Archive for the ‘Mexico’ Category

The U.S. is not being a good neighbor

| April 24th, 2015 | No Comments »
From the Washington Post

By Richard G. Miles

In a world full of bad news, North America has been having quite a good run lately. Energy production is off the charts in the United States and Canada, and much-needed political and economic reforms are steadily advancing in Mexico, while fewer Mexicans are moving to the United States. Given the Obama administration’s lack of progress in other parts of the world, one might expect it to seize on the obvious opportunities on our nation’s doorsteps. It has not.

During his six years in office, President Obama has been to Saudi Arabia more times than he has to Canada. In February, a panel of former top Canadian diplomats was asked to comment on the state of U.S.-Canadian relations. “Unfortunately,” said one former emissary, “of modern presidents, Barack Obama appears to have the least appreciation of the strategic importance of Canada to the U.S. He ... Read More

México: 39,621 homicidios; 21,757 ejecuciones; 15,824 extorsiones; 3,489 secuestros

| April 23rd, 2015 | No Comments »
Excelsior

Por Leo Zuckerman

Así está la situación de la violencia en México hasta marzo pasado, en que la administración del presidente Enrique Peña Nieto cumplió 28 meses en el poder.

En marzo de este año se incrementaron en 2% las ejecuciones relacionadas con el crimen organizado, comparadas con las del mes inmediato anterior: de 579, en febrero, pasamos a 592. Esto, de acuerdo a la base de datos de Lantia, consultora especializada en temas de seguridad. Contabilizando el total de este tipo de homicidios en los 28 meses del sexenio del presidente Peña Nieto tenemos un total de 21 mil 757, un promedio de 26 por día.

Recordemos que, entre junio y octubre del año pasado, las ejecuciones relacionadas con la delincuencia organizada prácticamente, se habían estabilizado en alrededor de 520-530 por mes. La mala noticia es que habíamos regresado a niveles por arriba de los 600 e incluso en diciembre ... Read More

Mexico’s dream of being the next global oil-boom story

| April 23rd, 2015 | No Comments »
CNBC-01

By Patti Domm

Mexico hopes to achieve its potential as a more important player on the world oil stage after years of underinvestment and decline.

But industry officials say with the collapse in oil prices, it may take longer for Mexico to realize the benefits of the outside investments it hopes to attract. It will also take time for offshore and onshore exploration to pay off.

“It’s a historic moment for the company,” said Emilio Lozoya, CEO of Petroleos Mexicanos, or Pemex, speaking at the annual IHS CERAWeek energy conference in Houston. “It’s the most important transformation Pemex has carried out since its inception.”

President Enrique Peña Nieto’s government is pinning its hopes on energy reform as a way to bolster the Mexican economy.

“The biggest challenge is declining production. We used to rely on one field,” Lozoya said, noting that field produced 2 million barrels a day and now produces 250,000. The aging Cantarell field ... Read More

Mexico’s Drugwar Violence Continues Despite Arrests Of Senior Cartel Leaders

| April 22nd, 2015 | No Comments »
Forbes

BY NATHANIEL PARISH FLANNERY

Over the last few days Mexican authorities have detained the leaders of both the Juarez Cartel and the Gulf Cartel, groups that have historically controlled drug trafficking in Ciudad Juarez and eastern Mexico.  Mexican agents captured the Juarez Cartel’s alleged leader Jesús Salas Aguayo and the Gulf Cartel’s boss José Tiburcio Hernández Fuentes on April 17.  The arrests continue a pattern of top-level narco arrests during the presidency of Enrique Peña Nieto, a strategy that echoes the “kingpin” takedown tactics implemented by his predecessor, Felipe Calderon. As cartel leadership structures have crumbled, security has improved in former turf war zones such as Ciudad Juarez, Monterrey, and Acapulco. Narco violence has been largely pushed to urban peripheries and into the mountains far away from cities.

The bad news is that the splintering of Mexico’s once powerful organized crime groups has coincided with a jump in crimes such as extortion ... Read More

Arrest of Gulf Cartel leader sparks gunfights and roadblocks near U.S.- Mexico border

| April 20th, 2015 | No Comments »
From Fox News Latino

Authorities say the arrest of the man who headed the once powerful Gulf Cartel sparked the gunfights and blockades of burning vehicles that left at least three people dead near Mexico’s border with the United States.

The arrested leader was identified as José Tiburcio Hernández Fuentes, who stepped into the cartel’s leadership vacuum as the group was steadily losing influence with the arrests of key members.

National Security Commission head Monte Alejandro Rubido says the Friday violence in Reynosa, across the border from McAllen, Texas, followed the arrest of Hernández Fuentes and three other suspected members of the group as their comrades tried to free them.

Rubido said Saturday that Hernández Fuentes has been hard to capture because he has used more than eight false identities.

