Mexican Cilantro Contamination Spurs Partial U.S. Import Ban

July 28, 2015

07/28/15 Bloomberg

Giant sprinkler machines called ‘Pivote Central’ bring water to alfalfa fields in the Valle Hundido near Cuatro Cienegas. The wheels pivot around a center, connected to a well that supplies its water. The level of the aquifer that feeds these fields has dropped so much in the past decade that the surface water on the nearby lake Laguna Churince has completely disappeared. Residents are unsure which companies are behind the large alfalfa fields, but they speculate that they are related to large dairy farms near Torreón that use the alfalfa to feed their livestock. Officials estimate that there are more than 30 of these pivotes in the area.

Some Mexican cilantro is being banned in the U.S. after health officials found human feces and toilet paper in growing fields from which herbs have been linked to hundreds of intestinal illnesses among Americans dating back to 2012.

The Food and Drug Administration will detain Mexican cilantro at the border from April to August and won’t allow products from the state of Puebla, Mexico, into the U.S. without inspections and certification, according to an import ban dated Monday by the agency. Cilantro from other parts of Mexico will need documentation to prove the product isn’t from Puebla, about a two-hour drive southeast of Mexico City.

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PHONE EVENT: The Escape of El Chapo Guzmán and the Struggle Against Organized Crime

July 20, 2015

Exclusive Dial-In Event:

ElChapoWHEN: Wednesday, July 22 at 9:30am


Toll Free #: 888-947-9018
Conference #: 1-517-308-9006
Conference Passcode: 13304

Click here to RSVP.

On Saturday, July 11, around 9 p.m., drug kingpin Joaquín Guzmán Loera, better known as “El Chapo” Guzmán, escaped, for the second time, from a maximum security prison in Mexico.

The Mexico Institute is delighted to present a dial-in event in which expert analysts will offer their take on the broader implications of this escape on the future of Mexico and the U.S.-Mexico security relationship. The event will address four specific questions:

1. How damaging is the escape for the credibility of the Mexican government’s struggle against organized crime?

2. What steps is the government taking to try to recapture El Chapo, and what elements are missing from that effort?

3. How does El Chapo’s escape impact on the panorama of organized crime in Mexico? Will we see a resurgent Sinaloa Cartel now that its leader is free?

4. What impact will the escape have on bilateral relations with the U.S., on trust levels between security agencies, and the ongoing debate over extradition?

Join us BY PHONE for a discussion of this current event, the response by both governments, and the meaning of El Chapo’s escape for Mexico’s international image, with Mexico security experts Duncan Wood, Alejandro Hope, Steven Dudley, and Eric L. Olson.


Alejandro Hope
Director de Política de Seguridad, IMCO

Steven Dudley
Co-Director, InSight Crime

Eric L. Olson
Associate Director, Latin American Program, Wilson Center


Duncan Wood
Director, Mexico Institute, Wilson Center

Click here to RSVP.

Mexico Won’t Be Sending Anyone To Miss Universe Pageant After Donald Trump’s Comments

June 30, 2015

06/30/15 Huffington Post

beauty queen crownMEXICO CITY, June 29 (Reuters) – Mexico will not send a contestant to this year’s Miss Universe pageant after part owner and TV personality Donald Trump made comments insulting Mexicans, Mexican broadcaster Televisa said on Monday.
Televisa and former Miss Universe Lupita Jones organize a pageant to select a Mexican candidate for the contest.
U.S. broadcaster NBC has also said it would no longer air the pageant after Trump described migrants from Mexico as drug-runners and rapists. Trump made the comments when he announced earlier this month he was seeking the Republican nomination for the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

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Mexico, Latinos Lash Out At Real Estate Mogul Donald Trump’s Trashing Of Mexicans And Immigrants

June 18, 2015

06/18/15 Forbes

Mexican Flag XXLThe government of Mexico and a number of Latino leaders wasted no time in lashing out against billionaire Donald Trump‘s accusation that Mexico is sending drugs, criminals and rapists to the U.S. and his promise to build a “great, great wall” on the U.S.-Mexico border. After Trump entered the Presidential race on Tuesday with a 45-minute kick-off at the Trump Tower in New York City, Mexico’s Minister of Government Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong called his diatribe against Mexico “biased and absurd.”

Osorio Chong, who is in charge of Mexico’s internal security, said that the real estate billionaire ignores the contributions of immigrants to the U.S. “There is no doubt that the men and women of Mexico who are [living] in the U.S.… help the development of the U.S.,” Osorio Chong said, according to media reports. He added that Trump is trying to get media attention.

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Immigration Reform News: Hillary Clinton Aide Says Presidential Hopeful Would Expand Obama’s Executive Actions on Immigration

June 15, 2015

06/15/15 Latin Post

hillary-clinton-stateAn aide to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton promised that the former first lady would expand President Barack Obama’s executive actions on immigration if she is elected as the next Commander-in-Chief.

