Posts Tagged ‘Enrique Pena Nieto’

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 »

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 Drugwar Violence Continues Despite Arrests Of Senior Cartel Leaders

| April 22nd, 2015 | No Comments »


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

¿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

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

Mexican Government to Make Additional Budget Cuts in 2016

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


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

Cleaning up Latin American democracy

| March 26th, 2015 | No Comments »
The Economist

During the multitudinous demonstration against Brazil’s president, Dilma Rousseff, in São Paulo on March 15th, a lunatic fringe chanted for a return to military rule. That was sad more than worrying. The rightists were shouted down. Their isolation served to underline how routine democracy has become in many Latin American countries in the third of a century or so since the generals returned to barracks.

That outcome was not inevitable. Compared with Europe or North America, democracy in Latin America must struggle against big obstacles, including poverty, gaping income inequality and corruption. Another is poor institutional design. Latin America combines directly elected presidents, as in the United States, with multiparty legislatures chosen by proportional representation, in the manner of many European parliamentary systems. The result has often been gridlock: weak governments have lacked majorities in legislatures unthreatened by dissolution, which induces consensus in parliamentary regimes.

These ... Read More

Energy Market Reforms Keep Mexico’s Optimism High Despite Oil Price Slump

| March 16th, 2015 | No Comments »

By Gaurav Sharma

Oil markets are grappling with volatility, major and minor companies are queuing up to announce capital expenditure cuts and the public is awash with market commentary predicting just about everything from an oil price slump to $20 per barrel to an imminent return to $100. One oil exporting jurisdiction is quietly, confidently and cautiously attempting to get its own house in order – Mexico.

Most pragmatists would argue that the country’s recent energy sector reforms were long overdue. From being the world’s sixth largest exporter in barrels of oil equivalent terms as recently as 2004, Mexico went backwards slipping to tenth and barely clinging on to its position within the global league table last year (see Bar Chart 1 below).

In a country used to false dawns, and there have been several, President Enrique Peña Nieto promised wholesale reform of the sector and revitalization of the state-owned oil ... Read More

Mexico Takes Out Cartel Heads, But Crime Continues To Climb

| March 13th, 2015 | No Comments »


Two of Mexico’s most ruthless drug cartels have lost their leaders. In the span of just one week, the Mexican government captured the heads of the Knights Templar and the Zetas trafficking organization. That brings the number of capos taken out by the current administration to 11.

But many analysts believe the spectacular arrests will do little to tackle the country’s growing insecurity.

The most recent raids were spectacular. According to Mexican officials, surprise raids in the past two weeks caught both men. And both raids were pulled off, as Mexican authorities like to say, without a single shot fired.

Security forces captured Mexico’s most wanted trafficker, Servando Gomez of the quasi-religious Knights Templar cartel, on Feb. 27. His girlfriend gave away his hideout in his home state of Michoacan when she delivered him a chocolate cake on his birthday.

Less than a week later, on March 4, soldiers caught the country’s most brutal ... Read More

Mexico decapitates Knights Templar, but the narco-networks remain

| March 6th, 2015 | No Comments »
Article originally appeared in The Christian Science Monitor

MEXICO CITY — Mexican authorities Wednesday captured the second cartel kingpin in the span of a week, good news for President Enrique Peña Nieto, who is struggling with voter anger over his handling of drug-related violence in parts of the country.

But the back-to-back, high-profile arrests are mostly a coincidence, analysts say, and will do little to curb violence in the long term.

“Until there’s a real change in government strategy [to combat criminal organizations], this growing list of captures means little … for security,” says Erubiel Tirado, a security expert at the Iberoamerican University in Mexico City.

On Feb. 27, Mexico caught its most wanted drug lord, former primary school teacher Servando “La Tuta” Gomez. He was the head of the Knights Templar, a criminal organization that controls large parts of the western state of Michoacan and has been in conflict with ... Read More

Peña Nieto’s reforming of mordant Mexico

| March 5th, 2015 | No Comments »
Financial Times

Mexico is in crisis; Mexico is not in crisis. Both statements are true.

