Archive for the ‘Mexico’ Category

Japanese PM opens LatAm tour with Mexico energy deals

| July 28th, 2014 | No Comments »
Yahoo News-01

By Leticia Pineda

Mexico City (AFP) – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe struck a series of energy deals with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto at the start of a five-country Latin American tour.

Abe, whose visit to the region comes on the heels of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s, met Pena Nieto at the presidential palace for talks that ended with the signing of a raft of deals.

The new agreements included one between Mexican state oil firm Pemex and Japan’s development bank, and another between Pemex and the Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation.

With Japan on the lookout for new power sources after the Fukushima disaster forced the shutdown of its nuclear reactors, energy is high on the prime minister’s agenda for the trip.

Mexico is undergoing sweeping changes in its energy sector, with Congress poised to end struggling Pemex’s 75-year monopoly ... Read More

NORIEGA: La inseguridad de Centro América intensifica la crisis en la frontera sur de Estados Unidos

| July 25th, 2014 | No Comments »
Article Appeared in The Washington Times

La oleada de inmigrantes ilegales en la frontera suroeste de los Estados Unidos,  hizo sonar la alarma para el Presidente y el Congreso e impulsar una misión de rescate internacional para enfrentar a criminales, narcotraficantes y pandilleros que amenazan la seguridad de EE.UU., junto con las vidas y sustento de millones de centroamericanos.

El presidente Obama ha solicitado $3.7 mil millones en fondos de emergencia para hacer frente a la afluencia de inmigrantes ilegales a lo largo de la frontera de Estados Unidos con México. A pesar de que la suma es considerable, es evidente que los programas que están siendo ejecutados y planificados por la administración son medidas provisionales. Estas medidas no hacen nada para hacer frente al causante del problema a largo plazo: la creciente criminalidad  y la corrupción en Centroamérica, que en su mayoría son alimentadas por el tráfico ilegal de drogas provocado por la demanda de los ... Read More

Mexico’s Energy and Telecom Reforms Come Into Focus

| July 25th, 2014 | No Comments »

The passage of President Enrique Peña Nieto’s reform agenda last year was a watershed moment for Mexico’s government, representing the most significant change to the country’s governance since the election of VicenteFox in 2000 ended decades of single-party rule. Yet the true extent of the reforms remains very much unknown. Although the constitutional amendments passed last year represented agreements to reforms in principle, the nuts and bolts of the actual reform must still be hashed out in a wave of secondary legislation. As I’ve written here before, the devil is in the details.

Some of those details are now coming into focus for two of the most significant areas of reform: telecommunications and energy. The secondary legislation governing telecoms reform was signed into law on July 14, and legislation implementing the energy reforms is not far behind.

Initial reaction to the telecoms laws was mixed. On the one hand, critics charge that the new laws do ... Read More

NORIEGA: Central American insecurity fuels U.S. border crisis

| July 24th, 2014 | No Comments »
Article Appeared in The Washington Times

The surge of illegal immigrants at the U.S. southwest border
should sound the alarm for the President and Congress to lead an
international rescue mission to confront murderous narco-traffickers
and street gangsters who threaten U.S. security along with the lives and
livelihood of millions of Central Americans.

President Obama has requested $3.7 billion in emergency
funding to cope with the influx of illegal immigrants along the
 US-Mexico border. Notwithstanding that considerable sum, it is clear
that the programs currently being implemented and planned by the
administration are primarily stopgap measures. They do nothing to
address the long-term driver of the problem: the escalating
criminality and corruption in Central America—most of it fueled by
illegal drug trafficking driven by U.S. demand—that undermines
democratic institutions, rule of law, economic opportunity, and public

The immediate task is to staunch the current explosion of
illegal crossings, including thousands of unaccompanied minors.
Although the uptick in violence in their homelands contributes to
economic dislocation and fear, loose talk about a more permissive ... Read More

Murders in Mexico Down From Height of the Drug War, But Violence Persists

| July 24th, 2014 | No Comments »


During Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto’s first year in office, after he had promised to cut back on everyday violence, there were 22,732 recorded homicides the National Institute of Statistics and Geography announced Wednesday.

The figure, which the institute called preliminary, is slightly lower than the previous year but still higher than when Felipe Calderon, Pena Nieto’s predecessor, took office. In 2007, shortly after Calderon declared war on drugs, the number of homicides reached 8,867. During his six years in office, homicides peaked at 27,213, in 2011.

