Mexico’s next president could be on a collision course with Trump over immigration

9/21/2018 – Washington Post

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Henry Romero/Reuters

Mexico’s incoming president, a relentless critic of the ruling elite, has voiced no objection to the free-trade deal its current government brokered with the United States.

On security matters, President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s team says it wants a productive relationship with the Trump administration and will continue partnering in the fight against drug cartels.

But if there is a potential source of conflict in the U.S.-Mexico relationship after Dec. 1, when López Obrador will take office, it is likely to be immigration enforcement. There, the left-wing Mexican populist and President Trump appear to be on a collision course.

The flow of Central American migrants through Mexico and into the United States — a matter of intense personal and political interest to the U.S. president — is on the rise again, defying Trump’s attempts to crack down at the border. Stopping migrants and asylum seekers through tougher enforcement is a priority for the Trump administration. López Obrador and his team have a different take.

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Congress Set to Fund Government, but Not Trump’s Wall

9/24/2018 – New York Times

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AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

WASHINGTON — Congress is set to pass a crucial spending bill that averts a government shutdown, but there’s one potential obstacle: President Donald Trump.

Neither party wants the government to close ahead of the midterm elections that will determine control of Congress, but Trump has made clear his frustration at the lack of money for his long-promised wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. He says it is “ridiculous” the wall has yet to be fully funded.

With less than a week before a Sept. 30 deadline for a partial shutdown, Republican leaders hope they can get Trump to set aside his frustration about the wall and sign legislation that funds the military and a host of civilian agencies for the next year. The bill also would provide a short-term fix to keep the government running through Dec. 7.

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State of Emergency in Mexico’s Sinaloa as 3 Dead in Flooding

09/21/2018 – The New York Times

6410755751_db67b52968_b.jpgMexican authorities have declared a state of emergency for 11 municipalities in the northern state of Sinaloa due to flooding from heavy rains that has killed at least three people.

Images in local and social media have shown streets turned into raging rivers, swamping cars. El Universal newspaper posted video of an SUV being carried away by the current in Guamuchil as passengers scrambled to get onto its roof.

Soldiers went around in trucks to pick up residents and take them to safety. The Sinaloa state government said Thursday night that more than 2,000 people had evacuated and 13 shelters were set up.

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Mexico’s President-Elect Stuck Aboard Delayed Flight

New York Times – 9/21/2018

Mexican Presidential Candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador Interview
(Photo: Christopher Goodney/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

MEXICO CITY — Mexico’s austerity-minded president-elect has vowed to sell the presidential jet and fly commercial. And he even appears prepared to suffer the plight of average travelers: being trapped on delayed flights.

 

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador was stuck for at least three hours after his flight from the Huatulco airport in southern Mexico was delayed by air traffic and weather.

Passengers posted videos Thursday of Lopez Obrador speaking from his seat on the plane bound for Mexico City.

Lopez Obrador says the experience won’t make him change his mind.

He said, “I am not going to get on the presidential airplane. I would be ashamed … to have a luxury airplane in a country with so much poverty.”

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Mexican Officials Say 273 Corpses Were on Wandering Truck

New York Times – 9/20/2018

barbed-wire-blur-close-up-300952MEXICO CITY — A wandering refrigerated truck carrying corpses from an overflowing morgue in Mexico actually contained 273 bodies, not 157 as originally stated.

Officials described late Wednesday how the truck was forced to move around the outskirts of the western city of Guadalajara as neighbors and officials objected to its grisly cargo, and the smell.

A total of 444 bodies had piled up at the state morgue, as Mexico suffered a 17 percent surge in homicides so far this year. Forty-nine of those bodies remained in the morgue, 273 were crammed onto the truck and 122 were kept in a second refrigerated trailer in the morgue parking lot.

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Mexico’s next government starts oil contract reviews with Talos-led deal

09/19/2018 – Reuters

AMLO 6Mexico’s incoming government has begun its promised review of oil contracts, starting with a major project won by a consortium led by U.S.-based Talos Energy, the country’s next energy minister said.

Set to become Mexico’s first leftist leader in modern history when he takes office in December, President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador vowed during the campaign to review all oil contracts awarded under his predecessor for signs of corruption.

He won a landslide election victory in July.

Officials with Talos Energy, which also holds a 45 percent stake, and Premier Oil, which has 10 percent, did not respond by Tuesday to requests for comment.

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Mexico’s next anti-money laundering czar vows action after ‘shameful’ Odebrecht

09/19/2018 – Reuters

bank-note-bills-budget-164661.jpgMexico’s incoming financial intelligence chief said it was “shameful” how little had been done about bribes that Brazilian construction firm Odebrecht executives said were paid to secure Mexican public works contracts, and vowed to reexamine the case once in office.

Santiago Nieto will head the finance ministry’s Financial Intelligence Unit, which analyzes suspicious financial records, once the new leftist government takes office on Dec. 1. He said in an interview last week that the unit had been misused for political ends, without elaborating.

“It’s shameful that Mexico and Venezuela are the only countries in Latin America that haven’t sanctioned anyone,” he said of the Odebrecht case, which is at the heart of Brazil’s Lava Jato, or Car Wash, corruption investigation that has reverberated across the region in recent years.

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