SMU Tower Center launches unique research program for policy-based analysis of Texas-Mexico relationship

9/8/2015 Southern Methodist University

DALLAS (SMU) – SMU’s John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies is launching an ambitious new program to research and promote policy-based discussion on the economic, political and social ties between Mexico and Texas.

The program is made possible through a $1 million gift from GRUMA-Mission Foods, a Mexican corporation with global reach headquartered in Dallas.  The program is designed to elevate the frequently fractured conversations about and between Texas and Mexico, creating a platform that examines shared issues through a policy lens. Plans include:

  • Texas-Mexico research, grants, reports, and white papers
  • Binational and bilingual annual conferences
  • Academic seminars and public forums

“Economics, energy, migration, culture, human capital, internet technology and cyber security are obvious topics for study, but the door is open,” said Juan Antonio González Moreno, Chairman and CEO of GRUMA. “We found in this program a tremendous opportunity to build a foundation for what should become the primary think tank on Texas-Mexico relations.” The list of potential topics is open to almost anything that impacts the relationship between Texas and Mexico.

Abbott’s meeting with Mexican president stresses the positive as trip wraps up

8/9/2015 Dallas News 

Bernardo Montoya/Reuters
Bernardo Montoya/Reuters

MEXICO CITY — President Enrique Peña Nieto welcomed Gov. Greg Abbott to the presidential mansion Tuesday and vowed to work with Texas to improve border security and generate more jobs through the energy sector, but he also reminded his guest of the contributions made by Mexicans in the Lone Star State.

The two men exchanged pleasantries and gifts — a jersey from Mexico’s national soccer team for Abbott, a crystal vase with the Texas seal for Peña Nieto. Abbott also invited the president to visit Texas in the coming months. But beyond the warm welcome, prickly issues — largely avoided through a carefully controlled agenda during the three-day visit — didn’t disappear completely.

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Texas Gov. Abbott to Visit Mexico to Mend Fences, Talk Trade Amid Strained Ties

8/25/2015 The Dallas Morning News

Greg_Abbott_by_Gage_SkidmoreGov. Greg Abbott is expected to visit Mexico City on Labor Day weekend, his first trip abroad as governor, and will lead a delegation of Texans eager to move forward amid turbulent times between once-solid neighbors, The Dallas Morning News has learned.

The agenda is still being fleshed out for the first trip to Mexico by a Texas governor since 2007, but people familiar with the matter say the visit is aimed at mending fences and underscoring the economic, cultural and political integration between Texas and its southern neighbor, an important trading partner.

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Runners race from El Paso to Mexico to show thriving border

08/11/15 WFAA

El Paso and Juarez by Flickr user dherrera 96EL PASO — Hundreds of Texans crossed the border into Mexico in a historic race that organizers hope will redefine the image of the border as a thriving community, rather than a region crippled by crisis.

“The border is a place of incredible beauty and also strength for our two countries,” said U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-El Paso.

‘It’s what has made the U.S. so successful. It is what has made Mexico so successful,” said O’Rourke.

Congressman O’Rourke was among the 929 runners who laced up their shoes and jogged into Mexico.

Read/Watch more here…

Mexican Cilantro Contamination Spurs Partial U.S. Import Ban

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

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

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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