Headlines from Mexico

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1.  On Wednesday, November 15, 2017 the fifth round of the NAFTA renegotiation talks began in Mexico City. Mexico’s Secretary of Economy, Ildefonso Guajardo, announced that Mexico will respond to U.S. proposals related to the automobile sector and establishing a sunset clause. The Secretary of Economy stated that all parties may reach an agreement on chapters that pertain to telecommunications and anti-corruption at the end of the fifth round. This round will conclude on November 21st.

Read more: Reforma, Excelsior, El Universal, Milenio

2.  Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto formally enacted the General Law on Disappearances that was approved by the Mexican Congress last October. This new law creates the National Person Search System and the National Registry of Missing and Non-Localized Persons. The families of missing persons believe that this system and registry will serve as additional tools to combat the impunity in Mexico.

Read more: Reforma, ExcelsiorEl Universal, Jornada

3. Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto met with Uruguay’s President, Tabaré Vázquez Rosas, in Mexico City on November 14, 2017. Peña Nieto and Vázquez Rosas committed to strengthen and enrich all areas of the bilateral relationship. The Office of the Mexican Presidency stated that the overall trade balance between Mexico and Uruguay amounts to USD$170 million.

Read more: Reforma, Excelsior, El Universal, Milenio

4. Mexico’s Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Luis Videgaray, met with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, in Moscow on November 17, 2017. Videgaray and Lavrov rejected all claims that Russia has the intention to meddle in the 2018 Mexican presidential election. The foreign ministers agreed to boost bilateral trade and investment in coordination with the business sector in both countries.

Read more: El Universal, Reforma, Milenio, El Economista

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Headlines

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1.  Mexico’s Tax Administration Service, known as SAT, released a statement reiterating its commitment to investigate any individual and/or corporation mentioned in the Paradise Papers with fiscal responsibilities in Mexico. In order to ensure transparency, SAT ensured it would rely on information exchange agreements with 50 countries to evaluate whether or not tax evasion was committed. Pedro Aspe Armella, former Secretary of Finance and Public Credit (SCHP), and Alejandro Gertz Manero, former Secretary of Public Security (SSP), have been mentioned in the Paradise Papers.

Read more: Reforma, Excelsior, El Universal, Milenio

2.  Aspiring independent candidates for the 2018 Mexican presidential election have expressed discontent with the National Electoral Institute (INE) app. Potential candidates are required to collect 866,593 signatures in 120 days in order to run as an independent in the presidential race. Candidate representatives allege that signature upload capability is the main defect of the INE app. INE has stated that it will not consider any changes to the process in order to protect the privacy of voters.

Read more: Reforma, Excelsior, Milenio, El Universal

3. Mexico’s Supreme Court ordered that Venustiano Carranza, a Mexico City delegate, Israel Moreno Rivera, and José Manuel Ballesteros be dismissed from their public offices. The men were indicted after failing to comply with a court order. Carranza, Moreno-Rivera, and Ballesteros failed to reinstate and pay the salaries of four workers in 2013.

Read more: Reforma, Excelsior, El Universal, El Financiero

4. Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto met with Vietnam’s president, Trần Đại Quang, in the city of Da Nang. Peña Nieto stressed the Mexican government’s determination to continue working closely with Vietnam to strengthen and enrich all areas of the bilateral relationship. The Mexican president is visiting the country to attend the 2017 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum.

Read more: El Universal, Excelsior, Milenio, El Economista

Headlines

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1. Alberto Anaya, the head of the Labor Party (PT), justified the diversion of approximately USD $5.2 million dollars from Nuevo Leon’s Education Secretariat. The funds are to be utilized by the state’s Child Development Centers (Cendis). Anaya stated that the funds were deposited into four personal accounts because the state government fails to open accounts for the institution in order to avoid granting labor rights to the center’s employees. Anaya insists that this is a “political prosecution” against the party’s 2018 presidential election coalition with The National Regeneration Movement party (MORENA).

Read more: Reforma, Excelsior, El Universal, Milenio

2. On November 7, the Mexican Senate will reconvene to elect a new electoral prosecutor. The Senate will no longer be able to revert the decision made by the Attorney General to fire the ex-electoral prosecutor, Santiago Nieto. Opposition leaders are calling for the Attorney General to further explain the reason for the removal of the electoral prosecutor.

