Mexico’s president warns that if Trump wants to talk trade, he’ll have to talk security, too

1/13/2017 Los Angeles Times

pena nieto wef

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has warned that Mexico will push back if U.S. President-elect Donald Trump attacks Mexico on trade or other fronts — using its cooperation on crucial issues such as immigration and security as leverage.

While he didn’t mention Trump by name, much of Peña Nieto’s address to a gathering of Mexican ambassadors on Wednesday was directed at the incoming U.S. president, who in a news conference earlier in the day had vowed yet again to tax imports from Mexico and to force Mexico to pay for construction of a massive border wall.

Trump’s threats helped send the Mexican peso plummeting to a record low Wednesday, when it briefly fell below 22 per U.S. dollar.

In his speech, Peña Nieto said conversations with the U.S. about taxes or trade deals would also include conversations about U.S.-Mexico collaboration on immigration and security.

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American Charged With Attempted Murder of U.S. Diplomat in Mexico

1/11/2017 New York Times

Security and the Rule of Law

A U.S. citizen was charged with the attempted murder of an American diplomat stationed at the U.S. Consulate in Guadalajara, Mexico, the Justice Department said on Tuesday.

Zia Zafar, 31, of Chino Hills, California, made an appearance in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, on Tuesday after being deported from Mexico to the United States and arrested on Monday, the department said in a statement.

He was charged with one count of attempted murder of an internationally protected person in the shooting on Friday, it said.

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Mexico eyes border, migration as leverage in talks with Trump

12/28/2016 Reuters 

Bernardo Montoya/Reuters
Bernardo Montoya/Reuters

Mexico aims to defend free trade with the United States by using border security and immigration policy to gain leverage in talks with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump after he takes office next month, senior officials say.

To defuse Trump’s threats to disrupt trade and investment, policymakers say Mexico aims to strike a balance between hearing out his concerns over illegal immigration and U.S. jobs, and adopting a firm posture to protect its own economic interests.

Mexico wants security, immigration and management of the U.S.-Mexican border to be on the table alongside trade when it sits down to talk to the Trump administration, a person familiar with the government’s thinking said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

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Mexico Fireworks Blast Leaves at Least 29 Dead

12/20/2016 The Wall Street Journal 

toritostultepec2016_112TULTEPEC, Mexico—Powerful blasts ripped through a sprawling fireworks market outside Mexico City on Tuesday, killing at least 29 people and injuring scores more, the third time in 11 years that the market has been destroyed by such explosions.

Mexico State Gov. Eruviel Ávila said 26 people died at the scene, three others died later in hospitals and more than 70 were injured in the midafternoon explosion, which tore through hundreds of small stalls selling artisanal fireworks in the San Pablito market in the city of Tultepec, just north of the Mexican capital.

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Safran Identity & Security to modernize Mexico’s multi-biometric identification system

12/21/2016 Nasdaq Global Newswire 

election's guide vote imageSafran Identity & Security has been awarded a five-year contract by the National Electoral Institute of Mexico (INE) for its multi-biometric identification system and related services. With this new contract, INE confirms its trust in Safran to conform and update the Mexican national voter registry that enables fair and efficient elections.

As one of the world’s largest systems of its kind, the multi-biometric identification system ensures each voter has a unique identity by detecting false or double-identity cases in real time. It uses both fingerprint and facial recognition to help ensure that each Mexican citizen is registered only once in the national voter rolls.

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Study Examines Drug and Human Trafficking Overlap in Mexico

InSight Crime 12/21/2016 
azA recent study from a pair of academics specializing on border issues finds a wide degree of overlap between coyotes and drug traffickers along the US-Mexico border, with government policies helping to encourage the blurring of the lines between the two illicit activities.

The 2016 paper “On Narco-coyotaje: Illicit Regimes and Their Impacts on the US-Mexico Border,” by Howard Campbell and Jeremy Slack, probes the dynamics along the Mexican border between human traffickers, or coyotes, and their criminal cousins who traffic drugs.

Based largely on interviews with migrants in Tamaulipas, Sonora, and Baja California, the authors’ basic finding is that where once coyotes and drug traffickers operated in separate spheres, today there is a great deal of collaborative overlap. According to Campbell and Slack, who teach at the University of Texas-El Paso, this evolution essentially coincides with the growth of “a criminal hierarchy prioritizing the most powerful and profitable clandestine activity…drug trafficking”.

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Mexico fugitive ex-governor left the country-paper

12/19/2016 Reuters

DuarteA former governor of a Mexican state whose whereabouts have been unknown since he stepped down two months ago over corruption charges had left the country by early November, local media said on Monday.

Javier Duarte, former governor of Veracruz, left the county to “attend to various issues,” according to a statement by his lawyer in a court document dated Nov. 4, Mexican daily Reforma said. The newspaper did not say what country he had gone to.

In a case that has embarrassed the country’s ruling party, Duarte resigned in mid-October, denying any wrongdoing, in order to face charges of embezzlement, money laundering and organized crime.

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