[Video] Former Mexican Governor Detained in Spain

1/19/2016 Wilson Center Trending

viri wilson center trending

It’s been a good week for Mexican law and order. Following the recent capture of El Chapo, comes the news that Former Mexican Governor Moreira has been detained in Spain as part of an ongoing money-laundering investigation. Wilson Fellow Viridiana Rios provides analysis.

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Viridiana Rios, a Global Fellow with the Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute, is an expert in Mexico’s subnational economy, citizen security and rule of law. She analyzes labor markets, productivity, and development indicators at Mexico, and disentangles how violence, conflict, rule of law, and corruption have affected them. Her career has taken her from positions as public officer and applied researcher, to entrepreneur and journalist. As a public officer, Viridiana has served as adviser to Mexico’s Minister of Finance, and to Mexican President’s Spokesman. As a researcher, she has worked with the Guggenheim Foundation of New York City, the United Nations, USAID, The World Bank, The Center for US-Mexico Studies at the University of California in San Diego, the Trans-border Institute at the University of San Diego, and Mexico’s ministries of social development (SEDESOL), education (SEP), and security (SNSP). In a more entreprenuerial gig, Viridiana directed México ¿Cómo Vamos?, a start-up think tank specialized in translating academic knowledge to the language of policy makers and the press. Finally, as journalist, she has a weekly column at Excélsior, a Mexican national newspaper.

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New Publication: Now for Public Debt in Mexico: Policy Lessons for the Effective Oversight of State and Municipal Government Finances

mexican pesosBy Heidi Jane M. Smith

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While Mexico has a very low debt-to-GDP ratio that is slightly above forty percent, its state and municipal portion hovers around 2.5% (IMF, World Economic Outlook Databases, 2012). Subnational governments have consistently been accused of taking on too much debt, allowing irresponsible repayment plans and consenting to outright political corruption. Especially since 2001, the first full year since the country revised its laws governing subnational borrowing rights, Mexico has experienced a significant rise in the indebtedness of its states and municipalities. During the past decade, total subnational debt went from $990 pesos per capita in 2001 to $3,450 pesos per capita in 2011 (ASF 2011). Although Mexico’s overall subnational debt is still at reasonable levels compared to other countries, this nation’s high vertical fiscal imbalances and de facto soft subnational budget constraints could continue to fuel observed trends unless national legislation governing the rights and responsibilities of subnational governments are made. One can argue that the pace of increasing debt has been constant, but it accelerated during the 2009 economic crisis when National GDP decreased substantially (around -6%). Actual proposals to harmonizing accounting standards among state and local governments, increase transparency and improve reporting requirements by the Mexican Ministry of Finance (Secretaría de Hacienda y Crédito Público, SHCP) are only a few steps towards improving fiscal policy at the local level. Reviewing policies to understand debt sources and improving bankruptcy laws to cope with moral hazard issues will help to maintain strong sustainable fiscal balances into the future.

This policy paper argues that alternative revenue sources are necessary for economic growth at the local level, but continued soft budget constraints and lax regulatory environments may also put Mexico’s future into jeopardy. Lessons learned from the United States’ state and municipal financing could provide valuable policy options for Mexico–thus, the paper provides policy recommendations for future public financial management considerations.

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Mexico offers $3.8M reward for ‘El Chapo’

07/15/15 USA Today

Mexico BricksThe Mexican government put a $3.8 million pricetag on his head, the Chicago Crime Commission once again dubbed him Public Enemy No. 1, and Donald Trump had a beef with him on Twitter.

Still, Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman remained a free man Tuesday, three days after he disappeared from a Mexican prison shower, slipped through a mile-long tunnel and vanished into the night.

The director of Altiplano, the notorious yet apparently pregnable maximum security prison 50 miles outside of Mexico City, and two other prison employees have been fired. Mexico’s Interior Secretary Miguel Angel Osorio Chong provided few details, other than to say all “had something or a lot to do with what happened.”

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Mexico brings out the big bazooka

financeFinancial Times, 7/16/2013

It’s the big bazooka that many have been waiting for. With Mexico’s economy posting a lacklustre start to the year, economists have been counting on a pick-up in government spending to help pick up the slack. And open its wallet the government did. On Monday, President Enrique Peña Nieto unveiled a long-awaited 1.3tn peso ($102bn) investment plan to upgrade the country’s transportation and telecommunications infrastructures.

Including investments from the private sector, total infrastructure spending could hit 4tn pesos ($314.2bn) between now and 2018, said Peña Nieto. That would represent nearly a third of Mexico’s annual gross domestic product.

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U.S. resuming deportation flights to Mexico

IMG_4475Los Angeles Times, 7/11/2013

A federal program that flies deported immigrants back to Mexico resumes Thursday, with 133 Mexicans scheduled to board a plane from El Paso to Mexico City. The Mexican government will transport the deportees to their hometowns.

The repatriation flights, which began in October and ended after two months, are intended to give would-be immigrants a better chance of resettling, rather than becoming victims of violent crime in border towns or trying to illegally cross into the United States again.

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Mexico’s Age of Agreement

Héctor Aguilar Camín and Jorge G. Castañeda, Foreign Affairs, 11/2012

Castañeda

Mexico has long been hostage to unchallengeable traditions: its nationalist approach to oil wealth, overly sensitive attitude toward sovereignty, entrenched labor monopolies, persistent corruption, and self-serving bureaucracy. Acquired over time, these attitudes and practices became cemented in the national soul and embedded in the habits of the government and society, sapping the country’s potential.

The good news is that all of this is rapidly changing, as Mexico leaves behind its hefty psychological baggage. Yes, the last 15 years, a time of too little economic growth and too few reforms, have been frustrating, especially for those who expected the transition to democracy to solve everything. But these years have unveiled a new national consensus: a broad agreement on values that, despite seeming normal for any other modern democracy, did not figure clearly in the Mexican public consciousness until very recently.

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Issue Brief: Mexico’s Fight Against Organized Crime

Chlopak, Leonard, Schechter & Associates on behalf of the Enrique Peña Nieto Transition, 11/21/2012

Enrique Peña Nieto

On December 1, 2012 Enrique Peña Nieto will be sworn-in as Mexico’s next president. This is the third in a series of issue briefs covering some of his policy priorities. Each brief will outline the president-elect’s vision for Mexico and proposed policies.

MEXICO WILL CONTINUE ITS FIGHT AGAINST ORGANIZED CRIME 

Mexico’s President-elect Enrique Peña Nieto supports the decision made by President Felipe Calderón to confront the threat of organized crime head-on. As Peña Nieto has stated “the law is not negotiable, it is to be applied.” The president-elect believes that enforcing the law is not an option, but rather an obligation of the Mexican State and its authorities.

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