5 dead in southern Mexico from mudslide, drowning


Source: The Washington Post

Four residents of the southern Mexico state of Chiapas died when a landslide caused by heavy rains collapsed their house, and a Portuguese tourist died when she fell into a rain-swollen river, authorities said Tuesday.

The state civil defense office said the landslide claimed the lives of a woman and three children Monday in a rural community just outside the Chiapas state capital.


Whole towns are refusing Covid-19 vaccines in Mexico


Source: CNN

For Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, vaccinating all Mexicans is a matter of responsible national health policy as well as social justice.”Vaccines will start arriving little by little,” he said on February 15, during his daily morning press conference, a week after returning to public activities after contracting Covid-19.”Today we launched our vaccination plan and it won’t stop. We will press ahead with the goal of vaccinating all the people, according to pre-established priorities,” the President added.But there are already clear signs that not every Mexican is ready or willing to get a shot in the arm.

In Aldama, a small town of about 7,000 located in the central highlands of the southern Mexican state of Chiapas, some people say they will not get vaccinated, regardless of any vaccination plan or where the vaccine comes from.


Hundreds of migrants corralled at detention center in Mexico


10/15/19 – AP News

By Benjamin Alfaro and Amy Guthrie

Hundreds of migrants from Africa, the Caribbean and Central America found themselves corralled in a migrant detention facility in southern Mexico on Sunday after a futile attempt to head north as part of a caravan aiming to reach the United States.

The group set out before sunrise Saturday from the town of Tapachula, where many had been marooned for months unsuccessfully trying to get transit visas. They carried heavy backpacks, babies and parcels on their heads.

Read more…

Mexico intercepts 2 trucks crowded with 243 migrants



10/04/19 – AP News

Mexican authorities say they have intercepted two trucks carrying 243 migrants in crowded conditions in the southern state of Chiapas.

A government statement says the vehicles were discovered in two separate incidents by federal authorities.

Read more…


Headlines from Mexico

000-2Week of April 22-26

Bill to undo education reform passes in Mexico’s lower house

Mexico’s lower house has passed a measure that would overturn contentious elements of a 2013 education reform that was a key piece of legislation under then-president Enrique Peña Nieto. The bill would eliminate teacher evaluations and return some power to unions. It goes to the Senate, where President López Obrador’s allies have a majority.

FRANCE24, El Universal, Milenio


Peñafiel sparkling water accused of containing arsenic

Keurig Dr. Pepper stopped the production of Peñafiel soda in Mexico for two weeks, after a study by the Consumer Reports Organization warned that the Mexican mineral water contains high levels of arsenic. The suspension began on April 15 and, among the measures sought, improving filtration and reducing chemical levels are included.

Forbes México, Proceso, El Sol de México


Migration officers arrests hundreds in a massive raid

Central American migrants traveling through southern Mexico toward the U.S. fearfully recalled their frantic escape from the police, scuttling under barbed wire fences into pastures and then spending the night in the woods after hundreds were detained in a raid. In the Chiapas state town of Tonala, migrants flocked to one of the few places they felt they could be safe – the local Roman Catholic church.

Telemundo, Univisión, Associated Press


The incident between U.S. and Mexico soldiers escalates

Two U.S. soldiers made a routine tour near the southern border when Mexican soldiers intercepted and interrogated them and pointed their guns at them. At least, that’s Washington’s version of friction that occurred on April 13. The confusion escalated to a political conflict when President Trump threat to send more armed troops to the border.

BBC, El Economista, Milenio


Mexico becomes the U.S. largest trading partner

Mexico has now become the biggest U.S. trading partner, jumping ahead of Canada and China that have previously held the top spot, according to recent government data. Transactions with Mexico made up 15% of U.S. trade in February, according to federal data released last week, edging out Canada at 14.2% and China at 13.9%.

El Financiero, Forbes, The Hill


Minatitlán massacre prompts National Guard’s first operation

Gunmen burst into a party hall in southeastern Mexico on Friday and opened fire, killing at least 13 people, authorities said. The attackers raised a family party in the city of Minatitlán, Veracruz. Six men, five women, and a child were killed and four others were wounded, the state’s public security department said. President López Obrador later said that the National Guard’s first security operation would take place here.

El Sol de México, ADN Político, CNN


Outrage in Mexico over motion to ban sale of cold beer

A local lawmaker introduced a motion to ban the sale of the cold beverage in convenience stores. The motion – met with incredulity on social media –would modify Mexico City’s commerce laws to ban selling beer on beverages of 7% or less alcohol content, which are “refrigerated or in different conditions than the ambient temperature.”

CNN, El Universal, El Diario de México


Santa Lucia airport cost skyrockets over an unforeseen hill 

The estimated cost of the Santa Lucia International Airport in Mexico City project increased by 11.7% after a hill known as “Cerro de Paula” was not taken into account in the original plan, less than 10 kilometers from the southern runway. The new airport planning and development may have even bigger problems, including environmental considerations.

Reuters, El Economista, CNN





More than 1,000 migrants break out of Southern Mexico detention center

4/26/2019 – The Hill

captureBy Rachel Frazin

About 1,300 migrants escaped from a detention center in Mexico Thursday night, according to Reuters.

The Mexican National Migration Institute said in a statement that about 700 of the escapees, most of whom are Cuban nationals, had been returned to the facility but that 600 had not been located Thursday.

Reuters reported that the Estación Siglo XXI detention center is located in the city of Tapachula, which is near the Mexico-Guatemala border.

The government agency said that there had not been a confrontation between the migrants and authorities.

Read more…

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


Mexico president creates 4 new protected biological reserves

5/12/16 The Washington Post

Cerro_de_Bernal_Norte.JPGMEXICO CITY — Mexico’s president signed decrees creating four new biological reserves and five other protected areas Monday, setting aside about 160 million acres (65 million hectares) for environmental conservation.

Enrique Pena Nieto’s office said in a statement that it was the largest amount of land the country has ever decreed as environmentally protected, and with it Mexico joins a group of nations that have met a commitment to safeguard 10 percent of their maritime area. It said Mexico has now designated 23 percent of its sea surface as protected.

The decrees establish the reserves of the Pacific Islands, comprising some 3 million acres (1.2 million hectares) of waters off the west coast of the Baja California Peninsula; the Mexican Deep Pacific, a swath of ocean over 2,600 feet (800 meters) deep from Chiapas state to Nayarit; the Mexican Caribbean, which includes an important reef system; and the Mountains of Tamaulipas, a habitat for various feline species and the source for eight different watersheds.

Read more…

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.

Read more…