 While speaking on a panel hosted by Politico Friday night, Clinton’s campaign manager Robby Mook for the first time discussed Clinton’s stance on immigration in comparison to President Obama.

She “is advocating for going even further than President Obama on immigration, to stop deporting the parents of these DREAMers who are contributing to our economy, and are valuable members of our society,” said Mook during the panel, which was held at New York University in Manhattan.

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Upcoming Conference! Building a Competitive U.S.-Mexico Border

June 9, 2015

WHEN: Wednesday, June 17, 2015, 8:00am-4:15pm

WHERE: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington, DC


The Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute, the Border Trade Alliance, and the Asociación de Empresarios Mexicanos invite you to our second annual high-level “Building a Competitive U.S.-Mexico Border” conference. Speakers will discuss the state of the art in border and transportation infrastructure, growth in the energy sector, border-region innovation, and the need for efforts that simultaneously support security and efficiency in border management.

There will be a live webcast of this event.


8:00 – 8:30am Registration 

8:35 – 8:45am  Welcome, Duncan Wood, Director, Mexico Institute

8:45 – 9:35am   Legislative Opportunities to Strengthen Border Competitiveness
Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28)
Congressman Will Hurd (TX-23)
Senator Ernesto Ruffo Appel, Presidente de la Comisión de Asuntos Fronterizos Norte
Moderator: Arturo Sarukhan, Mexico Institute Advisory Board Member and Former Mexican Ambassador to the United States

9:35 – 10:15am  Keynote, Senator John Cornyn (TX), Majority Whip, United States Senate
                         Introduction, Andrew Selee, Executive Vice President, Wilson Center

10:30 – 12:00pm  Building Tomorrow’s Border Today: The State of the Art in Infrastructure Financing, Customs, and Port of Entry Management
Geronimo Gutierrez, Director, North American Development Bank
Jesse Hereford, Chairman, Border Trade Alliance, Director of Business Development, S&B Infrastructure
Jose Martin Garcia, Representative for the Mexican Treasury and Tax Administration Service in Washington, DC
Moderator: Erik Lee, Executive Director, North American Research Partnership

12:00 – 12:25pm  Keynote, Gil Kerlikowske, Commissioner, Customs and Border Protection (Confirmed)
     Introduction: TBA

12:25 – 1:30pm Lunch: Crossborder Cooperation for a Competitive North America
Opening Remarks: Michael Camuñez, President and CEO, ManattJones Global Strategies, Board Member, Asociación de Empresarios Mexicanos
Keynote Address: Ildefonso Guajardo, Secretary of Economy (Invited)

1:30 – 2:15pm Energy Revolutions: How Natural Gas and Renewables are Changing the Border Energy Landscape
Omar Garcia, South Texas Energy & Economic Roundtable
Thomas Tunstall, Research Director, Institute for Economic Development, The University of Texas at San Antonio
Moderator and Comments on Renewable Energy: Duncan Wood, Director, Mexico Institute, Wilson Center

2:15 – 2:35pm Break

2:35 – 3:25pm Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Building Ideas, Human Capital, and New Businesses in the Border Region
Rachel Poynter, Acting Director, Office of Mexican Affairs, Department of State
Ricardo Alvarez, Professor, CETYS University, Baja California
Rogelio de los Santos, Managing Director, Alta Ventures Mexico (Invited)
Moderator: Christopher Wilson, Deputy Director, Mexico Institute, Wilson Center

3:25 – 4:00pm A Conversation on the Evolution of U.S.-Mexico Cooperation in Border Management
Ambassador Alejandro Estivill, Chargé d’Affaires, Embassy of Mexico
Alan Bersin, Assistant Secretary of International Affairs and Chief Diplomatic Officer, Department of Homeland Security
Moderator: Denise Ducheny, Center for US-Mexico Studies, UC San Diego, and member, BECC NADB Board of Directors

4:00 – 4:15pm Concluding Remarks
Asociación de Empresarios Mexicanos
Border Trade Alliance
Christopher Wilson, Deputy Director, Mexico Institute, Wilson Center


U.S. Issues “Emergency Message” For Americans As Protests Escalate In Mexico’s Oaxaca State

June 5, 2015

06/05/15 Forbes

oaxacaOn Wednesday, the U.S. Embassy in Mexico issued an “Emergency Message” warning  U.S. citizens in the Mexican Southern State of Oaxaca to keep away from mass demonstrations and exercise caution in anticipation of Sunday’s volatile mid-term elections.

In a message to Americans living or visiting Oaxaca, a state known for its indigenous cultures and pre-Hispanic crafts, the U.S. Embassy warned that “mass demonstrations are currently taking place in Oaxaca” and that “protesters entered the Oaxaca airport” forcing suspension of  incoming and outgoing flights Wednesday.

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