In Mexico, Fears a New Plant Will Kill Wastewater Farming

4/24/2017 New York Times

sewerTEPATEPEC, Mexico — For more than 100 years, most of what gets flushed down Mexico City’s toilets has resurfaced two hours to the north in the rivers and reservoirs of the rural Mezquital Valley. A massive new water treatment plant is about to change this.

But rather than welcoming the prospect of cleaner water, angry farmers are demanding the government honor an 1895 presidential decree granting them the right to the capital’s untreated sewage, which they see as fertilizer-rich, if foul, irrigation water.

It’s a standoff that pits public health concerns — not just for valley residents but for the Mexicans elsewhere who eat the crops — against fears that family farms will go under if they lose access to the raw sewage after the $530 million Atotonilco plant in Hidalgo state, billed as the largest of its kind in Latin America, goes online.

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Trump admin taking ‘constructive’ stance on NAFTA-U.S. Chamber of Commerce

4/24/2017 Reuters

NAFTA_logoU.S. President Donald Trump’s administration has adopted a “constructive” approach to NAFTA behind the scenes, despite headlines to the contrary, the head of the biggest U.S. business lobby said in a speech due to be delivered in Mexico City later on Monday.

Thomas Donohue, president and chief executive of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said in prepared remarks that his organization was urging the Trump administration to amend but not abandon the North American Free Trade Agreement, and would not stop until the deal with Canada and Mexico was strengthened.

“I want to assure you, despite what you may see in the news, there is a constructive process underway behind the scenes,” Donohue said in the text of the speech to be given at the American Chamber of Commerce of Mexico.

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Trump says Mexico ‘eventually’ will pay for border wall

4/23/2017 Reuters

trumpmexico_083116getty_0President Donald Trump said on Sunday he expected Mexico to pay for the wall he has promised to build along the southern border, resuscitating a campaign promise that roiled U.S. relations with Mexico in the first week of his presidency.

“Eventually, but at a later date so we can get started early, Mexico will be paying, in some form, for the badly needed border wall,” Trump said in a Twitter post.

Trump returned to his Mexico demand on a morning in which he simultaneously tried to pressure congressional Democrats to include funding for the border wall in must-pass spending legislation needed to keep the U.S. government open beyond Friday.

A spokesman for the Mexican president’s office said President Enrique Pena Nieto has repeated that Mexico will not pay for the wall.

The Republican president’s demand that Mexico pay for the border wall triggered a diplomatic crisis with the southern U.S. neighbor during the first week of his presidency. Pena Nieto on Jan. 26 scrapped a planned trip to meet with Trump and the White House floated the idea of a 20 percent tax on goods from Mexico to pay for the wall.

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Leftist party activist killed in southern Mexico

4/20/2017 Associated Press

59145805_6b10fab368_bMEXICO CITY (AP) — Gunmen killed the leader of Mexico’s leftist Democratic Revolution Party in the southern state of Guerrero, authorities said Thursday.

The killing prompted Guerrero’s governor to cut short a trip to the United States aimed at convincing cruise ship lines that the state’s flagship resort, Acapulco, is safe enough to bring their ships back for visits.

Some cruise ships have stopped visiting the Pacific coast state because of continued violence, like the assassination late Wednesday of leftist politician Demetrio Saldivar. The state prosecutors’ office said Thursday that Saldivar was killed in the state capital, Chilpancingo. The office said a witness watched as two men blocked Saldivar with a car, then shot him to death before fleeing.

Saldivar was the state general secretary of the PRD party in Guerrero. Local media reported he had previously occupied a post in the state government.

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Mexico ex-governor arrested in Italy to face charges in U.S.

4/19/2017 Reuters

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Reuters/Daniel Aguilar/File Phot

A former state governor for Mexico’s ruling party who faces charges in Mexico and the United States will be prosecuted by U.S. authorities first, the U.S. and Mexican attorneys general said on Wednesday.

Tomas Yarrington, a former governor of Tamaulipas state for the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), was accused in 2013 by a federal grand jury in Texas of taking millions of dollars in bribes from the Gulf Cartel and other drug traffickers. He was arrested in Italy earlier this month.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Mexican Attorney General Raúl Cervantes Andrade said in a joint statement that the plan to extradite Yarrington to the United States depended on agreement by Italian authorities.

A former state governor for Mexico’s ruling party who faces charges in Mexico and the United States will be prosecuted by U.S. authorities first, the U.S. and Mexican attorneys general said on Wednesday.

Tomas Yarrington, a former governor of Tamaulipas state for the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), was accused in 2013 by a federal grand jury in Texas of taking millions of dollars in bribes from the Gulf Cartel and other drug traffickers. He was arrested in Italy earlier this month.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Mexican Attorney General Raúl Cervantes Andrade said in a joint statement that the plan to extradite Yarrington to the United States depended on agreement by Italian authorities.

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Corruption at a Level of Audacity ‘Never Seen in Mexico’

4/19/2017 The New York Times

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Flickr/PresidenciaRD

MEXICO CITY — When the authorities caught up with him at a lakeside hotel in Guatemala this past weekend, Javier Duarte, a fugitive former Mexican governor, went quietly.

Less than a week earlier, the Italian police had surrounded another former Mexican state governor, Tomás Yárrington, as he finished dinner at a restaurant on a Florentine piazza, ending his five years on the run.

At least three other former Mexican state governors are missing, and more than a half-dozen are under investigation or fighting prosecution on corruption charges. Whatever the accusations, the governors in this rogues gallery share at least one trait: All behaved as if they were untouchable.

“The decades of impunity have generated a level of audacity and absurdity that we have never seen in Mexico,” said Max Kaiser, an anticorruption expert at the Mexican Institute for Competitiveness, a research organization.This excess is more public than ever, pushing Mexicans to a boiling point.

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Mexico wants John Kelly and John McCain to butt out of its election

4/17/2017 Business Insider

john mccain by marcnAfter months of sparring with the Trump administration, the Mexican government has a new point of frustration with its US counterparts.

During testimony in front of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on April 5, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly was pressed by Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain on the current status of US-Mexico relations.

After asking about the border wall and ways to monitor the border, McCain turned to Mexican domestic politics.

McCain: But, however, we’ve got a problem with Mexico. Right now there’s a lot of anti-American sentiment in Mexico. If the election were tomorrow in Mexico, you would probably get a left-wing, anti-American president of Mexico. That can’t be good for America.

Kelly: Right. It would not be good for America or for Mexico.

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