Mexico Upset by Presidential Appointments for Key Posts

March 3, 2015

ABC News, 2/3/2015
Enrique Pena NietoPresident Enrique Pena is being criticized for having a possible conflict of interest in his nominations for attorney general and Mexico’s highest court.

Critics are blasting his choice of Arely Gomez to replace Jesus Murillo Karam as attorney general because she’s the sister of top Televisa news executive Leopoldo Gomez. He denied Tuesday he had any influence over his sister’s career.

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Mexico Leader Under New Scrutiny

January 21, 2015

1/20/2015 The Wall Street Journal

Bernardo Montoya/Reuters

Bernardo Montoya/Reuters

A few weeks after taking office as governor of the State of Mexico in late 2005, President Enrique Peña Nieto purchased a property in an exclusive golf club from a businessman who helped transform this sleepy town into a popular resort known for its Roman-style thermal baths.

Roberto San Román Widerkehr, the seller of the weekend residence and developer of an exclusive golf club here, also founded a local construction firm which went on to win more than $100 million in public-works contracts during Mr. Peña Nieto’s time as governor from 2005 to 2011, according to documents viewed by The Wall Street Journal…

But the transaction is another example of the extensive personal links between politicians and businessmen from Mr. Peña Nieto’s home state that led to accusations by politicians and others of influence peddling that are roiling his administration. The public outcry risks distracting the government from implementing economic overhauls and damaging his party’s support before midterm elections in June.

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In Mexico, History is Repeating Itself

January 16, 2015

By Tim Padgett, 1/15/2015

Yuri Cortez/AFP/Getty Images

Yuri Cortez/AFP/Getty Images

When Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto visited President Obama on Jan. 6, hundreds of Mexican Americans demonstrated outside the White House. Hundreds more picketed at Mexican consulates across the U.S. It was an unusual display of solidarity with Mexicans south of the border, who have taken to the streets almost daily since September—when 43 college students were massacred by narco-gangsters—to denounce corruption and violence in their country.

Peña Nieto’s approval rating, which hovered above 60 percent two years ago, has plummeted into the 30s as marchers call for his resignation. That’s a dramatic fall considering how ardently U.S. and international boosters lionized him when he took office in December 2012. Then, it seemed like every financial gazette on the planet was declaring Peña Nieto’s Mexico “the Aztec Tiger.” New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman said it was poised to become a “more dominant economic power in the 21st century” than China.

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Obama Pledges Mexico’s Pena Nieto Drugs Support

January 9, 2015

1/6/2015 BBC News

President Obama visits Mexico President Enrique Pena NietoPresident Barack Obama has promised the US will stand alongside Mexico in its fight against drug-related violence.

The vow came after talks with President Enrique Pena Nieto in the White House, in which the two discussed the recent disappearance of 43 Mexican students.

The US president said his country would be a “good partner” to its neighbour in the fight against drugs and associated problems.

“Our commitment is to be a friend and supporter of Mexico in its efforts to eliminate the scourge of violence and drug cartels that are responsible for so many tragedies inside of Mexico,” he said.

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Plan Mérida: Vital para EE.UU. y México

January 8, 2015

1/7/2015 Voz de América

Interview with Christopher Wilson

obama_nieto_featureLos presidentes de Estados Unidos y México coincidieron en afirmar la necesidad de fortalecer sus relaciones en el marco de temas como seguridad, inmigración y comercio.

En un análisis de la reunión que sostuvieron los mandatarios Barack Obama y Enrique Peña Nieto en la Casa Blanca, el experto asociado del Instituto México del Centro de Pensamiento Woodrow Wilson, Christopher Wilsondijo en entrevista con la Voz de América que ambos países reconocen la importancia de su cooperación y buscan extenderla.

“Uno de los aspectos más importantes para la seguridad se apoya en la Iniciativa Mérida y ese es el punto que requiere del mayor fortalecimiento porque las dos naciones reconocen que es un mecanismo efectivo”, dijo Wilson.

Read more and listen to the interview here…

Obama presses Mexico to Help Prevent Illegal Immigration Surge

January 8, 2015

1/6/2015 The Hill

President Obama pressed Mexico’s president on Tuesday to work alongside the U.S. 4097699785_073813177e_zgovernment to prevent a new surge of illegal immigrants.

Obama is looking for the help after taking executive action that will offer legal status and work permits to millions of people in the United States illegally, many of them from Mexico.

In a White House meeting with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, Obama said the Mexican government had committed to help “send a very clear message” that the executive action does not cover new immigrants.

For Mexico, there’s significant incentive to help support the president’s new immigration action.

…“But the biggest reason this is celebrated by the Mexican government is they feel a responsibility to protect their citizens abroad,” said Chris Wilson, who leads the study of U.S.-Mexico border affairs at the Wilson Center. “When Mexican citizens are in the U.S. without immigration papers, they’re vulnerable. They don’t have the same access to the police, to public services.”

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The Business That Builds North American Prosperity

January 8, 2015

1/5/2015 U.S. News & World Report

Bernardo Montoya/Reuters

Bernardo Montoya/Reuters

When Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto first visited the White House as president-elect in November 2012, he was determined to reframe the U.S.-Mexico relationship. Security had dominated the bilateral agenda since 2001, and the new administration sought to give economic ties the leading role.

…While his [EPN] bold structural reform program has impressed foreign investors and the international media, public anger over the September disappearance of 43 students in Guerrero state, compounded by a series of corruption allegations,threatens the administration’s economic message. Peña Nieto’s meeting with President Barack Obama could not come at a more critical time.

The Obama administration should seize this opportunity to review security cooperation and refocus on important joint efforts to strengthen the rule of law and confront drug-related violence. It would be a mistake, however, to allow the pendulum of the bilateral relationship to swing completely in this direction. Both dimensions — economics and security — require attention at the highest levels of government.

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