Archive for the ‘Mexico’ Category

The falling oil price Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, November 17th, 2014

LatinAmerThe price of crude oil has dropped by 30% in four years, so Iran, Venezuela urge oil price support ahead of OPEC meeting

Iran and Venezuela need higher oil prices to balance their budgets than fellow OPEC members Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Arab producers.

ARGENTINA
La enfermedad argentina

Outrage as Argentina milks millions out of UK foreign aid budget
DAVID Cameron is today facing demands to block British taxpayers’ cash going to Argentina.

Argentina Cracks Down on Black Market for Dollars

BELIZE
Belize’s 2014 Tourism Boom Breaking Records

BOLIVIA
Why Foreigners Fall for the Evo Morales House of Cards
Statistics Gloss Over Bolivia’s Lack of Development, Bubble Waiting to Pop

BRAZIL
Police Raid Odebrecht’s Offices Amid Corruption Probe

Petrobras Former Executive Among a Score Arrested in Brazil Corruption Probe

Cannibal gang baked victims into pies
Three Brazilians sentenced to prison after being caught murdering two women and using their flesh as the filling in “empadas” which they sold to neighbours

Study: Brazil’s Underground Economy Equivalent to 16.2% of GDP

CHILE
Chile and China
¡Salud!
Food and drink draw two regions together

COLOMBIA
Ex-President Samper Took $10 Million from Cartel, Colombian Kingpin Says

CUBA
3 Cuban activists sentenced to prison on bogus charges

Yoelkis Rosabal, 31, was sentenced to 4 years in prison.

Ricardo Pelier, 28, was sentenced to 3 years in prison.

Ernesto Darián Duffo, 24, was sentenced to years in prison.

ECUADOR
Term limits in Ecuador
If you can’t beat ‘em, referendum
A vote could cost President Correa his job—in 2017

EL SALVADOR
25 Yrs After El Salvador Priest Killings, Groups Press For Justice

GUYANA
Guyana: Legislature Is Suspended

HONDURAS
Obama and Honduras, 2009: portent of things to come

IMMIGRATION
I expect that Pres. Obama will issue an executive order for amnesty this week. Here are a few links:
The Missing Immigration Memo
Has Obama asked the Office of Legal Counsel for its legal opinion?

But a Justice-OLC opinion is all the more necessary on domestic issues because the President’s authority is far more limited. He is obliged to execute the laws that Congress writes. A President should always seek legal justification for controversial actions to ensure that he is on solid constitutional ground as well as to inspire public confidence in government.

The Next Border Crisis
Column: How Congress can fight Obama’s unconstitutional amnesty

The 150 million adults worldwide who would move to the United States if given the chance will draw the conclusion that their status and future are secure as long as they end up on U.S. soil. Pay the snakeheads and coyotes, avoid the authorities, and fall under the next amnesty. Just as it happened in 1986 and happened again, piecemeal, in 2012 and 2014.

I do not consider it humanitarian to induce people to undertake perilous and uncertain journeys through hazardous territory in the hopes of joining a population that is at best ambivalent about them. I think it is cruel. And it is cruel not only to the immigrants, but also to American citizens, who must cope with the attendant fall in low-skilled job opportunities and wages, rising inequality, economic and social consequences of population density, and erosion of social cohesion. These are all reasons confidence in public institutions is at a low. Obama’s executive order will drive it lower.

Minors in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras Can Now Apply for Asylum in U.S.

Obama’s Amnesty Will Turn U.S. Into Welfare Magnet

From Drudge: ILLEGALS TAUNT AGENTS AS AMNESTY NEARS…

NYT: BIG Money Behind Push…

CRUZ: ‘DEFIANT OF VOTERS’…

DEPORTATIONS PLUMMET…

Central American Children to be Granted Refugee Status…

NYC Will No Longer Hold Illegals For Feds…

MEXICO
Mexican President’s Reputation Takes A Further Dive Thanks To Reports About A Luxury Home

A Familiar Anger Begins to Boil Again in Mexico

Mexico’s Iguala Massacre: Criminal gangs and criminal government

PANAMA
“48 Hours” investigates American’s death in Panama

PERU
Peru’s Most Wanted Gangster Captured after 4 Months on the Run
Hiding in Colombia, Orellana’s Network Allegedly Committed US$100 Million in Fraud

PUERTO RICO
Hefty Losses Cause US Shipper to Close Door on Puerto Rico
Long-Time Competitors to Acquire Alaska, Hawaii Lines

URUGUAY
Vázquez leads polls ahead of Uruguay’s runoff

VENEZUELA
Cubanization 8.2: Maduro creates snitching hot lines

Venezuela cracks down on peddling diapers: ‘I feel like a drug dealer’
As basic goods grew more scarce on store shelves, authorities targeted open-air black markets that sold everything from coffee, eggs and cooking oil to shampoo, deodorant and detergent.

