Posts Tagged ‘Felipe Calderón’

Mexico: Caught in the crossfire

| October 30th, 2014 | No Comments »
Financial Times

By Jude Webber

Their 43 expressionless faces stare out from a double-page advertisement by Mexico’s government in the national press. The banner headline reads: “Reward”.

But they are not the grainy photos of drug lords with prices on their heads. These underprivileged youths from a rural teacher-training college, missing and feared dead after clashes with local police on September 26 are, as activist priest Alejandro Solalinde says, the brutal reminder that “Mexico is sown with corpses”.

Despite a manhunt for the students and their abductors, the only clues appear to lead to mass graves on the hilltops outside the town of Iguala, 130km south of Mexico City. Residents say the area echoes at night with shots and screams. Pictures on social media of a body dumped in the street after the disappearances spread the horror worldwide: its bloodied face was stripped of skin and its eyes gouged out.

This is not “Mexico ... Read More

Arrest of Suspected Drug Lord in Mexico Is Seen as Symbolic Amid Police Scandal

| October 10th, 2014 | No Comments »
The New York Times

By Damien Cave

MEXICO CITY — Vicente Carrillo Fuentes was the mediocre heir, the authorities said. He never quite gained the fame or authority of his brother, Amado Carrillo Fuentes — the Juarez cartel’s late founder and the kingpin famous for both flying cocaine to the United States in jumbo jets and dying during failed plastic surgery in 1997.

Instead, Vicente was vicious. Mr. Carillo Fuentes, who was arrested Thursday by Mexican authorities in the northern city of Torreon, ran the Juarez ring with an eye for killing and a thirst for allies, according to American and Mexican officials who have been pursuing him for 14 years.

His was the era when the battle between the Juarez and Sinaloa cartels made Ciudad Juárez as bloody and violent as a war zone. And yet at this point, ... Read More

El legado de Insulza y el futuro de la OEA

| October 8th, 2014 | No Comments »
El Pais

POR EZEQUIEL VÁZQUEZ-GER

Corría Febrero del año 2011. Un grupo de estudiantes en Venezuela había decidido iniciar una huelga de hambre en protesta contra el gobierno de Hugo Chávez. En Washington, junto con un grupo de estudiantes venezolanos, decidimos apoyar la protesta pidiendo un pronunciamiento de la Organización de Estados Americanos (OEA). Lo hicimos a través de decenas de cartas dirigidas a cada uno de los embajadores, notas de prensa, y una protesta frente al Edificio principal del organismo, previo a una sesión de su consejo Perrmanente.

Terminada esta sesión, el secretario general José Miguel Insulza nos otorgó una audiencia privada, en la que nos dijo: “Me compadezco con ustedes, yo también sufrí una dictadura en carne propia y tuve que refugiarme en el exterior. Pero tienen que entender, a Chávez no lo van a vencer con cartas, Chávez es un dictador, y en Venezuela hay una dictadura militar”.

Esta anécdota sirve para describir el ... Read More

Mexico’s Energy Reform: So Far, So Good

| September 2nd, 2014 | No Comments »
Inside Sources

By Roger F. Noriega and Felipe Trigos

The enactment of the “secondary legislation” to implement Mexico’s energy reform is an impressive step forward.  That country’s economic future could be fundamentally transformed, if Mexico’s leaders follow through on a transparent, sustained effort to modernize the oil, gas, and electricity sectors and keep government spending and interference from undermining prosperity.

For the first time in 80 years, Mexico has opened the door to private investment in the energy sector, leaving behind years of anachronistic resource nationalism that has contributed to the decline of the state-owned oil company, Pemex, and the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE).

Insufficient investment in exploration and infrastructure, over-taxation, political interference, union influence, and corruption all have contributed to the decline of Pemex.  From 2001 to 2013, oil production in Mexico fell more than 30 percent. Meanwhile, the CFE has lost almost a billion dollars in 2012 and 2013 for similar ... Read More

Why isn’t Mexico’s security strategy working?

| June 12th, 2014 | No Comments »
AEI

BY ROGER F. NORIEGA AND FELIPE TRIGOS

Key Points:

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto must recognize that security is not a distraction from his economic agenda and that confronting criminal enterprises is indispensable to the nation’s stability and prosperity. Peña Nieto has not implemented an effective security strategy, and his response to drug violence is uncalibrated and improvised. Mexico should respond more effectively to innovative, globalized cartels and be more receptive to US collaboration so that it can counter criminality fueled by US demand for illicit drugs.

