage, Trump may be the most influential voice in the conversation.

If the aim is to pass a legislative solution, Trump will be a crucial and, at times, complicating player. His day-to-day turnabouts on the issues have confounded Democrats and Republicans and led some to urge the White House to minimize his role in the debate for fear he’ll say something that undermines the effort.

Yet his ultimate support will be vital if Congress is to overcome election-year pressures against compromise. No Senate deal is likely to see the light of day in the more conservative House without the president’s blessing and promise to sell compromise to his hard-line base.

Trump, thus far, has balked on that front.

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Mexico Finance Ministry official named banking regulator head

02/11/2018 Reuters
Image result for CNBVMEXICO CITY, Feb 11 (Reuters) – Mexico’s Finance Ministry on Sunday named Bernardo Gonzalez the head of banking and securities regulator CNBV, after the previous director left to work on a political campaign.

Gonzalez will move to the regulator from a senior position in the finance ministry where he coordinated regulatory policy of the banking sector, the government said in a statement.

Gonzalez, a public policy masters graduate from Georgetown University, has worked in the financial sector for 16 years, according to the statement.