Read more: Reforma, ExcelsiorEl UniversalMilenio

3. The National Institute of Statistics and Geography, known as INEGI, released new data on the 1.7% increase in Mexico’s economy in the last trimester of 2017. Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto acknowledged the setbacks the recent earthquakes have caused in the economy. In addition to reiterating the new data about Mexico’s economic growth, the president highlighted the public-private sector projects that are transforming Mexico into an important tourist destination.

Read more: El Universal, Excelsior, Reforma, El Economista

4. The National Electoral Institute (INE) has approved a campaign spending cap for the 2018 federal elections.

Presidential election campaign spending caps:

  • Pre-Campaign trail spending limit: 67.2 milliones pesos (approximately USD $3.5 million) and
  • Campaign trail spending limit: 429.6 millones de pesos (approximately USD $22 million).

Federal deputy campaign spending caps:

  • Pre-Campaign trail spending limit: 252 mil 008 pesos (approximately USD $13,000) and
  • Campaign trail spending limit: 1.4 millones (approximately USD $74,000).

Read more: Reforma, Proceso, El Universal, Milenio

Headlines from Mexico

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1. The Ex-Director of Braskem, a subsidiary of the Odebrecht conglomerate, stated that the company “accompan[ied] the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) campaign, the PRI party, and the current President Enrique Peña Nieto.” Documents obtained by Mexicans Against Corruption and Impunity (MCCI) reveal a direct link between Braskem and a top official of Peña Nieto’s campaign, Emilio Lozoya Austin. According to the documents, Braskem transferred USD$1.5 million to a firm associated with Lozoya Austin, Latin America Asia Capital.

Read more: Reforma, El Norte, Expansion, Proceso

2. Santiago Nieto Castillo, Mexico’s top electoral prosecutor, was fired on October 20, 2017. Acting Attorney General, Elías Beltrán, announced that Nieto was let go because he violated the principal of due process. Nieto Castillo was leading an illicit campaign finance investigation involving the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and Odebrecht. Opposition party members in the Senate are leading the effort to revert the decision made by the Attorney General.

Read more: Excelsior, El Universal, MilenioProceso

3. Héctor Quiroz García, President of the Labor Party (PT) in Aguascalientes, was detained by the Office of the General Prosecutor (PGR). Quiroz García is accused of money laundering after an investigation revealed María Guadalupe Rodríguez, the wife of Alberto Anaya, diverted approximately USD$5.2 million dollars from Nuevo Leon’s Education Secretariat into four bank accounts. The head of the Labor Party, Alberto Anaya, stated that Quiroz García’s detention is meant to interfere with the party’s 2018 presidential election coalition with The National Regeneration Movement party (MORENA).

Read more: Reforma, Excelsior, El Universal, Milenio

4. On October 27, the Mexican Senate approved the 2018 national budget, known as the Ley de Ingresos 2018. In a 90-29 vote, the Senate allocated an additional 43 billion pesos to aid in the post-earthquake reconstruction efforts. The bill proposes an increase in currency exchange and petroleum prices to compensate for the additional funds allocated to reconstruction efforts.

Read more: Reforma, Excelsior, El Universal, Milenio

Headlines from Mexico

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1. Raúl Cervantes, Mexico’s Attorney General, presented President Enrique Peña Nieto with his resignation. His resignation comes amidst an intense political debate over the creation and implementation of a new, autonomous National Prosecutor’s Office. Cervantes was a contender to head the new prosecutor general’s office, but faced backlash from opposition lawmakers because of his political ties to the Institutional Revolutionary Party.

Read more: Reforma, Excelsior, El Universal, Milenio

2. On Tuesday, the fourth round of NAFTA negotiations concluded in Arlington, VA. Negotiators have made advances in the following groups: customs and trade facilitation, digital trade, and good regulatory practices. Mexico’s Economy Secretary, Ildefonso Guajardo, announced Mexico would not accept U.S. proposals that pertain to establishing a sunset clause and increasing the rules of origin. The fifth round of negotiations will take place from November 17-21 in Mexico City.

