Chinese-Mexican man at center of money laundering scheme

Reuters – A Chinese-Mexican businessman accused of drug trafficking could be handed over by U.S. authorities to Mexican authorities as early as next week as he has nearly exhausted his legal options, ending a years-long extradition battle. Zhenli Ye Gon’s July 2007 arrest in the United States and the seizure of $205 million in cash at his Mexico City home several months earlier, played a role in high-profile money laundering investigations by U.S. authorities at the British banking giant HSBC and the Las Vegas Sands Corp. casino company.

El Tri lineup missing Chicharito, Peralta

Fox Sports – Juan Carlos Osorio has named Mexico’s team for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against El Salvador and Honduras. It’s a side that has been weakened by the injuries to Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez and Oribe Peralta, but even with the duo out, Giovani dos Santos and Carlos Vela couldn’t get a look in what appears to be a pretty big statement about their status in the national team.

ICA posts bigger second quarter loss

Reuters – Mexican construction firm ICA reported a much wider loss in the second quarter compared with the year-earlier period, as revenue was nearly halved and financial costs rose. The company, which has not posted a profit since 2013 and has defaulted on multimillion-dollar debt payments, lost 3.36 billion pesos ($184 million) in the April-June period.

Great pyramid of Cholulu lies beneath church

Daily Mail – A small building in Mexico tells the violent history of treachery and conquest at the great Aztec city of Cholulu – but for hundreds of years, a secret lay beneath its floors. Hiding under the grass, trees and soil sits the Great Pyramid of Cholula, deemed the largest monument ever built on Earth, with a base four times the size of the Great Pyramid of Giza.

S&P lowers Mexico’s sovereign credit outlook to negative

Highrises dominate Mexico City’s downtown landscape. (Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Getty Images)
Highrises dominate Mexico City’s downtown landscape. (Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Getty Images)


Standard & Poor’s on Tuesday lowered Mexico’s sovereign credit outlook to negative from stable, adding that a downgrade could happen in the next two years if the government’s debt or interest burden deteriorated.

Mexico’s peso slumped on the news, to trade nearly 1 percent lower against the dollar, while the IPC stock index fell more than 1 percent.

Standard & Poor’s said in a statement it affirmed Mexico’s ‘BBB+/A2’ foreign currency and ‘A/A1’ local currency sovereign credit ratings but added it saw “an at least one-in-three possibility of a downgrade over the next 24 months.”

The ratings agency said it expects government debt to rise to an average of 4 percent of gross domestic product per year over the next three years.

It expects GDP to expand by just over 2 percent in 2016, and roughly 3 percent between 2017 and 2019, if growth in the neighboring United States remains stable.

“Low GDP growth will make it difficult for the government to meet its ambitious target of stabilizing and gradually reducing its debt as a share of GDP over the next three years,” it said.

Mexico taking control of “La Bestia” migrant train

AP – The Mexican government says it is taking control of a battered rail line long used by Central American migrants heading north toward the United States. Fewer migrants have been hopping the freight cars on the line since government agents began raiding the trains in 2014.

Bidding for 12 exploration blocks approved

WSJ – Mexican oil regulators on Tuesday approved a bidding process for a dozen exploration and production areas containing mostly natural gas, the sixth auction since the country opened the industry to private and foreign investment. The auction includes 12 onshore blocks, nine in the Burgos basin of northern Mexico and three in the south of the country.

Mexico to offer four road maintenance tenders

World Highways – Mexico will set up four road maintenance tenders worth nearly US$827 million in total as public-private partnerships in 2017. Contracts will cover the road projects Piramides-Tulancingo-Puebla, Matehuala-Saltillo, Saltillo-Monterrey-Nuevo Laredo and Texcoco-Zacatepec.

Despite fears, Mexico’s manufacturing boom is lifting U.S. workers

Workers assemble the Forte sedan on the floor of a Kia plant in Nuevo Leon, which began production in May. (Natalie Kitroeff / Los Angeles Times)
Workers assemble the Forte sedan on the floor of a Kia plant in Nuevo Leon, which began production in May. (Natalie Kitroeff / Los Angeles Times)

By Natalie Kitroeff / Wall Street Journal

Enrique Zarate, 19, had spent just a year in college when he landed an apprenticeship at a new BMW facility in San Luis Potosí, Mexico. If he performs well, in a year he’ll win a well-paid position, with benefits, working with robots at the company’s newest plant.

“When you start with such little experience, and get such a big salary, it’s unbelievable,” says Zarate, whose father is a taxi driver and whose mother is a housewife.

That sounds like an exported version of the American dream, circa 1965, in places such as Dearborn, Mich., or Marysville, Ohio. Indeed, the influx of those types of jobs to Mexico has enraged Ford employees in Wayne, Mich., and the makers of furnaces in Indianapolis.

But Mexico’s manufacturing surge has not been an unalloyed disaster for American workers.

U.S. manufacturing production, it turns out, is rising as well. Factory output has nearly reached its all-time high this year, and is up more than 30% since 2009.

The bottom line, say economists and company executives, is that what’s good for Mexico’s factory workers is good for some U.S. workers too.