Mexico flags U.S. border delays as harmful to both countries

4/23/2019 – Reuters

REUTERS/Andres Stapff

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico’s Foreign Ministry said on Monday that speeding up the flow of goods on the U.S. border is a matter of urgency and that slowdowns are detrimental to both economies, after bottlenecks have held up trade following a row over migration.

Delays along the U.S.-Mexico border began late last month after U.S. border agents were moved to handle an influx of migrants, slowing the flow of both goods and people.

The staffing shortages came shortly after President Donald Trump threatened to close the border if Mexico did not halt a surge of people seeking asylum in the United States.

Mexico’s Foreign Ministry will present a report to the United States on Thursday detailing the economic costs of the delays, a spokesman said.

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Migrants anxious after Mexican authorities raid caravan

4/23/2019 – The Washington Post

PIJIJIAPAN, Mexico — Central American migrants hoping to reach the U.S. are finding a much tougher trek than those in previous caravans, meeting unwelcoming townsfolk and a surprise raid by Mexican police and immigration agents who detained hundreds in Mexico’s south.

While their compatriots were been taken into custody Monday, hundreds of other migrants scrambled away into the brush along the highway in Chiapas state to elude authorities.

Many had already learned they would not be received in towns with the same hospitality that greeted previous caravans, and now they know they won’t be safe walking along the rural highway either. Mexican authorities say they detained 367 people in the largest single raid on a migrant caravan since the groups started moving through the country last year.

Oscar Johnson Rivas fled up a mountain when officers converged on the caravan and spent six hours hiding in the thick vegetation before carefully making his way back to the highway with others. Some migrants, including women and children, remained in hiding without food.

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Latest migrant caravan moving toward US has little Mexican support: report

4/22/2019 – The Hill

UPI Photo

By Chris Mills Rodrigo

The latest migrant caravan making its way toward the U.S. border has limited support from Mexico, the Associated Press reported Sunday.

The group of Central Americans moving toward the U.S. this weekend are reportedly receiving less aid from Mexico’s local governments than previous caravans.

Members of the caravan that moved to the U.S. in October and became a central component of President Trump‘s messaging for the 2018 midterm elections benefited from help in Mexico.

Those migrants received food and shelter from town governments, churches and passersby, according to AP.

Significant pressure from the U.S. has changed that, with the Mexican government reportedly urging local officials to not provide assistance.

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FBI arrests leader of armed group stopping migrants in New Mexico

4/22/2019 – Reuters

REUTERS/Jose Luis Gonzalez/File Photo

TAOS, N.M. (Reuters) – The FBI on Saturday said it had arrested Larry Hopkins, the leader of an armed group that is stopping undocumented migrants after they cross the U.S.-Mexico border into New Mexico.

The arrest came two days after the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) accused the group of illegally detaining migrants and New Mexico’s Democratic Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham ordered an investigation.

Hopkins, 69, also known as Johnny Horton, was arrested in Sunland Park, New Mexico, on a federal complaint charging him with being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said in a statement.

“We’re not worried about it, he’s going to be cleared,” said Jim Benvie, a spokesman for the United Constitutional Patriots (UCP), blaming his arrest on political pressure from Lujan Grisham.

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Frustration grows among migrants in Mexico as support fades

4/22/2019 – The Washington Post


MAPASTEPEC, Mexico — Madison Mendoza, her feet aching and her face burned by the sun, wept as she said she had nothing to feed her 2-year-old son who she’d brought with her on the long trek toward the United States.

Mendoza, 22, said an aunt in Honduras had convinced her to join the migrant caravan, which she did two weeks ago in the capital of Tegucigalpa. The aunt said she’d have no problems, that people along the route in Mexico would help as they did for a large caravan that moved through the area in October.

But this time, the help did not come. The outpouring of aid that once greeted Central American migrants as they trekked in caravans through southern Mexico has been drying up. Hungrier, advancing slowly or not at all, and hounded by unhelpful local officials, frustration is growing among the 5,000 to 8,000 migrants in the southern state of Chiapas.

