Posts Tagged ‘Enrique Pena Nieto’

Mexico To Buy $680 Million In Black Hawk Helicopters From U.S. To Combat Drug Trafficking

| April 23rd, 2014 | No Comments »
From Fox News Latino

The Obama administration notified Congress that it approved the possible sale of 18 UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters, equipment and logistical support to Mexico for $680 million, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, or DSCA, said.

The State Department approved the foreign military sale, which was requested by Mexico, and notified Congress last Thursday of its plans, the DSCA said in a statement.

Lawmakers have 30 days, as of April 17, to express objections or else the sale will be final.

“This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a strategic partner. Mexico has been a strong partner in combating organized crime and drug trafficking organizations,” the DSCA said.

The sale covers 18 UH-60M Black Hawks, 40 T700-GE-701D engines, navigation systems, 36 M134 7.62 mm machine guns and other gear.

“Mexico intends to use these defense articles and services to modernize its ... Read More

Mexico Homicides: Something Doesn’t Add Up

| April 16th, 2014 | No Comments »
From In Sight


The government of Mexico‘s declarations of a dramatic reduction in homicides linked to organized crime does not correspond with the figures produced by the National System of Public Security. Someone is counting poorly.

Michoacan in flames. The State of Mexico in crisis. Kidnappings at historic levels. Extortion at epidemic levels.

But, good, homicides have diminished. That is what the government brags about with the least provocation. On February 21, Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong affirmed that, at the end of the previous administration, “there occurred between 1,400 and 1,700 deaths due to organized crime; the month of January had 567, a thousand less. That 567 is terrible, but a thousand less; this speaks to highlight the reduction of violence.”

Translated and reprinted with permission from Plata o Plomo, Alejandro Hope’s blog on the politics and economics of drugs and crime published by Animal Politico. Read the Spanish original here. 

For his part, Monte Alejandro Rubido Garcia, recently named National Commissioner ... Read More

Mexico’s drug homicides down, but problems persist

| April 16th, 2014 | No Comments »
UT San Diego


Mexico’s crackdown on powerful drug cartels has succeeded in driving homicides down for the second year in a row, but it has opened the door for an increase in crimes, such as kidnapping and extortion, that affect greater numbers of ordinary citizens, according to report released Tuesday.

The crimes are being carried out by smaller and weaker groups “that focus on making money where they can,” said David Shirk, one of the authors of the University of San Diego study. “Unfortunately, improvements in the homicide rate did not entail universal improvements in citizen security.”

The study comes as President Enrique Peña Nieto is well into the second year of his six-year term. Unlike his predecessor, Felipe Calderón, Peña Nieto has played down public rhetoric against drug trafficking organizations, focusing instead on the need for political and economic reforms. But analysts say that Peña Nieto’s administration has continued ... Read More

Mexico Is The Fifth Most Dangerous Country In Latin America For Business Says FTI Consulting

| March 27th, 2014 | No Comments »


Despite efforts by the government of President Enrique Peña Nieto to reduce the alarming levels of violence that Mexico has become known for, there are no signs of significant improvement. According to FTI Consulting, Inc. (NYSE:FCN), a Palm Beach-based global business security assessment firm, Mexico is one of the five most dangerous countries for companies and executives who conduct business in Latin America. After Venezuela, Honduras, Guatemala and Haiti, Mexico ranks fifth in FTI’s 2014 Latin American Security Index, published this week.

“After some initial success in lowering homicide rates,” writes Frank L. Holder,  Chairman of Latin America for FTI Consulting FCN -3.62%and author of the Latin America Security Index, “the  overall security situation in Mexico shows little sign of further improvement. The growth of militias to fight the drug cartels, infighting among the cartels themselves and continued government actions has shown a similar level of public insecurity, kidnappings and violence as prior years, with increases in some areas such ... Read More

Bajar crecimiento económico: tradición de este sexenio

| February 27th, 2014 | No Comments »


La economía mexicana sigue mal. La supuesta recuperación no está ocurriendo. Persiste un crecimiento muy bajo, casi nulo. Sólo un verdadero milagro durante el segundo semestre del año hará realidad el pronóstico de la Secretaría de Hacienda de que el Producto Interno Bruto (PIB) crecerá 3.9% en 2014. Cada vez se ve más irreal esta estimación. Si bien nos va, la economía aumentará tres por ciento. ¿Hay alguien en el gobierno que esté preocupado y ocupado por la débil situación económica del país? ¿No debería el secretario de Hacienda, Luis Videgaray, hacer algo al respecto? ¿No tendría que empezar por ajustar las expectativas de crecimiento a la baja?