A broke Venezuela splits its finances in two

The week’s post and podcast:
Venezuela: Oil slide

And now for a surfer saint?

En español: UdQ 199, Los Vándalos del Zócalo

The Monroe Doctrine’s dead, but Putin’s alive and kicking

It’s raining parodies!

Argentina: Jorge Lanata will petition US Court re: Cristina’s US businesses

Mexico: And now, for #Articulo39RenunciaEPN

At Da Tech Guy Blog:
And now for a @BatDadBlake break

Keith Hennessy on Jonathan Gruber’s honesty

Podcast:
Venezuela & US-Latin America stories

Mexico: No rule of law

Monday, November 17th, 2014


Teacher protesting the #Ayotzinapa disappearance of the 43 student teachers. His shirt reads “I AM A TEACHER. I defend education. I defend my people. I defend my country.”

Mary O’Grady looks at Mexico’s Rule of Law Crisis
The fate of 43 missing university students and corruption allegations test President Peña Nieto’s pledge to transform the country.

Until now the president has been able to ignore Mexico’s legendary lawlessness. He has been riding an international wave of excitement around the opening of the energy sector, with few questions asked. But unless he wants to make common cause with the hard left—which thinks it has him on the ropes because of the missing students—he needs to admit his mistakes, purge his cabinet and make the rule of law job No. 1.

That would be a first in Mexico’s history, a country that sees, as O’Grady puts it, “the traditional use of the criminal-justice system as a profit center for the state.”



En español: UdQ 199, Los Vándalos del Zócalo

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

Luego del numerito que armaron prendiendo fuego a la puerta de Palacio Nacional, distrayendo a los medios del verdadero motivo de la manifestación del sábado pasado, los rijosos llegan a la UdQ… y en el Cineclub de Nicasio: Interestelar

Mexico: And now, for #Articulo39RenunciaEPN

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

The latest hashtag, #Articulo39RenunciaEPN (say that fast three times!) refers to a corruption scandal, and twitterers are asking that president Enrique Peña Nieto resign,
Mexico Leader’s Woes Follow Him to China
Revelations that a mansion used by President Enrique Peña Nieto’s family was held by a Mexican company whose owner has won big government contracts reverberated from Mexico to China on Monday.
(emphasis added)

The president’s office defended the home by saying it wasn’t the president’s property, but rather the first lady’s, who was paying the home in installments. It declined to give more information.
. . .
As the president flew to China for trade talks he faced controversy there as well.

A Chinese partner of the Mexican company, Grupo Higa SA, threatened to pursue legal action against Mexico’s government after it abruptly canceled their consortium’s $3.7 billion contract to build a bullet train in Mexico last week.

“The company is extraordinarily shocked by Mexico’s decision,” state-run China Railway Construction Corp. said in a statement late Sunday. “The bidding for the high-speed rail project complied with the requirements of the Mexican government.”

The Mexican government canceled the concession for the high-speed train project Thursday, days before news broke that one of the partners on the project held the title to the first lady’s home.

The house title

The house title is in the name of a company called Ingenieria Inmobiliaria del Centro, according to property records reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. That firm is owned by Juan Armando Hinojosa Cantú, the owner of Grupo Higa SA and its unit Constructores Teya, which won part of the bullet-train contract as well as several big contracts during Mr. Peña Nieto’s 2006-2012 term as governor of the State of Mexico, according to public information.

Eduardo Sánchez, a spokesman for the president, told The Wall Street Journal that the home in question, which has six bedrooms and is in one of Mexico City’s most exclusive neighborhoods, belongs to the first lady, Angélica Rivera, a former soap-opera star.

Which gives new meaning to the term “drama queen.”

Pardon my cynicism, but I’m having a Capt. Louis Renault moment,

There’s a candle vigil/demonstration scheduled for tonight at 7PM,



The #Ayotzinapa students Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, November 10th, 2014

The week’s top headline is that authorities may have found the remains of the 43 student teachers missing since September. The state of decay of the remains makes it necessary that they will be sent to the University of Innsbruck in Austria, which officials said had the most advanced forensics laboratory, for further attempts at identification.

Violent protests and the social media hashtag #YaMeCansé are symptomatic of how Mexicans are fed up with their government’s inability to stop the drug cartels.