Despite the oil price collapse, the economy is stable and growing, if slowly. President Enrique Peña Nieto, on a state visit to the UK this week, has pushed through important reforms that should boost growth.

Yet Mexico is also in a funk. Corruption and the absence of the rule of law have snapped the country’s patience. The presumed murder of 43 students by a gang linked to local police, and several scandals, including a home owned by the first lady and built by a favoured state contractor, have inflamed the sour mood. Such incidents are symptoms of a malaise that predates this administration, not the cause. But they have been handled poorly.

Mr Peña Nieto, in an FT interview, admitted for the first time that he recognises the popular disenchantment. Mexico is torn by ... Read More

Zetas Leader Is Arrested in Mexico

| March 5th, 2015 | No Comments »
The New York Times


MEXICO CITY — The leader of the Zetas — a Mexican criminal group notorious for its brutal murders — was arrested Wednesday without a shot fired in northern Mexico, as the authorities toppled yet another kingpin in a long and aggressive campaign against the group.

Federal police officers and soldiers swooped in on the leader, Omar Treviño Morales, known as Z-42 in the group’s militaristic system of code names, in San Pedro Garza García, an affluent suburb of Monterrey, Mexico, a business and industrial hub.

Mr. Morales, 38, had not led the group for long. In July 2013, his brother, Miguel Angel Treviño Morales — considered one of the gang’s most ruthless enforcers — was arrested just a year after taking over from another top leader, Heriberto Lazcano. Mr. Lazcano died in a shootout with the Mexican Navy in ... Read More

Mexico Captures Knights Templar Cartel Leader ‘La Tuta’

| March 2nd, 2015 | No Comments »
The Huffington Post

By Anahi Rama

MEXICO CITY, Feb 27 (Reuters) – Mexico has captured the country’s most wanted drug lord still at large, Servando “La Tuta” Gomez, police said on Friday, in a boost for President Enrique Pena Nieto as he grapples with grisly gang violence.

Gomez, 49, was the prime target of Pena Nieto’s drive to regain control of Michoacan, a violent western state wracked by clashes between Gomez’s Knights Templar cartel and heavily-armed vigilantes trying to oust them.

His arrest comes a year after the capture of Mexico’s most notorious drug lord, Joaquin “Shorty” Guzman, the head of the Sinaloa Cartel, one of the most powerful drug smuggling gangs in the world.

It also comes as Pena Nieto seeks to quell outrage over violence, impunity and corruption in Mexico after the abduction and apparent massacre of 43 trainee teachers by corrupt police in league with gang members.

A police spokesman said federal police captured Gomez ... Read More

Mexico captures most wanted drug kingpin, ‘La Tuta

| February 27th, 2015 | No Comments »
Article originally appeared in Reuters

By Anahi Rama

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico has captured the country’s most wanted drug lord still at large, Servando “La Tuta” Gomez, police said on Friday, in a boost for President Enrique Pena Nieto as he grapples with grisly gang violence.

The 49-year-old former teacher was the prime target of Pena Nieto’s drive to regain control of Michoacan, a violent western state wracked by clashes between Gomez’s Knights Templar cartel and heavily-armed vigilantes trying to oust them.

The arrest came just over a year after the capture of Mexico’s most notorious drug lord, Joaquin “Shorty” Guzman, head of the Sinaloa Cartel, one of the most powerful drug smuggling gangs in the world.

It also comes as Pena Nieto seeks to quell outrage over violence, impunity and corruption in Mexico after the September abduction and apparent massacre of 43 trainee teachers by corrupt ... Read More

Mexico President in Crisis Is Losing Support of Big Business

| February 26th, 2015 | No Comments »
The New York Times

MEXICO CITY — The full-page ad in Mexico’s national newspapers was unusual, if not unprecedented: 20 powerful business groups and think tanks publicly scolding the government for not doing its job.

They demanded “conditions necessary to do their work … in total security, in all of the country.” The ad, published last month, called on President Enrique Pena Nieto to “honor your oath to observe and enforce the constitution.”

