Five Must-Read Articles About Modern Mexico

Source: Forbes

In 2021, Mexico is continuing to struggle with the spread of the Covid-19 virus, but is already showing some positive signs of economic recovery. Over the last few weeks I’ve tweeted a number of news stories highlighting current political and economic trends in Mexico.

On September 3, I tweeted this Insight Crime story on Mexico’s record-breaking levels of remittances. The article explains that Mexico’s Central Bank (Banco de México – Banxico) reported that more than $28 billion in remittances have been sent to Mexico from the U.S. during the first seven months of 2021, up 23% from 2020. The jump in remittances, the Insight Crime report explains, could be driven in part by higher levels of money laundering.


Mexico’s middle class, ‘opponents of AMLO,’ form 4 of 10 households


Source: Mexico News Daily

The middle class — which President López Obrador characterized last week as a political opponent — forms 41% of Mexican households.

About 14.5 million families belong to that segment of the population, according to the 2020 census and data from the Mexican Association of Market Research Agencies (AMAI).

The ruling Morena party fared poorly in the June 6 midterm elections in states and in boroughs of the capital which have large middle class populations.


Mexico’s political parties did the minimum to meet gender parity rules. Female candidates scored big anyway.


Source: The Washington Post

On June 6, voters in Mexico elected six female governors. That’s a breakthrough: Until these results, only nine women had been governors in Mexico since women got the vote in 1953.

These new female governors are the latest evidence of Mexico’s progress toward “parity in everything,” a 2019 constitutional reform requiring gender balance for all elected and appointed posts in the legislative, executive and judicial branches at the federal, state and municipal level. Yet Mexico’s political parties remain old boys’ clubs.


What Does President Biden Need To Understand About Mexico?


Source: Forbes

Early in his presidency Joe Biden will be forced to deal with a number of issues related to Mexico including asylum seekers at the border, ongoing disputes related to trade, how to respond to “Dreamers” and other long-term undocumented residents, and evolving problems relating to organized crime and violence. In engaging with Mexico, Biden finds himself liaising with one of the most enigmatic and charismatic leaders in the Americas. Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is a uniquely polarizing and controversial figure. He is pro-coal and hostile to renewable energy. He disparages feminist activists and promotes traditional family values. He is anti-elite but fosters close alliances with some of Mexico’s billionaires. He is anti-neoliberal but favors cash handouts over improving government capacity. Foreign analysts and observers often struggle to characterize him. Is he a socialist? A progressive? An old-school conservative? 

Lopez Obrador brands himself as a leftist who battles Mexico’s “conservatives,” but he also openly embraced former U.S. President Trump and has offered a cold initial reception to President Biden. To discuss Mexico’s President Lopez Obrador and the current state of US-Mexico relations, I reached out to Patrick Iber, a professor of Latin American history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


Trump election rhetoric could send Mexican peso down almost 9% to 21.30 per dollar -Banorte


peso10/09/19 – Reuters

By Noe Torres

The Mexican peso could fall almost 9% to 21.30 per dollar next year if U.S. President Donald Trump again threatens the country during his re-election campaign, Mexican financial group Banorte said on Tuesday.

Trump has repeatedly sent the Mexican currency and stock market tumbling after attacking Mexico over immigration and trade, mostly on Twitter, threatening to impose tariffs on Mexican goods or close the countries’ shared border.

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Mexico won’t be safe third country for asylum seekers: Ebrard


09/09/19 – Reuters

By Diego Ore & David Alire Garcia

Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard on Monday reiterated that Mexico would not become a safe third country for U.S.-bound asylum seekers following comments by a U.S. official that Washington was seeking a “cooperative agreement” with Mexico.

Ebrard wrote on Twitter that “Mexico is not and will not accept” a so-called safe third country designation that would require asylum seekers to apply for protections in Mexico instead of the United States.

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Mexican Tax Authority Takes Steps to Charge Odebrecht for Fines

9/9/2018 – New York Times

MEXICO CITY — The Mexican tax authority SAT has begun taking steps to charge Brazilian construction firm Odebrecht for fines levied on the company earlier this year, Mexican newspaper Milenio reported on Sunday.

In April, the Mexican government said it had fined Odebrecht around $60 million (46 million pounds), in addition to barring government agencies from doing business with the company, which is entangled in one of Latin America’s biggest corruption scandals.

A spokeswoman for Odebrecht did not immediately respond to a request for comment. A spokesman for the SAT declined to comment on a specific case.

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‘Ruthless’ Mexican Candidate Goes Far. But Maybe Only So Far.

06/14/18 The New York Times

anayaIf the candidate was nervous about his chances, few could tell.

Ricardo Anaya was 21 years old and running for elected office for the first time. The prize was a congressional seat in the Mexican state of Querétaro, representing a poor, rural area far from his home in the state capital where he had grown up on a country club. It was enemy territory: His party had never won the seat, and this time would be no different.

But until the final vote tally was announced, the candidate betrayed no sense, beyond his inner circle of confidants, that he might lose.

“He was giving everyone confidence that he could win,” said Jacob Morado García, who was then the local president of Mr. Anaya’s party, the center-right National Action Party, or PAN, in the municipality of Pinal de Amoles. “He did everything possible to win.”

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You Won’t Like Mexico When It’s Angry

09/11/2017 Politico

President Trump’s insults are pushing the Mexican political system into dangerous territory.

In his landmark 1985 book, Distant Neighbors, Alan Riding, then the New York Times’ Mexico City correspondent, wrote that the Mexican president, in the days of the one-party state, was all powerful except for two things he could never do: 1) reelect himself (there’s a constitutional one-term limit for Mexican presidents) and 2) bring Mexico closer to the United States.

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Mexico: Arrest warrant for missing Veracruz governor

10/26/16 Al Jazeera 

Javier_Duarte_de_OchoaThe Mexican authorities are seeking to arrest a former governor who has disappeared as he faces charges of organised crime and money laundering, officials said.Javier Duarte has not been seen for days after he resigned as governor of the crime-plagued eastern state of Veracruz last week.

Authorities issued an arrest warrant for him last week and the country’s ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) has expelled Duarte, saying the official violated party rules as head of the state. Duarte failed to attend a hearing of the party’s justice committee on Tuesday and his whereabouts are not known. “The expulsion of Javier Duarte de Ochoa was decided because it has been proved … that he systematically violated the party rules and ethics codes,” the party said in a statement.

Interior Secretary Miguel Angel Osorio Chong told Radio Formula last week that officials do not know where Duarte is but believe he is in the country because immigration authorities have no record of him departing.

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