Headlines from Mexico

000-2Week of April 22-26

Bill to undo education reform passes in Mexico’s lower house

Mexico’s lower house has passed a measure that would overturn contentious elements of a 2013 education reform that was a key piece of legislation under then-president Enrique Peña Nieto. The bill would eliminate teacher evaluations and return some power to unions. It goes to the Senate, where President López Obrador’s allies have a majority.

FRANCE24, El Universal, Milenio


Peñafiel sparkling water accused of containing arsenic

Keurig Dr. Pepper stopped the production of Peñafiel soda in Mexico for two weeks, after a study by the Consumer Reports Organization warned that the Mexican mineral water contains high levels of arsenic. The suspension began on April 15 and, among the measures sought, improving filtration and reducing chemical levels are included.

Forbes México, Proceso, El Sol de México


Migration officers arrests hundreds in a massive raid

Central American migrants traveling through southern Mexico toward the U.S. fearfully recalled their frantic escape from the police, scuttling under barbed wire fences into pastures and then spending the night in the woods after hundreds were detained in a raid. In the Chiapas state town of Tonala, migrants flocked to one of the few places they felt they could be safe – the local Roman Catholic church.

Telemundo, Univisión, Associated Press


The incident between U.S. and Mexico soldiers escalates

Two U.S. soldiers made a routine tour near the southern border when Mexican soldiers intercepted and interrogated them and pointed their guns at them. At least, that’s Washington’s version of friction that occurred on April 13. The confusion escalated to a political conflict when President Trump threat to send more armed troops to the border.

BBC, El Economista, Milenio


Mexico becomes the U.S. largest trading partner

Mexico has now become the biggest U.S. trading partner, jumping ahead of Canada and China that have previously held the top spot, according to recent government data. Transactions with Mexico made up 15% of U.S. trade in February, according to federal data released last week, edging out Canada at 14.2% and China at 13.9%.

El Financiero, Forbes, The Hill


Minatitlán massacre prompts National Guard’s first operation

Gunmen burst into a party hall in southeastern Mexico on Friday and opened fire, killing at least 13 people, authorities said. The attackers raised a family party in the city of Minatitlán, Veracruz. Six men, five women, and a child were killed and four others were wounded, the state’s public security department said. President López Obrador later said that the National Guard’s first security operation would take place here.

El Sol de México, ADN Político, CNN


Outrage in Mexico over motion to ban sale of cold beer

A local lawmaker introduced a motion to ban the sale of the cold beverage in convenience stores. The motion – met with incredulity on social media –would modify Mexico City’s commerce laws to ban selling beer on beverages of 7% or less alcohol content, which are “refrigerated or in different conditions than the ambient temperature.”

CNN, El Universal, El Diario de México


Santa Lucia airport cost skyrockets over an unforeseen hill 

The estimated cost of the Santa Lucia International Airport in Mexico City project increased by 11.7% after a hill known as “Cerro de Paula” was not taken into account in the original plan, less than 10 kilometers from the southern runway. The new airport planning and development may have even bigger problems, including environmental considerations.

Reuters, El Economista, CNN





Headlines from Mexico


Week of April 15-19

The federal government exposes gas prices across the country

Energy Secretary Rocio Nahle showed a gasoline prices list for each service station in the country, which offered the highest and cheapest prices in the national territory. The president applauded this action; yet, El Sol de Mexico newspaper exposed that some of the stations were not in use. The president blamed the Energy Regulation Commission (CRE) for this discrepancy.

El Sol de México, Forbes México, Expansión


President Lopez Obrador presents new Social Communication Policy

Jesus Ramirez, the Presidency’s Social Communication Coordinator, presented the new Social Communication Policy. The policy establishes that using government propaganda to pressure communicators or the media will be prohibited; a transparency portal should be established for information about campaign spending; and there will be a limit to the amount of money spent on political campaigns, among other considerations.

El Sol de México, Aristegui Noticias, El País


Presidential memo on Education Reform causes controversy

President Lopez Obrador signed a memorandum where he canceled former president Peña Nieto’s Education Reform. The document was sent to the Secretariats of Public Education, Interior, and Finance and Public Credit, which would now acquire control of teaching positions. Institutions such as the National Commission on Human Rights (CNDH) strongly rejected the president’s document because of lack of consultation on the autonomous institutions.

ADN Político, El Sol de México, El Universal


National outrage over a kidnapped baby in Mexico City

Police officers are looking for a woman who stole an eight-month-old baby while she was in the care of two minors outside a Mexico City hospital. Testimonies mentioned that the mother took her daughter and two nephews (minors) to the hospital to visit her sister; however, minors were not allowed in, so they stayed outside. Days later, the incident sparked a national debate on child trafficking.

