Mexico’s ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, voted on Monday to suspend a controversial governor’s party membership in a bid to root out widespread perceptions of corruption among its ranks.
Citing damage to the party’s image and the strength of corruption allegations leveled against Veracruz state Governor Javier Duarte, the PRI’s seven-member justice commission approved the suspension of him and to six of his aides.
Duarte became the governor of the eastern state, a populous and oil-rich PRI bastion, in 2010 a vote tarred with accusations of electoral fraud.
His time in office became synonymous with widespread drug violence, accusations of graft and multiple journalist killings.
Veracruz is the most dangerous state for journalists in Mexico, with at least 17 journalists murdered there since 2010, Reporters Without Borders says.
CNN – When you think of famous car-producing nations, Mexico is probably not at the top of your list. But two brothers, Guillermo and Iker Echevarría, are on a mission to change that with a two-seater built by their own fledgling manufacturer, Vuhl.
Huff Post – With more than a million U.S. expats settled in south of the border, Mexico is the most popular choice for North Americans looking for a better life overseas. While proximity is a huge bonus, there’s much more to the whole Mexico package to make it one of the easiest live-overseas options. Here are nine advantages of setting up a new life in Mexico.
Criminal violence in Mexico is rebounding after a three-year decline, reaching levels not seen since 2011, when the country’s murderous war between drug cartels was at its worst.
The government’s tally of murders, the vast majority of which it links to organized crime, rose to 14,549 for the first eight months of the year, an 18% increase over the same period a year earlier. In August alone, there were 2,147 homicides, the highest toll for any month since President Enrique Peña Nieto took office at the end of 2012.
Last week, two Catholic priests were killed in the Gulf coast state of Veracruz, which has been ravaged by drug-gang violence. Last Tuesday, Spanish authorities said the niece of the president of the Spanish Football Federation was found dead near a highway in the State of Mexico after being kidnapped in the upscale Mexico City district of Santa Fé.
Those incidents follow a shootout between soldiers and suspected gang members killed 11 people in the border city of Nuevo Laredo and the discovery of two dismembered bodies thrown off a bridge in Tijuana. In the beach resort of Acapulco, now one of the world’s most violent cities, police found a pair of severed hands wrapped in tortillas like tacos.
The violence has spread to previously calmer spots like Guanajuato, a central state known as a growing hub for automotive production. Suspected cartel members have executed high-ranking state-police officers there in recent weeks, and grenade attacks are growing common against shops that refuse to pay extortion fees. Two such attacks took place recently in the tourist town of San Miguel de Allende, home to many U.S. retirees.
“The change [in violence] we are observing is most likely not a spike, but a clear-cut change in trend,” said Dwight Dyer, a former head of analysis at Cisen, the Mexican national intelligence agency.
BBC – Two years have passed since 43 students went missing on their way to a protest in the Mexican town of Iguala. The violence that night also left three dead and two injured. At the time, their disappearance caused outrage. The anger is still burning at the Raul Isidros Burgos rural teachers’ college in Ayotzinapa, where the trainee teachers were studying.
Bloomberg – Traders are growing increasingly pessimistic about Mexico’s ability to stave off a credit-rating downgrade. It costs 0.23 percentage point more to insure Mexico’s bonds against nonpayment than debt from lower-rated Panama, based on trading in credit-default swaps. That’s the most in six years. Mexico is also more costly to protect against default than Peru, which shares the same A3 rating from Moody’s Investors Service, four levels above junk, and the BBB+ from S&P Global Ratings and Fitch Ratings.
UPI – In the latest in a string of accidents, Petroleos Mexicanos said insurance companies are ready to act and investigators are on scene after a fuel tanker fire. Pemex, reported a fire at its Burgos fuel tanker off the port of Veracruz was suppressed. Work is underway to level the vessel and investigators were on scene to determine the cause.
Reuters – The bodies of five men and a woman were found in Sinaloa, home turf of captured drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman. The corpses were found in a parking lot in the Pacific port of Mazatlan. It was unclear whether the deaths were related to conflicts between Guzman’s Sinaloa Cartel and rival gangs in the state, where violence has crept up again in recent months.
International human rights officials are demanding an investigation into the brutal sexual assaults of 11 Mexican women during protests a decade ago — an inquiry that would take aim at President Enrique Peña Nieto, who was the governor in charge at the time of the attacks.
The demand is part of a multiyear examination by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights into abuses during a 2006 crackdown ordered by Peña Nieto on San Salvador Atenco, a town in Mexico State where demonstrators had taken over the central square. During the operations, which left two dead, more than 40 women were violently detained by the police, packed onto buses and sent to jail several hours away.
The case was brought by 11 women to the international commission, which found that the police tortured them sexually. The women — a mix of merchants, students and activists — were raped, beaten, penetrated with metal objects, robbed and humiliated, made to sing aloud to entertain the police. One was forced to perform oral sex on multiple officers. After the women were imprisoned, days passed before they were given proper medical examinations, the commission found.
“I have not overcome it, not even a little,” said one of the women, Maria Patricia Romero Hernández, weeping. “It is something that haunts me and you don’t survive. It stays with you.”
NBC – Aurelio Cabrera Campos was the eighth journalist killed in Mexico this year, according to a report released by CPJ research. Unknown assailants shot multiple rounds at the journalist’s car about 11 p.m. on Sept.14 while driving near Huauchinango, a city in Puebla. The Committee to Protect Journalists urged authorities in the central Mexican state of Puebla to conduct a full credible investigation.
WSJ – An accused drug kingpin, whose mansion yielded the world’s largest cash seizure, faces imminent extradition to Mexico after a refusal by U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts to grant an emergency stay. Wednesday’s order could end a nearly decade-long U.S. legal battle for Zhenli Ye Gon, who has been in custody since 2007.
BBC – Women in a community in southern Mexico have voted in local elections for the first time, after winning a three-year battle for the right to choose a mayor and councillors alongside their male relatives.
Reuters – Mexico’s peso briefly strengthened on Wednesday after the U.S. Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged but strongly signaled it could still tighten monetary policy by the end of this year as the labor market improves further. The peso strengthened 0.6 percent to 19.7 pesos per dollar on the announcement, but reversed gains soon after.
Link –A local activist is taking a playful approach to tackle a deadly violation of pedestrian rights in Mexico City. It is estimated that the 5 million cars operating in Mexico City cause 63 traffic accidents, leave 21 wounded, and kill 3 people every day. At least one of those fatalities is a pedestrian. Traffic accidents claim more casualties than the country’s infamous drug war. Also, traffic accidents are the leading cause of death in Mexican children.
Atlas Obscura – The Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve and has been a protected site in Mexico since 1980. But ever since then—and likely before—the forest has remained threatened by illegal logging. On Tuesday, Mexican authorities announced steps towards fighting that threat, in the form of the closure of seven sawmills that had been operating illegally in the reserve.
Sentido Comun – A new investigative report, called Bahamas Leaks, revealed that hundreds of companies, entrepreneurs and Mexican politicians have created financial structures or have investments in Bahamas, one of the best known tax havens in the world.
El Economista – The effort by avocado producers to boost exports over nearly two decades has paid off, as the sale of avocados to the United States reached 800,000 tons this year Last year the amount was 640,000 tons.