Mexicans are seeking asylum in U.S. to escape the chaotic violence of a prolonged teachers’ protests

08/17/16 Fusion

EL PASO, Texas — The violent standoff between radical factions of a teachers’ union and the Mexican government has led to an unexpected push of emigrants fleeing the south of Mexico to seek asylum at the U.S. border.

A radical faction of teachers known as The National Coordinator of Education Workers (CNTE) has paralyzed several economies in the south of Mexico by blocking roads and clashing violently with police in a prolonged protest that is paralyzing life and business for many people in the states of Chiapas and Oaxaca. Tourism has plummeted and the government has resorted to using military planes to fly in food aid into some towns.

Mexican President Signs Law for Special Economic Zones

5/31/16 Wall Street Journal 

Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto and first lady Angelica Rivera salute during the military parade celebrating Independence Day at the Zocalo square in downtown Mexico CityMEXICO CITY—Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto on Tuesday signed a new law for the creation of special economic zones that will offer tax breaks together with trade and other benefits to attract investment into areas with undeveloped economic potential in poor southern states of the country.

In an event in the Pacific port city of Lázaro Cárdenas, Mr. Peña Nieto said the government would draw up regulations in the next month and decree the first special economic zones by the end of this year.

The first three are Lázaro Cárdenas, Puerto Chiapas in Mexico’s southernmost state of Chiapas, and the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, joining the Gulf port of Coatzacoalcos with Salinas Cruz on the Pacific Coast. Another zone in the oil-belt states of Tabasco and Campeche, which has been hit hard by the downturn in the oil industry, is planned for 2017.

An anchor tenant, such as an industrial company that can attract suppliers and others, should be in place for each zone in 2018 at the latest, he said.

Mr. Peña Nieto illustrated the regional inequality of Mexico’s $1 trillion economy, where northern and central states have raced ahead of the south.
Two of every three people in extreme poverty in Mexico live in southern and southeastern states, he said. The three poorest states—Chiapas, Oaxaca and Guerrero—are home to one in 10 Mexicans but receive just $1 of every $36 in foreign direct investment, and their exports are equivalent to just 2% of those in the six states that border the U.S.

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Mexico says 11 pregnant women infected with Zika

3/1/16 Reuters

Mexico has confirmed 11 pregnant women are infected with the Zika virus, out of a total of 121 cases, the government said on Monday.

Most of the cases were identified in the southern Mexican states of Chiapas and Oaxaca, according to a health ministry report.

Eight of the pregnant women are from Chiapas, two are from Oaxaca, and one is from the Gulf coast state of Veracruz, the health ministry reported.

The number of cases of infected pregnant women has risen since mid-February, when the health ministry said there were 80 confirmed cases of Zika, including six cases of pregnant women with the virus.

Much remains unknown about Zika, including whether the virus actually causes microcephaly, a condition marked by unusually small heads that can result in developmental problems.

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Number of Zika cases rises to 93 in Mexico

2/23/16 Fox Latino

Zika virusThe number of registered cases of the Zika virus in Mexico has risen to 93, with 13 new cases diagnosed since last week, the Health Secretariat said.

Nine new cases were reported in the southeastern state of Chiapas, two in the southern state of Oaxaca, one in the southern state of Guerrero and one in the western state of Michoacan, Deputy Health Secretary Pablo Kuri said.

The focus should be on preventing the disease’s spread as the warm months approach by attacking the breeding grounds of the mosquitoes that carry the illness, Kuri said.

The Zika virus, which is mainly transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, causes fever, joint pain and rashes.

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At Mass, Pope Francis Embraces ‘Misunderstood’ of Mexico

2/16/16 New York Times

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Pope Francis 

SAN CRISTÓBAL DE LAS CASAS, Mexico — Pope Francis came to the highlands of Mexico’s southern frontier on Monday to offer a pastoral embrace to the region’s impoverished indigenous people, expressing shame over discrimination and exploitation and honoring the legacy of a beloved local bishop who once clashed with the Mexican government — and the Vatican.

In visiting the state of Chiapas, a region on the Guatemalan border long synonymous with the struggles and armed rebellions of Mexico’s Mayan communities, Francis presided over an outdoor morning Mass before tens of thousands of people ringed by rugged green mountains. Looking over the crowd, Francis invoked the harsh treatment endured by indigenous people and called for social justice.

“On many occasions, in a systematic and organized way, your people have been misunderstood and excluded from society,” Francis said. “Some have considered your values, culture and traditions to be inferior. Others, intoxicated by power, money and market trends, have stolen your lands or contaminated them.”

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Mexico says six pregnant women infected with Zika

2/16/16 Reuters 

Zika virusMexico has confirmed six pregnant women are infected with the Zika virus, bringing the total number of cases in the country to 80, the government said.

They are believed to be the first confirmed cases of Zika in pregnant women in Mexico.

More than half of the total cases of Zika and four of the infected women were detected in the poor southern state of Chiapas, a report from the health ministry said late on Monday.

Pope Francis visited Chiapas on Monday, drawing crowds of thousands.

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$100 Mn Allocated to Poor Municipalities in Southern Mexico

Fox News Latino, 1/19/2015

currency - coinsThe Mexican government allocated 1.5 billion pesos (about $102.5 million) to support marginal municipalities in the poor southern states of Chiapas, Guerrero and Oaxaca, the Finance and Public Credit Secretariat announced Monday.

In all, some 508 municipalities will benefit under the plan, the deadline for requesting funds from which is March 15, the institution said in a communique.

The terms and requirements to gain access to the resources contained in the Infrastructure and Productivity Support Fund, or FAIP, will be published by the secretariat in the country’s Official Gazette in the coming days.

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