President Enrique Peña Nieto came to power in Mexico 18 months ago promising to reform Mexico’s economy to make it more competitive and prosperous. He also stressed the need to change the controversial antidrug strategy pursued by his predecessor, Felipe Calderón.

Although Peña Nieto has made considerable progress on an ambitious economic agenda thus far, he has been slow to articulate, let alone implement, an alternative strategy for dealing ... Read More

Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman: The rise and fall of Mexico’s drug lord

| March 3rd, 2014 | No Comments »
Article originally appeared in the Associated Press

It was nighttime in May of 1990, in the heyday of the cocaine boom across America. Twenty Mexican federal police officers and a handful of U.S. Customs agents, acting on a tip, descended on a stucco home on the edge of Agua Prieta, Mexico — a stone’s throw from Arizona. “Policia,” they yelled, guns drawn, before busting down the front door.

The house was empty but looked lived in, with dishes in the kitchen and toys in the backyard. The officers moved quickly to a spacious game room, complete with a bar and a pool table, set atop a three-metre-by-three-metre concrete panel on the floor.

An informant had told them that what they were looking for was under the pool table. They moved it aside and went to work with a jackhammer. Then, a stroke of luck: One of them turned the knob of a faucet and suddenly the floor panel rose into ... Read More

The Most Important Alliance You’ve Never Heard Of

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

BY MOISÉS NAÍM

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

Mexico’s Vigilantes on the March

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

BY ENRIQUE KRAUZE

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 »
Bloomberg

BY CARLOS PUIG

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

With Drug Cartels Encroaching, Life Has Hardened On The Mexico-Guatemala Border

| January 28th, 2014 | No Comments »
From Fox News Latino

BY NATHANIEL PARISH FLANNERY

CIUDAD HIDALGO, MEXICO –  Hugo Rivera, a wide shouldered state trooper with fifteen years on the force and three years of experience in the state border patrol peered through the window of his truck, looking out at the verdant hills in Mexico’s southernmost state, Chiapas. As he drove, Rivera glanced at the cows grazing in a dew-covered field on the side of the road.

“We’re here to prevent crime through our presence,” he explained.

His AR-15 rifle jostled on the seat next to him as he navigated a stretch of puddles and potholes in the narrow road near Mexico’s border with Guatemala. “We see a lot of cases of Central Americans coming up to rob the migrants. The ones with the tattoos stand out. MS-13, [Barrio] 18 – there are a lot of bad guys coming out of El Salvador,” he said.

Out on the Suchiate River, which forms the ... Read More

Mexico’s new drug cartel battle: Self-defense leagues

| January 27th, 2014 | No Comments »
AZ Central-01

Two weeks ago, the Mexican government dispatched federal security forces to the state of Michoacan, which has been besieged by a turf war among extraordinarily violent drug-trafficking organizations.

Raging battles among well-armed gangs, the advent of vigilante self-defense groups, and the inability of local authorities to quell the violence have challenged the security strategy of Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, who came to office 13 months ago de-emphasizing the threat posed by narcotrafficking.

Michoacan has been the epicenter for violence and turf wars for many years. It was in that state seven years ago where former President Felipe Calderón launched the first operations in his intense effort to fight criminal organizations. Corrupt local authorities never supported these federal efforts, and narcotrafficking has continued to threaten state institutions and the citizen security.

For example, Leonel Godoy, the previous governor, faced several accusations of corruption. His brother and former Congressman Julio Cesar Godoy remains a ... Read More

Spin on Venezuelan star’s murder seeks to obscure rampant violence

| January 14th, 2014 | No Comments »
The Miami Herald

BY TIM PADGETT

Latin American leaders don’t know how to stop their violent-crime epidemic, but they sure know how to spin it.

