By Paulina Villegas and Frances Robles / New York Times
Armando García has filed lawsuits, joined protests and gotten arrested trying to stop a highway from slicing through his hilly backyard in a nature reserve at San Franciso Xochicuautla.
But even with a court order on his side, bright green pines have been stripped away and tree stumps dot the hillside. Parts of protected forest have been slashed, exposing the path of a 20-mile highway to the new airport in Mexico City that is demolishing swaths of García’s indigenous community in its wake.
García and his neighbors say they never really stood a chance. After all, they are not battling ordinary construction crews. They are taking on a businessman so well connected that Mexicans have long called him the president’s “favorite contractor.”
After years of demonstrations and court battles, President Enrique Peña Nieto signed an executive order this month expropriating 91 acres of what many here consider sacred land. And is it any wonder he did, residents argue. The same contractor carving through their land has held the title to the president’s family mansion, provided a house to the finance minister for zero profit and does billions of dollars in deals with the government.
“We knew the president’s political grip in this state goes back for years and years,” García said. “We just didn’t know it would end up affecting us directly, so badly.”
AFP – A Mexican judge has issued an order to extradite fugitive drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman to the United States — if he is recaptured after his jailbreak. Attorney General Arely Gomez said the US government had formally requested Guzman’s extradition on June 25, some two weeks before his escape, and that prosecutors had been analyzing the petition.
ABC – A Mexico City official said the city would ban the use of restraints and cages on children under its care and work to get many into homes, after a Disability Rights International and ABC News joint investigation uncovered youth, some with disabilities, living in deplorable conditions in government-funded facilities.
Bloomberg – Mexico is taking unconventional steps to shore up the peso after painting itself into a corner with record low interest rates and signals it will hold them there until the Federal Reserve makes a move. The Bank of Mexico said Thursday that it will spend at least $8.6 billion in the next two months to prop up the currency, which has plunged to a record low amid an emerging-markets selloff.
AP – Men armed with rifles killed a police commander Thursday in the capital of the restive southern Mexico state of Guerrero, and officers pursuing the suspected attackers killed three people about two hours later.
Business Wire – Fitch Ratings has affirmed Mexico’s long-term foreign and local currency IDRs at ‘BBB+’ and ‘A-‘, respectively. In addition, Fitch has affirmed the issue ratings on Mexico’s senior unsecured foreign and local currency bonds at ‘BBB+’ and ‘A-‘, respectively.
Android Authority – While Cricket Wireless already offered free calling and texting from the US to Mexico and Canada, now they are also adding free calling and texting to the US from Mexico and Canada.
El Economista – The federal government has allocated 150 million pesos ($9.34 million) to remove extraordinary amounts of kelp from Quintana Roo beaches and study how to prevent the kelp from washing up on the beaches.
El Universal – Mining, infrastructure and transport giant Grupo Mexico is looking for partners for the second oil extraction tender, which will auction off nine fields in shallow waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
El Universal – After years of financial restructuring, homebuilder Sare sold its first 38 homes in the second quarter. It plans to focus on housing in states such as Queretaro, Guanajuato, Jalisco, Puebla, Aguascalientes, San Luis Potosi, Mexico State and the Federal District.
Gestion – While dairy products have taken center stage in discussions of TPP , other difficult issues remain in the talks, including intellectual property and the defensive posture of Malaysia to state enterprises.
Bloomberg – Grupo Aeromexico is working toward an initial public offering of its frequent-flier rewards program that would value the business at about $1 billion, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.
TheStreet – Relativity Media, the struggling studio behind films including “Masterminds,” with Zach Galifianakis and Kristen Wiig, is reportedly attracting the interest of billionaires Carl Icahn and Carlos Slim.
Huffington Post – As football legend Michel Platini and others launch bids for the presidency of international football’s governing body, the greatest existential crisis in FIFA’s 111-year history is far from over.
Reuters – European Union antitrust regulators scrapped on Friday a seven-year long cartel investigation into French cement maker Lafarge, Mexico’s Cemex , HeidelbergCement and five others after failing to find evidence of a cartel.
Activists on Wednesday hailed the Mexican federal government’s first-ever “gender alert,” declared for a central state in response to a high incidence of killings and disappearances of women.
The Interior Department alert covers 11 municipalities in the State of Mexico, outside the capital, and cites “systematic violence against women” and “an atmosphere of impunity and permissiveness” toward such crimes.
According to the report, more than 1,700 women were slain in the state between 2005 and 2014, and at least 4,281 women and girls disappeared. Most of the missing reappeared alive, but 1,554 have never been heard from again. The state has a population of over 15 million.
“This is something historic that will set precedents for this mechanism to be more agile, and for guarantees for women’s life and access to justice,” said Maria de la Luz Estrada of the National Citizens’ Observatory on Femicide. “Now there has been a commitment. There is no turning back.”