Obama welcomes Pena Nieto day after RNC

CNN – President Barack Obama has invited one of Donald Trump’s fiercest global critics for talks a day after the businessman formally accepts the Republican presidential nomination. Obama will be receiving Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto in the Oval Office today (Friday) for talks on trade, climate change and countering drug trafficking.


Another journalist murdered in Veracruz

Vice News – A Mexican journalist who covered crime for a local newspaper has become the 17th journalist killed in Veracruz in the last six years. Attackers shot 48-year-old Pedro Tamayo multiple times in front of his wife and two children, just steps away from his home.

Tamayo had received death threats for his reporting in an area controlled by the Zetas drug cartel, known as Tierra Blanca. He initially fled to Oaxaca, but returned when Veracruz authorities promised to investigate his case and provide him with police protection. But that did not stop attackers from shooting him eight times.


Mexico’s indigenous prison free of drugs, corruption

Vice News – Walking into the Guachochi jail — located in the mountains of Chihuahua — turns upside down most preconceived notions of Mexican prisons. There are no tell tale signs of overcrowding, domination by internal mafias, endemic corruption, or the underclass of prisoners incarcerated for trivial crimes.

Instead Guachochi has empty beds and a reputation for being filled with inmates convicted of serious crimes who neither consume drugs nor seek to bribe guards. All of the 253 prisoners are indigenous, most of them with Rarámuri roots, but it is also possible to find primas, tepehuanes, and guarijíos — Chihuahua’s other three ethnic groups.


NBA to host two regular-season games in Mexico City

NBA – The National Basketball Association (NBA) and Zignia Live announced that the Phoenix Suns will take on the Dallas Mavericks and San Antonio Spurs in the first consecutive regular-season games in Mexico Jan. 12 and 14, respectively, at the Mexico City Arena. The games will mark the first time the league hosts two regular-season contests in Mexico in the same season.


Green squares, circles might save your life

NYT – They are all over Mexico City, mainly on sidewalks but occasionally in the middle of the street: green rectangles and circles, as small as a window fan or as large as a trampoline, each with four white arrows directed toward a white dot in the center. They are a way to organize and account for people in life-or-death emergencies like earthquakes.


Domestic auto sales soar, while exports slump

Automotive News – Mexico, with the second-largest economy in Latin America and more than 110 million people, at times was lucky to sell a million new vehicles a year locally while it exported twice that number. With sales sometimes running lower than they were 10 years earlier, economists spoke of a “lost decade.”

Now, the narrative has flipped. With signs of a plateau in new-vehicle sales in the U.S., Mexico’s auto exports were down more than 5 percent in the first half of the year, according to industry data.


Pena Nieto apologizes for wife’s mansion purchase from government contractor

Mexico’s president gives a speech at the National Palace in Mexico City on Monday. (Henry Romero/Reuters)
Mexico’s president gives a speech at the National Palace in Mexico City on Monday. (Henry Romero/Reuters)

The Guardian

Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto has apologized for a damaging conflict of interest scandal in 2014 surrounding his wife’s purchase of a $7 million luxury home from a government contractor.

Peña Nieto made what was an unusually frank apology for a Mexican leader over the scandal as he signed into law a new anti-corruption system that the government hopes will boost its credibility in the run-up to the 2018 presidential elections.

Addressing political leaders at the unveiling of the new anti-graft rules that increase oversight of politicians, Peña Nieto admitted the scandal had damaged the Mexican people’s faith in the presidency and the government.

“For this reason, with all humility I ask your forgiveness,” he said. “I reiterate my sincere and profound apology for the offense and indignation I have caused you.”

The president stressed he had not broken the law, and pledged to redouble efforts to fight graft in Mexico.


Mexico cuts poverty by changing measurement

The Guardian – Mexico’s impoverished masses were up to 33.6% richer in 2015 than the previous year, according to the state-run statistics service. But the change owes less to a sudden increase in actual wealth and wellbeing for the country’s poor than to unannounced changes in the methodology for measuring household earnings.