Posts Tagged ‘Enrique Pena Nieto’

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

Mexico urged to rebuild public’s trust

| February 17th, 2015 | No Comments »
Financial Times

By Jude Webber and John Paul Rathbone in Mexico City

Mexico’s ambitious reform programme will count for little if the scandal-tainted government of President Enrique Peña Nieto fails to rebuild shattered public confidence.

The unusually candid assessment comes from Luis Videgaray, Mexico’s finance minister, who, like the president, has been at the centre of an outcry over embarrassing house purchases from a prominent government contractor that have fuelled allegations of crony capitalism.

Mr Peña Nieto has pushed through a host of “wonderful” and transformative economic reforms, including the liberalisation of an oil sector closed to private investment for nearly 80 years. Yet Mr Videgaray said these should not be the only priorities for a government still facing nearly four more years in office.

“It is not just about reform, reform, reform,” he told the Financial Times in an interview. “We need to address what is really important today for Mexican society, which is not [just] ... Read More

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

| February 11th, 2015 | No Comments »
Article originally appeared in the Associated Press


MEXICO CITY (AP) – 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 decade-long 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 currently ... Read More

How Will Mexico’s Economy Perform in 2015?

| February 10th, 2015 | No Comments »


Mexico is being squeezed in a difficult global economic environment. In mid-2014 Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim said “Last year (growth) was low, I think that this year it will be relatively low too, but I think next year will be much better.” Expecting Mexico’s highly touted set of structural reforms to help attract a new wave of investment, Slim, the majority owner of Mexican telecom giant America Movil, said, “I hope that next year we will set the pace for growth for the next four years.”

Unfortunately, falling oil prices and a difficult global economic environment have put a damper on expectations for Mexico’s economy. Mexico’s peso fell by 13.1 percent during the course of 2014.

Ordinarily, some of the effects of a weakening currency, which make imports more expensive, are offset by the increased value of dollarized exports. This is particularly true in Mexico, where 32 percent of government revenue stems from oil ... Read More

Corruption in Mexico

| February 6th, 2015 | No Comments »
The Economist

It is not every day that a president launches an investigation into his own affairs, but that is what Mexico’s leader, Enrique Peña Nieto, has just done. On February 3rd he announced that he, his wife and his finance minister will become the first subjects of a conflict-of-interest investigation. This startling decision was part of a package of anti-corruption measures that Mr Peña hopes will re-establish his credibility and popularity, which has been battered by scandal and public anger over crime.

To succeed, Mr Peña must first of all establish that he is blameless in a scandal triggered by revelations that he, his wife, and Luis Videgaray, the finance minister, bought houses on credit from affiliates of a building firm that has benefited from government contracts. All declare that they have done nothing wrong, though Mr Videgaray received a mortgage at below market rates. Now Mr Peña has ... Read More

Mexico’s President Calls for Investigation of Ties with Contractors

| February 5th, 2015 | No Comments »
Wall Street Journal WSJ-01


MEXICO CITY—Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto called Tuesday for the government’s watchdog agency to investigate whether there was any conflict of interest in federal government works awarded to contractors that sold homes to the first lady, the finance minister and to the president himself.

In public remarks about the real-estate scandals affecting his government, Mr. Peña Nieto reiterated that there was nothing illegal or improper in the purchases made from government contractors. But he acknowledged that revelations have generated doubts about the honesty of his government.

“I’m aware that these indications generated the appearance of something improper,” said Mr. Peña Nieto in a public statement at the presidential residence. He said a panel of independent experts would review the results of the investigation made by the Ministry of the Public Service, which oversees the actions of public officials.

The government has been roiled by conflict of interest allegations for months since it emerged that the president, his ... Read More

¿Cuántas casas más antes de que reaccione el gobierno?

| January 21st, 2015 | No Comments »
Milenio Diario


Ayer Eduardo Sánchez, vocero de la Presidencia de México, negó a The Wall Street Journal que exista alguna relación entre la “transacción privada” de la casa en Ixtapan de la Sal y el éxito del contratista, al que Peña Nieto compró esa casa, para ganar contratos de los gobiernos que ha encabezado el hoy Presidente. “La relación de Peña Nieto con algunos miembros de la familia San Román se remonta a varias décadas atrás”, afirmó Sánchez.

