25% of guns from U.S. are made in other countries

El Universal – About 25 percent of the guns recovered in Mexico come from the United States, but are manufactured in other countries, while in the case of Latin America the figure stands at 59 percent, concluded a report of the Office of Latin America in Washington (WOLA ) and the Violence Policy Center.


Mexico to postpone deep water auction, adjust next oil tender terms

Gas is flared from a tower on an oil drilling rig operated by Pemex off the coast of Ciudad del Carmen last year. (Susana Gonzalez/Bloomberg)
Gas is flared from a tower on an oil drilling rig operated by Pemex off the coast of Ciudad del Carmen last year. (Susana Gonzalez/Bloomberg)

By David Alire Garcia / Reuters

Mexico, which has started to open its nationalized oil industry to additional private investment, will postpone auctions for deep-water oil exploration and production contracts and adjust the terms of upcoming tenders after an inaugural oil auction failed to meet the government’s modest expectations.

Energy Minister Pedro Joaquin Coldwell told local television the government will change rules that scared off potential bidders earlier this month, when it was able to auction only two of 14 blocks in a pivotal oil and gas tender.

He signaled that the government will relax its requirement that consortia bidding on oil parcels must have one member act as a guarantor and hold shareholder equity of at least $6 billion to protect the state’s interest in the event of a major accident.

“We are revising the issue of the guarantees,” said Joaquin Coldwell in a Tuesday night interview with top Mexican broadcaster Televisa’s cable news channel Foro TV.

He also said the government would tweak rules prohibiting a consortium from selecting a new company to replace a pre-selected operator that pulls out. He said that rule thwarted bids in this month’s auction.

He said the government will also allow companies to make a second bid in auctions if an initial bid fails to meet a government set minimum.


In low-growth Mexico, poverty rises – but few are extremely poor

Children stay in front of their home in El Magueyito, Guerrero, this month. (Pedro Pardo/AFP/Getty Images)
Children stay in front of their home in El Magueyito, Guerrero, this month. (Pedro Pardo/AFP/Getty Images)

By Anthony Harrup / Wall Street Journal

Mexico’s government lost the battle of the headlines when a state agency reported that the number of poor people in the country increased by two million between 2012 and 2014, even though some measures of economic adversity eased.

While economists saw low economic growth and lagging wages behind the increase in the number of poor, critics attributed the results to a failure in government programs aimed at tackling one of the country’s biggest problems, where the top 10 percent of the population enjoys 35 percent of the income and the bottom 10 percent just 1.9 percent.

Coneval, the government agency that evaluates the performance of social development policies, said last week there were 55.3 million poor people in 2014, two million more than in 2012. The ranks of the poor amounted to 46.2 percent of the population, up from 45.5 percent two years before.

While income fell, deficiencies in education, health, social security and housing were down last year from 2012, although insufficiency rose in access to nutrition – such as people having to switch to cheaper foods, or in extreme cases miss meals.

“In Mexico poverty affects those who work. It’s not just the unemployed that fall into poverty, as happens in developed countries. In our country, income from labor is insufficient to be above the poverty line,” said the nongovernment organization Acción Cuidadana Frente a la Pobreza, or Citizen Action Against Poverty.

“Mexico isn’t poor, but most of its population is, and this needs to change,” he said.


Mexico’s media landscape has changed

Newspaper vendorForbes – Mexico City media landscape has evolved rapidly over the last twenty years. While some critics still complain that TV giants such as Televisa and TV Azteca focus more on supporting the official government view than engaging in critical investigative journalism, gone are the days when all newspapers relied on government ad revenue and paper from a state-owned company.