Headlines from Mexico

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Week of March 24 – March 29, 2019

1. Defense Secretary presents National Guard’s uniforms

During one of President Lopez Obrador’s morning press conferences, Defense Secretary Luis Cresencio Sandoval presented the new uniforms for members of the National Guard. He said that 150 out of 266 teams will be on duty by mid-April. Similarly, he said that the Guard’s leader would be announced by the end of next week.

Animal Político, El Sol de México, ADN Político

 

2. Popocatépetl volcano activity prompts yellow alert

Recent activity in the Popocatépetl Volcano in Mexico has activated the yellow alert, according to the Civil Protection’s Twitter account. A first explosion was recorded at 7:00 pm on Wednesday, which also caused fire around the area.

CNN, La Vanguardia, Reuters

 

3. AMLO calls for an apology from the King of Spain and the Pope

President Lopez Obrador sent a letter to the President of Spain, another letter to the Pope so that the violations committed can be acknowledged, and build a record of the grievances occurred during the Spanish conquest period. The Spanish government said it had received a letter with the same demand from Lopez Obrador weeks earlier, on March 1 but it declined to apologize.

The Guardian, BBC, El País

 

4. The country braces for a new caravan of Central American migrants

Mexico is bracing for the possible arrival of the “mother of all caravans,” even as doubts arise over whether the group of Central Americans will be all that big. Interior Secretary Olga Sánchez Cordero has said a caravan of migrants from El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala could be forming.

Associated Press, Fox News, ABC

 

5. #MeToo reaches Mexico: women report harassment at work

The #MeToo movement, nearly dormant in Mexico, was jump-started when activist posted messages on Twitter last weekend when she accused a young writer of having beaten and abused more than 10 women. The tweets inspired an avalanche of hundreds of messages on social media in which women detailed everything from common indignities like lewd advances and harassment to sexual assault and rape.

The New York Times, The Guardian, ADN Politico

 

6. Christopher Landau is named new U.S. Ambassador to Mexico

Mexico’s Secretariat of Foreign Relations approved the U.S. President’s appointee Christopher Landau as new U.S. Ambassador to Mexico. Landau is a lawyer from Harvard University and has litigated in the Supreme Court of Justice and the Federal Court of Applications.

CNN, Reuters, Expansion

 

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Headlines of Mexico

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Week of March 10 – March 15, 2019

President Lopez Obrador reaches his 100th day in office

On Monday, President Lopez Obrador officially crossed the 100-day mark in office. He has been a powerful figure since he won the election on July 2, to say the least. Most Mexicans seem to agree, giving their folksy man-of-the-people president stratospheric approval ratings. Some recent surveys put his support above 80 percent.

BBC, El Economista, The New York Times

 

Salvadorian President-elect Bukele arrives in Mexico

El Salvador’s President-elect Nayib Bukele arrived in Mexico where he met with President Lopez Obrador and Secretary of Foreign Relations Ebrard. Through his Twitter account, Mr. Bukele said that he talked about migration and purposed a migratory policy designed to reduce forced migration.

El Heraldo de México, Milenio, El Heraldo de Honduras

 

Central American migrants go missing in Tamaulipas State

Mexican authorities created a special commission to search for 19 Central American migrants that went missing as they were traveling in an allegedly federal police-escorted bus northward to the U.S. border through Tamaulipas State. Reports hypothesize that this could be due to criminal organizations or hiring private migrant smugglers known as “polleros.”

El Pais, BBC, El Espectador

 

Yasmin Esquivel Mossa is appointed Mexican Justice top officer  

The Mexican Senate appointed Yasmin Esquivel Mossa as the Minister of the Nation’s Supreme Court of Justice for a period of 15 years after two voting rounds where the majority of votes came from Morena party legislators. There is vast controversy surrounding this appointment particularly due to Ms. Esquivel Mossa’s proximity to President Lopez Obrador.

La Jornada, SDP Noticias, Excelsior

 

President Lopez Obrador denounces “black campaign” against him

The Financial Intelligence Unit’s leader Santiago Nieto announced that the Government will present a series of accusations against the alleged financing third parties of the series “Populism in Latin America”, which was released when President Lopez Obrador was a candidate.

ABC Noticias, Animal Politico, El Sol de México

 

 

Headlines from Mexico

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Week of March 3 – March 8, 2019

The National Guard is approved   

With the approval of 17 state-level congresses, the National Guard is now approved federally. The Guard now waits for the Executive’s decision to publish it in the Official Journal of the Federation and its subsequent secondary laws, including the Organic Law of the National Guard.