El éxito de la familia San Román, por cierto, tiene número: 107 millones de dólares en contratos del gobierno de Peña en el Edomex y 40 más de contratos federales. La empresa, por cierto, nunca había ganado antes de 2012 un contrato federal. Todo esto según el Wall Street Journal.

La reacción de Sánchez parece indicar que en Los Pinos aún no tienen claro el tamaño del problema en el que están metidos. No parecen haber medido ... Read More

Mexico Leader Under New Scrutiny

| January 21st, 2015 | No Comments »
Wall Street Journal WSJ-01 By JUAN MONTES

IXTAPAN DE LA SAL, Mexico—A few weeks after taking office as governor of the State of Mexico in late 2005, President Enrique Peña Nieto purchased a property in an exclusive golf club from a businessman who helped transform this sleepy town into a popular resort known for its Roman-style thermal baths.

Roberto San Román Widerkehr, the seller of the weekend residence and developer of an exclusive golf club here, also founded a local construction firm which went on to win more than $100 million in public-works contracts during Mr. Peña Nieto’s time as governor from 2005 to 2011, according to documents viewed by The Wall Street Journal.

Since Mr. Peña Nieto became president in 2012, Mr. San Román’s firm has won at least 11 federal contracts, government records show, becoming a national player with business in several states. Before Mr. Peña Nieto came to power, the company had never won a ... Read More

Mexico’s Drug War: A New Way to Think About Mexican Organized Crime

| January 16th, 2015 | No Comments »

By Tristan Reed

Since the emergence of the Guadalajara cartel in the 1980s as one of the country’s largest drug trafficking organizations, Mexican organized crime has continued to expand its reach up and down the global supply chains of illicit drugs. Under the Guadalajara cartel and its contemporaries, such as the Gulf cartel, led by Juan Garcia Abrego, a relatively small number of crime bosses controlled Mexico’s terrestrial illicit supply chains. Crime bosses such as Miguel Angel “El Padrino” Felix Gallardo, the leader of the Guadalajara cartel, oversaw the bulk of the trafficking operations necessary to push drugs into the United States and received large portions of the revenue generated. By the same token, this facilitated law enforcement’s ability to disrupt entire supply chains with a single arrest. Such highly centralized structures ultimately proved unsustainable under consistent and aggressive law enforcement pressure. Thus, as Mexican organized crime has expanded its control ... Read More

20 State Officials Investigated in Mexico Military Slayings

| January 15th, 2015 | No Comments »
ABC News

At least 20 Mexico state officials are under investigation in the cover-up of threats and torture of women who were witnesses to the alleged killing of prisoners by soldiers last year, state authorities said Wednesday.

State attorney for Mexico state, Alejandro Gomez, said the officials under investigation include prosecutors, forensic investigators and state police.

On June 30, soldiers killed 22 alleged gang members at a warehouse in Tlatlaya. The army first said they died during a shootout, but it was discovered that some were executed.

Federal investigators have said eight people were killed after surrendering to the soldiers, but the National Human Rights Commission put the number between 12 and 15.

The commission also said the state attorney’s office tried to cover up the torture and sexual threats endured by at least two of the three women who survived.

“None have been removed from duty yet because there is a presumption of innocence,” Gomez said at a ... Read More

Latin America 2015: Time for Reform

| January 13th, 2015 | No Comments »

By Daniel Zovatto

Latin America is starting off 2015 with a clear economic slowdown. The United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) projects a modest recovery (2.2 per cent) with respect to last year (in 2014 growth was only 1.1 per cent, the lowest since the 2009 crisis), though these calculations may vary due to several factors.

The world economy is not helping. The downward trend in raw materials prices, scant dynamism in global demand, and the appreciation of the dollar are three factors that work against the region today.

