Mexico Highway Leapfrogs Drug Lands to Link 2 Seas

bridge with trafficAP, 6/30/2013

The Durango-Mazatlan Highway is one of Mexico’s greatest engineering feats, 115 bridges and 61 tunnels designed to bring people, cargo and legitimate commerce safely through a mountain range known until now for marijuana, opium poppies and an accident-prone road called the Devil’s Backbone.

Even those protesting the project say the 230-kilometer-long (140-mile) highway, expected to be completed in August, will change northern Mexico dramatically for the good. It will link port cities on the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific by a mere 12-hour drive, and Mazatlan with San Antonio, Texas, in about the same time. The highway will eventually move 5 million vehicles a year, more than four times the number on the old road, plus more produce and goods from Asia to the Mexican interior and southern U.S.

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Op-ed: Immigration Reform and the Skills Gap

shutterstock_49761472By Rosario Marin, The Wall Street Journal, 6/6/2013

I have lived the American dream, which began when I was born in Mexico. My family and I immigrated to the U.S. on my father’s work visa when I was 14 years old, and I later served as the 41st treasurer of the United States—the only treasurer born outside of the U.S. Since its founding, America has grown stronger, and its companies more competitive, by attracting the best and brightest from around the world. So it’s a relief to see Congress finally beginning to act on immigration reform.

The key issue is improving mechanisms for legal immigration by people who will contribute to the nation’s prosperity. Unfortunately, the compromise bill that emerged from the Judiciary Committee that the Senate intends to take up next week contains provisions that would turn away some of the most highly educated people. Barring them threatens our future economic growth. The current skilled-labor shortage—particularly for workers in science, technology, engineering and math occupations—puts U.S. companies at a disadvantage. By 2020, an estimated 1.5 million jobs will go unfilled, according to McKinsey & Co. Until America can educate enough graduates in these fields to meet the demand, legal immigration is the only option to find the necessary talent.

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Op-ed: Mexico’s New Boom: Why the World Should Tone Down the Hype

mexico-flagBy Tim Padgett, TIME, 3/8/2013

I couldn’t be happier that Mexico’s economy is rebounding. After barely 2% average annual growth between 2000 and 2010, the country’s GDP expanded almost 4% in 2011 and 2012. Investment is booming and the middle class is enlarging. Mexico’s manufacturing exports lead Latin America, and its trade as a share of GDP tops China’s. Its No. 53 spot on the World Bank’s ease-of-doing-business rankings far outshines the No. 126 grade of its main regional rival, Brazil; it has signed more free trade agreements (44) than any other country, and it’s enrolling more engineering students than any south of the Rio Grande.

But I emphasize: it’s a trend. It’s not the miracle, the economic version of the appearance of Our Lady of Guadalupe, that so many Mexico cheerleaders from government officials to foreign investors to embassy diplomats are insisting we call it. Yes, good news from Mexico is more than welcome after a decade overshadowed by horrific narco-violence; a more positive conversation about the country is a relief. But no matter how loudly the enthusiasts scold the media for dwelling on Mexico’s mayhem, the cartel killing hasn’t stopped, and many of the socio-economic ills that help breed the brutality persist. The media didn’t just make up the 60,000 gangland murders of the past seven years, or the relentless massacres and beheadings, or reports like the one released last week by Human Rights Watch about the 27,000 Mexicans who have disappeared during the drug war.

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Mexico boasts impressive number of engineering & technology grads – #MexFacts

MexFact - Engineers

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A New Leader Pushes a Different Side of Mexico

The New York Times, 11/28/2012

Enrique Peña Nieto

Mr. Peña Nieto, who visits Canada on Wednesday, has made it clear that Mexico’s poor image abroad has slowed its growth. His team plans a strong push to “modernize” trade deals, speed up or add new crossings at the border for commerce, court foreign investment to take advantage of vast, newly discovered shale gas fields near the United States border and generate more quality jobs like the ones here in Querétaro.

“The way to change the narrative is not to say, ‘Security is not as bad as it seems,’ ” said Christopher Wilson, a scholar at the Mexico Institute of the Woodrow Wilson International Center in Washington. “The way to change the narrative is to talk about other things that are going well, and the economy is a good story now.”

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