Data compiled by a Mexican civil society group confirms a disturbing trend noted in Mexico in recent months — violence is not only rising sharply it is also spreading to regions not previously considered organized crime hotspots.
During the first trimester of 2016, Mexican organization Semáforo Delictivo documented a 15 percent increase in homicides related to organized crime.
The group’s director, Santiago Roel, said 57 percent of total homicides this year were the result of criminal executions, up from 48 percent for the same period in 2015, reported Excelsior.
In total, Semáforo Delictivo registered 4,456 homicides during the first three months of 2016 — up from 3,862 in 2015 — putting Mexico on pace to have around 18,000 murders this year.
Mexico’s increasing homicide levels are in part being driven by geographic regions typically associated with violence and criminal activity, most notably Guerrero.
However, Mexico’s rising homicide trend is even more troubling for the increases in places one might not immediately suspect, such as Colima.
WSJ – Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto signed Wednesday a new law aimed at controlling the expansion of state and municipal debt as the federal government is reining in spending in response to the drop in oil prices.
AP – Mexico is watching out for the banned steroid clenbuterol — on the dinner plates of its athletes. Mexico’s national sports commission, Conade, said that coaches are keeping a special watch on meat supplied to athletes ahead of the Rio de Janeiro Olympic games.
EFE – Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission said it was investigating dozens of cases of alleged torture and mistreatment of suspects arrested for their purported involvement in the September 2014 disappearance of 43 trainee teachers.
Chicago Tribune – Fiat Chrysler confirmed that the automaker plans to move production of a Jeep SUV to Toluca, Mexico, from Belvidere, Ill., and move production of Ram pickups to Sterling Heights, Mich. from Warren, Mich. The moves are part of a massive plan to shift production of smaller vehicles to Mexico while concentrating on the production of more profitable Jeep SUVs and Ram pickups in the U.S.
Reuters – Mexican mining, rail and infrastructure company Grupo Mexico said its first-quarter net profit rose 20.9 percent compared to the same period a year ago due to higher metals production and a big jump in investment gains.
Reuters – America Movil said on Wednesday first-quarter profit fell more than 40 percent from a year ago, as mobile competition from AT&T Inc intensified in Mexico and it started paying rent on cell towers after a sweeping regulatory overhaul.
Xinhua – Mexico might send a 100-strong sports delegation to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. So far, 87 Mexican athletes, including 53 men and 34 women, have qualified to compete, but that list might grow if the country’s volleyball team qualifies for the games.
Politico – Senate Republicans who have been negotiating a way to confirm Roberta Jacobson as the nation’s top diplomat to Mexico have reached the contours of an agreement that would allow Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla) — Jacobson’s chief obstacle — to secure renewed sanctions against Venezuela in exchange for lifting his objections.
Reuters – Mexico should use a windfall from its central bank to further tighten its belt this year as it suffers from a drop in revenue from lower oil prices, a senior official of the International Monetary Fund said. Earlier this month, the Finance Ministry received a transfer of 239 billion Mexican pesos ($13.6 billion) from the central bank from part of the gains made on dollar reserves in 2015 because of a sharp currency depreciation.
Bloomberg – Mexico’s unemployment rate fell to the lowest in almost eight years in March, the latest sign of stronger growth. The unemployment rate fell to 3.74 percent in non-seasonally adjusted terms.
Sentido Comun – Grupo Financiero Santander Mexico, a subsidiary of Spain’s largest financial institution, increased its net interest income by 18 percent in the first quarter of 2016 for outstanding performance in credit granted to companies.
Sentido Comun – Coca Cola Femsa, the largest bottler of Coca Cola products in Latin America, reported first quarter income higher than expected by analysts, buoyed by better prices and higher sales volumes in some regions.
Sentido Comun – Genomma Lab International, a manufacturer, distributor and marketer of drugs and products for personal care, reported a 3 percent increase in revenue in the first quarter, driven by double digit growth in sales in the U.S.
Sentido Comun – America Movil said national television networks in Mexico, Grupo Televisa and TV Azteca, may not broadcast the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro because it bought the rights to air the games being held in June.
Diario de Yucatán/AEE – Public money for infrastructure has not been invested effectively or efficiently. While expenditures have increased 7.8 percent since 2009, the value of the investment has consistently declined, according to the Secretariat of Finance and Public Credit.
El Dario – With just 24 years old and a career that promised much in acting, Lina Torres Varela, died after a tragic motorcycle accident. She was riding with a young man she had just met and was not wearing a helmut when he ran a curb, she fell off and was killed immediately.
A U.N. human rights office said on Tuesday that it is troubled by a group of international experts’ complaints of obstacles to their investigation into the disappearance of 43 students in Mexico.
Rupert Colville, spokesman for the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, said in a statement that the office is “concerned about the many challenges and obstacles reported by the experts,” including the ability to examine other lines of investigation such the possible roles of the military and other officials in the case.
He called on the Mexican government to “take into serious consideration” the recommendations of the group of experts from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.
The group’s report from Sunday criticized the government’s investigation of the 2014 disappearances. It said suspects were apparently tortured and key pieces of evidence were not investigated or handled properly.
NYT -Fears are raising that in spite of its handling of the case of the missing 43 students, which was recently criticized by an international panel of experts, the government will face few political consequences.