Read more: ExcelsiorReformaEl Universal, El Financiero

3. Mexico’s Chamber of Deputies finance committee approved a multi-million dollar increase for the 2018 fiscal year. The additional USD$2.3 billion will be distributed among a variety of federal institutions and programs who were affected by the recent earthquakes and hurricanes. In addition, the measure allows the Mexico City government to raise the debt ceiling by USD$292 million to aid in the reconstruction of the city’s infrastructure.

Read more: Excelsior, Reforma, Milenio, Proceso

4. The CEO of Mexican Petroleums (PEMEX), José Antonio González Anaya, appeared before Mexico’s Chamber of Deputies energy committee. He addressed the company’s strategy to combat fuel theft. Fuel theft strategy focuses on the following aspects: fuel recovery, detentions, and vehicle transport security. González Anaya stated that the severity of the issue is decreasing slowly, but steadily.

Read more: El Universal, El Financiero, Reforma, Proceso

Headlines from Mexico

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1. On Wednesday, the fourth round of NAFTA negotiations began in Arlington, VA. At the start of the round, Robert Lightnizer announced that the partner countries had reached an agreement on the chapter pertaining to competition. Rules of origin and dispute settlement provisions are the two sensitive topics that will be addressed in this round by the trade representatives. This round will conclude on October 17th.

Read more: ExcelsiorEl UniversalReformaMilenio, El Financiero 

2. Criticisms arose for the Mexican Secretary of Health on a recent senate panel concerning healthcare cuts, transparency, and overall action on public health issues facing the country. In particular, they questioned the Secretary concerning allegations of diversion of funds for the Seguro Popular (popular health insurance) and administration of hospital services, particularly poor conditions and lack of efficiency. In addition, they also highlighted the late responses on public health issues such obesity, cancer, and teenage pregnancy rates. The Secretary noted, however, that health in the country has improved overall.

Read more: ExcelsiorReformaEl UniversalMilenio

3. During this week’s Extraordinary Session, the PRI’s National Political Council (NPC) approved for the Executive National Committee to establish coalitions, common candidacies, and alliances with related political parties for the upcoming 2018 elections. Additionally, the NPC approved the new Permanent Political Commission members, which will be led by President Enrique Peña Nieto.

Read more: MilenioEl Universal Proceso, El Financiero

4. Mexican Petroleums (PEMEX) has recently signed an agreement to be able to sell old equipment and other materials more easily. This comes on the heel of greater concern over conservation and environmental regulations, in addition to better allocation of public resources. The agreement aims to be able to sell off unproductive materials in a way that maximizes and ensures transparency.

Read more: ReformaExpansionProcesoEl Norte

Headlines from Mexico

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1. Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto visited the state of Oaxaca to kick off the reconstruction efforts following the September 7th earthquake. The president announced that the severity of structural damage will determine how much federal aid will be awarded to victims. Victims’ homes deemed as total losses will be eligible to receive approximately USD$6,500.

Read more: Reforma, Excelsior, El UniversalMilenio

2. Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto announced that search and rescue efforts have come to an end in Mexico City, following the September 19th earthquake. The implementation of precautionary measures will be at the forefront of clean-up and reconstruction efforts. In an effort to establish a transparent mechanism, Peña Nieto announced that Mexicans will be able to consult a web page that tracks who is receiving aid from the Natural Disaster Fund.

Read more: Milenio, El Universal, Excelsior, Expansion

3. The governor of the state of Nuevo León, Jaime Rodríguez Calderón, announced he will present an intention letter to Mexico’s National Electoral Institute, known as INE. This is the first step Rodríguez Calderón must take in order to establish himself as an independent candidate in the 2018 Mexican presidential election. The independent candidate must collect approximately 850,000 signatures to officially launch his bid for the Mexican presidency.

Read more: Reforma, Excelsior, Milenio, El Universal

4. Mexico’s Supreme Court ruled it is unconstitutional for the Secretariat of Finance and Public Credit (SHCP) to freeze individual and business bank accounts that are under investigation for money laundering. In a 4-1 vote, the court deemed SHCP’s Finance Intelligence Unit’s immediate, unilateral actions unconstitutional as the unit proceeded to freeze accounts on the suspicion of money laundering.

Read more: Excelsior, El Universal, Proceso, El Norte