Officials said roads in Reynosa were blocked with vehicles set on fire by gunmen.

The state government ... Read More

Feds: Guardsmen sold military guns

| April 16th, 2015 | No Comments »
UT San Diego

By Kristina Davis

Two East County California National Guardsmen were arrested Wednesday, accused of selling a cache of military firearms for thousands of dollars to an undercover agent posing as a Mexican drug cartel operative.

Jaime Casillas, 22, of El Cajon, and Andrew Reyes, 34, of La Mesa, were arrested after search warrants were served at their homes, according to federal authorities.

Both worked at the National Guard Armory in La Mesa, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Reyes is accused of traveling several times to Texas to obtain numerous weapons, including assault rifles, magazines and ballistic plates for protective vests, which he then sold in San Diego.

The alleged scheme began in August, when an undercover agent working with a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration task force met with Casillas, who boasted of his ability to acquire ... Read More

Una región que arropa la represión

| April 14th, 2015 | 2 Comments »
Felipe Trigos-01

La Séptima Cumbre de las Américas celebrada el pasado fin de semana en Panamá demostró de nueva cuenta la inhabilidad de superar la fascinación con el mito de la revolución cubana y la falta de comprensión sobre los daños que este movimiento trajo, no solo para Cuba, sino para toda la región.

Cuando líderes del hemisferio tienen la oportunidad de coincidir con Raúl o Fidel Castro en reuniones multilaterales, parecería que lo más importante en la agenda es rendir homenaje a los hermanos y aprovechar la oportunidad para la foto, quizás para no provocar la protesta clamorosa de izquierdistas que ven con ojos enamorados ‘la obra’ de los Castro, a pesar de 55 años donde se ha podido constatar la opresión, pobreza y sufrimiento que ha causado a millones que habitan la isla.

La Cumbre en Panamá, que se centraría en temas como la prosperidad y la equidad, acabó sirviendo de plataforma ... Read More

An ‘Obama doctrine’ fail: Cuba still won’t love us

| April 10th, 2015 | No Comments »
New York Post

The two men will cross paths at the Organization of American States’ seventh summit, a meeting of 35 Western hemisphere heads of state that kicks off today in Panama.

Cuba was finally invited to attend the two-day affair this year.

Because the Communist regime’s membership in the OAS has been suspended in 1962 (it only accepts democracies as members), and because in past years Washington insisted Cuba be banned from the summit, the island nation wasn’t being invited before.

But this year, the United States dropped its objections, and so Cuban President Raul Castro and Obama can be expected to hug it out like the bros they’re fast becoming.

It’s all part ... Read More

¿Puede Obama rescatar su fallida política exterior en Latinoamérica?

| April 9th, 2015 | 1 Comment »
Real Clear World-01

El presidente de los Estados Unidos, Barack Obama, ha notado claramente que muchos en América Latina y el Caribe tienen una afinidad extraordinaria con el mito de la revolución cubana. Lo que aún no tiene claro es que la gran mayoría de los ciudadanos de la región preferiría vivir en el Chile construido por Augusto Pinochet que en la Cuba destruida por Fidel Castro.

Durante la Cumbre de las Américas en Panamá Obama se encontrará con una región que ha perdido la estabilidad y la prosperidad desde que asistió a su primera cumbre en 2009. A pesar de que esperaba cosechar elogios por su acercamiento con La Habana, Obama recibirá en cambio un trato hostil por parte de varios líderes latinoamericanos, quienes encabezados por Nicolás Maduro de Venezuela y apoyados por Castro están determinados en diezmar la influencia que le queda a Washington en una región de suma importancia para la ... Read More

Can Obama Rescue His Failing Latin America Policy?

| April 9th, 2015 | No Comments »
Real Clear World-01

U.S. President Barack Obama has clearly noticed that many in Latin America and the Caribbean have an uncanny affinity for the myth of the Cuban revolution. What he has yet to realize, however, is that the vast majority of the region’s citizens would rather live in the Chile built by Augusto Pinochet than in the Cuba destroyed by Fidel Castro.

As Obama travels to Panama this week for his third Summit of the Americas, he encounters a region that has lost stability and prosperity since the president first attended the summit in 2009. Although he hoped to harvest accolades for his rapprochement with Havana, Obama will instead be greeted by a coterie of hostile counterparts, led by Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro and abetted by Castro, who are determined to sever Washington’s remaining influence in a hemisphere critical to U.S. prosperity and security.

To be fair, other OAS leaders insisted that Castro ... Read More

North Korea Blames U.S. for Blocking Release of Ship Held by Mexico

| April 9th, 2015 | No Comments »
Article originally appeared in the Associated Press

North Korea said Wednesday thatMexico had “forcibly detained” one of its ships for months after the vessel ran aground in the Gulf of Mexico, and the North blamed the United States for blocking the ship’s release.