“This is lower than I expected,” said Rene Jimenez Ornelas, coordinator of the unit for the analysis of violence at Mexico’s National Autonomous University, of the number of homicides in 2013. Jimenez Ornelas said one of the reasons for a lower-than-expected number is that many people prefer to have their loved ones’ death registered as a heart attack or another ... Read More

Why Come North? A Panel Discussion On US Immigration Policy

| July 23rd, 2014 | No Comments »

With so much conflict elsewhere, the crisis on America’s southern border has been shoved offstage in recent days. But Washington still has no new plan for the surge of unaccompanied children arriving from Central America – much less a new immigration policy overall. Can we find an approach combining order and compassion? We’ll ask a reporter, an immigration lawyer, a former Bush administration official, and community activist in Los Angeles, who was one of those unaccompanied minors 15 years ago. This hour, On Point: seeking answers on immigration.

- John Harwood


Alan Gomez, immigration reporter for USA Today. (@alangomez)

Fermin Vasquez, communications specialist at Community Coalition. (@fermin101)

José Cárdenas, associate in the consulting firm Visión Américas. Former career US Diplomat. (@JoseCardenasUSA)

Claudia Valenzuela, associate director of litigation for the National Immigrant Justice Center.

For more information about the panel click ... Read More

Governor Rick Perry to Deploy National Guard to U.S.-Mexico Border

| July 23rd, 2014 | No Comments »


Texas Governor Rick Perry plans to activate and deploy the Texas National Guard to the Rio Grande Valley, Texas State Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, a Democrat, told The Monitor on Sunday. According to a leaked memo, the governor plans to announce in a press conference today his plan to call “about 1,000 Texas National Guard Troops” to plug perceived gaps in security along the border.

A recent influx of immigrants, some 57,000 children and families from Central America, has placed extra strain on the overlapping network of Federal and State agencies designed to keep the border secure. Last Friday, Perry and state leaders issued a directive to the Department of Public Safety (DPS) to begin a “law enforcement surge” along the border designed to alleviate some of that stress. The DPS emphasized that its mission “would not include enforcing immigration laws,” but rather to “deter and disrupt drug and ... Read More

Is Mexico Doing Enough to Secure Its Southern Border?

| July 18th, 2014 | No Comments »


Sneaking north into Mexico wasn’t easy, according to Brandon, who was 14 years old when he left his hometown in Guatemala last April to rejoin his parents in the United States.

A smuggler hired to get Brandon across the border led him on a five-hour hike across rough terrain and through sweltering heat to avoid Mexican border checkpoints.

“I suffered a lot,” Brandon told Fusion during a recent interview in Virginia. “It was really hot. There were a lot of thorns and my shoes broke. I got blisters on my feet.”

The month-long trip didn’t get any easier after that. The coyote warned Brandon’s group that capture by the Mexican federal police meant deportation or bribery. “He said that if they found us, they would arrest everyone.”

Still, Mexican immigration enforcement was no comparison to what he faced when he entered the U.S. After crossing the Rio Grande border into South Texas, Brandon was ... Read More

Mexico makes promises, but little changes at Guatemala border

| July 17th, 2014 | No Comments »
Dallas News

CIUDAD HIDALGO, Mexico — Mexico is promising to stem the flow of Central American migrants to the U.S. by tightening control at its notoriously porous Guatemalan border.

But messages from the country’s top two leaders in little more than a week have provided few details on how. And the scene on the ground is business as usual.

Dozens of Central Americans who paid $1.50 a head could be seen this week crossing the broad Suchiate River on improvised rafts of inner tubes and wooden boards, in full view of Mexican police on the shore and immigration agents posted on a bridge overhead.

“I don’t see anything has changed,” Guatemalan Luisa Fuentes, 56, said as she rode a raft to Mexico.

La Bestia, a decrepit freight train that takes migrants north from the border state of Chiapas, still carried many riders on its roof.

President Enrique Peña Nieto’s government says it is catching and deporting far ... Read More

18 meses del sexenio de Peña: 16,174 ejecuciones

| July 17th, 2014 | No Comments »

Podemos decir que quizás alrededor de 60% de los homicidios en México tienen que ver con el crimen organizado.

Por Leo Zuckermann

En mayo de este año aumentaron en 18% las ejecuciones relacionadas con el crimen organizado, comparadas con las del mes inmediato anterior: de 658 en abril, pasamos a 777. Esto, de acuerdo con la base de datos de Lantia, consultora especializada en temas de seguridad. Contabilizando el total de este tipo de homicidios en los primeros 18 meses del sexenio del presidente Peña Nieto, tenemos un total de 16 mil 174, un promedio de 30 por día.