The public criticism by Mexico’s business community underlines the eroding support for Pena Nieto’s administration as he enters the third year of a six-year term. Business leaders are angry over reforms that have increased the tax burden without sparking economic growth, scandals over apparent favoritism and acts of lawlessness that are hurting commerce.

Last weekend, Coca-Cola halted its operations in the capital of Guerrero state due ... Read More

Reform Would Let Some Foreign Agents Carry Guns in Mexico

| February 25th, 2015 | No Comments »
Article originally appeared in the Associated Press

President Enrique Pena Nieto on Tuesday proposed a reform that would allow some foreign agents to carry arms inside Mexico, a significant change in a country that has historically said the practice would violate its sovereignty.

The bill, sent to Mexico’s Senate, would allow foreign customs and migration agents to carry guns in previously established zones. The main beneficiary would be the United States, which shares a long border with Mexico.

It would also allow foreign leaders or heads of state to enter the country with armed security details.

Mexican law currently prohibits any foreign agent or official from carrying weapons inside the country or participating in operations to arrest criminals. Authorities have always denied media reports of U.S. agents directly taking part in anti-drug trafficking operations inside Mexico.

Permits would be limited to revolvers or semi-automatic pistols with a caliber less than .40 and be granted by Mexico’s national defense department. The initiative would ... Read More

Mexico Central Bank Cuts ’15 GDP Forecast for Second Time

| February 19th, 2015 | No Comments »

By Eric Martin and Brendan Case

Mexican policy makers reduced their 2015 growth forecast for the second time following a slump in global oil prices and a decline in domestic output.

Gross domestic product will expand 2.5 percent to 3.5 percent this year, down from the previous forecast of 3 percent to 4 percent, the central bank said in the quarterly inflation report published Wednesday on its website. It reduced the 2016 growth estimate to between 2.9 percent and 3.9 percent from 3.2 percent to 4.2 percent.

Banco de Mexico has kept the overnight borrowing rate at a record-low 3 percent in its past five policy meetings to boost an economy that grew less than estimated in eight of the past 10 quarters. The central bank on Wednesday signaled that leeway for further cuts is limited given the peso’s weakness, expectations for improvement in Mexico’s economy and the outlook for the Federal Reserve ... Read More

Mexico to stop shipping ready-to-use fuel to curb thefts

| February 18th, 2015 | No Comments »

Mexico’s state-owned oil company Pemex has announced it will stop shipping ready-to-use petrol and diesel through its pipelines, in an effort to curb fuel thefts.

Pemex says it will use its pipelines across Mexico only for unfinished fuel.

That fuel will go through a last phase of mixing when it reaches the company’s storage plants.

More than $1bn (£650,000) worth of fuel was stolen by Mexican gangs in 2014, an increase of 70% over the previous year.

In a statement, the company warned consumers not to buy illegal fuel tapped from its pipelines as it was likely to damage car engines.

In the red

Last year, Pemex discovered more than 2,600 illegal taps along its network of ducts.

Many criminal organisations, including Mexico’s notorious drugs gangs, are involved in the illegal activities.

Mexican oil production has declined from 3.6 million barrels a day in 2004 to just 2.5 million.

Pemex, known officially as Petroleos Mexicanos, ... Read More

Oil’s slump a blow to Mexico amid touted energy reforms

| February 17th, 2015 | No Comments »
Article originally appeared in the Associated Press


MEXICO CITY — The lowest oil prices in nearly six years couldn’t have come at a worse time for Mexico, which last year opened up oil-sector investment to private companies for the first time in decades.

The landmark energy reform aimed to boost revenue by enabling Mexico to tap undeveloped fields and adopt newer technology to reverse a decadelong slide in production.

Instead, the drop in oil prices has forced Mexico’s government to slash $8.4 billion from its 2015 budget, with most of the cutbacks expected to come in the energy sector. Analysts predict the energy partnerships made possible by the reform will attract initial bids lower than anticipated, some exploration projects will be delayed, and state oil company Pemex will see a cash crunch and slow job growth.

“If we continue for the next year in the scenario that we’re ... Read More

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