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Headlines from Mexico


Week of April 15-19

The federal government exposes gas prices across the country

Energy Secretary Rocio Nahle showed a gasoline prices list for each service station in the country, which offered the highest and cheapest prices in the national territory. The president applauded this action; yet, El Sol de Mexico newspaper exposed that some of the stations were not in use. The president blamed the Energy Regulation Commission (CRE) for this discrepancy.

El Sol de México, Forbes México, Expansión


President Lopez Obrador presents new Social Communication Policy

Jesus Ramirez, the Presidency’s Social Communication Coordinator, presented the new Social Communication Policy. The policy establishes that using government propaganda to pressure communicators or the media will be prohibited; a transparency portal should be established for information about campaign spending; and there will be a limit to the amount of money spent on political campaigns, among other considerations.

El Sol de México, Aristegui Noticias, El País


Presidential memo on Education Reform causes controversy

President Lopez Obrador signed a memorandum where he canceled former president Peña Nieto’s Education Reform. The document was sent to the Secretariats of Public Education, Interior, and Finance and Public Credit, which would now acquire control of teaching positions. Institutions such as the National Commission on Human Rights (CNDH) strongly rejected the president’s document because of lack of consultation on the autonomous institutions.

ADN Político, El Sol de México, El Universal


National outrage over a kidnapped baby in Mexico City

Police officers are looking for a woman who stole an eight-month-old baby while she was in the care of two minors outside a Mexico City hospital. Testimonies mentioned that the mother took her daughter and two nephews (minors) to the hospital to visit her sister; however, minors were not allowed in, so they stayed outside. Days later, the incident sparked a national debate on child trafficking.

El Universal, Excélsior, Reporte índigo


Campeche fire consumed 500 hectares of mangroves

A fire in the area of Los Petenes, Campeche consumed more than 200 hectares of mangroves. Civil Protection reported that since Monday night, firefighters are trying to mitigate the incident. According to Cesar Uriel Romero Herrera, Los Petenes Biosphere Reserve Director, the damages were limited to leaves and branches, since coastal wetlands and mud prevented the passage of fire further inland.

El Financiero, El Sol de México, La Jornada Maya


Migrants gather in Huixtla, Chiapas

Reports indicate that somewhere between 1,500 and 5,000 migrants from Central America and the Caribbean, along some Africans, are currently congregating in Huixtla. The purpose of gathering in the town is to form a caravan to depart soon northward to the U.S.

Telemundo, La Jornada, El Economista


Mexico regrets the U.S. Helms-Burton Act

The Government of Mexico regretted the U.S. decision to apply, for the first time in history, the Helms-Burton Act Title III. The Secretariat of Foreign Relations said that the measure could affect foreign companies doing business in and with Cuba so the Mexican government will protect Mexican companies that do or have an interest in doing business with the island nation.

Excélsior, MVS Noticias, Aristegui Noticias


Debate Heats Up Over Economic Impact of Trump’s New Nafta Deal

4/19/2019 – Bloomberg

Capture.PNGThe Trump administration’s deal to replace Nafta will boost the U.S. economy by 0.35 percent and lead to 176,000 new jobs in the sixth year after implementation, according to an analysis by an independent government panel that offered ammunition for both supporters and opponents of the new agreement.

The report, released Thursday by the International Trade Commission, is a procedural step required under the so-called Trade Promotion Authority law. Lawmakers will use the analysis as they consider whether to support the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, which the three countries signed last year and still needs congressional approval.

“The model estimates that the agreement would likely have a positive impact on all broad industry sectors within the U.S. economy,” the report stated. “Manufacturing would experience the largest percentage gains in output, exports, wages, and employment, while in absolute terms, services would experience the largest gains in output and employment.”

The ITC estimated that USMCA would increase U.S. exports to Canada by $19.1 billion and boost shipments to Mexico by $14.2 billion. American imports would increase by $19.1 billion from Canada and $12.4 billion from Mexico, according to the report.

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