Mexican Congress Expands Reach of Freedom-of-Information Law

April 17, 2015

ABC News, 4/16/2015

mexican-flag1Mexico’s Congress has approved freedom of information legislation that will allow public access to data from almost any entity that receives government funding.

The measure was passed Thursday in the lower house on a 264-68 vote and now goes to the president for his signature.

President Enrique Pena Nieto wrote in his Twitter account that the law “will strengthen the accountability of the Mexican government and combat corruption.”

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400 Children rescued from slave-like conditions over past year in Mexico

April 17, 2015

Fox News Latino, 4/16/2015

farm workersA total of 400 minors have been rescued from slave-like conditions at Mexican farms over the past year, according to Labor Secretary Alfonso Navarrete, who said authorities need to strike at the root of the problem.

In an interview published Thursday by Mexico City daily El Universal, the minister said that 2.5 million children work in some capacity in Mexico but that that figure has been reduced by 500,000 over the past two years.

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Mexico Tlatlaya Massacre: Mass Executions Were Illegal And Excessive, Rules Report From Mexican Lawmakers

April 17, 2015

International Business Times, 4/17/2015

3601496501_9bc4193670A military massacre that resulted in the deaths of 22 civilians was “illegal, excessive, and a disproportionate use of force,” members of Mexico’s Congress announced Thursday. The report by a working group of the House of Representatives also determined that the mass killings were an “extrajudicial execution” and called for military officials to withdraw from public security roles that would be better served by local law enforcement, including federal and state police, TeleSUR reported.

The so-called Tlatlaya massacre that unfolded in June 2014 is one of several scandals facing the administration of Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, who is battling a voter recall effort. Army leaders have claimed that the soldiers were patrolling the area on June 30, 2014, when they were attacked by local criminals, resulting in a deadly shootout. Forensics experts, however, found that the victims had been shot at close range with their own guns, suggesting a mass execution. The Mexican National Commission on Human Rights also said that the crime scene was altered by government officials participating in a cover-up.

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Mexico’s President Rolls Out Plan to Save Endangered Porpoise

April 17, 2015

The New York Times, 4/16/2015

Peña Nieto

Peña Nieto

MEXICO CITY — President Enrique Peña Nieto and his top military commanders flew to a modest fishing village in Mexico’s far northwest on Thursday and made a promise to protect a small porpoise called the vaquita that is on the edge of extinction.

Standing near the dock where the fishermen of the village, San Felipe, unload their catches of shrimp, corvina and sierra, Mr. Peña Nieto ordered the Mexican Navy to take charge of the effort to halt the illegal fishing that has reduced the number of vaquitas to fewer than 100.

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Mexico Oil Spill Affects Drinking Water for Tabasco City

April 15, 2015

ABC News, 4/14/2014

gas pipeline in green fieldMexico’s Gulf coast state of Tabasco has set up an emergency plan to supply drinking water to the capital of Villahermosa after oil thieves punctured a pipeline, contaminating rivers that normally supply the city.

The spill late last week sent workers with the state-owned oil company scrambling to limit damage, and four of Villahermosa’s water treatment plants were shut down as a precaution.

The Tabasco state government said Tuesday that it will temporarily supply water using 13 tanker trucks.

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UPDATE 4-WTO Rules against U.S. Dolphin-Safe Canned Tuna Labels

April 15, 2015

Reuters, 4/15/2015

WTO logoThe World Trade Organization found on Tuesday that U.S. rules on dolphin-safe labels for canned tuna run counter to international trade laws, siding with Mexico in a long-running dispute and opening the door to retaliation against U.S. exports.

The ruling, which the United States said it would appeal, upholds Mexico’s complaint that revamped U.S. labeling rules are still discriminatory because they disqualify Mexican tuna from bearing dolphin-safe labels, unlike other countries’ tuna.

“We recommend that the dispute settlement body request the United States bring its measure, which we have found to be inconsistent with (the WTO rules) … into conformity with its obligations,” the WTO panel said.

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Mexico, US, Canada Groups Ask UN to List Monarch Butterfly Reserve as in Danger

April 15, 2015

Fox News, 4/14/2015

Activists from Mexico, the United States and Canada are asking the U.N. World Heritage Committee to include the Monarch butterfly wintering reserve on a list of sites considered in danger.

UNESCO designated the 139,000-acre (56,259 hectare) reserve in the mountains west of Mexico City a World Heritage site in 2008.

Monarchs from the U.S. and Canada migrate 3,400-miles (5,470-kilometers) each year to winter in the forest reserve.

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