En las cifras de Lantia hay una mala noticia: se revirtió la tendencia de tres meses a la baja en las ejecuciones que había comenzado en febrero de este año. De hecho, en mayo regresamos a casi 800 ejecuciones en el mes, cifra muy similar a la que se dio en febrero. La segunda quincena ... Read More

Cómo Se Dice, “Lost in Translation”?

| July 16th, 2014 | No Comments »
Foreign Policy

On immigration, drugs, and virtually every other pressing policy issue, why can’t the United States and Mexico stop talking past each other?


By now, the number is well known: From October 2013 to June 15 of this year, 52,000 unaccompanied children and teenagers were caught at the American border with Mexico, twice the number for the same period in the previous year. Responding to the influx of young migrants and the public outcry they’ve provoked, President Barack Obama has asked Congress to provide nearly $4 billion to establish new detention facilities, increase aerial surveillance capacity, and hire more immigration judges to speed up the processing of the detained. The proposal has been met with skepticism, not only from Obama’s political opponents, but also from immigration activists who argue that it is yet another example of the U.S. effort to stem the flow of migrants withoutaddressing systemic problems in Central America — gang violence, weak rule ... Read More

Flow of Central American immigrants through Mexico shows no signs of slowing

| July 16th, 2014 | No Comments »

CIUDAD HIDALGO, Mexico –  Mexico is promising to stem the flow of Central American migrants to the United States by tightening control at its notoriously porous Guatemalan border.

But messages from the country’s top two leaders in little more than a week have provided few details on how. And the scene on the ground is business as usual.

Dozens of Central Americans who paid $1.50 a head could be seen this week crossing the broad Suchiate River on improvised rafts of inner tubes and wooden boards, in full view of Mexican police on the shore and immigration agents posted on a bridge overhead.

“I don’t see anything has changed,” Guatemalan Luisa Fuentes, 56, said as she rode a raft to Mexico.

“La Bestia,” a decrepit freight train that carries migrants north from the border state of Chiapas, still carried many riders on its roof.

President Enrique Pena Nieto’s government says it is catching and deporting ... Read More

Republicans push Obama to secure US-Mexico border

| July 15th, 2014 | No Comments »
The Washington Examiner


Republicans called on President Obama to dispatch National Guardtroops to the United States-Mexico border while Congress works out potential fixes to policies some say have contributed to a rash of Central American immigrants arriving through Mexico.

GOP Texas Gov. Rick Perry said that Obama should “pick up the phone” — a reference to the president’s pledge to take action on an array of issues if Congress doesn’t — to send 1,000 National Guard members to the border.

“Here’s his opportunity to truly lead,” Perry said on “Fox News Sunday”.

More than 52,000 children and teenagers have been caught by Border Patrol agents since last October, with many of them are fleeing violent Central American nations wrapped up in the illegal drug trade.

The White House has asked Congress to approve a $3.7 billion package to address the issue, but the House doesn’t look likely to approve it. House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul, R-Texas, said the lower chamber might be amenable to a “targeted approach,” but that ... Read More

Endless wave of illegal immigrants floods Rio Grande valley

| July 15th, 2014 | No Comments »

By Jana Winter

EXCLUSIVE: McALLEN, Texas — Life jackets of all sizes and the occasional punctured raft are strewn along the banks of the Rio Grande, just south of Mission, Texas, where a relentless onslaught of illegal immigrants eagerly surrender to beleaguered Border Patrol agents around the clock.

It’s a cycle for which there is no end in sight.

“You’re going to be out here a long time,” Fernando, an El Salvadoran child, told shortly after surrendering to Border Patrol authorities after midnight Saturday. “There are thousands of us.”

With most of the men and women charged with securing the Mexican border busy processing some of the 60,000 illegal immigrants who have made the harrowing – and sometimes deadly -journey to the American border in the past nine months, only a handful of Border Patrol agents drive the riverside loop in a small town called Granjeno just south of Mission, in the Rincon peninsula.

“You’re going ... Read More

Citizens’ security is Latin America’s biggest problem

| July 14th, 2014 | No Comments »
The Economist

PEDRO RODRÍGUEZ, head of Nicaragua’s youth-affairs police, grabs the shoulder of 17-year-old Axel Matus and gives it a shake. “He was one of our worst cases,” he says. In most of Latin America, a youth with Axel’s background—gangs, drugs, knife-fights, joblessness—would cringe at such attention from a burly police commander. But Axel stands bolt upright and admits: “My life was utter chaos.”

Not any more. Axel now attends the Juvenile Affairs police headquarters in Managua, where he is given free meals and tuition every day. Besides subjects like maths and English, he is learning how to be a barber (his blade skills now applied with scissors). Hundreds of troubled kids voluntarily study with him, and the police chief knows most of them by name. They are neatly dressed and ooze self-esteem.

