Mexico’s Lopez Obrador blasts Trump’s immigration policies at LA rally

2/13/2017 Reuters

Source: Eneas De Troya, Flickr

Mexico’s home-grown populist and presidential hopeful Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador rallied supporters in Los Angeles on Sunday, criticizing U.S. President Donald Trump’s anti-immigration rhetoric and plans for a wall along the border.

Looking ahead to the presidential election next year, Lopez Obrador sought to tap widespread discontent with Mexico’s ruling party and resentment toward the new U.S. president, while placing faith in Americans to resist Trump’s policies.

“I think the wall and the demagoguery of patriotism are no match for the dignity and humanity of the American people,” Lopez Obrador told the rally in Los Angeles.

Calling California “a refuge and blessing for immigrants,” Lopez Obrador declared “Long live California” as hundreds of supporters at Plaza Olvera cheered.

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Spyware’s Odd Targets: Backers of Mexico’s Soda Tax

2/11/2017 New York Times

using smartphoneSAN FRANCISCO — Last summer, Dr. Simón Barquera’s phone started buzzing with a series of disturbing text messages from unknown numbers. One said his daughter had been in a serious accident. Another claimed to be from a friend whose father had died — with a link to funeral details.

Yet another message informed Dr. Barquera, the director of nutrition policy at Mexico’s National Institute of Public Health, that a Mexican news outlet had accused him of negligence, again with a link. And in more menacing messages, someone claimed to be sleeping with Dr. Barquera’s wife. That included a link to what the sender claimed was photo evidence of their affair.

That same week, Luis Manuel Encarnación, then the director at Fundación Mídete, a foundation in Mexico City that battles obesity, also started receiving strange messages with links. When he clicked, Mr. Encarnación was ominously redirected to Gayosso, Mexico’s largest funeral service.

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Mexicans back president’s Trump snub despite mounting disapproval

2/8/2017 Reuters

Yuri Cortez/AFP/Getty Images

Mexicans approve of President Enrique Pena Nieto’s decision to withdraw from a planned summit with U.S. counterpart Donald Trump, even as the Mexican leader’s popularity has sunk to a four-year low, a poll showed on Tuesday.

The survey, by polling firm Buendia & Laredo, showed that 64 percent of 1,000 Mexicans interviewed from Feb. 2-7 approved of Pena Nieto’s decision to cancel a January meeting with the new U.S. president.

The Mexican leader backed out after Trump said he should not attend if he was unwilling to pay for a border wall between the two countries, a central plank of the New York businessman’s election campaign.

In addition to arguments over the border wall, Trump has fanned Mexican anger by threatening to levy a hefty tax on Mexican-made goods entering U.S. markets and scrap a bilateral trade deal.

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Mexico President Gets a Bounce From Clash With Trump

1/29/2017 New York Times

Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto and first lady Angelica Rivera salute during the military parade celebrating Independence Day at the Zocalo square in downtown Mexico CityWASHINGTON — Just a few days ago, Enrique Pena Nieto was a pariah president, dogged by protests and cursed with the lowest approval rating for a Mexican leader in recent history.

No more, thanks to Donald Trump.

Months of Trump’s insults to Mexican migrants, threats to build a vast border wall to keep out them out, deport those who’ve arrived and impose crippling taxes on Mexican exports were met with teeth-clenched restraint by Pena Nieto’s government — infuriating many Mexicans.

But when Trump repeatedly insisted Pena Nieto accept paying for the wall, Pena Nieto finally had enough and scrapped a planned Jan. 31 meeting with Trump in Washington.

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Amid rising bilateral tensions, Mexico mogul Slim calls news conference

1/26/2017 Reuters

CarlosSlimMexican mogul Carlos Slim, who was attacked by President Donald Trump during his election campaign but who later met with the U.S. leader in Florida, on Thursday called a press conference for Friday amid growing tensions between the two nations.

The rare news conference, in which a spokesman said Slim would take reporters’ questions, comes as Mexico wrestles with Trump over the highly divisive proposition of a border wall and threats to trade between the two neighboring countries.

Trump has consistently riled Mexicans by pledging to build a wall on the U.S. southern border and make Mexico pay for it, as well as threatening to ditch a joint trade deal and impose punitive tariffs on Mexican-made goods.

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U.S. Path on Legal Marijuana Forces Rethink in Mexico

12/27/2016 The Wall Street Journal

marijuana leafMEXICO CITY—As legal marijuana use spreads rapidly across the U.S., Mexican legislators are taking small steps to decriminalize pot in a country where the war on drugs has killed more than 100,000 people over the past decade.

The rising disparity in drug legislation is stoking a debate in Mexico over the effectiveness of its government’s protracted battle against powerful drug cartels when an ever-spreading sweep of the U.S. is giving up the fight.

Voters in California, Massachusetts, Nevada and Maine approved legal recreational marijuana on Nov. 8. Medicinal use of cannabis was also approved in Arkansas, Florida and North Dakota. In all, some 21% of the U.S. population can now have legal access to either recreational or medical marijuana.

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Mexico-U.S. sports diplomacy could transcend ugly politics

12/21/2016 The San Diego Union-Tribune 

Soccer StadiumEarlier this month I asked Mexico’s secretary of the economy, Ildefonso Guajardo, whether he fears a Trump presidency will revive the anti-Americanism that, until recent years, was a staple of Mexican life.

Surprisingly, his answer was all about the first-ever “Monday Night Football” game played outside the United States, in Mexico City’s iconic Estadio Azteca. The Oakland Raiders beat the Houston Texans, but what Guajardo found most telling was when the anthems of both countries were played pregame. Despite a few scattered boos, the Mexican crowd’s response was gracious and respectful, a sign that positive attitudes toward people on the other side of the border can transcend demagogues’ efforts to distort the truth of our mutually beneficial North American partnership.

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