New Publication: Addressing the Concerns of the Oil Industry: Security Challenges in Northeastern Mexico and Government Responses

January 9, 2015

By Kathryn Haahr

telecomunicaiconesThe December 2013 Constitutional Reform and August 2014 secondary legislation to permit private investment in Mexico’s oil and gas sector represents significant opportunities for private oil and gas companies. While overall geopolitical risk landscape in Mexico is low, cartel-related violence and other criminal activities continue to draw concern from international oil companies and other foreign investors. Homicide, kidnapping, extortion, attacks on facilities and organized public unrest challenge regional governance and have the potential to impact a number of stages of the oil and gas value chain. As foreign energy companies prepare to bid on Round One contracts, the Mexican Government, state security entities, and civilian security organizations have begun to put in place the elements of a more secure operational environment.

This case study analyzes the Mexican Government’s response to recent threats to and attacks against energy infrastructure and personnel in Tamaulipas and Veracruz. The government is addressing the issue of cartel-induced violence in Tamaulipas and Veracruz by mobilizing security frameworks for newly established and existing state law enforcement entities and the Military. The security arrangements, that include policing of major ports and protecting Pemex facilities and operations, should help the oil and gas industry to better absorb the financial risks to its business operations.

Read the publication here…


Obama Pledges to Help Mexico Eliminate ‘Scourge’ of Violence

January 8, 2015

1/6/2015 NBC News

The Associated Press October 22, 2014

The Associated Press October 22, 2014

While critics protested outside the White House, President Barack Obama pledged to help Mexico President Enrique Peña Nieto “eliminate the scourge and violence of drug cartels” like that suspected in the disappearance of 43 Mexican students.

Peña Nieto made his first visit to Washington Tuesday, accompanied by several Cabinet members, to tout his economic reforms such as the opening of the its oil and gas industry to private investment.

But his legislative feats have been overshadowed by the violence against 43 students, some whose bodies were said to have been later incinerated, and criticism of how his administration has handled the investigation of the students’ disappearance.

NEW PUBLICATION: Addressing the Concerns of the Oil Industry: Security Challenges in Northeastern Mexico and Government Responses

January 7, 2015

By Kathryn Haahr

8380385183_92df689d14_zThe December 2013 Constitutional Reform and August 2014 secondary legislation to permit private investment in Mexico’s oil and gas sector represents significant opportunities for private oil and gas companies. While overall geopolitical risk landscape in Mexico is low, cartel-related violence and other criminal activities continue to draw concern from international oil companies and other foreign investors. Homicide, kidnapping, extortion, attacks on facilities and organized public unrest challenge regional governance and have the potential to impact a number of stages of the oil and gas value chain. As foreign energy companies prepare to bid on Round One contracts, the Mexican Government, state security entities, and civilian security organizations have begun to put in place the elements of a more secure operational environment.

This case study analyzes the Mexican Government’s response to recent threats to and attacks against energy infrastructure and personnel in Tamaulipas and Veracruz. The government is addressing the issue of cartel-induced violence in Tamaulipas and Veracruz by mobilizing security frameworks for newly established and existing state law enforcement entities and the Military. The security arrangements, that include policing of major ports and protecting Pemex facilities and operations, should help the oil and gas industry to better absorb the financial risks to its business operations.

Read the publication here…


Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto’s 5 mountainous challenges for 2015

January 6, 2015

1/5/2015 GlobalPost.com

7510812870_91063f01b1_zAmid violence, scandals, and a sinking peso, his [Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto] popularity rating tumbled 20 points to 39 percent, according to a new Reforma newspaper poll.

It is not only his lowest level since he took power in December 2012, but the worst of any Mexican president since 1995, after the peso tanked in the so-called tequila crisis…

Hoping to turn things around in 2015, Peña Nieto released a new year video, showing images of protests and violence transforming into images of progress and happiness. “We leave behind a year of challenges and learning,” Peña Nieto tweeted. “With integrity and determination, let’s welcome 2015.”

Making such a transformation a reality looks like an uphill struggle. Here are five mountainous challenges that the president faces in 2015…

Read more…


Mexico Faces Growing Gap Between Political Class and Calls for Change

December 16, 2014

12/12/2014 The New York Times

Yuri Cortez/AFP/Getty Images

Yuri Cortez/AFP/Getty Images

As the Nobel Peace Prize was being awarded in Oslo this week, a young man dashed on stage, unfurled a Mexican flag streaked with red paint and begged for help for his country because more than 40 college students have been missing for months after clashing with the police.

At the Latin Grammy Awards ceremony in Las Vegas last month, the big winners, Calle 13, shouted solidarity with the victims as they performed. At home, mass marches have regularly filled Mexican streets with angry calls for the government to act against corruption and crime.

But is the country’s political class listening?

Read more…


How Serious Are Current Protests and Political Risks in Mexico?

December 11, 2014

12/10/2014 Forbes.com

MIGUEL TOVAR / LATINCONTENT / GETTY

MIGUEL TOVAR / LATINCONTENT / GETTY

Mexico is facing down the most serious political crisis yet seen during the presidency of Enrique Peña Nieto. On December 1 I attended a march in Mexico City in which protesters demanded information about the whereabouts of 43 student teachers who disappeared from the state of Guerrero in late September. In a recent article for Fox News Latino I explained, “Although the protest featured groups of students, well-dressed men and women and young people carrying signs, when protesters approached the wide palm-tree lined boulevard called Reforma (“Reform”) near the landmark Angel of Independence statue, a few young men wearing masks smashed the windows of several banks and spray painted a paradoxical mix of messages: ‘No More Death,’ ‘Socialism or Death,’ and ‘Death to the Police.’ As most of the protesters walked away, a small group of masked individuals charged down Reforma, lit torches and started smashing windows as patrons in business attire at upscale restaurants on the second and third floors watched.”

Read more…


What Mexico’s President Must Do

December 11, 2014

12/10/2014 The New York Times

Enrique Pena NietoThousands of young people have been marching in the streets of Mexico since the kidnapping and murder of 43 students (now confirmed by the DNA of a burned body) from a college in Ayotzinapa in the state of Guerrero. According to Mexico’s attorney general, the crime was committed by professional killers working for a narco- gang and under the orders of the former mayor of the town of Iguala, who was a member of the leftist Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD). Although most of these criminals, including the mayor and his wife, have been arrested, the student protesters are blaming the Peña Nieto government of the centrist Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and questioning its legitimacy. They are even demanding that the legally elected president resign from office.

Although most Mexicans may not support so extreme a demand as resignation, the popularity level of the president has sunk quite low, and not only because of the slow response to this atrocious crime. The suspicion of a conflict of interest over his wife’s partial purchase of a luxury mansion has further clouded the situation for Mr. Peña Nieto. Distrustful of government and fed up with the violence and insecurity unleashed by the drug cartels, Mexicans feel a profound moral and political resentment at a situation that those of us who struggled for the coming of democracy at the turn of the millennium never expected to confront. While there have been incidents of violence among the protesters, most of the demonstrations have been peaceful but intensely angry. And their anger is justified.

Read more…


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