El Universal, Excélsior, Reporte índigo


Campeche fire consumed 500 hectares of mangroves

A fire in the area of Los Petenes, Campeche consumed more than 200 hectares of mangroves. Civil Protection reported that since Monday night, firefighters are trying to mitigate the incident. According to Cesar Uriel Romero Herrera, Los Petenes Biosphere Reserve Director, the damages were limited to leaves and branches, since coastal wetlands and mud prevented the passage of fire further inland.

El Financiero, El Sol de México, La Jornada Maya


Migrants gather in Huixtla, Chiapas

Reports indicate that somewhere between 1,500 and 5,000 migrants from Central America and the Caribbean, along some Africans, are currently congregating in Huixtla. The purpose of gathering in the town is to form a caravan to depart soon northward to the U.S.

Telemundo, La Jornada, El Economista


Mexico regrets the U.S. Helms-Burton Act

The Government of Mexico regretted the U.S. decision to apply, for the first time in history, the Helms-Burton Act Title III. The Secretariat of Foreign Relations said that the measure could affect foreign companies doing business in and with Cuba so the Mexican government will protect Mexican companies that do or have an interest in doing business with the island nation.

Excélsior, MVS Noticias, Aristegui Noticias


Headlines from Mexico


Week of April 8 – 12

1. Luis Rodríguez Bucio, the new National Guard leader

President López Obrador appointed a soon to be retired military officer to head the National Guard. The appointment of Rodriguez Bucio caused controversy because it is established that the National Guard must have a civil command. However, the president said that there was no ill intention in placing a military in the process of retirement at the command of the National Guard.

BBC, Milenio, El Universal


2. Stagnated dialogue between CNTE and authorities

After five hours, leaders of the National Union of Education Workers (CNTE), the Secretariat of Public Education (SEP), and the Chair of Education Committee of Congress, Adela Piña Bernal, failed to reach an agreement on the abrogation of the educational reform sought by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

El Economista, La Razón, La Jornada


3. Morena senator pushes Supreme Court of Justice reform

After Ricardo Monreal Ávila, leader of the Morena party in the Senate, proposed reforming the Mexican Supreme Court, he met with the president of the Supreme Court, Arturo Zaldívar, to review this proposal. The legal counselor of the Presidency, Julio Scherer and the counselor of the Federal Judiciary, Felipe Borrego, also attended the meeting.

ADN Político, El Financiero, El Sol de México


4. Michelle Bachelet: Violence in Mexico is war-like

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, said Tuesday that she was alarmed by the violence figures in Mexico, after signing a cooperation agreement with the government. The Mexican president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, said it was “regrettable and sad” that this happened and blamed the “wrong policy” of the last governments.

CNN, El Sol de México, El Universal


5. AMLO commemorates Emiliano Zapata’s mournful centenary

President López Obrador led the ceremony for Emiliano Zapata’s mournful centenary in Cuernavaca, Morelos. Accompanied by his wife Beatriz Gutiérrez Muller, the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Olga Sánchez Cordero and Marcelo Ebrard, respectively, as well as the governor of the entity, Cuauhtémoc Blanco.

The Guardian, Milenio, Aristegui Noticias


6. Congress approves labor law

The Mexican Congress approved with 417 votes in favor, 29 abstentions, and one opposed, the ruling of reforms in labor matters with which buries the “Charrismo” union and opens the door to democracy in the election of the workers’ leadership through free, secret and direct vote while leaving out outsourcing.

Forbes, ADN Político, El Economista


7. Mexico and U.S. business leaders met in Yucatan Summit

Several Mexican government officials and business leaders met with their U.S. counterparts for a second day on Friday, as they sought to ratify a trade deal, namely the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), resolve border delays that are hurting exporters, and discuss metal tariffs.

Reuters, Milenio, Yucatan Expat Life

Headlines from Mexico


Week of April 1-5

1. #MeTooMúsicosMexicanos closes Twitter account after Vega-Gil’s suicide

The Twitter account #MeTooMúsicosMexicanos informed through a tweet that it decided to permanently close its platform. This account, like dozens more, was created in March to publish allegations of alleged abuse and sexual harassment in certain areas, in this particular case, in the musical space. The closing happened days after the suicide of Armando Vega-Gil, member of the band Botellita de Jerez, last Monday.

