Mexico is a major battleground in the global food wars

8/30/2015 Business Insider

In the last tcorn_mexico_quer_RTR1LB7Q_1wo years, Mexico has become one of the major battlegrounds of the 21st century global food wars. On one side of the battle line is Demanda Colectiva AC, a collective of 53 scientists and 22 civil rights organizations and NGOs fighting to protect Mexico’s extraordinary wealth of food crop biodiversity; on the other is a coalition of the world’s GMO goliaths led by US agribusiness giant Monsanto.

Their ultimate goal is simple: complete control over the Mexican food chain. And in their bid to achieve it, they can count on the unwavering support of Mexico’s Ministries of Agriculture and the Environment.

Read more…

Mexico missing students: Investigators denied access

8/18/2015 BBC News

Regional rights activists investigating the case of 43 missing students in Mexico say they have been unable to interview military personnel.

They said soldiers who may have witnessed the students’ disappearance last September could only be questioned via a written questionnaire.

The team from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights chose not to do this.

It also said security videos containing evidence may have been destroyed.

Read more…

Will The Fed Rate Hike Create A Buying Opportunity In Mexico?

07/28/15 Value Walk

During a panel on central bank policies in Switzerland earlier this week Bank of Mexico deputy governor Javier Guzmán Calafell told the audience that the emerging markets such as Mexico are preparing for a financial shock following the first Fed rate hike. But in the last month Bill Gross has called Mexican sovereign bonds one of his best ideas and Bridgewater Associates co-CEO Greg Jensen has been bullish on Mexican growth in general. If investors first reaction to the Fed rate hike is to pull money out of emerging markets that could create a buying opportunity for bonds that Gross believes are already attractively priced.

Read more…

Water Scarcity Could Deter Energy Developers From Crossing Border Into Northern Mexico

Alfonso Gonzalez stands on his ranch, near Cuatro Ciénegas in Mexico’s Coahuila state. Gonzalez is a cattle farmer who actively participates in conservation initiatives around Cuatro Cienegas. In one effort, a  well on his property (named Poza Escobedo, pictured) was restored to its original state, leading the area around it to regenerate its humidity and lush flora and fauna.
Alfonso Gonzalez stands on his ranch, near Cuatro Ciénegas in Mexico’s Coahuila state. Gonzalez is a cattle farmer who actively participates in conservation initiatives around Cuatro Cienegas. In one effort, a well on his property (named Poza Escobedo, pictured) was restored to its original state, leading the area around it to regenerate its humidity and lush flora and fauna.

Day 4 of our on-going article excerpts. Check out the blog again tomorrow for more, or head straight to our website for the remainder of the article.

Water Scarcity Could Deter Energy Developers From Crossing Border Into Northern Mexico

by Keith Schneider

High Water Consumption

Maybe. Not nearly enough of Coahuila’s planning for energy development has included the industry’s demand for water. Conservation technology and new drilling practices have reduced water use in the Texas Eagle Ford region. Texas state authorities report that fracking is responsible for 2 percent of total state water use. It still requires, however, enormous quantities of water to develop shale oil and gas. A study by the University of Texas in 2011 found that water demand for fracking in the most heavily drilled Eagle Ford counties amounts to 30 to 50 percent of all water use in those counties.

A newer study by Texas A&M University last year reported that hydraulic fracturing in the Eagle Ford used 620 million cubic meters of groundwater annually. Aquifers in the region were being drawn down at a rate 2.5 times faster than their recharge rates. (A cubic meter of water is 264 gallons.)

Alfonso Gonzalez is a cattle farmer who actively participates in conservation initiatives around Cuatro Ciénegas.  In one effort, a  pond on his property was restored to its original state, leading the area around it to regenerate humidity and lush flora and fauna. Photo © Janet Jarman/Circle of Blue.

If developers used the same amount of water for fracking a comparable number of wells in northern Mexico as they do in Texas, that amounts to nearly a third of the 1.96 billion cubic meters of water currently used each year for all purposes in Coahuila, according to Conagua, the national water commission.