Eso sería lo responsable, pero supongo que se resiste a hacerlo. Y es que el año pasado la Secretaría de Hacienda tuvo que revisar en varias ocasiones su pronóstico de crecimiento del PIB a la baja, lo cual resultó bochornoso. Cuando tomó posesión Peña, ... Read More

‘El Chapo’ not likely to be leaving Mexico soon

| February 26th, 2014 | No Comments »
Article originally appeared in the Associated Press

MEXICO CITY — Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman appears set to remain in Mexico’s highest-security prison for the foreseeable future, as the government puts off U.S. extradition in a move that could bolster President Enrique Pena Nieto’s nationalist credentials but also shine a spotlight on the country’s woeful judicial system.

Experts say Pena Nieto’s administration and those of his predecessors have proven unable to match headline-grabbing arrests like Guzman’s with complex, long-term investigations and prosecutions of deep-rooted criminal networks. Cases have stalled and cartels have continued to operate. Last year, one of Guzman’s closest allies walked out of the prison where the U.S. said he was running drugs from behind bars.

The Mexican government says there is no way Guzman will repeat the 2001 escape that let him roam western Mexico for 13 years as he moved billions of dollars of cocaine, methamphetamine and heroin around the world. Authorities here say they want ... Read More

Cocaine Boss’s Capture Signals Progress in Mexico’s Drug War

| February 25th, 2014 | No Comments »


The capture of the world’s most-wanted narcotics boss shows Mexico is making headway in a drug war that has curbed economic growth while helping to leave at least 92,000 people killed or missing since 2006.

Mexican security forces captured Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman early Feb. 22 in the Pacific beach town of Mazatlan after trailing him for more than a week. Thirteen people were apprehended in all, with no shots fired. Authorities also seized guns, a rocket launcher and 43 vehicles.

Guzman’s arrest caps a 13-year manhunt by Mexican and U.S. authorities and marks a victory for President Enrique Pena Nieto, who took office in 2012 after pledging to scale back the military’s role in fighting organized crime to curb bloodshed. Further progress against drug trafficking could help boost gross domestic product, according to Alonso Cervera, the chief Latin America economist for Credit Suisse Group AG in Mexico City.

The ... Read More

Adiós, El Chapo

| February 24th, 2014 | No Comments »
Foreign Policy


Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto is taking a victory lap of sorts after the capture of drug kingpin Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, the notorious leader of the Sinaloa cartel, taking to Twitter to herald his country’s security forces and accepting congratulatory phone calls from an array of world leaders.

But Nieto might want to think twice about popping the champagne: If history is any indication, Guzmán’s fall points to a difficult and likely violent time ahead, both in Mexico and the United States.

When Pablo Escobar, the notorious head of the Medellín cartel was killed in 1993, his demise was widely celebrated. When the competing Cali cartel’s leaders, brothers Gilberto and Miguel Rodriguez Orejuela, were arrested a few years later there was talk of the end of mass cocaine trafficking. Variants of those optimistic predictions are repeated with every major arrest.

Taking out kingpins in transnational criminal organizations has enormous benefits, ... Read More

US drone, phone taps used to hunt Mexican drug lord

| February 24th, 2014 | No Comments »
From AFP


Mexico City – US authorities announced plans to seek the extradition of Mexico’s most powerful drug lord after his capture in a US-backed operation that included a drone, cellphone intercepts and elite Mexican marines.

As prosecutors in New York prepared their request, new details emerged Sunday from the manhunt that led to the capture of Sinaloa cartel boss Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, whose empire has smuggled drugs to the United States, Europe and Asia.

The US surveillance drone was used for two weeks between mid-January and mid-February to back up a massive operation in the northwestern city of Culiacan, a US government official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

Guzman eventually slipped out of Culiacan, the capital of Sinaloa state, after escaping through tunnels under one of his safe houses as the marines closed in on him, Mexican and US officials said.

Under pressure, the 56-year-old drug capo, who had ... Read More

¿De qué servirá la captura del Chapo Guzmán?

| February 24th, 2014 | No Comments »


Primero, lo obvio: Joaquín Guzmán era un prófugo de la justicia. El Estado estaba obligado a detenerlo. Su captura indudablemente representa un triunfo para el presidente Peña. La pregunta es si dicho arresto ayudará o no a resolver el problema de la violencia en México.

De ninguna manera puede menospreciarse lo logrado por el presente gobierno. La de Guzmán era una cuenta pendiente que tenía el Estado mexicano frente a un delincuente que se había fugado de un supuesto penal de máxima seguridad. Cada año que pasaba se incrementaba la vergüenza pública de no poderlo atrapar. Capturarlo es una reivindicación para las autoridades y un triunfo paraPeña.