ARGENTINA
Factory Explosion Leaves 66 Injured in Argentine City of Cordoba

Argentine Journalist on Trial for Not Revealing Sources

Argentine president Cristina Kirchner admitted to hospital with fever
Cristina Kirchner admitted to hospital for tests after feeling unwell

BELIZE
S&P Switches to Positive on Belize Outlook

BOLIVIA
Concern in Bolivia Over Increase in Sexual Violence Vs. Girls

BRAZIL
Despite Rousseff, extreme poverty grows for the first time in a decade
The number of Brazilians living in extreme poverty grew for the first time in a decade, according to government figures. The Institute of Economic Research reported that the number of people in households with incomes below the poverty threshold of 30 dollars rose from 10.1 to 10.5 million people, which means a 3.7% increase.

Brazil’s economy
After the election, the reckoning

CHILE
Former President Calls for Drug Decriminalization in Chile

COLOMBIA
Colombian Rebels’ Attacks Set Back Nation
Rebel assaults on Colombia pipelines have crimped one of Latin America’s most dynamic economies and raised questions about the outlook for Colombia as a reliable provider of crude to the U.S.

Memorial plaque removed in Colombia
A controversial plaque unveiled last week by Prince Charles in the Colombian port city of Cartagena is removed after local opposition.

COSTA RICA
Costa Rica struggles to manage $1.7 billion in development loans

CUBA
Hiding the Real Cuba

For the 4th time, Castro regime postpones trial of political prisoner Sonia Garro; dozens of activists arrested

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
The Dominican Republic pulls out of Inter-American Court of Human Rights

ECUADOR
How China’s Appetite Feeds An Ecuadorian Shrimp Boom
With shrimp consumption booming in China and production falling in traditional exporters like Vietnam, Ecuador is stepping in. It’s the latest food chapter in a globalized world.

IMMIGRATION
Amnesty and Impeachment
Absent the credible threat of impeachment, Obama will pardon millions of illegal aliens.

JAMAICA
Reggae, coffee and sunny beaches: Discover Jamaica
OUR WRITER falls in love with the music, culture and people of Jamaica

MEXICO
Mexico gang ‘admits student deaths’
Mexican gang members have confessed to killing more than 40 students who went missing six weeks ago, officials say – but families are sceptical.

PANAMA
After the Panama Canal Zone

PERU
Putin Welcomes Peruvian President

PUERTO RICO
Murder Rate Down; 2014 May Bring US Commonwealth Its Lowest Number of Homocides in 15 Years

VENEZUELA
Venezuela reaps benefits of Cuban “medical internationalism”

Dengue fever soars by 2,475% in Venezuela’s capital city

Reuters: Bid for Venezuela’s subsidiary Citgo continues
Any deal for Citgo, which could be worth USD 10 billion, could help to reshape the US refining landscape

Idiocy And Airlines In Venezuela

Venezuela shows the biggest global drop in the 2014 Prosperity Index

The week’s posts and podcasts:
Mexico: Remains of #Ayotzinapa students found

He can have my Volvo for US$500,000

Brazil: A petition to the White House

Mexico: 22,000 missing, 43 of them are the #Ayotzinapa students

About last night

Venezuela: $15 smugglers jailed, $3.08 billion a year smugglers go free

Mexico: Iguala mayor arrested

At Da Tech Guy Blog:
Why Obama should not be impeached when he grants executive amnesty

Comparing voting in NJ to voting in FL

Podcasts:
Election night extravaganza

US-Latin America issues with Fausta Rodriguez Wertz & Michael Prada

Mexico: Remains of #Ayotzinapa students found

Saturday, November 8th, 2014


Demonstrators last month

Mexican Official: Remains Believed to Be Students Found
Investigators have found the incinerated remains they believe belong to the missing 43 students who were allegedly abducted by police and handed over to a local drug gang to be executed, Mexico’s attorney general said.

The remains will be sent to the University of Innsbruck in Austria, which officials said had the most advanced forensics laboratory, for further attempts at identification. Because of the extent of the incineration, Mr. Murillo Karam said he set no deadline.

Mexico missing student: Gang members ‘confess’ to killing 43 in Iguala and burning their bodies

Mexico: 22,000 missing, 43 of them are the #Ayotzinapa students

Thursday, November 6th, 2014

#HastaEncontrarlos

I have been blogging about the 43 student teachers missing since September 26, but, as I pointed out in yesterday’s podcast, they are only a few of the thousands missing/killed by the drug cartels.

How many?
At least 22,000:

But searchers have found plenty of other horrors, including a string of mass graves with 50 unidentified victims that DNA tests show are not the students. Most of those victims were chopped into bits and set on fire.