Venezuela and Argentina, are facing very complex economic contexts. Venezuela is in the midst of stagflation (aggravated by plummeting oil prices); and Argentina is experiencing negative growth, high inflation, and the unresolved conflict with the “vulture funds.”

The two largest economies of the region, Brazil and Mexico, are facing their own demons. Brazil President Dilma ... Read More

Barack Obama shores up support for Mexico’s embattled leader

| January 8th, 2015 | No Comments »
The Economist

The leaders of the United States and Mexico, who met in Washington on January 6th, have both experienced dramatic changes of fortune in recent months. Barack Obama, who looked feeble in the face of a divided Congress, has taken bold actions on immigration and Cuba that have endeared him to Latin Americans. Enrique Peña Nieto, whom Mr Obama must have envied for his ability to persuade Mexico’s Congress to launch historic reforms, has instead been clobbered by crime and scandal.

But this reversal of fortune did not upset the mutual esteem that has improved a cross-border relationship once fraught with insecurity and friction. More than their predecessors, Mr Obama and Mr Peña recognise “the need to focus on the good news”, even if that means downplaying such issues as corruption and the arms and drugs money that flow into Mexico from the United States, says Duncan Wood, head of ... Read More

Mexican Inflation Ends 2014 Above Central Bank’s Target

| January 8th, 2015 | No Comments »
Wall Street Journal WSJ-01 By ANTHONY HARRUP

MEXICO CITY—Mexican inflation ended 2014 above the central bank’s target, pushed up by new consumer taxes and higher energy costs in a year in which the central bank cut interest rates to support sluggish economic growth.

The consumer-price index ended last year up 4.08%, the National Statistics Institute said Thursday, compared with 3.97% in 2013.

The index rose 0.49% in December, in line with expectations. Core CPI, which excludes energy and fresh fruit and vegetables, rose 0.23% last month and ended the year up 3.24%. Higher food and energy costs last year were offset by a drop in telecommunications rates.

The Bank of Mexico cut its overnight lending rate target in June from 3.5% to a record-low 3%, saying that sluggish economic conditions meant it was still feasible to reach its 3% inflation target with the lower borrowing rates. The bank expects the economy to have expanded between 2% and 2.5% in ... Read More

Obama Pledges to Help Mexico Eliminate ‘Scourge’ of Violence

| January 7th, 2015 | No Comments »

While critics protested outside the White House, President Barack Obama pledged to help Mexico President Enrique Peña Nieto “eliminate the scourge and violence of drug cartels” like that suspected in the disappearance of 43 Mexican students.

Peña Nieto made his first visit to Washington Tuesday, accompanied by several Cabinet members, to tout his economic reforms such as the opening of the its oil and gas industry to private investment.

But his legislative feats have been overshadowed by the violence against 43 students, some whose bodies were said to have been later incinerated, and criticism of how his administration has handled the investigation of the students’ disappearance.

Mexican federal agents have arrested dozens of people, including the mayor of Iguala, Mexico, his wife and police. Detainees confessed they murdered the 43 kidnapped students and burned their bodies. But, the victims’ families have demanded more evidence, ... Read More

Obama Will Ask Mexico to Pressure Cuba for Democracy

| January 6th, 2015 | No Comments »

By Angela Greiling Keane

U.S. President Barack Obama is counting on Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto to pressure Cuba to make democratic reforms, now that the White House has moved toward normalizing relations with the island nation, a White House official said.

Cuba will be one of the main topics on the agenda when Obama and Pena Nieto meet Tuesday at the White House.

Improving relations with Cuba removes a point of friction in U.S. relations with Mexico and other Latin American countries that have normal diplomatic and commercial ties with Cuba, according to the official, who briefed reporters on condition of anonymity to preview the talks.

The U.S. plans to discuss Cuba with other allies as well, the official said, without giving details.

Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Roberta Jacobson, plans to travel this month to Havana for talks on U.S.-Cuba migration and to begin talks about ... Read More

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