Former Miss Venezuela and telenovela star Mónica Spear and her ex-husband were murdered last week during a botched highway robbery near Puerto Cabello, Venezuela. Their 5-year-old daughter was shot, too, but survived. As the shocking news spread throughout Venezuela and then Miami, where Spear often lived and worked, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro hit a spin cycle I’ve seen countless other presidentes employ after high-profile homicides.

Maduro asserted that Spear’s killing didn’t look like the random, bloodthirsty banditry that has saddled oil-rich Venezuela with South America’s highest murder rate. Instead, he suggested it was a “ sicariato,” a planned assassination. Maduro said he’d “asked police leaders about every detail,” but unfortunately he didn’t offer any.

Which is probably because there aren’t any details of a sicariato to offer. Seven gang suspects have been arrested in the horrific Spear murders.

Evidence ... Read More

Obama traveling to Mexico for North American trade summit

| January 14th, 2014 | No Comments »
The Hill

BY JUSTIN SINK

President Obama will head to Mexico next month for a trade summit with leaders from Canada and Mexico.

The president will travel on Feb. 19 to Toluca, Mexico, to participate in the North American Leaders Summit.

“At the summit, the president looks forward to discussing with Mexican President Pena Nieto and Canadian Prime Minister Harper a range of issues important to the daily lives of all of North America’s people, including economic competitiveness, entrepreneurship, trade and investment, and citizen security,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said.

It will be the first such meeting since the new Mexican president assumed office in late 2012, and the seventh meeting of the group. Earlier in 2012, Obama hosted Harper and then-Mexican president Felipe Calderon in Washington in a meeting that focused on trade, energy, and anti-drug efforts.

During that gathering, Obama said he had prioritized increasing exports to the two nations with which the U.S. ... Read More

Mexico’s Game-Changing Energy Reform

| December 19th, 2013 | No Comments »
Real Clear World-01

BY JAIME DAREMBLUM

What happened in Mexico last week represents one of the biggest global economic stories of the year. It may eventually be counted among the biggest stories of the decade.

By votes of 95 to 28 in the upper house and 353 to 134 in the lower house, the Mexican Congress passed a constitutional reform to allow private investment in the country’s oil and gas industries for the first time since those industries were nationalized in 1938. The measure received strong support from both the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and the opposition National Action Party (PAN). As The Economist noted, it “went far beyond initial expectations” and was significantly “bolder” than the energy reform that President Enrique Peña Nieto first unveiled back in August.

Just a few years ago, when PAN leader Felipe Calderón was president, it would have been unthinkable for the PRI to endorse such a radical overhaul of the ... Read More

Se desploman decomisos al ‘narco’ en el primer año de Peña

| December 2nd, 2013 | No Comments »
Milenio Diario

INFORME DE LA DEFENSA

De un total de 20 rubros comparados, el número de detenidos así como los aseguramientos de drogas, vehículos, armas y dinero vinculados al crimen son inferiores a los resultados de la administración de Calderón.

Ciudad de México

En los primeros 11 meses de la administración del presidente Enrique Peña Nieto los resultados del combate al narcotráfico registraron una disminución de hasta 50 por ciento, en comparación con lo hecho por su antecesor Felipe Calderón en 2012.

De un total de 20 rubros comparados, el número de detenidos así como los decomisos de drogas, vehículos, armas y dinero vinculados al narcotráfico se desplomaron.

Como parte de los resultados del combate al crimen organizado, el número de detenidos se redujo en el primer año de Peña como Presidente, al pasar de 9 mil 586 en 2012 a 6 mil 443 detenciones en lo que va de la actual administración, una diferencia de 3 ... Read More

Crimen organizado se apodera de instituciones: Felipe Calderón

| November 26th, 2013 | No Comments »
Excelsior

ASUNCIÓN, PARAGUAY, 25 de noviembre.- El ex presidente, Felipe Calderón aseguró que los grupos criminales se están apoderando de las instituciones mexicanas, y que es está la problemática en que debe enfocarse la lucha contra el crimen organizado.

En entrevista con el diario paraguayo ABC de Asunción, el ex mandatario habló sobre la legalización de la droga, pero advirtió que las autoridades no deben enfocarse sólo en este tema sino en la sofisticación que están adquiriendo las organizaciones criminales.

