Skeptical U.S. Rebuffs Mexico’s Request for Aid in Spyware Inquiry

02/20/2018 The New York Times

technology-785742_960_720American officials have rebuffed repeated requests from Mexico to help investigate the use of government spying technology against innocent civilians, wary that Mexico wants to use the United States as cover in a sham inquiry, senior American officials say.

The Mexican government has been on the defensive for months, battling revelations that surveillance technology it acquired has been used to spy on some of the nation’s most prominent human rights lawyers, academics and journalists.

Days after The New York Times revealed the extensive spying campaign, Mexico’s president, Enrique Peña Nieto, acknowledged that the government had purchased the spying technology. He quickly ordered a federal investigation into any misuse, and Mexican officials said they would ask the F.B.I. for help.

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Trump Plans to Meet With Pena Nieto in Coming Weeks, Mexico Says

02/14/2018 Bloomberg

PenaNietoU.S. President Donald Trump and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto plan to meet in the coming weeks to review advances in the relationship between the nations and discuss pending issues, according to Mexico’s Foreign Ministry.

The meeting comes after months of sometimes contentious talks to renegotiate the Nafta trade deal and Trump’s insistence that America’s southern neighbor pay for a border wall, a demand Mexico rejects. Pena Nieto’s party also faces a tough challenge to hang onto the presidency in a July vote, with his chosen candidate, former Finance Minister Jose Antonio Meade, running third in most polls. Pena Nieto isn’t eligible for reelection.

Senate begins debate on immigration and the fate of “Dreamers”

02/13/2018 CBS News

immigrationThe Senate begins a rare, open-ended debate on immigration and the fate of the “Dreamer” immigrants on Monday, and Republican senators say they’ll introduce President Donald Trump’s plan. Though his proposal has no chance of passage, Trump may be the most influential voice in the conversation.

If the aim is to pass a legislative solution, Trump will be a crucial and, at times, complicating player. His day-to-day turnabouts on the issues have confounded Democrats and Republicans and led some to urge the White House to minimize his role in the debate for fear he’ll say something that undermines the effort.

Yet his ultimate support will be vital if Congress is to overcome election-year pressures against compromise. No Senate deal is likely to see the light of day in the more conservative House without the president’s blessing and promise to sell compromise to his hard-line base.

Trump, thus far, has balked on that front.

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US, Mexico explore placing armed US air marshals on flights

01/30/2018 CNBC

airplaneMexico and the United States are looking into whether armed U.S. federal air marshals could be deployed on commercial cross-border flights, according to a document seen by Reuters and a Mexican official, as Mexico deepens security ties with its neighbor.

Since Donald Trump took office, U.S and Mexican officials have said that Mexico has tried to improve cooperation with its top trade partner on security, immigration, and foreign policy, hoping to convince the U.S. president to take a softer stance on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

In 2003, in the wake of the 9/11 attacks on the United States, Mexico agreed to place Mexican security agents on certain flights, but said it would never allow U.S. officials on board its commercial airlines, let alone armed.

However, in a Jan. 18 meeting in Mexico’s foreign ministry, officials from both countries agreed to “study the convenience of negotiating an agreement for the deployment of Federal Air Marshals on commercial flights,” according to the official Mexican document seen by Reuters.

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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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