1. The U.S. government has been pursuing an agreement with Mexico, known as a safe third country agreement, to lower asylum-seekers’ claims on the U.S.-Mexico border. The agreement, which the United States already has with Canada, requires asylum seekers to apply for asylum in the first ‘safe’ country they reach. The United States has been trying to convince Mexico to agree to the agreement, which would vastly augment the number of asylum claims in Mexico as Central Americans reaching the U.S. border would now have to apply in Mexico. Mexico, however, has showed little interest in the agreement, and it came out this week that they have now told the United States just that: they will not sign a safe third country agreement.
2. Top U.S. officials travelled to Mexico midweek to meet with their Mexican counterparts and López Obradror’s transition team. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo led the U.S. delegation, which included Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen and Presidential advisor Jared Kushner. Officials reportedly discussed security cooperation and a possible ‘re-set’ to U.S.-Mexican relations, which have become strained under President Trump. Secretary Pompeo also met with López Obrador and stressed mutual goals.
3. López Obrador has announced his austerity plan for government, which includes lowering federal salaries and removing chauffeurs and chefs from the government. He has said the government must implement austerity as a way to break away from the ‘mafia of power’ and combat corruption through less government spending. It is also meant to improve the image of high-level government officials to the public.
4. A drone carrying two deactivated grenades landed on the yard of a Security Chief’s home in Baja California. While the Chief does not live there and no one was injured, it raised alarm bells due to the use of drones in the crime world and the possibility of more high-tech gadgets being used by crime cells. As the government continues their anti-crime crackdown, it is a reminder of the dangers police and government officials face in their so-called ‘war on drugs.’
5. A portion of the new shopping mall Artz Pedregral collapsed last Thursday; there were no injuries, trapped civilians, or disappearances as a result of the collapse. The Secretary of Civil Protection, Fausto Lugo, said the building collapsed due to bad construction procedures, mainly in the failure to calculate excess weight in the structure or design. The rest of the mall is suspended until the authorities complete a thorough investigation.