El Heraldo de México, CNN, Forbes

 

At most, only 22 vaquita porpoises remain

Experts say that at most only 22 vaquitas remain in the Gulf of California, where a grim, increasingly violent battle is playing out between emboldened fisherman and the last line of defense, which is formed by volunteer members, for the smallest and most endangered porpoise in the world.

Associated Press, CBS News, Vanguardia

 

Mexico’s Central Bank in talks with Amazon on new mobile payments

Mexico’s central bank is in talks with Amazon to launch a new government-backed mobile payment system that would allow consumers to pay for online purchases using QR codes, the bank’s head of payments said. It would the first time that the world’s largest online retailer offers such scanning technology in Mexico and could eventually open a new customer base in the country.

CNBC, Business Insider, Reuters

 

Santa Rosa de Lima residents block highways to defend fuel thief leader

The neighbors of the Mexican community of Santa Rosa de Lima, in Guanajuato, prevented the access of the Army to this area controlled by the leader of the Santa Rosa de Lime Cartel and leader “huachicolero” José Antonio Yepez Ortiz, also known as “El Marro”, one of the most wanted criminals by the federal government. 

Notimérica, Mexico News Daily, El Sol de México

 

Nuevo Leon prohibits abortion

During a session that lasted more than four hours, the plenary session of the Congress of Nuevo Leon, the amendment to the first article of the Political Constitution of the State of Nuevo Leon that penalizes abortion was approved by a majority vote. 

teleSur, La Jornada, Telemundo

 

 

 

 

 

Headlines from Mexico

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Week of February 11 – February 15, 2019

1. Mexico and UN sign agreement to aid special projects

Mexico and the United Nations Office for Project Services signed an agreement that will help the current federal administration in the sale of the 54 aircraft from past administrations, as well as the presidential plane; the Mayan Train’s bids, the project of the Itsmo of Tehuantepec and the purchase of medicines.

Excélsior, El Universal, Reporte Índigo

2. Second journalist killed in AMLO administration

The Mexico Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights strongly condemned the murder of journalist Jesús Eugenio Ramos Rodríguez and asked the authorities to investigate and clarify the crime. According to the information of the Office, a stranger in Emiliano Zapata, Tabasco attacked the informant.

United Nations, Proceso, Knight Center

3. AMLO revises CFE contracts

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Monday contracts private companies have with state-run power utility CFE should be revised to keep electricity prices low, sending shares in one firm tumbling. He noted that the state-run utility is already contractually obliged to pay billions of dollars to the private firms that developed seven gas pipelines to supply power stations, even though the projects are incomplete and unable to deliver gas.

The Wall Street Journal, Reuters, CNBC

4. El Chapo found guilty in New York

The life imprisonment for Joaquin El Chapo Guzman in the United States appears to be the end of the largest and most feared figure in Mexican drug trafficking, but the Sinaloa Cartel he founded maintain its powers, experts say. The cartel that takes the name of the state of Sinaloa maintains untouched territories and markets, which ensure the continuity of his empire.

The New York Times, El Sol de México, La Jornada

5. Controversy in Mexico regarding CONACYT officials

Edith Arrieta Meza was an active part of the Andrés Manuel López Obrador campaign, in which she was the liaison of Morena in the Milpa Alta Delegation, where she organized proselytizing events in public spaces such as Plaza la Corregidora in Tecomitl or in the Plaza Pública de Atocpan. But after public pressure over her qualifications, she was dismissed. Following her, a second official was also dismissed.

ADN Político, El Sol de México, El Heraldo de México

 

 

 

Headlines From Mexico

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Week of February 2-8, 2019

  1. Alejandro Encianas, Undersecretary of Human Rights, Migration, and Population in Mexico’s Secretariat of the Interior, announces the creation of a National Forensic Institute and an investment of more than $20 million to accelerate the search for citizens who have disappeared in Mexico’s drug war.

    El Universal, Milenio, Excélsior

  2. Mexico’s National Institute of Statistic and Geography (INEGI) announced that the National Consumer Price Index (INPC) rose 0.09 percent in January, placing the annual inflation rate at 4.37 percent, the lowest recorded in the month of January since 2016, when the annual inflation rate was at 2.61 percent.

    El Economista, El Financiero, La Joranda

  3. Mexico’s government announced the deployment of 10,200 troops from the Army, Navy, and Federal Police to strengthen the security of 17 of Mexico’s 266 strategic zones, which have the highest homicide rates. The additional troops will patrol cities like Ciudad Juárez, Culiacán, Guadalajara, and Acapulco.