Sobre todo para su imagen. Recordemos que hace unas semanas, el Presidente fue a Davos a presumir las múltiples reforma aprobadas durante el primer año de su sexenio. Al terminar, la primera pregunta que le hicieron fue sobre el tema de seguridad. Peña se incomodó. Quedó claro que a los ... Read More

In Mexico Meeting, a Show of Friendship With Few Results on Immigration and Trade

| February 20th, 2014 | No Comments »
The New York Times


TOLUCA, Mexico — They call it the “Three Amigos” summit meeting, and President Obama and his Mexican and Canadian counterparts played their parts on Wednesday. They shared a lunch, joshed about the Olympics, promised enduring cooperation, and took a staged stroll through a botanical garden, complete with requisite smiles for the cameras.

But the show of trilateral friendship did little to mask a series of stress points that divided the leaders during their first three-way gathering in two years. Although they announced agreements to make it easier to travel among the three countries and to find ways of protecting the Monarch butterfly, the divisive issues of trade, immigration and the hotly disputed proposed Keystone XL pipeline were left largely unresolved.

The meeting came 20 years after the three largest nations of North America tied their economies together in ... Read More

Obama Gives No Ground on Keystone After Harper Meeting

| February 20th, 2014 | No Comments »


President Barack Obama gave no ground on the Keystone XL pipeline after meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who is pressuring the U.S. to get construction approved.

TransCanada Corp. (TRP)’s Keystone project loomed large at yesterday’s summit among Obama, Harper and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto. The U.S. and Canada are at loggerheads over the $5.4 billion collaboration, which is under review by U.S. agencies.

“Keystone will proceed along the path that already has been set forth,” Obama said at a joint news conference in Toluca, Mexico. He said he recognized that Harper views the review as “a little too laborious.”

After public remarks and a private meeting with Obama, Harper said his views in favor of the project “are well known.”

Harper said the U.S. and Canada share similar goals on limiting greenhouse gases. He said a U.S. State Department report “was pretty definitive” that ... Read More

Politics to Shadow Obama’s Trade Talks in Mexico

| February 19th, 2014 | No Comments »
The New York Times


WASHINGTON — President Obama travels to Mexico on Wednesday for a brief but politically fraught visit aimed at forging closer trade ties with America’s two closest neighbors even as his party’s leaders back home have vowed to undercut his efforts.

Mr. Obama will meet with the leaders of Mexico and Canada in the rapidly growing city of Toluca, to the west of Mexico City, the capital, at what his advisers consider a critical juncture in his efforts to negotiate a broad Asian-Pacific trade pact that would encompass roughly 40 percent of the global economy across a dozen nations. Both Mexico and Canada have joined the negotiations in the last two years.

The whirlwind visit — he will return to Washington on Wednesday evening without staying the night — will offer Mr. Obama a chance to reassure his counterparts about his capacity to deliver at a time ... Read More

Obama Heads to Mexico Amigos Meeting Strained by Keystone

| February 18th, 2014 | No Comments »


Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s frustration with U.S. President Barack Obama’s failure to approve the Keystone XL pipeline may make this installment of the North America summit, known as the “Three Amigos,” the frostiest since the annual meetings began almost a decade ago.

At the one-day meeting tomorrow in Toluca, Mexico, with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and Harper, Obama is bringing an agenda focused on trade, education, border security and stopping drug trafficking. Yet 20 years after the North American Free Trade Agreement took effect, the U.S. and Canada are at loggerheads over a $5.4 billion collaboration that would carry oil south from the thick sands of Alberta to American refineries along the Gulf Coast of Texas and Louisiana.

“People always call these things the ‘Three Amigos,’ but I would say at this point in time it’s difficult to use that term,” said Duncan Wood, director of the Mexico Institute at the Woodrow ... Read More

The Most Important Alliance You’ve Never Heard Of

| February 18th, 2014 | 1 Comment »
The Atlantic


In Venezuela, students have been killed while protesting against the government of Nicolás Maduro, who is jailing opposition leaders and just closed a television station that dared broadcast the demonstrations. Argentina is irresponsibly racing toward a dangerous economic cliff. The Brazilian economy is in recession and 2014 will mark its fourth consecutive year of subpar growth, as the country reels from its largest capital flight in more than 10 years.

Is a decade of progress in Latin America coming to an end? For some countries, surely. But not necessarily for the entire region. Four nations are developing an initiative that could add new dynamism to Latin America, redraw the economic map of the region, and boost its connections with the rest of the world—especially Asia. It could also offer neighboring countries a pragmatic alternative to the more political groupings dominated by Brazil, Cuba, and Venezuela.

