U.S. Allows Limited Oil Exports to Mexico

8/14/15 The New York Times

energy - oil pumpsThe Obama administration on Friday gave oil companies temporary permission to export a limited amount of oil to Mexico at a time when a glut is cutting into domestic petroleum profits and employment.

The decision by the Commerce Department fell short of removing a ban on crude exports that goes back to the 1970s, when international oil boycotts produced long lines at gasoline stations and threatened the American economy. It also does not make a broad national security exception for Mexico, which has long existed for Canada, to release larger-scale exports.

But support for an end to the ban is growing in Congress among Republicans and Democrats from oil states like Texas. The administration has been reluctant to remove the ban, although it has already given permission over the last two years to American producers to sell some extra-light forms of crude, called condensates, on a limited basis.

The oil industry lent cautious applause to the administration’s move, but repeated its calls for a complete end to the export ban.

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What is the purpose of Obama’s visit to Mexico? (Spanish)

Milenio, obama_nieto_feature4/10/2013

La decisión de Barack Obama de aceptar la invitación que le hizo el presidente Enrique Peña Nieto plantea varias interrogantes. Ante todo, porque se prevé que poco después vendrá a la Cumbre de Líderes de América del Norte, acompañado por el primer ministro de Canadá, Stephen Harper. Considerando las crisis internacionales y las abultadas agendas de política interna y de política exterior que enfrenta al inicio de su segundo y último mandato, Obama seguramente pudo haber esperado unas semanas para reunirse por primera vez con Peña Nieto en su calidad de Presidente constitucional. La pregunta es: ¿por qué optó por adelantar el encuentro?

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U.S. responsible for capture of Mexican drug lords (in Spanish)

Reforma, 12/9/2010

El Gobierno de Estados Unidos presume que gracias a sus labores de “inteligencia” se logró la captura de los principales capos mexicanos.

Un informe oficial actualizado sobre la Iniciativa Mérida destaca que, gracias al intercambio de información, el Gobierno de México ha logrado detener a ocho de los principales narcotraficantes mexicanos, y localizado a dos más, quienes murieron en enfrentamientos con las Fuerzas Armadas.

“Como resultado de una mayor coordinación y el compartir información entre los Estados Unidos y México, muchos de los narcotraficantes más peligrosos del mundo han sido capturados y llevados ante la justicia”, indica el reporte oficial elaborado por la Embajada de EU en México.

Entre los capos detenidos figuran: Édgar Valdez Villarreal, “La Barbie”, y Sergio Villarreal Barragán, “El Grande”, ex operadores de la organización delictiva de los Beltrán Leyva, capturados en agosto y septiembre, respectivamente.

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Obama voices support for Mexico’s drugs battle

BBC News, 11/7/2010

Photo by Flickr user Scott Ableman

US President Barack Obama has stressed Washington’s support for Mexico’s ongoing battle against drug cartels.

A leader of Mexico’s powerful Gulf cartel was shot dead on Friday by security forces in a town near the US border.

Ezequiel Cardenas Guillen, known as “Tony Tormenta”, was killed in Matamoros, across the border from Brownsville in Texas.

Obama said the US backed Mexico’s efforts to end the cartels’ “impunity”

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Op-Ed: Ties that bind U.S., Mexico

Op-Ed, Lee Hamilton, Indy Star, 5/4/2009

Former Rep. Lee Hamilton
Former Rep. Lee Hamilton

A U.S. Joint Forces Command report published this year sparked controversy by describing Mexico as a “weak and failing” state. Mexico is not a failed state, but it faces grave problems.

While combating the drug cartels is important, it does not and should not define our rich and multifaceted relationship with Mexico. Mexico is the second-largest importer of American goods and our third-largest trading partner overall. We share deep societal and cultural ties. It is a vital partner in our broader engagement with Latin America.

Ultimately, these bonds should serve as the foundation for renewed partnership. But when it comes to drugs, tensions are bound to arise.

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Mexico and the U.S. look into oil agreement (in Spanish)

America Economia, 4/22/2009

oil-rigsThe U.S. and Mexico are considering a new area of focus for bilateral cooperation, this time on energy, after having established an official working agenda developing a treaty that would allow joint exploration of transborder deposits located in the Gulf of Mexico.

Mexican Undersecretary of Hydrocarbons from the Secretariat of Energy, Mario Gabriel Budebo, explained that the agreement would divide the petroleum that is found in deposits that are located on both sides of the border. These discussions are taking place because there are only a few months before the moratorium of ten years on the exploration of deep-water reserves that are divided between Mexico and the U.S. officially ends.

The end of the moratorium opens the possibility that oil companies that operate in U.S. territory could begin exploring border deposits in the Gulf without any restrictions as soon as January 2010.

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Mexico and the United States: A Window of Opportunity

Pamela Starr, Pacific Council on International Policy, April 2009

calderon3Mexican President Felipe Calderón has produced a mixed record of achievement since his inauguration on December 1, 2006. He took office with limited political capital due to a highly contested election outcome that briefly threatened to destabilize Mexican democracy, yet surprised almost everyone by quickly and confidently taking the reins of power. In just over a year in the presidency, he achieved an impressive series of pension, tax, electoral, and judicial reforms and led an aggressive assault on Mexico’s violent drug syndicates, aided by close cooperation with U.S. law enforcement. Since early 2008, however, the Calderón presidency has been marked by persistent policy stalemates, a disconcerting increase in violence associated with the drug war, and declining public confidence in the government’s ability to get things done. What does this turn of events intimate about Mexico’s likely path for the remaining nearly four years of the Calderón presidency? Is the future apt to resemble the troubled times of recent months, or will Calderón be able to set a new course for the ship of state and re-establish the governing capacity evidenced during his first year at the helm?

The answer to these questions is of utmost importance to the United States.

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