At least a measure of the economic and ecological distress over water that could await Coahuila is already evident in the 350 kilometers (217 miles) of desert between Piedras Negras and Cuatro Ciénegas, a small city of 12,000 residents that was once the hub of a lush oasis of spring-fed pools and marshes.

Piedras Negras and Coahuila’s other cities use 186 million cubic meters of water annually, most of it drawn from aquifers, according to Conagua.

On the outskirts of Piedra Negras, along Federal Highway 57D, lies a portion of the state’s big manufacturing plants for vehicles and steel. Not far away are the mines that produce 13 million metric tons of coal a year, almost all of the coal produced in Mexico. Much of it is consumed by the two big coal-fired power plants in Nava. Ninety percent of Coahuila’s electricity comes from coal-powered plants; 98 percent from all fossil fuels. The result is that electricity generation uses 75 million cubic meters of water annually, a little more than the 73 million cubic meters needed for industry, says Conagua.

South of Nava is a farming region. Agriculture is the largest water consumer in Coahuila, using 1.62 billion cubic meters annually, or 82 percent of the state’s annual water demand.

Most of the trip between Piedras Negras and Cuatro Ciénegas, though, is swallowed by Chihuahuan Desert that encompasses the Burgos and Sabinas basins, the regions targeted for oil and gas development. Pemex has drilled six test wells in the two basins. Production results suggest that the shale is capable of producing marketable quantities of gas and oil.

Mexico detains 49 percent more minors in first 5 months

6/22/15 Macon.com

barbed wireWhile the wave of child and teen migrants has receded at the U.S. border, detentions of Central American minors are up sharply in Mexico this year, the country’s National Immigration Institute reported Monday

It said detentions of Central American minors have risen 49 percent compared to the similar period last year, with about half of the 11,893 underage migrants detained between January and May travelling alone or with a smuggler. That’s compared to 8,003 in the same period of 2014 and 3,496 in 2013.

Two-thirds of those detained so far in 2015 were between the ages of 12 and 17. One third were 11 or younger. The institute said they were mainly from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

Headlines from Mexico

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1. President Enrique Peña Nieto has officially arrived in Panama for the Summit of the Americas. The theme for this year’s summit is Prosperity with Equity: The Challenge of Cooperation in the Americas.

Read More: El Universal

2. Mexico celebrates Cuba’s attendance in the Summit of the Americas and the re-establishment of diplomatic relations between United States and Cuba.

Read More: Excelsior, La Jornada, Reforma

3. PEMEX and First Reserve, a U.S.  private equity firm have signed a one billion dollar cooperation deal that aims to develop energy infrastructure, transportation and processing projects.

Read More: El Universal

4. Due to its international obligations to the United Nations as a state member, Mexico will not be releasing the North Korean ship until an investigation is completed by the United Nations Security Council. The ship is believed to be linked to a blacklisted firm.

Read More: El Universal  

5. Family members gathered in Jalisco to give tribute to the fallen police officers who were ambushed by the Jalisco New Generation Cartel.

Read More: El Universal  

Headlines from Mexico

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Paul Krugman stated at the 2015 National Convention of Industrialists that no one knows when the Mexican Miracle will happen. He believes that Mexico’s insecurity continues to hinder its economic growth.

Read More: El Universal

Los Zetas are increasingly using fast boats in Falcon Lake to transport narcotics through Texas. The Department of Public Safety in Texas has been able to seize more than 300 boats from criminal organizations since 2012.

Read More: El Universal

Lieutenant General Kenneth E. Tovo who is the deputy commander of the U.S. Southern Command stated that Hezbollah might have sympathizers in the Latin American region that may be involved in money laundering and trafficking of goods.

Read More: El Universal

According to the OECD Mexico is the country with the most bullying cases.

Read More: El Sol de Mexico

The Attorney General has created a new unit in an effort to create greater transparency and access to information for civil society.

Read More: El Sol de Mexico

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