After Second Escape, Mexican Drug Kingpin ‘El Chapo’ Recaptured

1/9/2016 NPR

In Mexico, the world’s most wanted Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman was arrested yesterday. NPR’s Carrie Kahn describes his capture. Wilson Center Vice President, and Senior Advisor to the Mexico Institute, Andrew Selee joined NPR.

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The Senate Has Delayed Confirming an Ambassador to Mexico. America Needs One Now.

11/5/2015 The National Interest

By Duncan Wood and Andrew Selee, Wilson Center

mexican-flag1The U.S. Embassy in Mexico City has been without an ambassador since July. It’s not all that unusual for an embassy to be vacant for a few months, but then again, this is not a usual relationship. Not only is this one of the largest U.S. embassies in the world, but it is the hub for managing one of our country’s most complex and important relationships, and one that has tangible value for millions of Americans in their daily life.

To begin with, Mexico and the United States trade over a half-trillion dollars’ worth of goods and services a year, or more than a million dollars a minute, only slightly behind Canada and China as America’s third-largest commercial relationship. What’s more, Mexico is the United States’ second-biggest export market, ahead of China, and people in twenty-seven states—from Texas and Arizona to Nebraska, Iowa, Michigan, and even New Hampshire—depend on Mexico as the first or second destination for exports produced in their state. Around six million U.S. jobs are closely tied to exports to Mexico.

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Greater cultural exchange and new understanding between countries

06/05/15 Andrew Selee/ Zocalo

In a spectacular glass-paneledfolk art - community building high above Tijuana, Javier Plascencia and his associates mix an assortment of locally grown avocados, beans, corn, and chilis and turn them into creative concoctions that dazzle the eye and the palate at the same time. He is at the forefront of a new culinary movement that has taken Tijuana by storm, gradually transforming the image of a gritty city once known more for its low-end bars, painted donkeys, and gunfights in the streets. Today, tourists from Southern California are more likely to visit the city to sample one of its innovative restaurants, its craft breweries, or the locally grown wines from the Guadalupe Valley just south of Tijuana than to spend the night dancing and drinking in a bar.

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Obama taps longtime diplomat to become ambassador to Mexico

6/3/15  The Dallas Morning News

President Barack Obama on Mmexico-usa-flag-montageonday nominated a longtime diplomat to become the next U.S. ambassador to Mexico, a key ally with a long, complex history

Roberta S. Jacobson’s nomination must get through the Republican-led Senate, which could prove to be a challenge. If confirmed, Jacobson would become the first female U.S. ambassador to Mexico.

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Una utopía mexicana

2/9/2015 La Silla Rota

By Andrew Selee, Executive Vice President of the Wilson Center and Senior Advisor to the Mexico Institute

A Mexican UtopiaEn un nuevo libro publicado por el Centro Wilson, Luis Rubio argumenta que México necesita de un estadista que está dispuesto a ceder poderes informales en aras de hacer funcionar el gobierno como debe de ser.  En el libro Una Utopía Mexicana: El Estado de Derecho es Posible  argumenta que el presidente mexicano en turno goza de amplios poderes informales sobre los gobernadores, legisladores y el sistema judicial, pero que carece de un Estado que funcione bien o que tenga instituciones capaces de llevar a cabo sus funciones y sus proyectos.

Frente a esta contradicción, un presidente poderoso con un Estado deficiente, Rubio propone un trueque interesante: Que el presidente que de veras quiere gobernar bien y con efectividad se dedique a construir un Estado de derecho que limita sus poderes informales, pero amplía las funciones formales del Estado. Sería un cambio de discreción por funcionalidad, de margen de maniobra por capacidad de gobernar.

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Download the book here.

Corrupción y ley

1/26/2015 La Silla Rota

By Andrew Selee, Executive Vice President of the Wilson Center and Senior Advisor to the Mexico Institute

justice - gavel and bookEl año 2015 ha iniciado con mucho escepticismo para los ciudadanos mexicanos sobre sus representantes electos. Para los políticos que pensaban que el puente Guadalupe Reyes iba a curar el desánimo de la población hacia sus gobernantes, no ha resultado así. Es probable que las protestas por Ayotzinapa vayan perdiendo fuerza, pero la decepción ciudadana por varios hechos del año pasado, y en general en los últimos años, no parece haber desaparecido.

El problema de fondo es que la sociedad mexicana ha evolucionado más rápido en sus expectativas sobre la ética y la corrupción que el entendimiento y, ni decir, la actuación, de los políticos en este tema. Los políticos siguen pensando que la corrupción es un tema culturalmente aceptado entre los mexicanos, mientras que los ciudadanos ya están hartos del costo en dinero, productividad y vidas que ha generado la corrupción. Las protestas por Ayotzinapa y antes por las muertes de Villas Salvárcar, las bromas que circulan por Facebook y Twitter sobre la Casa Blanca, y el Corruptour en Monterrey, en que activistas locales de la ciudad llevan a sus paisanos a conocer a los puntos más álgidos del desfalco y complicidad en la capital regiomontana, son sólo síntomas del hartazgo que están sintiendo los ciudadanos.

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What Will Obama & EPN Discuss?

12/27/2014 

By Andrew Selee

mexico-usa-flag-montageOn January 6, Presidents Enrique Peña Nieto and Barack Obama will meet at the White House in Washington to go over several points on the bilateral agenda.  It’s the third visit that Pena Nieto makes to the United States, but his first to Washington, and it follows on two visits that Obama has made to Mexico for presidential discussions.

Both Presidents are facing difficult moments in their domestic agendas.  Pena Nieto for reasons that are well-known, and Obama because he faces the inauguration of a Republican Congress on the same day.  Yet there are at least four issues on the agenda between the Presidents that are critical for both countries.

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