First Lady’s Florida home owned by government contractor

The Guardian – Mexico’s first lady is using a luxury property in Florida bought by a company that is expected to bid for lucrative government contracts, the Guardian has learned. Angelica Rivera, the wife of President Enrique Peña Nieto, is using the $2.05 million apartment in Key Biscayne, south of Miami Beach, with the apparent blessing of Grupo Pierdant, which is a contender to run Mexico’s ports.

The arrangements echo aspects of Rivera’s purchase of a $7 million mansion in Mexico City from another government contractor, the so-called Casa Blanca scandal. 

Miss World director killed after crowning beauty queen

Vice News – The director of Miss World Mexico was shot dead this weekend after crowning the regional winner for the state of Sinaloa. Hugo Rubén Castellanos Jiménez named Melissa Carolina Lizárraga as Miss Sinaloa. Hours later, the police found the 35-year-old Castellanos dead in the back of a stolen black Jeep Cherokee.

Mexico’s Economy Shrank in 2nd Q; First contraction seen in GDP in three years

Cemex trucks wait inside a Cemex plant in the San Antonio neighborhood in Mexico City. (Bloomberg News)
Cemex trucks wait inside a Cemex plant in the San Antonio neighborhood in Mexico City. (Bloomberg News)

By Anthony Harrup / Wall Sreet Journal

The Mexican economy contracted in the second quarter, marking its first decline in three years, as industrial production fell and services remained unchanged from the previous period.

Gross domestic product, a broad measure of output in goods and services, fell 0.3 percent seasonally adjusted from the first quarter. The contraction, which translates into an annualized drop of 1.2 percent, was the country’s first since the second quarter of 2013.

Compared with the second quarter of 2015, Mexico’s GDP expanded 2.4 percent, which was above the 2.2 percent median estimate of 12 economists polled by The Wall Street Journal, but down from 2.6 percent in the first quarter.

Industrial production fell 1.7 percent from the first quarter, agricultural output slipped 0.1 percent and services were flat.

Services have been the main driver of growth for at least a year, due to wage and employment gains, as well as low inflation.

Industrial production, however, has been held back in part by weakness in manufacturing exports tied to a sluggish performance in the U.S. manufacturing sector. Government budget cuts resulting from lower oil revenue are weighing on areas such as construction.

In Mexico, BMW builds supply base from scratch

Automotive News – To reach productivity benchmarks at its Mexico factory, BMW will embrace a new and innovative supply chain and logistics plan. The German luxury maker won’t simply transfer its supply base from its other North American factory, which opened 22 years ago in Spartanburg, S.C. And it won’t demand that suppliers serving the South Carolina plant set up shop in Mexico, says Oliver Zipse, BMW board member for production. Instead, it will create a new North American supply base.

At the U.S.-Mexico border, many depend on trade

VofA – Americans living near the Mexican border have as many different views as those voiced at the recent U.S. political conventions. Some want to continue good relations with Mexico. They want to keep the boundary area secure. They also want to increase business with their neighbors on the other side of the border.

New air agreement opens opportunities

Global Trade – On Friday, July 22, 2016, the United States and Mexico exchanged diplomatic notes to bring their new Air Transport Agreement into force. The agreement eliminates government interference in commercial airline decisions, providing open, unlimited routes between the United States and Mexico. It also expands opportunities for cargo flights between the two countries.

Ex-PRI president implicated in long list of crimes

PanAm Post – Senators of the National Action Party (PAN) have filed a complaint against Humberto Moreira Valdés, the former head of the ruling Revolutionary Institutional Party (PRI) and former governor of Coahuila. The document lists allegedly committed crimes such as money laundering, unjust enrichment, obstruction of justice, bribing, fraud, and embezzlement of public funds.