But the coordinator of a United Nations panel of experts said that the ship, the Mu Du Bong, was owned by a North Korean company that was under United Nations sanctions and should be “frozen” and that the panel had received excellent cooperation from Mexico in tracking the company and its assets.

“In the case of the Mu Du Bong, the evidence is overwhelming,” the panel’s coordinator, Hugh Griffiths, wrote in an email. The United Nations sanctions were imposed in response to North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs.

Sanctions were imposed on the ship’s owner, ... Read More

Mr. Obama’s opportunity in Panama

| April 8th, 2015 | No Comments »
From the Washington Post By Editorial Board

PRESIDENT OBAMA’s move to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba in December was supposed to improve political and economic conditions for average Cubans and remove an irritant in U.S. relations with other Latin American nations, which have been pushing to end the isolation of the Castro regime. Four months later — a short time, admittedly — there is no sign of those benefits. According to Cuban human rights groups, political detentions have increased: There were more than 600 in March alone. More than 50 long-term political prisoners are still being held. Several Cuban opposition leaders are banned from leaving the country, which means they cannot attend this week’s Summit of the Americas in Panama.

U.S. and Cuban officials have yet to agree on the terms for reopening embassies. But the Castro regime has nevertheless reaped some substantial gains. Raúl Castro will be welcomed to the Americas summit for the first time; Mr. Obama will shake his ... Read More

Meet Mexico’s fastest growing drug cartel. It even builds its own rifles

| April 8th, 2015 | No Comments »
Global Post

MEXICO CITY — From the outside, the two buildings looked like thousands of other farmhouses in Mexico’s agricultural heartland of Jalisco, where products include potent tequila. But when police raided them in October, they found industrial metal cutters, blowtorches and bullet cartridges.

A drug cartel had used them, Jalisco investigators revealed, to assemble their own AR-15 assault rifles.

“It’s highly sophisticated machinery with very precise software that allows them to make the cuts to finish the guns, which work perfectly,” Jalisco Attorney General Luis Carlos Najera said last year.

The authorities blamed a snappily named gang: the Jalisco New Generation cartel.

The same cartel has hit the news again with a series of assaults on police and officials. On Monday, gunmen ambushed a convoy of state police in San Sebastian del Oeste, killing 15 officers in one of the worst attacks on police in recent years.

That ... Read More

Obama’s Amateur-Hour Foreign Policy In The Americas

| April 8th, 2015 | No Comments »
Investor's Business Daily

Terrorism: Seeking applause at a summit in Panama, President Obama vowed to swiftly remove Cuba as a state sponsor of terror. It just shows how his foreign policy runs — for political convenience, not national security.

As he headed off to the Summit of the Americas in Panama, President Obama tossed a tidbit for the region’s tyrants that’s expected to be a crowd-pleaser: A vow to quickly lift the State Department’s designation of Cuba as a state sponsor of terror.

The move would let the communist dictatorship buy weapons from the U.S., gain dual-use technologies, end some financial sanctions and open Cuba to foreign aid.

And as for whether Cuba really was a state sponsor of terror and a threat to the U.S., well, that was secondary. Given the huge number of State Department political appointees, an independent assessment isn’t possible.

Pressure to lift the designation has come from the Cuban regime as a precondition ... Read More

La cumbre de las mentiras

| April 6th, 2015 | No Comments »
El Pais

POR MOISÉS NAÍM

La próxima semana va a tener lugar en Panamá una cumbre de jefes de Estado de las Américas. Allí ocurrirán una celebración y una confrontación. También se dirán muchas mentiras.

La celebración se debe a la normalización de las relaciones entre Estados Unidos y Cuba. Barack Obama y Raúl Castro se darán la mano, sellando así el inicio de una nueva fase entre ambos países. Esa foto quedará para la historia. Pero no será la única. También veremos la foto (o muchas fotos) del presidente Nicolás Maduro y sus aliados denunciando la sanción impuesta por Estados Unidos a Venezuela.

Mientras que la foto de Obama y Castro refleja lo que debería ser el futuro del hemisferio, la ópera bufa que será escenificada por el Gobierno de Venezuela reflejará su pasado. Un pasado en el cual los gobernantes utilizaban la mentira y la manipulación para confundir a incautos y engañar a ... Read More

Historic encounter: Obama, Raúl Castro to have ‘interaction’ at summit

| April 6th, 2015 | No Comments »
The Miami Herald

By Mimi Whitefield and Nora Gamez Torres

President Barack Obama and Cuban leader Raúl Castro briefly shook hands at a memorial service for Nelson Mandela in 2013, and then chatted on the phone last December before announcing plans for renewed diplomatic relations.