France 24, Excélsior, CNN


2. Fox & Friends’ “3 Mexican countries” goes viral

Sunday morning Fox & Friend’s applauded President Trump’s Saturday directive to cut aid to Central American countries by declaring, “Trump cuts aid U.S. aid to 3 Mexican countries.” The Fox News Network apologized for the headline.

Aristegui Noticias, Mashable, Excélsior


3. AMLO presents Cultural Project in Chapultepec, Mexico City

The federal government presented the cultural and environmental project that involved the former official residence of Los Pinos for its integration with the four sections of the Chapultepec forest, with the disincorporation of land from the Secretary of National Defense. A design that aims to integrate the eleven museums that already exist, the wooded and environmental spaces to turn it into one of the cultural and ecological centers of the world.

El Universal, La Jornada, El Sol de México


4. Labor reform is in fast track

To allow the entry into force of the T-MEC (USMCA), Congress will fast track the approval of the Labor Reform that requires all unions to guarantee their internal democracy. The decision was taken after Nancy Pelosi, leader of the House of Representatives of the United States, urged Mexico to approve this reform as a condition for the entry into force of the trade agreement. Mario Delgado, coordinator of the deputies of Morena, announced that it will be next week when it is approved.

El Heraldo de México, Noroeste, El Economista


5. A judge grants Congresspeople access to San Lazaro Palace

Judge Martín Adolfo Santos Pérez, head of the Eighth District Court on Administrative Matters, admitted the protection document proceeding filed by the coordinator of the PAN deputies, Juan Carlos Romero Hicks, with which he seeks to prevent the teachers of the Coordinating Committee National Education Workers (CNTE) block access to the San Lazaro legislative precinct.

MVS Noticias, Milenio, Excélsior


6. National Guard’s leader will be an active military officer

The president Andrés Manuel López Obrador revealed that the commander of the National Guard will be an active military man. During his morning conference, the Executive said that in the coming days the identity of who will be in charge of the National Guard will be announced.

Milenio, El Sol de México, Animal Político


Headlines from Mexico


Week of March 24 – March 29, 2019

1. Defense Secretary presents National Guard’s uniforms

During one of President Lopez Obrador’s morning press conferences, Defense Secretary Luis Cresencio Sandoval presented the new uniforms for members of the National Guard. He said that 150 out of 266 teams will be on duty by mid-April. Similarly, he said that the Guard’s leader would be announced by the end of next week.

Animal Político, El Sol de México, ADN Político


2. Popocatépetl volcano activity prompts yellow alert

Recent activity in the Popocatépetl Volcano in Mexico has activated the yellow alert, according to the Civil Protection’s Twitter account. A first explosion was recorded at 7:00 pm on Wednesday, which also caused fire around the area.

CNN, La Vanguardia, Reuters


3. AMLO calls for an apology from the King of Spain and the Pope

President Lopez Obrador sent a letter to the President of Spain, another letter to the Pope so that the violations committed can be acknowledged, and build a record of the grievances occurred during the Spanish conquest period. The Spanish government said it had received a letter with the same demand from Lopez Obrador weeks earlier, on March 1 but it declined to apologize.

The Guardian, BBC, El País


4. The country braces for a new caravan of Central American migrants

Mexico is bracing for the possible arrival of the “mother of all caravans,” even as doubts arise over whether the group of Central Americans will be all that big. Interior Secretary Olga Sánchez Cordero has said a caravan of migrants from El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala could be forming.

Associated Press, Fox News, ABC


5. #MeToo reaches Mexico: women report harassment at work

The #MeToo movement, nearly dormant in Mexico, was jump-started when activist posted messages on Twitter last weekend when she accused a young writer of having beaten and abused more than 10 women. The tweets inspired an avalanche of hundreds of messages on social media in which women detailed everything from common indignities like lewd advances and harassment to sexual assault and rape.

The New York Times, The Guardian, ADN Politico


6. Christopher Landau is named new U.S. Ambassador to Mexico

Mexico’s Secretariat of Foreign Relations approved the U.S. President’s appointee Christopher Landau as new U.S. Ambassador to Mexico. Landau is a lawyer from Harvard University and has litigated in the Supreme Court of Justice and the Federal Court of Applications.

CNN, Reuters, Expansion


Headlines from Mexico


1. Mexico’s Secretariat of Finance and Public Credit announced that it is contemplating using resources from a $15.4 billion public income stabilization fund to pay a portion of Pemex’s debt obligations.

El Economista, El Financiero,  La Jornada,

2. The López Obrador administration announced that the consortiums Bechtel-Techint and Worley Parson-Jacobs, as well as the companies Technip and KBR would participate in the tender process to build an Oil Refinery in Dos Bocas, Tabasco, one of the administration’s flagship projects.

