Human rights groups say Mexico not investigating spyware claims

02/21/2018 Reuters

pexels-photo-534204.jpegA group of human and digital rights activists said on Tuesday that the Mexican government had failed to properly investigate allegations their smartphones were infected with spying software. They have asked for an independent investigation.

Activists, human-rights lawyers and journalists filed a complaint in June with the attorney general’s office, claiming the government had infected their phones to spy on them with software known as Pegasus, which Israeli company NSO Group allegedly sold to Mexico’s government.

“Since filing the complaint we said we did not trust the attorney general’s office would be able to investigate itself, since there is evidence it was that agency that purchased the malware,” the activist groups said in a joint statement.

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Mexico’s Presidential Front-Runner Stirs Firestorm With Ex-Fugitive Senate Pick

02/20/2018 Bloomberg

Mexico City

Mexico’s leftist presidential front-runner Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador stirred up a hornets’ nest of social media outrage by listing a one-time fugitive union leader as a possible Senate pick ahead of July’s general election.

The Twitter storm began over the weekend when Lopez Obrador’s Morena party placed Napoleon Gomez Urrutia among those who would become senators through proportional representation, meaning he’d win through voter support for Morena and not direct election. Gomez Urrutia has been living in Canada since at least 2008, when Mexico requested an extradition order for him to face charges of bilking $55 million in union funds.

‘An act of stupidity:’ Mexicans furious after government helicopter kills 13 quake victims

02/18/2018 The Washington Post

800px-US_Marine_Corps_UH-1N_Huey_helicopterA government helicopter, surveying damage from an earthquake that killed no one, crashed in southern Mexico on Friday evening and killed at least 13 men, women and children, and injured more than a dozen.

The accident horrified and angered people in Mexico, which had seemed to escape the worst after a 7.2-magnitude earthquake hit the state of Oaxaca earlier in the day. Unlike last year’s deadly quake near Mexico City, this temblor caused little more than power outages and structural damage in the town of Santiago Jamiltepec, near the southern coast.

The governor of Oaxaca and Mexico’s new interior secretary had been assessing the damage from the air. The crash occurred as the helicopter was preparing to land in a field in the town after dark, the Associated Press reported.

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Mexico’s Finance Minister Says He’ll Run for President

11/27/2017 The New York Times

Mexico’s finance minister, José Antonio Meade, stepped down Monday and announced his intention to run for president in next year’s election, assuming the coveted candidacy of the governing Institutional Revolutionary Party.

In recent months, speculation has been rampant about whom the president, Enrique Peña Nieto, and his party would select as the party’s candidate.

The president, who is limited to a single term of six years, has received some of the lowest approval ratings in the country’s recent history amid corruption scandals, record-breaking violence and a sluggish economy — making the selection of a candidate to succeed him a delicate matter.

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Mexico employers federation pushes for higher minimum wage

10/24/2017 News Observer

The push to raise Mexico’s low wages has gotten some unusual champions.

The Mexican Employers’ Federation said Monday that the minimum wage should be raised 19 percent, to the equivalent of about $5 a day.

And telecom magnate Carlos Slim, Mexico’s richest man, told a business conference that “what has to be done is to substantially increase people’s incomes.” He called for a larger, better-paid middle class to stimulate Mexico’s internal market.

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Mexico: Mental Health Bill Undermines Disability Rights

10/16/2017 Human Rights Watch

Mexico’s Congressional Mental Health and Drug Commission is considering a national mental health bill that would seriously jeopardize the rights of people with disabilities, Human Rights Watch said today.

In a letter sent on October 16, 2017, to the Commission on Health and Drugs in the Chamber of Deputies, Human Rights Watch urged the commission to reject the bill in its current form. The commission should revise the bill to reflect a human rights-oriented framework, based on consultations with organizations representing people with disabilities and disability rights experts. The final bill should ensure the right to mental health for all in Mexico on an equal basis, and without resort to forced treatment.

“The bill before the commission unfortunately reflects a discredited approach to mental health, focusing on forced medical treatment instead of  on the consent, autonomy and rights of those in need of mental health services,” said Carlos Ríos Espinosa, senior researcher and advocate for disability rights at Human Rights Watch. “The bill is inconsistent with Mexico’s human rights obligations, in particular the right to consent to or refuse treatment, which is an integral aspect of the right to health.”

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Mexico’s ruling party just totally failed at being cool

10/13/16 The Washington Post 
PRI logoIt was an erstwhile attempt at self-expression in a party known for protocol and staid formalities. A member of the governing Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) posted a defiant rant on Facebook — along with an image of a bearded hipster with thick glasses — listing the challenges of being young and belonging to an organization whose stalwarts are lampooned as dinosaurs.

“Being a young priista (PRI militant) is no easy thing. It’s a fight on twenty fronts,” Rodrigo Escalante wrote Oct. 9 on his Facebook page.

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