Now, the big question is what type of encounter the leaders of once-hostile neighbors might have in Panama during the seventh Summit of the Americas next Friday and Saturday. Both will attend — a first in the history of the intra-regional summits that began in Miami in 1994.

“This opens the door for everyone,” José Miguel Insulza, secretary general of the Organization of American States, said in January. “We can now deal with matters together. It releases a lot of tensions and pressures.”

But there won’t be a full complement of regional leaders. Chile’s Michelle Bachelet will stay home as her country weathers a month of natural disasters, and Ecuador’s Rafael Correa ... Read More

Andres Oppenheimer: Obama on defensive at summit

| April 6th, 2015 | No Comments »
The Miami Herald

BY ANDRES OPPENHEIMER

Until a few weeks ago, it looked like next weekend’s Summit of the Americas in Panama would be a golden opportunity for President Barack Obama to seal his announced normalization of ties with Cuba, and remove a decades-long sore point in U.S.-Latin American relations. But with few days to go before the 34-country summit, Obama’s prospects of emerging a big winner look bleak.

Several developments in the past few weeks will put Obama on the defensive at the mega-summit, a rare occasion where the U.S. president will meet collectively with all his Western Hemisphere counterparts. Since the first of these meetings was held in Miami in 1994, they have taken place only every three or four years.

First, the March 9 Obama executive order denying U.S. visas and freezing U.S. assets of seven Venezuelan government figures accused of human rights abuses or public corruption has led Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro ... Read More

Mexican Government to Make Additional Budget Cuts in 2016

| April 2nd, 2015 | No Comments »
Wall Street Journal WSJ-01

By ANTHONY HARRUP

MEXICO CITY—The Mexican government expects to lower spending next year by 135 billion pesos ($8.8 billion), in addition to the 124 billion pesos it has cut from this year’s budget as it aims to continue narrowing fiscal deficits amid lower world oil prices, the Finance Ministry said Tuesday.

In a preliminary outline to Congress of next year’s budget, the ministry projected a fiscal deficit of 3% of gross domestic product, down from an expected 3.5% in 2015. The federal government’s share of the deficit is expected to narrow to 0.5% of GDP from 1% this year, while investment at state enterprises will account for the rest.

President Enrique Peña Nieto has until early September to submit next year’s budget proposal to Congress, and some of the variables could change by then.

The government lowered planned spending this year in response to the sharp drop in world oil prices and expectations of more difficult financing ... Read More

Mexico’s Disastrous Drug War ‘Success’

| March 31st, 2015 | No Comments »
The Daily Beast

MEXICO CITY — Back in December 2006, when Mexican President Felipe Calderón decided to launch an unprecedented attack against the drug cartels that had taken over parts of Mexico, the government’s strategy consisted mostly of reckless improvisation. The Calderón administration ignored the scope of the problem, the violence it would unleash and the Herculean effort it would take to control it. But one thing was certain: The main priority would be to capture (or kill) as many drug lords as possible.

After a series of ambitious operations and raids that started in Calderón’s home state of Michoacán, the Mexican government published an ambitious list of 37 names. It was March 2009. Rewards of up to 30 million pesos ($2.5 million, give or take) were offered for “useful and relevant information” that could lead to the downfall of famous cartel leaders like Joaquín “Chapo” Guzmán or lesser-known but ... Read More

Forget Brazil. This emerging market is on the rise

| March 27th, 2015 | No Comments »
CNBC-01

By Elizabeth MacBride

Brazil, an emerging-market darling just a couple years ago, is crumbling amid economic stagnation and political turmoil. But there’s a far brighter story—one most investors are missing—elsewhere in Latin America.

Four countries—Mexico, Peru, Colombia and Chile—three years ago formed a free-trade bloc called the Pacific Alliance. Tiny Costa Rica joined the club in 2013. Together, they’re a bigger economy than Brazil, and they’re expected to grow three or four times faster than their huge neighbor over the next few years.

Brazil’s $1.7 trillion economy contracted by 0.1 percent in 2014, according to Brazilian central bank data released Thursday, and it’s seen shrinking by 0.5 percent 2015. A corruption scandal at state-controlled Petrobras, the state-controlled petroleum giant, is expected to further hobble the country’s economy.

Pacific LatAm rising Country Population GDP past 5 years Predicted 2014/2015 Mexico 115 Million 1.90% 2.4%/3.5% Colombia 47 Million 4.20% 4.8%/4.5% Peru 30 Million 5.50% 3.6%/5.1% Chile 17 Million 4% 2.0%/3.3% Costa Rica 5 Million 3.10% 3.6%/3.6%

In contrast, the five Pacific Alliance members, with a collective GDP of $2.2 trillion, are expected to grow 3.3 percent in 2014, and 4 percent in 2015. ... Read More

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