Mexico president calls for probe into alleged government spying

6/22/2017 Reuters

pena nieto wefMexican President Enrique Pena Nieto asked the attorney general’s office on Thursday to investigate charges the government spied on private citizens, saying he wanted to get to the bottom of the accusations that he called “false.”

Activists, human rights lawyers and journalists in Mexico filed a criminal complaint on Monday following a report that their smartphones had been infected with spying software sold to the government to fight criminals and terrorists. [nL1N1JH01Y]

“Here and now I want to categorically state this is a democratic government, this is a government that respects and tolerates critical voices,” Pena Nieto said at a televised event.

The complaint presented to the attorney general’s office by nine people followed a New York Times report that some of them had been spied on with software known as Pegasus, which Israeli company NSO Group sold to Mexico’s government.

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Mexico’s Supreme Court rules in spat related to telecom reform

6/21/2017 Reuters

The America Movil logo is seen at the reception area in the company's offices in Mexico City
The America Movil logo is seen on the wall of the reception area in the company’s corporate offices in Mexico City August 12, 2015. REUTERS/Henry Romero

Mexico’s Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday in a spat over interconnection rates paid between telecommunications firm America Movil (AMXL.MX) and rivals that touches on a bigger case related to an antitrust reform the company is fighting.

Long-dominant America Movil, controlled by billionaire Carlos Slim, is challenging several aspects of a 2013-14 telecommunications reform that opened the door to more competition in the industry.

On Wednesday, the court ruled partly in favor of a unit of America Movil against Pegaso PCS and Grupo de Telecomunicaciones Mexicanas, both of which are units of Telefonica (TEF.MC), in a case involving rates charged to interconnect calls between their networks in 2015.

After the industry reform went into effect in late 2014, it was too late to resolve disagreements over an interconnection rate for the following year, so the rate from 2014 was adopted by regulators.

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Why Mexico is ripe for a start-up boom

6/20/2017 Financial Times

businessThe country’s creative class is expanding rapidly and the new generation is full of individuals not afraid to take risks.

If you walk through the streets of Mexico City’s hipster neighbourhoods of Condesa or Roma, you are almost certain to bump into an aspiring entrepreneur. The entrepreneurial wave has hit Mexico hard and seems to be gaining momentum rapidly. A new generation of millennials and post-millennials, led by a group of entrepreneurs in their late 30s to early 50s, is starting to believe you can change the world by creating new and better solutions to everyday problems.

The phenomenon is manifesting everywhere, not just in Mexico City and not just in Mexico. Cities in Latin America, Asia, Africa and Europe that would not typically be considered innovation hubs are witnessing an entrepreneurial fever at all levels of society, government, industry and academia.

But Mexico is particularly ripe for this change. The country is macroeconomically stable and enjoys a good relationship with most nations in the world. It is second highest among 140 countries in the Happy Planet Index, a measure of human wellbeing and environmental impact devised by the UK think-tank New Economics Foundation.

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Trump floated a solar-paneled border wall with Mexico — here’s what it would look like

6/7/2017 Business Insider

Nellis_AFB_Solar_panelsPresident Donald Trump wants to deliver on one of the central promises of his campaign — building a wall on the Mexican border.

He’s pitched Republican leaders on a proposal to cover the wall with solar panels and use the electricity generated to cover the costs of construction and maintenance.

Thomas Gleason is the managing partner of Gleason Partners LLC, a Las Vegas-based architecture firm that submitted a proposal to the Department of Homeland Security that included solar panels. He told Business Insider on Wednesday that he had been batting around the idea of building a solar-paneled wall along the US-Mexico border “for months.”

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Tycoon Carlos Slim’s Company Wants To Replace Mexico City’s Air Polluting Taxis With Electric Cars

6/5/2017 Forbes

Mexico-pollutionIn the midst of one of Mexico City’s worst air pollution crises in recent years, Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim Helu’s Giant Motors said it wants the prototype electric car it has been developing to replace pollution-belching cabs in the Western Hemisphere’s second largest metropolitan area.

“We’re developing the prototypes and hope to finish them this year to find a viable solution, an electric vehicle, that genuinely replaces gasoline-using cars,” Elias Massri, Giant Motors CEO for Latin America, told Reuters.

In February, Massir announced for the first time that Giant Motors, which is controlled by Slim’s financial services conglomerate Inbursa, was in the process of manufacturing a made-in-Mexico electric vehicle with plans to launch it commercially next year. Designed by Giant Motors, the vehicle will be manufactured in a joint venture with Moldex, a subsidiary of Grupo Bimbo, a Mexico-based multinational and the world’s largest bread maker.

“The peculiar challenge with taxis in Mexico City is that they often ride around with no passengers, looking for a fare,” said Massri. That means the electric taxis need to have fast-charging batteries that can last, he added, according to Reuters.

How ‘UberEATS’ Could Reduce Violence in Mexico City

6/2/2017 InSight Crime

uberThe dismantling of a microtrafficking operation in Mexico City that used bags issued by UberEATS to deliver marijuana shows how dealers are using new, and, analysts say, less violent ways to distribute drugs.

At least ten people were arrested by police in the working class neighbourhood of Tepito on May 30, in possession of a number of bags of marijuana packed into the UberEATS backpacks, according to news reports.

The police also found several muffins, presumably also containing marijuana, which had been packed for delivery.

UberEATS backpacks have become common in the upscale neighborhoods of the city, where the service has become popular. It provides home delivery for customers of food sourced from restaurants that do not always provide takeout services.

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Exclusive: North American carmakers want rules of origin in NAFTA left untouched – Mexico lobby

5/22/2017 Reuters

automobileThe auto industries of the United States, Canada and Mexico agree there should be no changes to rules of origin in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the president of the Mexican automakers’ association said on Monday.

Under the trade deal between the United States, Mexico and Canada, rules of origin stipulate that products must meet minimum regional, or NAFTA-wide, content requirements to be tariff-free.

“Our position is that the trade agreement has been a success, and we shouldn’t be touching something as important as the rules of origin,” Eduardo Solis, president of Mexican automakers’ industry group AMIA, told Reuters in an interview.

NAFTA’s rules of origin, said Solis, have been key in creating value and integrating the auto industry in North America.

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