Mexico president kicks off new capital airport project

4/30/2019 – The Washington Post

MEXICO CITY — Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador on Monday symbolically launched work on a new airport for Mexico City to replace the nearly half-built $13 billion project he cancelled upon taking office.

López Obrador promised the new Felipe Ángeles airport northeast of the capital won’t exceed its budget and will save the government money even with the cancellation of the partially built airport.

“It’s going to resolve the problem of saturation at the current Mexico City airport , but also be an example of how you can carry out a rational, austere policy based on honesty that needs to establish itself as the way to live and the way to govern in our country,” López Obrador said.

The new airport — named for a general allied with revolutionary icon Pancho Villa — is at the Santa Lucia military air base and the army is in charge of getting it built for $4.1 billion.

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Mayan Train’s fast track raising concerns in Mexico

4/17/2019 – The Washington Post

MEXICO CITY — Maps, renderings and charts paper the walls of a government conference room. They lay out in detail the plans for a rail line that could be Mexico’s biggest infrastructure project in a century.

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has put the multibillion-dollar Mayan Train project on a fast track. He says it will provide an economic boon for the poor communities of Mexico’s long neglected southeast by bringing in more tourists and the hotels, restaurants and other businesses needed to serve them.

Yet, among the papers on that wall at Mexico’s tourism development agency is a chart showing that the Mayan Train is being pursued at a pace that outside observers say could threaten its feasibility, the environment and the people the president wants to help.

The chart in the Fonatur offices outlines planning, contracting and building times for 45 recent train projects in Canada, Australia, Britain and France. Those projects, which do not approach the Mayan Train’s length, averaged seven to 10 years to complete.

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Brazil, Mexico ground Boeing 737 MAX planes after fatal crash

3/14/2019 – Reuters

Capture.JPGBy Marcelo RochabrunElida Moreno

SAO PAULO/PANAMA CITY (Reuters) – Latin America’s two largest nations Brazil and Mexico on Wednesday suspended Boeing Co’s 737 MAX aircraft from flying, mirroring actions by European, Chinese and U.S. authorities after the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines plane.

Air travel regulators in Latin America had been reluctant to ground planes, relying on the criteria of carriers, even as authorities in other parts of the globe took swift action.

But by late Wednesday four Latin American nations announced the suspension of operations of the 737 MAX aircraft, they include Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Panama.

Sunday’s crash in Ethiopia killed all 157 on board and was the second disaster involving the 737 MAX, the world’s most-sold modern passenger aircraft, in less than five months.

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If not for women, there’d be no tequila

3/8/2019 – CNN Travel

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Sucheta Rawal

By Sucheta Rawal

(CNN) — Located 45 miles south of Guadalajara, in the Mexican state of Jalisco, the town of Tequila is known as the birthplace of the drink that bears its name.

The picturesque township, with its colorful buildings and cobblestone streets, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The federal government of Mexico calls it Pueblo Magico or Magical Town.

It’s here that casual sippers drink this aromatic spirit, but there’s one secret they may not know: Without the women of Tequila, there’d be no tequila.

The cultivation and annual replanting of the agave blooms in the states of Jalisco, Colima, Nayarit and Aguascalientes in Mexico, has historically been left to the women of Tequila.

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Mexico City Airport Group agrees to pay $1.77 billion to investors

2/13/2019 – Reuters

15133119695_082747d30d_b.jpgMEXICO CITY (Reuters) – The government-run Mexico City Airport Group (GACM) said on Tuesday it has agreed to pay some 34 billion pesos ($1.77 billion) to investors who hold shares issued by a trust created to help finance the construction of the now-canceled airport.

The agreement would allow investors in the securities linked to the ditched project to get at least some of their money back.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador announced the cancellation of the partially-built $13 billion airport in late October, dismissing the project as tainted by corruption and too costly.

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Tourism Slumps in Mexico Border City Since Caravan Arrives

12/2/2018 – New York Times

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Veronica Garbutt/Getty Images

SAN DIEGO — Tour operators and medical and dental offices in the Mexican border city of Tijuana are reporting a slowdown in business since a caravan of Central American migrants arrived.

Tourists and visitors have been cancelling planned trips to the Mexican state of Baja California since the border crossing shut down briefly a week ago, and according to tour-friendly business owners, many fear getting trapped in Mexico should the crossing close again, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported Sunday.

Antonio Gamboa, who owns a well-known food truck park, said business has slumped 30 percent.

“It’s very disappointing because everything is normal in Tijuana, and it’s a very isolated area where the migrants are,” he said.

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Mexico’s Lopez Obrador Promises Radical Change in First Speech

12/2/2018 – New York Times

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Source: Reuters

MEXICO CITY — Veteran leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador was sworn in as Mexican president on Saturday, promising a radical change of course in a country struggling with gang violence, chronic poverty and corruption on the doorstep of the United States.

The first leftist to take office in Mexico in a generation moved to reassure business after markets crashed last month on worries about his policies. He promised investments would be safe and that he would respect central bank independence.

Following are some reactions to his inaugural speech:

ALFONSO ESPARZA, ANALYST AT OANDA IN TORONTO

“There were no great surprises in the speech. It reiterates criticism of the neo-liberal model with the example of the energy reform, and puts forward increasing the number of refineries. Lots of problems were raised but not much time was left to get into solutions.”

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