Nicaragua’s police force is in danger of giving socialism a good name. The country is one of the poorest in the ... Read More

The Ongoing Expansion of Organized Crime in the Americas

| July 14th, 2014 | No Comments »
Mexi Data

By Jerry Brewer

Eroding the power, control and influence of violent transnational extremist organizations in this Hemisphere, over the last decade, has been at best a near total failure.

Attributable to this assessment of much more than the intense human carnage, manifested by record breaking murder rates, is the reality of near collapse of societies, instability and ineffective/ungoverned regions, and remaining vulnerable populations – demonstrated most graphically in Central America.

The world’s highest murder rates go to number one Honduras and number three El Salvador, both in Central America. Farther to the south, Venezuela holds the number two position.  And in Argentina violent deaths among youth are at a ten-year high.

Yet there are officials who blindly look south and argue that these threats are not necessarily existential, claiming that they pose no real challenge to borders or national security.

This organized crime-terror nexus has a nucleus and norm of fear, intimidation, extortion, kidnapping, murder, political tampering, and torture. The ... Read More

Fleeing Gangs, Children Head to U.S. Border

| July 11th, 2014 | No Comments »
The New York Times


SAN PEDRO SULA, Honduras — Anthony O. Castellanos disappeared from his gang-ridden neighborhood on the eastern edge of Honduras’s most dangerous city, so his younger brother, Kenneth, hopped on his green bicycle to search for him, starting his hunt at a notorious gang hangout known as the “crazy house.”

They were found within days of each other, both dead. Anthony, 13, and a friend had been shot in the head; Kenneth, 7, had been tortured and beaten with sticks and rocks. They were among seven children murdered in the La Pradera neighborhood of San Pedro Sula in April alone, part of a surge in gang violence that is claiming younger and younger victims.

“The first thing we can think of is to send our children to the United States,” said a mother of two in La Pradera, who declined to give ... Read More

CARDENAS: To secure Southern Border, U.S. must also help secure Central America

| July 10th, 2014 | No Comments »
Article Appeared in The Washington Times

President Obama has requested $3.7 billion in emergency funding to cope with the humanitarian crisis along our southern border, which has been besieged by a surge in unaccompanied minors and thousands more trying to enter the United States from Central America through Mexico.

Clearly, the administration is scrambling to undo the damage caused in part by its own rhetoric and unilateral actions on immigration that, whether intentional or not, sent the calamitous message to desperate families across the region that if you want to get to the United States, then now is the time to come, because some sort of legal status awaits them.

Yet, notwithstanding the considerable sum of money requested from Congress, the administration’s current plan is merely stop-gap. It does nothing to address the primary driver of the problem: the escalating criminality in the region — most of it fueled by drug trafficking to the United States — that ... Read More

U.S. Foreign Assistance to Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador

| July 10th, 2014 | No Comments »
Heritage Foundation

By Ana Quintana

Current proposals in Congress would cut foreign assistance in response to the crisis at the border. As Congress considers any measures, it should be careful not to disrupt programs that serve U.S. interests and address the security conditions that have contributed to this problem.

In particular, programs such as those run by the Department of Defense and other relevant federal agencies also contribute to security assistance efforts.

Regional Security Conditions

It cannot be denied that Mexico and Central America’s Northern Triangle countries—Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador—are all facing chronic citizen and economic insecurity crises. Rampant corruption and weak state institutions have made it virtually impossible to combat threats posed by violent transnational gangs and organized criminal groups. Coupled with the issue of endemic corruption, the regional debt crises and weak state institutions plague the region. Honduras has the world’s highest homicide rates, averaging 91 per 100,000 citizens. El Salvador is fourth in ... Read More

Carlos Slim to Break Up Mexico’s Leading Telecommunications Firm

| July 10th, 2014 | No Comments »
Article originally appeared in the Wall Street Journal

Billionaire Plans to Divest Part of América Móvil to Avoid Antitrust Regulations

By  ANTHONY HARRUP and  JUAN MONTES MEXICO CITY—More than two decades after acquiring Mexico’s state phone monopoly, Carlos Slim is planning to break up part of his company as new laws seek to loosen his grip on the fixed and mobile telecommunications sector.

His company, América Móvil, AMX.MX -1.09% with operations in Latin America, Europe and the U.S., said Tuesday it will sell assets in Mexico to a new independent operator to cut its market share below 50%, and thereby avoid regulations imposed on it as the dominant player in the market.

Specific regulations faced by América Móvil under Mexico’s new laws include forced network sharing and the elimination of long-distance phone charges and fees for completing calls on its network.

The decision to sell assets came as Mexico’s Congress put the finishing touches on new telecommunications laws to guide the implementation of last year’s constitutional overhaul to increase competition in the telecoms market, ... Read More

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