Amid all the bad news in the region, the presidents of ... Read More

Netanyahu to make rare trip to Latin America in April

| February 12th, 2014 | No Comments »
The Jerusalem Post-01


Efforts are underway to organize a rare, if not unprecedented, visit to Latin America by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in April, with travel to Mexico and Colombia aimed at bolstering economic and political ties with pro-American countries.

Netanyahu met last month in Davos with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto. In June he met with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos in Jerusalem. Both invited him to visit.

Colombia and Mexico, along with Peru and Chile, make up the Pacific Alliance free-trade bloc, which accounts for more than a third of Latin America’s gross domestic product and is seen in Jerusalem as having strong economic potential for Israel.

Israel is expected to be offered “observer” status in the alliance.

In addition, Peruvian President Ollanta Moises Humala is scheduled to visit here next week.

Government officials said that just as Netanyahu is interested in expanding economic ties with China, he sees great potential in expanding trade relations with Latin America. Both efforts are part ... Read More

Presidents of Colombia, Chile, Mexico, Peru sign regional accord

| February 12th, 2014 | No Comments »

The presidents of the member nations of the Pacific Alliance on Monday here signed an Additional Protocol to liberalize the exchange of goods, services and investments within the bloc.

The agreement was signed by the presidents of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos; Chile, Sebastian Piñera; Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto; and Peru, Ollanta Humala at the closing ceremony of the 8th Pacific Alliance Summit.

The accord, which was called “historic” by Peña Nieto, eliminates tariffs on 92 percent of the goods and services exchanged among the four member states.

The remaining 8 percent, including “sensitive” agricultural products, will be the subject of additional talks in which sugar will not be included at the request of some of the members.

The protocol signed Monday is the first addition to the June 6, 2012, Framework Agreement that launched the Pacific Alliance at the summit in Cerro Paranal, Chile.

“This is the most innovative integration mechanism that Mexico has signed ... Read More

Mexico’s Vigilantes on the March

| February 4th, 2014 | No Comments »
The New York Times


MEXICO CITY — In the past, Mexico’s revolutions and internal wars have all been eruptions stemming from deep social problems. They unleashed enormous destructive power and took decades to run their course. But they were always followed by long periods of peace and economic development.

The country’s present social unrest has a different source and is of a different nature. If the sweeping economic reforms of 2013 attract investment and are implemented efficiently and honestly (two bigs ifs), the major remaining obstacles to real social progress will be the powerful force of organized crime and the weakness of legal and practical measures to stem it.

Since democracy came to Mexico in 2000, the country has sunk into a cycle of violence fed by intense criminality. Images circulating on social media starkly depict its horrific cruelty. It is true that narco cartels ... Read More

Mexico’s Pena Nieto Is for Reform, Just Not in Cuba

| February 3rd, 2014 | No Comments »


Last February, Mexico’s former president, Felipe Calderon, posted 22 tweets about Yoani Sanchez, the Cuban dissident blogger. Each tweet was more enthusiastic than the last. “Brave activist for freedom,” Calderon called her.

Ten months earlier, Calderon had been in Havana, on an official trip, dining and smiling with Raul Castro. There was no mention of Yoani or any dissidents and, of course, no visit with them. On the recommendation of the Cuban government, the “activist for freedom” was ignored.

Enrique Pena Nieto, Mexico’s current president, should have set a different example during his recent official visit to Havana. He has, after all, styled himself as a bold reformer, as he boasted last week in Davos, showing off a plan that would allow private investment in Mexico’s energy sector for the first time in half a century.

Yet Pena Nieto had little to say about Yoani, or Guillermo Farinas, or “Las Damas de Blanco” (the Ladies in White), all dissidents ... Read More

Argentina and Venezuela: Brothers in Crisis

| January 31st, 2014 | No Comments »
The National Interest


There’s a tidy parallelism to the dual economic crises currently unfolding on either end of the South American continent in Venezuela and in Argentina.

In many ways, Venezuela and Argentina represent the final two pillars of populist socialism in South America. Venezuela lays claim to one of the two great libertadores of nineteenth-century South America, Simón Bolívar, and Argentina lays claim to the second, José de San Martín. Argentina’s Juan Perón and his wife Evita were more than just national leaders—they captured the imagination of an entire continent and spawned a new leftism rooted in the workers movement of the twentieth century.

Similarly, Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez reinvigorated Latin American socialism in the twenty-first century, mixed with a dose of anti-American imperialism, that also holds sway in Nicaragua, Ecuador, Bolivia and elsewhere.

Both countries are experiencing remarkably similar economic crises that have global markets worried about which country will collapse first into chaos. But ... Read More

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