Milenio, El Financiero, Proceso

3. President López Obrador and Jared Kushner, Senior Advisor to President Trump, held a closed-door meeting to discuss a development plan that seeks to promote the economic growth of Southern Mexico and Central America. Opposition leaders criticized that the meeting took place in the house of Bernardo Gómez, Vice President of Televisa, Mexico’ largest television network.

La Jornada, Milenio, El Universal,   

4. President López Obrador signed a pledge not to run for re-election at the end of his term in 2024, affirming that one six-year term is enough to “eradicate corruption and impunity.” This occurred after the Chamber of Deputies approved a constitutional amendment that allows for referendum on the President’s performance midway through the six-year term.

Forbes, La Jornada, El Economista,  

5. Mexico’s Secretariat of the Interior formally apologized to the families of two university students from the Tecnológico de Monterrey, who were shot to death by soldiers in 2010, and promised to take the necessary measures to avert similar killings in the future.

Excélsior, Milenio, El Heraldo de México

Headlines of Mexico


Week of March 10 – March 15, 2019

President Lopez Obrador reaches his 100th day in office

On Monday, President Lopez Obrador officially crossed the 100-day mark in office. He has been a powerful figure since he won the election on July 2, to say the least. Most Mexicans seem to agree, giving their folksy man-of-the-people president stratospheric approval ratings. Some recent surveys put his support above 80 percent.

BBC, El Economista, The New York Times


Salvadorian President-elect Bukele arrives in Mexico

El Salvador’s President-elect Nayib Bukele arrived in Mexico where he met with President Lopez Obrador and Secretary of Foreign Relations Ebrard. Through his Twitter account, Mr. Bukele said that he talked about migration and purposed a migratory policy designed to reduce forced migration.

El Heraldo de México, Milenio, El Heraldo de Honduras


Central American migrants go missing in Tamaulipas State

Mexican authorities created a special commission to search for 19 Central American migrants that went missing as they were traveling in an allegedly federal police-escorted bus northward to the U.S. border through Tamaulipas State. Reports hypothesize that this could be due to criminal organizations or hiring private migrant smugglers known as “polleros.”

El Pais, BBC, El Espectador


Yasmin Esquivel Mossa is appointed Mexican Justice top officer  

The Mexican Senate appointed Yasmin Esquivel Mossa as the Minister of the Nation’s Supreme Court of Justice for a period of 15 years after two voting rounds where the majority of votes came from Morena party legislators. There is vast controversy surrounding this appointment particularly due to Ms. Esquivel Mossa’s proximity to President Lopez Obrador.

La Jornada, SDP Noticias, Excelsior


President Lopez Obrador denounces “black campaign” against him

The Financial Intelligence Unit’s leader Santiago Nieto announced that the Government will present a series of accusations against the alleged financing third parties of the series “Populism in Latin America”, which was released when President Lopez Obrador was a candidate.

ABC Noticias, Animal Politico, El Sol de México



Headlines from Mexico


Week of March 3 – March 8, 2019

The National Guard is approved   

With the approval of 17 state-level congresses, the National Guard is now approved federally. The Guard now waits for the Executive’s decision to publish it in the Official Journal of the Federation and its subsequent secondary laws, including the Organic Law of the National Guard.

El Heraldo de México, CNN, Forbes


At most, only 22 vaquita porpoises remain

Experts say that at most only 22 vaquitas remain in the Gulf of California, where a grim, increasingly violent battle is playing out between emboldened fisherman and the last line of defense, which is formed by volunteer members, for the smallest and most endangered porpoise in the world.

Associated Press, CBS News, Vanguardia


Mexico’s Central Bank in talks with Amazon on new mobile payments

Mexico’s central bank is in talks with Amazon to launch a new government-backed mobile payment system that would allow consumers to pay for online purchases using QR codes, the bank’s head of payments said. It would the first time that the world’s largest online retailer offers such scanning technology in Mexico and could eventually open a new customer base in the country.

CNBC, Business Insider, Reuters


Santa Rosa de Lima residents block highways to defend fuel thief leader

The neighbors of the Mexican community of Santa Rosa de Lima, in Guanajuato, prevented the access of the Army to this area controlled by the leader of the Santa Rosa de Lime Cartel and leader “huachicolero” José Antonio Yepez Ortiz, also known as “El Marro”, one of the most wanted criminals by the federal government. 