As the discovery of the other grave sites shows, the mystery of the missing students isn’t an isolated case. The Mexican government estimates more than 22,000 people went “missing” during the last eight years of violence here between cartels fighting each other and security forces. Human-rights groups say the toll could be far higher.

If most of those missing are dead, as rights groups fear, that would significantly raise Mexico’s already staggering death toll of some 100,000 drug-related homicides during the past eight years by more than a fifth.

Before you blame the war on drugs, bear in mind that the cartels (sometimes with the help of the authorities) are killing each other and whoever dares to speak against them:

Mexico’s missing is a somewhat different phenomenon. Here, the crimes tend to be more about money than ideology. Drug and kidnapping gangs have perpetrated most of Mexico’s disappearances, officials say. But, if investigators’ version of events holds true, the case of students shows the line between organized crime and government security forces can be thin.

Disappearing victims has long been a strategy of the warring gangs, who earn the bulk of their income trafficking marijuana and methamphetamine, heroin and cocaine to U.S. consumers.

Someone knows where the 43 students are, but no one is talking.

In other headlines,
Mexico’s 43 Missing Students: Iguala Mayor Jose Luis Abarca ‘Murdered Political Rival’; additionally,

Abarca has been accused in the past of direct participation in torture and murders of activists, while his wife Maria de los Angeles Pineda Villa has links to gangs as members of her family (at least three brothers) are part of the Beltrán Leyva drugcartel.

Mexico: Iguala mayor arrested

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

BBC reports,
Mayor held in Mexico missing caseJose Luis Abarca stands up during a meeting with state government officials in Chilpancingo on 8 May 2014
Police in Mexico say they have arrested the fugitive mayor of the town of Iguala, where 43 students went missing in September.

Jose Luis Abarca was detained by federal police officers in the capital, Mexico City, a police spokesman said.

Abarca’s wife Maria de los Angeles Pineda was also arrested.

All 43 students are still missing. The BBC has a timeline:

Timeline: Iguala disappearance

26 Sept: Students from a teacher training college in Ayotzinapa travel to Iguala to protest and raise funds

Night of 26 Sept: Police stop the students, 6 people are shot dead, 43 students disappear

30 Sept: Iguala mayor Jose Luis Abarca asks for leave from his post, which is granted

4 Oct: Mass graves are found near Iguala containing 28 bodies

19 Oct: Federal police are deployed to Iguala and replace the municipal force

22 Oct: Mexico’s prosecutor general says an arrest warrant has been issued for Mr Abarca, his wife and the town’s police chief

23 Oct: Guerrero state governor Angel Aguirre resigns

29 Oct: President Enrique Pena Nieto meets the relatives of the missing students and promises a “renewed search plan”

4 Nov: Mr Abarca and his wife are arrested in Mexico City

In other crime news, Mexican Regional Security Chief and Wife Shot Dead
Tamaulipas Is Across Border From Texas

The dead man, Gen. Ricardo Niño Villarreal, was security chief for the area around Nuevo Laredo, across the border from Laredo, Texas. The area is considered the turf of the Zetas drug cartel, which has been doing battle with the Gulf cartel.



The Tahmooressi release Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, November 3rd, 2014

The big news of the week: Mexico finally released Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi, after holding him in jail for seven months on gun charges – and how perfectly timed!

ARGENTINA
Argentina Borrows $814 Million in Currency Swap with China (h/t Carlos Eire)

Argentina’s Disturbing New Low
In avoiding its debts, the country gambles with contempt and faces the discipline of international markets.

BOLIVIA
Freddy Mamani: ‘New Andean’ architecture is turning Bolivia into an electric wonderland
A young pioneer has declared war on the dull and colorless. You might want to reach for sunglasses.

BRAZIL
Dilma Rousseff Prevails in Campaign Marred by Violence
Petrobras Corruption Allegations Reignite Hostile Relationship with Brazilian Media

Female Brazilian murderers marry – and refuse to be separated – in jail
Suzanne Von Richthofen was 18 when jailed in 2002 after arranging for her parents to be killed in their luxury home
They were both behind murders which shocked Brazil, but Suzanne Von Richthofen has turned down parole to stay in Sao Paulo state prison with Regina Sanchez after the pair fell in love and married behind bars

CHILE
Chilean Parents Rise to Protest Anti-Profit Education Reform
Bachelet’s New Majority Coalition Forging On with Major Campaign Promise

COLOMBIA
Colombian Farc in civilian admission
Colombia’s Farc rebel group acknowledges for the first time that its actions in Latin America’s longest internal conflict “affected civilians”.

