Mexico Passes Law Restructuring Attorney General’s Office

12/12/2018 – The New York Times

camara-de-diputados-subasta-34-vehiculos-en-austeridad-republicana-high.jpgBy Reuters

MEXICO CITY — The lower house of Mexico’s Congress has passed legislation aimed at restructuring the Attorney General’s Office amid a growing wave of homicides in the country.

The bill must still be signed into law by President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

Lopez Obrador’s Morena party backed the measure, which gives the Senate a role in proposing candidates to fill the top prosecutor post, which has been vacant for over a year.

Opposition parties criticized the bill, saying it does not guarantee enough independence or oversight for the new attorney general.

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Trump cites France attack as reason for US-Mexico wall

12/12/2018 – The Washington Post

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 (Evan Vucci/Associated Press)

By Catherine Lucey

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is citing a shooting attack in France as he calls on Democratic congressional leaders to support funding for a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Trump tweeted Wednesday: “Another very bad terror attack in France. We are going to strengthen our borders even more. Chuck and Nancy must give us the votes to get additional Border Security!” That’s a reference to Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, who met with Trump Tuesday.

A suspected extremist sprayed gunfire at a Christmas market in the city of Strasbourg Tuesday, killing three and wounding at least 13.

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Trump administration asks top court to restore asylum order

12/12/2018 – Reuters

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REUTERS/Loren Elliott

By Andrew Chung

(Reuters) – President Donald Trump’s administration asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday to let his order barring asylum for immigrants who enter the United States illegally take effect even as litigation over the matter proceeds.

The U.S. Justice Department asked the court to lift a temporary restraining order against the asylum rules issued by San Francisco-based U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar. Trump has taken a hard line toward legal and illegal immigration since taking office last year.

Citing what he called an overwhelmed immigration system, Trump issued a proclamation on Nov. 9 that authorities process asylum claims only for migrants crossing the southern U.S. border at an official port of entry. Tigar blocked the rules on Nov. 19, drawing Trump’s ire.

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AMLO Targets Salaries of Mexico’s Supreme Court Judges

12/12/2018 – Bloomberg

El-presidente-de-México-Andrés-Manuel-López-Obrador.-EFE-4By Eric  Martin

Mexico’s new President described the salaries of the nation’s Supreme Court judges’ as an “injustice” on Tuesday after they rebuffed his party’s attempt to lower them. A look at the numbers suggests that the leftist leader may have a point.

Speaking at his daily news conference on Tuesday morning, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador lambasted what he claimed was a 600,000 peso ($29,731) monthly income. While that may overstate the amount because it includes some benefits like insurance, a more conservative estimate puts their annual pre-tax pay at about $269,000. That’s roughly equal to the $267,000 salary for U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts and more than the $255,300 for the eight Associate Justices.

Mexico’s per capita gross domestic product is less than $9,000 a year, one sixth that of the U.S., and it’s routine for workers in Mexico to earn a fraction of those in America for the same job, in part because Mexico’s cost of living is far lower. Mexico’s lower salaries in the automotive industry, for instance, were a key point of contention during this year’s talks to overhaul the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement.

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AMLO Eyes Salary of Mexico Supreme Court Head in Austerity Push

12/11/2018 – Bloomberg

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Photographer: ALFREDO ESTRELLA

By Daniel Cancel

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is just getting started in his drive to cut expenses and to fulfill campaign promises.

His next target is supreme court justices who he believes are making too much money.

After maybe U.S. President Donald Trump, the head of Mexico’s Supreme Court must be the highest paid public servant in the world, AMLO said Tuesday morning at his daily press conference. The top court judges make as much as 600,000 pesos ($29,731) per month, he said.

“We can’t have a rich government and poor people,” AMLO said.

Lopez Obrador is vowing to not only cut his salary and those of officials fulfilling top government posts, but also planning to raise wages for lower-level public servants. In daily press conferences he’s been repeating that you shouldn’t get into politics if you want to make money and that it’s all about serving your country and people.

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Mexico’s new president must address the epidemic of mass graves

From 2006 to 2016, almost 2,000 mass graves used by criminals to disappear people were discovered in Mexico, according to official records. This barbaric practice took place in 24 states, affecting 1 in 7 municipalities.

These are some of the results of a year-and-a-half-long investigation led by a group of journalists concerned about the systematic and widespread practice of disappearing people. During the past two administrations, 37,000 have gone missing.

Our investigation — which discovered 1,978 clandestine graves, the municipalities where they were located and the number of bodies and remains extracted — shows more than double the highest number of graves reported during the same period by the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH), a federal government agency.

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Trump administration official defends tear gas use at Mexico border

12/11/2018 – Reuters

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REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/File Photo

By Yeganeh Ttorbati

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The firing of tear gas canisters by U.S. border agents toward migrants in Mexico near a border crossing last month followed regulations, a senior Trump administration official said in testimony to Congress on Tuesday.

On Nov. 25, U.S. border agents fired tear gas to disperse a group of migrants near the U.S.-Mexico border crossing separating Tijuana from San Diego when some rushed through fencing into the United States.

A day after the incident, Mexico’s foreign ministry presented a diplomatic note to the U.S. government calling for “a full investigation” into what it described as non-lethal weapons directed toward Mexican territory.

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