    Excélsior, Reforma, La Jornada

  4. The governments of Mexico, Uruguay, and the countries of the Caribbean Community proposed the so-called Montevideo Mechanism, a four-stage procedure consisting of immediate dialogue, negotiation, commitments, and implementation, as a way to achieve sustainable, legitimate, and effective peace in Venezuela.

    El Economista, Excélsior, El Universal

  5. Mexico’s Secretariat of the Interior and Mexico’s Office of the Attorney General agreed to set up a Special Prosecutor’s Office to investigate the disappearance of the 43 students of Ayotzinapa, who went missing more than four years ago. Alejandro Gertz Maero, Mexico’s Attorney General, announced that investigations of other emblematic cases, such as Odebrecht and La Estafa Maestra, will also start over.

    El Financiero, La Jornada, Proceso

 

Headlines from Mexico

 

000Week of January 26 – February 1, 2019

1. AMLO says the War on Drugs is over

“Officially, there is no longer war. We want peace and we will achieve peace,” said the President when asked during one of his morning press conferences if he arrested a drug lord during the first weeks of his tenure. He said that the government’s role is to ensure citizens security, not to apprehend drug lords.

BBC, CNN, El Sol de México

 

2. Spain President Pedro Sanchez visits Mexico

President Sanchez’ visit to Mexico City makes this the first official visit to Mexico during President López Obrador’s administration. Mexico City Mayor Sheinbaum declared him “chilango” by giving him Mexico City’s key. The presidents discussed various topics including Spanish history and relations with Mexico, Venezuela, and Trump’s desired wall on the northern border.

Sin Embargo, La Jornada, El Universal

 

3. Ambassador Martha Bárcena: Mexico does not back up Maduro’s regime

After the White House showed a map with the countries supporting the Venezuelan president, including Mexico, Ambassador Bárcena clarified that the government of Mexico supports neither Maduro nor Juan Guaido. Along other diplomatic tensions, Mike Pompeo and Treasury officials cancelled their visit to the country originally scheduled for the beginning of February.

El Financiero, Milenio, Reforma

 

4. Fitch Ratings lowered Pemex score

Following Fitch’s low rating of Pemex, Presidente López Obrador said that the oil company “is better than what it has been in the last 30 years” and indicated that “that group of technocrats are uncomfortable with the change” his administration is leading. He also said the company was “hypocritical” because they allowed the Energy Reform to take place.

Forbes Mexico, Milenio, La Jornada

 

5. Teachers from CNTE remain blocking train lines

Ignoring CNTE leader Victor Manuel Zavala’s press conference on allowing the free flow of trains in the state of Michoacán, unionized teachers from Patzcuaro remained blocking train lines because they want to know the results of the three-party dialogue between CNTE, the state, and the federal government.

El Universal, Excelsior, Reforma

 

6. Message threatens the president

Security officers found a message singed by the Fuel Thieves Cartel’s leader Jose Antonio Yepez Ortiz, also known as “El Marro,” in Guanajuato close to the Salamanca refinery, which demands that the president “take federal police out of the state or innocent people will die.” Officers also found an explosive package inside a car nearby. The Office of the President’s spokesperson said they were still determining if this represents a real threat. President López Obrador says he has nothing to be afraid of.

El Financiero, Diario de Mexico, El Universal

Headlines from Mexico

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1. According to Santiago Nieto, director of the Unit of Federal Intelligence of the Secretariat of Finance and Public Credit, in the past two years, the amount of money laundered obtained by stealing gasoline from Pemex might reach up to 45 billion pesos.

Read more: Reforma, La Jornada, El Universal

 

2. As part of the national strategy against oil theft, the federal government announced that the management of Pemex’s pipeline network, which distributes gasoline across the country and is currently supervised by a subsidiary of Pemex, will now be under the supervision of the Centro de Logística para la Distribución y Transporte de Petrolíferos, an organism within the Secretariat of Energy.

Read more: El Economista, Reforma, La Jornada

 

3. With 362 votes in favor, 119 votes against, and 4 abstentions, the Mexican Chamber of Deputies approved a bill that creates the National Guard. President López Obrador proposed the National Guard as a replacement of the armed forces currently fighting organized crime in Mexico. The Chamber of Deputies forwarded the bill to the Mexican Senate to be reviewed, debated, and voted on.

Read more: El Financiero, La Jornada, Milenio

 

4. According to Alex Cifuentes, a Colombian drug lord who worked with Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán Loera and is currently a witness at El Chapo’s trial in New York, former President of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto, took a $100 million bribe from Joaquín Guzmán.

Read more: El Universal, La Jornada, Milenio