Despite the intransigence of the FARC and the opposition, the peace process is still alive

CUBA
More Uneducated Attacks from The New York Times

Russell Brand’s Revolution For Morons
The movie star’s political manifesto is full of mistakes, misquotes, and is utterly misguided, unfunny, illogical, and unreadable. Watch the copies fly from the shelves.

Indeed, Brand proclaims himself “a big fan of [Fidel] Castro and [Che] Guevara” because “they were sexy, cool, tough” and the fetid autocracy they imposed on the Cuban people “was a remarkable success in many respects.” (Fidel is also described as being “double cool” for a four-hour, filibustering courtroom speech, while Che Guevara is described as a “dear, beautiful, morally unimpeachable” revolutionary.)

And what were those successes, in a country that routinely ranks as one of the least free countries on the planet? “Education for everyone, land sharing, emancipation of women, and equal rights for black Cubans.” This latter achievement would come as a welcome surprise to black Cubans, who are second-class citizens—equal only in the sense that, like all Cubans, they too have no rights. And yes, education is for everyone—provided they want to read wooden agitprop about how education in Cuba is for everyone.

Of which Fidel boasted, claiming “Cubans are the most cultured people in the world.”

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Oscar Taveras: Road safety in the Dominican Republic
Gone too soon

. . . thorny political, economic and cultural factors have conspired against Dominican motorists. The government’s nominal motorcycle-helmet and seat-belt laws apply only to drivers, not passengers, and enforcement of speed limits and drunk-driving rules is lax. The WHO report scored its efforts in those areas just a three and a two out of ten. Less than 10% of tickets issued for vehicular infractions ever get paid, and drive-through liquor stores and alcohol sales at petrol stations expose drivers to constant temptation. Unions representing bus and taxi drivers have opposed proposed bills that could expose them to new regulation.

ECUADOR
Ecuador’s National Assembly to Vote on Term Limits
Court Rules Lawmakers Will Determine if President Correa Can Be Re-Elected Indefinitely

IMMIGRATION
Obama’s Border Policy Fueled Epidemic, Evidence Shows

JAMAICA
The Asianisation to Jamaica

LATIN AMERICA
GAO: State Department Fails to Produce Reports on Iranian Adventurism in Latin America

MEXICO
Mass Graves, Murderous State-Cartel Alliance Revealed in Guerrero
Hundreds of Bodies Found Near Iguala, Mexico, But Not the 43 Students

Keeping Mexico’s Revolutionary Fires Alive

Crisis in Mexico: Could Forty-Three Missing Students Spark a Revolution? Revolution against whom?

PACIFIC ALLIANCE
Looking to “Doing Business” in Latam, try the Pacific Alliance, forget Mercosur
The World Bank’s “Doing Business” global rating is not very enthusiastic about Latin American and the Caribbean which only first surfaces in position 34 out of the 189 countries considered.

PANAMA
Panel discusses big changes coming at the Panama Canal

PARAGUAY
The Place Where Rutherford B. Hayes Is A Really Big Deal

PERU
Peru says most of $3 bln in bonds sold to manage existing debt

PUERTO RICO

Puerto Rico Government Looks to Raise Tax on OilLegislators filed a measure Thursday that could raise the excise tax on a barrel of crude oil from $9.25 to $15.50, to generate $178 million a year. It also would allow the Highway and Transportation Authority’s loan to be transferred to Puerto Rico’s Infrastructure Financing Authority, which is authorized to issue bonds

URUGUAY
Uruguay registers cannabis growers
The Uruguayan government announces the start of registration for licensed cannabis growers as part of its plan to legalise the drug.

VENEZUELA
Unhappy Halloween: Very Scary Stuff From the Castro Colony of Caracastan

Elías Jaua’s nanny detained in Brazil for gun possession has been released

The week’s posts and podcast:
Bad news for Chile

Mexico: Tahmooressi released, back in US

Mexico: 3 siblings, US citizens, dead

Venezuela: last on property rights

Dancing the hemisphere

Brazil: The election was tweeted

Venezuela to appeal ICSID Exxon decision

Brazil: Ibovespa volatility

At Da Tech Guy Blog
About those walking in NYC for ten hours videos

Whatever happened to the Carnival Magic with the ebola scare?

Podcast
Elections in Brazil PLUS other US-Latin America stories of the week



Mexico: Tahmooressi released, back in US

Saturday, November 1st, 2014

Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi freed from Mexican jail, immediately returns to US after strong diplomatic support, seven months in prison,

While his defense rested its case several weeks ago, Tahmooressi’s release came only after a strong diplomatic push from former Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico and Reps. Ed Royce (R-CA) and Matt Salmon (R-AZ).

The three officials, along with Tahmooressi’s mother Jill, have spent the last week in Tijuana pressing officials for his release.