Study estimates sugary drinks more deadly than violent crime in Mexico

July 2, 2015

07/02/15 USA Today

Photo by Flickr user Kidjay

GUADALAJARA, Mexico — Mexico is renowned for being one of the most dangerous countries in the world, so it might sound strange to hear that sugary drinks pose a bigger threat to life here than violent crime.

Sugar-sweetened beverages such as Coca-Cola, Gatorade and homemade drinks known as “agua fresca” kill far more people every year in Mexico than criminal gangs.

A study by the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University estimates a staggering 24,000 Mexicans die each year from diabetes, cancer and heart disease that are linked to sugary drinks.

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Water Scarcity Could Deter Energy Developers From Crossing Border Into Northern Mexico

June 24, 2015

In collaboration with Circle of Blue, the Mexico Institute of the Wilson Center is working to address the future of energy and water scarcity along the US-Mexico border. The major points of contention are outlined by Keith Schneider in a new article titled “Water Scarcity Could Deter Energy Developers from Crossing Border Into Northern Mexico.”

Over the next 8 days we will be posting excerpts from this article, which is published in full on our website. Stay tuned!

Water Scarcity Could Deter Energy Developers From Crossing Border Into Northern Mexico 

by Keith Schneider

Before world oil prices collapsed late last year, shop owners closest to the banks of the Rio Grande River in Piedras Negras joked that they could hear the groans of Texas drilling rigs advancing toward their fast-growing northern Mexico city.

Just seven years ago, the first well was drilled into the Eagle Ford shale formation, which is 80 kilometers wide (50 miles) and stretches northeast for 640 kilometers (400 miles) from the border, past the eastern outskirts of San Antonio. That well yielded such prodigious quantities of gas and oil it set off a frenzy of investment so intense in Texas that 11,000 more wells were completed in the 29-county drilling zone. The Eagle Ford now produces over 1.6 million barrels of oil and 7 billion cubic feet of natural gas daily, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, making it one of the largest oil and gas fields on the planet.

mexico coahuila water

Coahuila is one of the driest regions in the Americas. Most of its available water is supplied from aquifers. Fresh water is so scarce in Coahuila that the Mexico government has already announced that it will not issue new groundwater use permits for oil and gas development. Graphic © Kaye LaFond / Circle of Blue

Until oil prices melted, nothing slowed the development. Not the availability of capital or drilling rigs. Not a deep Texas drought that focused public attention on the 15,000 to 19,000 cubic meters (4 million to 5 million gallons) of fresh water required to drill and hydraulically fracture each well. Not the nearly equal levels of public concern about the billions of gallons of oilfield wastewater and the choices energy development companies were making to pump the toxic liquids into deep disposal wells, some of which University of Texas at Austin researchers linked to heightened earthquake activity.

The big questions asked by northern Mexico state and business leaders are two-fold. First is whether the portions of Eagle Ford shale that reach under the Rio Grande and deep into Coahuila are capable of producing anywhere near the same quantities of fossil energy. Another question is whether difficult ecological conditions, particularly the scant reserves of fresh water in Mexico’s second driest state, are suitable to support intense drilling and development.

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Carlos Slim Foundation presents Mexican and Latin American Achievements in Health

June 19, 2015

6/19/15 PR Newswire

latino-healthThe Carlos Slim Foundation celebrated its annual “Awards in Health” ceremony at the Museo Soumaya on Wednesday. Dr. Mercedes Juan Lopez, Secretary of Health for Mexico, Dr. Jose Antonio Gonzalez Anaya, CEO of the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS) and Dr. Jose Narro Robles, Dean of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), joined individuals from the Foundation including Mr. Carlos Slim Helu, Founder, Mr. Marco Antonio Slim Domit, President, and Dr. Roberto Tapia Conyer, Executive Director.

The event highlighted the Foundation’s diverse core health programs and important strides made during their years of operation.Marco Antonio Slim Domit stated that, “the importance of the foundation’s work is found in the benefit that is reflected by people’s health, and by discovering and implementing new and better solutions to social problems.”

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California on cusp of offering young immigrants health care

June 19, 2015

6/17/15 Washington Times

medicine healthcare - stethoscopeIn a move that adds momentum to efforts to integrate immigrants, California is on the cusp of extending state-subsidized health care coverage to children from low-income families who are in the country illegally.

Democrats, immigration groups and health care advocates celebrated the announcement as both a cost-saving move and social progress for the state’s estimated 2.5 million immigrants who are in the country illegally. Critics, however, worry that the overburdened state-funded health program can’t handle another 170,000 children.

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California Senate votes to let undocumented immigrants buy health insurance

June 4, 2015

6/4/15 Reuters

The California Senate latino-healthvoted on Tuesday to allow unauthorized immigrants to buy health insurance on a state exchange created under the U.S. Affordable Care Act, a measure that would make the state the first to offer that kind of coverage.

The Senate voted 28-11 in favor of the proposal, which still must be approved by the state Assembly and signed by the governor, said Jesse Melgar, a spokesman for the bill’s author, Senator Ricardo Lara.

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How Global Warming is Making Mexico City Smog Worse

June 2, 2015

6/2/15  Los Angeles Daily News

MEXICO CITY,Mexico city Mexico — On a sweaty May morning in this sprawling mountain capital, residents heard a painfully familiar warning on the radio and TV.

Air pollution was at dangerous levels, environmental authorities said. People were advised to stay indoors as much as possible and avoid exercise. Asthma sufferers should take particular care.

On the city streets, this pollution could be seen in dirty clouds hanging amid grid-locked traffic.

The “environmental pre-contingency” on May 9 was the fourth so far this year, compared to three in all of 2014. The warnings are a reminder of the long uphill battle against dirty air in North America’s largest city — which has been a laboratory for pollution in megacities around the planet.

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Mexico’s President Rolls Out Plan to Save Endangered Porpoise

April 17, 2015

The New York Times, 4/16/2015

Peña Nieto

Peña Nieto

MEXICO CITY — President Enrique Peña Nieto and his top military commanders flew to a modest fishing village in Mexico’s far northwest on Thursday and made a promise to protect a small porpoise called the vaquita that is on the edge of extinction.

Standing near the dock where the fishermen of the village, San Felipe, unload their catches of shrimp, corvina and sierra, Mr. Peña Nieto ordered the Mexican Navy to take charge of the effort to halt the illegal fishing that has reduced the number of vaquitas to fewer than 100.

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