Two missing Catholic priests found murdered in Veracruz

 The slain priests were identified as Alejo Nabor Jimenez Juarez and Jose Alfredo Juarez de la Cruz.
The slain priests were identified as Alejo Nabor Jimenez Juarez and Jose Alfredo Juarez de la Cruz.

Deutsche Welle

Two Mexican priests were found murdered Monday, just hours after they were kidnapped from the low-income neighborhood where they served in the Gulf coast state of Veracruz.

Prosecutors said the two men were abducted from their church in the state’s northern city of Poza Rica on Sunday. The priests were found with bullet wounds in the municipality of Papantla, close to where they were kidnapped.

A third man, a church assistant, managed to escape the kidnappers. He was found on Monday and put under police protection.

The Mexican Council of Bishops identified the slain priests as Alejo Nabor Jimenez Juarez and Jose Alfredo Juarez de la Cruz.

“We express our pain and indignation at the violence committed against them,” the Bishops said in a statement.

Poza Rica and it surrounding environs has been the scene of drug-related gang violence for many years. But it’s unclear why the Catholic clergymen were targeted.

Priests have been killed before in Mexico, but many of the killings have occurred in the Pacific coast state of Guerrero. What motivated the abductors to slay the priests remains unclear.

Architect Javier Senosiain builds outside the box

NBC – Mexican Architect Javier Senosiain looks out over his sinuous snake’s nest of a building, providing relaxation and tranquility to those who live in the very edge of Mexico City’s urban sprawl, and reflects on over 30 years of building egg- and cocoon-like dwellings that are quite literally out of the box.

The women who rule Mexico City

City Lab – In the media, Mexico City’s most important people often appear to be male politicians and businessmen. But on the city’s crowded streets, it’s women who run things. There are no public numbers on the leadership of the myriad street vendor organizations, self-produced housing developments, and indigenous groups in the metro of 21.2 million. But Alejandra Barrios, perhaps the most influential street vendor in Mexico City, estimates that of the approximately 100 organizations in the city’s central areas, 80 percent are led by women.

Ford is shifting all small-car production to Mexico

A bus passes in front of a Ford logo near a sales store of the automaker in Mexico City, Mexico, April 5, 2016. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido - RTSDR7L
A bus passes in front of a Ford logo near a sales store of the automaker in Mexico City, Mexico, April 5, 2016. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido – RTSDR7L

By Greg Gardner and Brent Snavely / Detroit Free Press

Ford plans to eventually shift all North American small-car production from the U.S. to Mexico, CEO Mark Fields told investors Tuesday, even though the company’s production investments in Mexico have become a lightning rod for controversy in the presidential election.

“Over the next two to three years, we will have migrated all of our small-car production to Mexico and out of the United States,” Fields said at a daylong investor conference in Dearborn.

The news sparked a fresh round of criticism of Ford from Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump, who was campaigning in Flint on Wednesday.

“We shouldn’t allow it to happen. They’ll make their cars, they’ll employ thousands of people, not from this country, and they’ll sell their car across the border,” Trump said during his visit. “When we send our jobs out of Michigan, we’re also sending our tax base.”

The impact on Ford’s U.S. employment will be minimal in the near-term. Ford already builds the Fiesta subcompact and the Fusion mid-size sedan in Mexico. There is an expectation that Ford will build a new Ranger mid-size pickup truck in Wayne and possibly a new Bronco compact sport-utility.

Ford isn’t the first automaker to move small car production out of the U.S. Mexico has become an auto production Mecca for new industry investment, surpassing Canada in annual automotive production.

Protesters in Mexico march against same-sex marriage proposal

An estimated 250,000 marched in protest of Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto's proposal to legalize gay marriage.
An estimated 250,000 marched in protest of Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto’s proposal to legalize gay marriage.

By Allen Cone / UPI

Protesters marched throughout Mexico in opposition to the president’s proposal to legalize same-sex marriage, organizers said.

A coalition of various religious groups and other organizations, called the National Front for the Family, urged Mexicans to protest President Enrique Pena Nieto’s legislation to allow gay marriage in marches Saturday. Pena Nieto wants Congress to debate the issue. Mexico’s Supreme Court said last year that laws banning same-sex marriage were unconstitutional.

Same-sex marriage is allowed in some Mexican states that include Coahuila, Quintana Roo, Jalisco, Nayarit, Chihuahua and Sonora.

Organizers said more than 1 million people marched in 75 cities, including 250,000 people in Guadalajara, Jalisco. A verified accounting of marchers was not available.

