The trial of El Chapo and the crime-fighting plan of AMLO

11/16/2018 – The Economist

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Source: The Economist

CHIEF AMONG the signs that not all is well in Mexican law enforcement is the trial of the country’s most wanted man. It began this week in New York, because each time Mexican authorities locked up Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, allegedly the boss of the Sinaloa drug gang, he escaped. After his third capture, in 2016, Mexico extradited him to the United States. That has not reduced bloodshed in Mexico. As the accused kingpin stood in the dock, Mexico’s president-elect, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, known as AMLO, unveiled a plan that he said would end a misguided, decade-long war on drugs.

The subject of ballads and gory television series, El Chapo provokes fear even in New York. A juror broke down in tears upon learning of her selection for the trial. Prosecutors accused him of smuggling 150,000kg (330,000 pounds) of cocaine into the United States. But his lawyer insisted that there had been a mix-up. Mr Guzmán was never in charge of Mexico’s biggest drug-trafficking gang, he said.

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Mexico central bank sends warning over incoming leftist government

11/16/2018 – Reuters

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MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico’s central bank raised its benchmark interest rate on Thursday on concerns over inflation, and said the incoming government’s policies risked fanning inflation in a strongly worded warning to President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

The bank said another rate hike was possible.

The Bank of Mexico lifted its overnight interbank rate MXCBIR=ECI by 25 basis points to a nearly 10-year high of 8.0 percent, as expected by economists. It was a divided decision, with one member calling for a 50-point hike.

Mexico’s peso and the stock market have been rattled by concerns Lopez Obrador’s administration will move away from the orthodox fiscal policies advocated by the central bank.

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Mexico’s High Court Tosses Law on Policing by Military

11/16/2018 – New York Times

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MEXICO CITY — Mexico’s Supreme Court invalidated a controversial law signed last year that created a legal framework for the military to work in a policing role in much of the country, ruling Thursday that the measure violated the constitution by trying to normalize the use of the armed forces in public safety.

Deep-rooted corruption and ineffectiveness among local and state police forces has led Mexico to rely heavily on the military to combat drug cartels in parts of the country.

But military commanders have long expressed uneasiness about what was essentially an open-ended policing mission. The armed forces have been implicated in a number of human rights abuse cases.

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LGBT+ migrants face abuse in Mexican border city: activists

11/14/2018 – Reuters

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Rodrigo Abd/AP

MEXICO CITY (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – The arrival of about 80 LGBT+ asylum seekers from Central America in the Mexican border city of Tijuana has provoked an angry backlash from local residents, rights activists said.

The asylum seekers are among thousands of migrants who are making their way through Mexico toward the United States. They split from the caravan they were originally traveling with after facing discrimination from others in the group.

Fergie Bibiana Andersen of the advocacy group Diversidad sin Fronteras said the LGBT+ migrants had been verbally abused in Tijuana and also threatened on social media.

“They’re being attacked by the town,” said Andersen, whose organization has been supporting the LGBT+ migrants.

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RPT-Elon Musk’s ‘Teslaquila’ drink faces clash with Mexican tequila industry

11/14/2018 – Reuters

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Reuters/Carlos Jasso

MEXICO CITY, Nov 13 (Reuters) – Tesla Inc co-founder Elon Musk and Mexico’s tequila producers could be headed for a collision after the agave-based drink’s industry group opposed the flamboyant billionaire’s efforts to trademark an alcoholic drink dubbed “Teslaquila.”

One of the world’s richest people and chief executive of Tesla, Musk is known for ambitious and cutting-edge projects ranging from auto electrification and rocket-building to high-speed transit tunnels.

Now it seems that Musk could be setting his sights on disrupting the multibillion-dollar tequila industry.

On Oct. 12, he tweeted “Teslaquila coming soon” and an accompanying “visual approximation” of a red and white label with the Tesla logo and a caption that stated “100 percent Puro de Agave.”

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What is next for Mexico City airport after mega project axed?

10/18/2018 – Reuters

airbus-aircraft-airplane-587063MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – A decision on Monday by Mexico’s next president to scrap a partly built $13 billion Mexico City airport has raised questions about the feasibility of his alternative plan, and consequences of the change.

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who takes office Dec. 1, justified his move based on the results of an informal referendum that called for abandoning the current project.

The U-turn is the latest step in a long-running saga over how to solve growing congestion at the Mexico City airport, where 40 million passengers pass through a year.

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As the immigration debate rages, she quietly counts the dead along the border — and memorializes them with quilts

10/31/2018 – Washington Post

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(Wilson Graham)

The enormous migrant caravan of people currently walking day and night toward the U.S.-Mexico border, some with baby strollers, has added fuel to the country’s raging immigration debate as President Trump called it an “invasion” of Central Americans, and announced he is sending U.S. troops and razor wire to the border.

But for Jody Ipsen, an American woman who lives near the border, the immigration issue is much more quiet and somber. For more than a decade, Ipsen has been keeping track of how many people die on their journey into the United States, and she memorializes them in quilts, then tours the quilts around the country.

“It’s an emotionally charged project — I feel like I’ve been living in grief for the past 11 years,” said Ipsen. “Still, it’s so important to humanize these people.”

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