Notimérica, Mexico News Daily, El Sol de México


Nuevo Leon prohibits abortion

During a session that lasted more than four hours, the plenary session of the Congress of Nuevo Leon, the amendment to the first article of the Political Constitution of the State of Nuevo Leon that penalizes abortion was approved by a majority vote. 

teleSur, La Jornada, Telemundo






Headlines from Mexico


Week of February 24– March 1, 2019

Mexican Film “Roma” wins best Foreign Language Film; Cinematography  

Alfonso Cuaron’s latest film “Roma” won the Academy Award’s prize for cinematography and best foreign language film while Cuaron received the prize for best director. Several Mexicans expected the Netflix’s debutant to receive the award for best picture and Yaliza Aparicio to receive the award for best actress.

Polygon, ABC, Variety


President Lopez Obrador bids auctions cars

The auction of official vehicles, which took place this weekend, was “very successful”, since 90 percent of the vehicles were sold, said President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. In a morning conference, he explained that only 22 luxury cars remained, of the 218 that were offered.

Milenio, El Sol de México, La Jornada


Mexican Congress approves National Guard

Mexico’s Congress on Thursday approved the creation of a 60,000-member National Guard to tackle the nation’s public security crisis, a force that President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has made a cornerstone of his plan to confront organized crime and curb soaring violence.

The New York Times, Telemundo, Huff Post


Week of strikes for Mexico

The Secretariat of Labor and Social Prevention recognized that up to the end of this week, there are reportedly 15 active federal strikes. While only three began in January, there are many more in the last weeks. The institution also said that three of the most important unions in the country are associated with these strikes: Mexico’s Workers Confederation (CTM), Revolutionary Confederation of Workers and Agricultural Workers (CROC), and the Regional Confederation of Mexican Workers (CROM).

The Wall Street Journal, El Dictamen, El Universal


President releases intelligence archives

President Lopez Obrador announced this Friday that will bring to light the confidential documents of his intelligence services. More than nine decades of work by the “political police”, as defined by the Mexican president, ranging from the archives of the Federal Security Directorate (DFS), the PRI’s political espionage arm -declassified in part- to its heir organization after 1985: the Cisen.

El País, La Jornada, Nación 321





Headlines from Mexico


Week of February 17– February 22, 2019

Opposition activist murdered before pipeline referendum

Samir Flores Soberanes, a community activist fighting against a plan to build a gas pipeline through his central Mexico town, was murdered Wednesday, three days before a scheduled public referendum on the energy generation project. Investigators are considering potential links to criminal gangs after a note was found next to his body but environmental groups believe the killing was linked to his opposition.

BBC, The Washington Post, Radio Fórmula


Mexico to close infamous Isla Marias penal colony

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador announced that Mexico will close the infamous Isla Marias prison, the last island penal colony in the Western Hemisphere. The island will now relocate some inmates to Colima (the nearest state) and free about 200. The four islands will be turned into a cultural and environmental education center.

FRANCE 24, El Nuevo Herald, Animal Político


The Senate approves the National Guard

Mexico’s Senate voted unanimously Thursday to approve a more civilian-oriented version of the militarized National Guard that the government wants to use to combat a rising wave of violence. Senators arrived at a rare consensus to place the new guard under the civilian Secretariat of Security and Citizen Protection but its members will initially come from the federal police and military police units and will have joint military-civilian command and training.

ADN Político, El Sol de México, El Universal


Two Germans convicted for selling arms to Mexico

Two former employees of the German gun maker Heckler & Koch were found guilty for their participation in the sale of guns that ended in highly violent zones in Mexico. The judge seized the company’s profit, which adds up to 3.7 million euros. The company said that it changed its internal compliance system and now requests all members to comply with an audit.

NPR, Excelsior, El Financiero


AMLO to help El Chapo family seek US humanitarian visas

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said that he has instructed his government to assist the family of Joaquin El Chapo Guzman in seeking humanitarian visas to visit the convicted drug trafficker in the U.S. During a visit last week to Guzman’s hometown of Badiraguato, Sinaloa, a lawyer gave the president a letter from Guzman’s mother.

Associated Press, The Washington Post, The Detroit News


Mexico’s Science and Technology Council under controversy

David Alexir Ledesma and Edith Arrieta Meza’s resignations to CONACYT have been plagued with “rumors and decontextualized information”, said the Council’s president Maria Elena Alvarez-Buylla. But these movements within the organization only sheds light upon the heavy bureaucratic practices inside and the much work that has to be done, according to experts.

Aristegui Noticias, Milenio, Diario de Yucatán