La droga puede ser legal o ilegal, pero si la policía está asociada con los criminales, usted va a seguir teniendo problemas”, señaló Calderón Hinojosa.

Para mí, la polémica no es si se legaliza o no. Tiene que revisarse, tarde o temprano, pero el problema de México no es un asunto de drogas nada más. Las organizaciones criminales han adquirido tal grado de sofisticación que se están apoderando de las instituciones”, advirtió Calderón, quien el fin de ... Read More

Mexico’s Enrique Peña Nieto Is Leading An Oil Revolution Worth Billions

| October 30th, 2013 | No Comments »
Forbes

BY CHRISTOPHER HELMAN

Despite the drug war and immigration morass, America’s southern neighbor is on the cusp of its greatest economic transformation in a century, thanks to the courageous oil reforms of its new president, Enrique Peña Nieto.

It has been another year of horrible headlines for Mexico. Three hurricanes wracked the country, causing historic floods that killed hundreds and caused billions in damage. The drug war continues, with more than 60,000 killed since 2006 as cartels vie for their cut of $10 billion a year in narco-cash. More than 200,000 illegal immigrants from Mexico are still deported by the U.S. each year. And after rebounding from the 2008 crash, and even luring away manufacturing jobs from China, Mexico has seen its annual economic growth rate sag to less than 1.5%.

Yet there is reason for hope. In the shadow of all this hardship a radical transformation of Mexico’s economy is on the ... Read More

Mexico strongly condemns alleged US electronic spying

| October 21st, 2013 | No Comments »
BBC

Mexico has strongly condemned alleged US spying after a report said that a former president’s emails were hacked by the National Security Agency.

Data leaked by fugitive US analyst Edward Snowden showed ex-President Felipe Calderon’s emails were hacked in 2010, Germany’s Der Spiegel reports.

Mexico’s foreign ministry said such spying was “unacceptable, illegal” and contrary to good relations.

It urged President Obama to complete an investigation into the allegations.

In an official statement, the Mexican foreign ministry said it would soon re-iterate the importance of such an investigation through diplomatic means.

“In a relationship between neighbours and partners, there is no place for the alleged practices,” it said.

Previous reports had already suggested the NSA had intercepted communications involving current President Enrique Pena Nieto before he took office in 2012 and Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff. Messages involving her aides and state oil company Petrobas were also said to have been compromised.

The revelations prompted a sharp ... Read More

Mexochism: Mexico Is Likely to Disappoint, Again

| October 10th, 2013 | No Comments »
World Affairs

BY FREDO ARIAS-KING

One Mexican street graffito during the 2012 national election campaign that returned the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) to power read, “Kick out the fools, return the thieves.” This line perhaps best captured the popular sentiment that the PRI, though perhaps cynical, undemocratic, and even criminal, at least had a coherent and predictable identity. Having the PRI government establishment intact with a different party sitting in the presidency simply had not worked for the country.

With the return of the PRI to the presidency in 2012, two broad views emerged as to what awaited this troubled country. The pessimists feared that the twelve-year experiment with a vibrant yet messy democracy under two administrations of the longtime opposition National Action Party (PAN) would be replaced by the “managed democracy”—more managerial than democratic—that was the hallmark of the PRI’s seventy-one-year reign before Vicente Fox led PAN’s successful campaign to defeat it in ... Read More

How Oil Reforms Could Trigger Mexico’s Biggest Economic Boom In A Century

| October 2nd, 2013 | No Comments »
Forbes

BY CHRISTOPHER HELMAN

Mexico has one of the world’s most notoriously closed-off oil industries. The Mexican constitution makes it illegal for anyone but the state oil monopoly Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) to even own a barrel of oil. If you’re a farmer in Mexico and oil is discovered underneath your land, not one drop of the black gold is yours — it belongs to the state, to the people. As a result, Pemex is the only game in town. There are no private companies operating oilfields in Mexico, no risk-based production sharing contracts or joint ventures with any international oil companies. This could not be more different than the United States, where private ownership of mineral rights is taken for granted.

Yet Mexico’s oil sector is set to begin a radical transformation. Under the leadership of President Enrique Peña Nieto, Mexico’s congress will, by the end of this year (according to a half-dozen analysts I spoke to) pass a constitutional amendment ... Read More

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