The marchers chanted “Yes to the family!” “Yes natural marriage! “” Yes to freedom of expression!,” according to

Mexican journalists now face lawsuits, too

NYT – This summer, responding to public outrage over a spate of government corruption scandals, Mexican lawmakers passed a strong anticorruption law that requires public officials to be more transparent about their finances. Whether that will help end Mexico’s culture of cronyism and graft will depend largely on journalists being able to investigate and report about the ruling class.

A recent flurry of specious lawsuits filed against journalists — and a troubling court decision in May that lifted monetary caps on libel damages — are having a chilling effect on investigative reporting and criticism. Of all the challenges that have historically stymied the Mexican press, including violence and a habit of self-censorship to appease advertisers, the unjustified legal exposure journalists now face is a relatively easy one to solve.

Police clear teacher protest camp in Oaxaca

TeleSur – Despite having returned to classes, the state government opted to clear a protest camp set up by teachers affiliated with the CNTE union. In a raid conducted in the middle of the night Saturday, at least 500 police officers forcibly cleared a sit-in protest camp set up by teachers in the center of the City of Oaxaca.

Mexico’s new finance minister spurns Donald Trump

Mexico's Finance Minister Jose Antonio Meade (R) hands over the 2017 budget to the Chamber of Deputies chairman Javier Bolanos in Mexico City. (Reuters)
Mexico’s Finance Minister Jose Antonio Meade (R) hands over the 2017 budget to the Chamber of Deputies chairman Javier Bolanos in Mexico City. (Reuters)

By Jean Luis Arce / Reuters

Mexico’s new finance minister on Thursday delivered a stern reproach to Donald Trump, saying the only thing he agreed on with the U.S. Republican presidential candidate was that his predecessor in the ministry was an excellent public servant.

The comments follow the resignation of Luis Videgaray as finance minister on Wednesday after he came under fire for Trump’s visit to Mexico City last week, which Mexican diplomats said he was instrumental in arranging.

Trump has infuriated Mexicans with a series of broadsides against the United States’ southern neighbor, and his hastily arranged visit to meet President Enrique Pena Nieto a week ago sparked heavy criticism of the government.

Presenting the government’s 2017 budget plan just a day after his appointment, the new finance minister, Jose Antonio Meade, did not mince his words when he was asked about recent comments by Trump on Videgaray at a news conference.

“I’d like to point out that the only thing, absolutely the only thing I agree on with candidate Trump is that Luis Videgaray is an exceptional public servant,” Meade said.

Mexico’s 2017 budget cuts will squeeze Pemex

Reuters – Mexico’s government on Thursday set out plans for a bigger-than-anticipated cut in public spending in 2017, with struggling state oil company Pemex earmarked for a 100 billion peso ($5.36 billion) reduction in funding. New Finance Minister Jose Antonio Meade said the budget foresaw planned spending cuts of 239.7 billion pesos ($12.83 billion), targeting a primary surplus of 0.4 percent of gross domestic product in 2017. It would be the first such surplus since 2008. 

China firm allegedly shipped through Mexico to avoid tariff

CNBC – U.S. executives are reportedly squabbling with a Chinese company over a pile of aluminum sitting in a remote desert region of Mexico. The U.S. Commerce Department was investigating the aluminum hoard, which was once estimated to be worth about $2 billion. The agency received complaints that alleged China Zhongwang Holdings was dodging U.S. tariffs by exporting its aluminum to Mexico before shipping it to the United States, a process also known as transshipping.

Architect designs city spanning U.S.-Mexico border

Dezeen – Architect Fernando Romero has unveiled plans for a binational city spanning the US-Mexico border, amid Donald Trump’s calls for a wall to be built between the two countries. Romero’s Border City presents a utopian vision for a city with dual nationality, where people and goods could move more freely across the US-Mexico border.

Sacking Osorio might not solve Mexico soccer woes

ESPN fc – Cries of “Fuera Osorio” calling for Mexico national team manager Juan Carlos Osorio to be sacked from his role are nothing new at Estadio Azteca. From shouts of “Bora (Milutinovic) out” in the 1990s to “Chepo (de la Torre) out” in the 2000s, it’s something the historic venue has come to know in recent years. The fans have a right to express themselves. On some occasions, they can also be wrong.

Why Big Oil is staying away from latest auction

Oil Price – When Mexico opened up its energy sector for private investors in August 2014, oil prices were hovering above the US$100 mark, and the big price crash had not started yet. Two years later, in the ‘lower for longer’ price environment, Big Oil seems hesitant to jump on the joint-operating-agreement bandwagon with state-run company Petroleos Mexicanos, or Pemex, in the Trion field in the Perdido Fold Belt in the northwestern Gulf of Mexico just next to the U.S. border.