Obama seeks to reassure Mexico, Canada on Trump and trade

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and US President Barack Obama at the North American Leaders Summit.
Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and US President Barack Obama at the North American Leaders Summit.

CNN

President Barack Obama sought to reassure his counterparts in Canada and Mexico Wednesday that a potential Donald Trump presidency wouldn’t throw cross-border ties into turmoil, even as he pushed back on the GOP candidate’s platform.

Expressing confidence that immigration wouldn’t be shut off and trade deals would persist, Obama argued against the type of protectionist policies that Trump has espoused on the campaign trail. And he cast the presumptive GOP nominee as a failed historical archetype.

“We’ve had times throughout our history where anti-immigration sentiment is exploited by demagogues,” Obama said. “The language is identical. But guess what? They kept coming, and they kept coming because America offered possibility for their children and grandchildren.”

Convening a final North American leaders’ summit even as the U.S. presidential contest throws crucial cross-border issues into dispute, Obama and his counterparts discussed trade, security and climate change during a day of talks in the Canadian capital.

http://www.cnn.com/2016/06/29/politics/obama-canada-mexico-trade-nafta-trump/

Jehova’s Witnesses accused of damaging religious site

The Guardian – Assailants have damaged an ancient Otomi religious site at the remote mountain shrine known as Mayonihka or Mexico Chiquito. A researcher who interviewed some of the attackers said they identified themselves as Jehovah’s Witnesses and viewed the altars as blasphemy. However, the spokesman for the Jehovah’s Witnesses in Mexico said that the allegation appeared to be false.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jun/29/mayonhika-otomi-damaged-jehovahs-witnesses-mexico

Clashes draw support for teachers protest in Oaxaca

Mexican federal police clashed with teachers protesting an education overhaul and the arrest of two of their leaders in Oaxaca on June 19. (Agence France-Presse — Getty Images)
Mexican federal police clashed with teachers protesting an education overhaul and the arrest of two of their leaders in Oaxaca on June 19. (Agence France-Presse — Getty Images)

By Azam Ahmed and Kirk Semple / New York Times

The battle over education in Mexico has suddenly turned literal.

Violent protests have claimed the lives of at least nine people in little more than a week, littered the roads with the charred remains of cargo trucks, and tapped a deep vein of anger and mistrust toward the government.

After government forces clashed with demonstrators in the town of Nochixtlán last week, the protest movement appears to have gained steam, plunging President Enrique Peña Nieto’s signature education changes deeper into controversy.

In recent days, thousands of students in Oaxaca have joined their teachers in the streets for the first time to rail against the government, and many adults once ambivalent about the teachers’ cries of injustice have also taken up the cause.

The violence touched a raw nerve in Oaxaca, which, despite a thriving tourism industry, is one of the poorest and most volatile states in the country. The government’s response to the protests has amplified a belief that the education reforms are just the latest effort by Mexico City to marginalize the people here and deprive them of their rights and dignity.

In most of the country, the president’s push to revamp the schools has found broad acceptance. Government officials and supporters of the overhaul point out that the resistance has been almost entirely concentrated in four southern states, especially Oaxaca, and involves only a small fraction of the nation’s education employees.

It has long been one of the worst-performing public education systems of the world’s largest economic powers. According to a January 2015 report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Mexico’s academic achievement ranked last among the group’s 34 member states.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/27/world/americas/mexico-teachers-protests-enrique-pena-nieto.html

Mexico fuel markets open, but imports aren’t flowing

Bloomberg – Mexico enacted legislation in April allowing companies other than state-owned Petroleos Mexicanos to import fuel for the first time since the 1930s. Mexico has since awarded permits to import a combined 853 million barrels of gasoline and diesel. No fuel has been brought in using those 12-month permits, however.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-06-28/mexico-s-fuel-market-is-open-but-the-imports-aren-t-flowing