On Thanksgiving Day, millions of Americans will sit down to enjoy a traditional turkey dinner. Although the U.S. holiday is only a few centuries old, archaeological evidence suggests that in Mexico’s central valleys of Oaxaca, turkey was on the menu much earlier — starting at least 1,500 years ago.
In fact, the amount of turkey remains found at a site inhabited by the Zapotec people suggests that turkey meals back then were “second only to dog” in popularity, the researchers wrote in a new study.
The archaeologists described excavating the remains of adult and juvenile turkeys; whole, unhatched eggs; and eggshell fragments from two residential structures dated between A.D. 300 and 1200.
The locations and context of the bones and eggshells suggested both domestic and ritual use of the animals, and “multiple lines of evidence” hinted that the breeding and raising of turkeys were commonplace in the region by A.D. 400 to 600, providing the earliest known evidence of turkey domestication, the study authors wrote.
Reuters – Hundreds of mariachi folk musicians filled the streets of Mexico City on Tuesday to celebrate and serenade the feast day of Cecilia, the patron saint of music. Clad in their traditional cropped jackets and wide sombreros, the mariachi guitarists, trumpeters and violinists played songs and marched in procession to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Bloomberg – Mexico is set to earn about $2.9 billion from its oil hedges for 2016, reaping a windfall from plummeting crude prices for a second straight year, according to the International Monetary Fund.
Reuters – Mexico is facing risks to its growth from trade protectionism, the International Monetary Fund said on Tuesday, as it cut its growth forecast for the coming years for Latin America’s No. 2 economy. The IMF revised its forecast for Mexican gross domestic product growth for 2016 to 2.1 percent from a 2.5 percent rate seen in July, according to its annual Article IV report on the country. It cut its 2017 growth forecast to 2.2 percent from 2.6 percent.
NPR – Desperate Haitian immigrants have been massing along the U.S.-Mexico border for months seeking humanitarian relief. In the past year more than 5,000 have sought entry into the United States — a 500 percent increase over the previous year. But the U.S. welcome mat is gone, and the new wave of Haitians is in for a harsh reception.
Reuters – Mexico said on Tuesday the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) could form the basis for bilateral trade deals between signatories, and saw a bigger role for China on world trade after U.S. President-elect Donald Trump vowed to withdraw from the accord.
El Paso Times – Mexico is expecting a surge of Central Americans traveling from the U.S. to their home countries for the holidays. To help the Central Americans travel safely to their home countries and get cleared faster by Mexican customs, the Mexican government for the first time has implemented a pilot program, “Amigo Centroamericano,” or Central American Friend.
Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto’s approval rating has slumped to a new low since Donald Trump won the U.S. presidency last week, in part due to his invitation of the real estate tycoon to Mexico during the campaign, a poll showed.
The survey by polling firm Buendia & Laredo for newspaper El Universal said approval of Pena Nieto’s performance had fallen to 25 percent from 29 percent in July, hurt by discontent about the economy, rising violence and failure to battle corruption.
Pena Nieto’s six-year term concludes at the end of November 2018, and opinion polls show his centrist Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) faces an uphill battle to retain power after the next presidential election, scheduled for July 2018.
Mexican law bars the president from seeking re-election.
When asked what was the “worst thing” Pena Nieto had done, seven percent of respondents cited the meeting with Trump, the third most common answer. Only his reforms (12 percent), and failing to battle crime (nine percent) were cited more often.
Global News – President-elect Donald Trump‘s plan to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to make it “a lot better” for U.S. workers would not be a one-way street for his administration, as Canada and Mexico prepare their own list of demands that could require difficult U.S. concessions.
NYT – Mexico doesn’t have to appease U.S. President-elect Donald Trump. It can fight back. It will not win every battle, but it may achieve more through obstruction, and making life miserable for the new president by increasing the cost of his anti-Mexican policies, than it will achieve by appeasement.
ESPN – The NFL returned to Mexico over these last few days, scheduling Monday Night Football between the Houston Texans and the Oakland Raiders and organizing a three-day fan fest leading up to it. They love their football here, even if fútbol (soccer) remains the dominant sport.
Reuters – The foreign ministers of Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala met on Monday to form a strategy to protect their migrants in the United States, in a show of regional solidarity following Donald Trump’s win in the U.S. presidential election.
WSJ – It won’t be so easy for Trump to bully the neighbors. National pride will play a role in stiffening the Mexican spine, and President Enrique Peña Nieto’s government is signaling that it intends to face any crisis by deepening structural reforms, getting its fiscal house in order and looking more aggressively for new trading partners. The unspoken message to Trump is that if he plays the protectionist game, Mexico is ready to raise the stakes.
Last week, Mexico’s central bank pulled the trigger on a “contingency plan” to weather a Trump presidency. Agustin Carstens, head of the Bank of Mexico, is on high alert. It’s his job to protect his country if Trump acts on what he calls “hurricane” level anti-Mexico campaign promises. For now, he hopes that’s not going to happen.
Politico – Negotiators who’ve worked for years are pressing to finish a new water-sharing deal over the dwindling supplies from the Colorado River before president-elect Donald Trump takes office Jan. 20 — or put at risk years of fruitful collaboration on the sharing of cross-border water supplies that are vital to both countries,
Huff Post – Mexican photographer Pablo López Luz started taking aerial photographs of the U.S.-Mexico border in 2014 ― long before President-elect Donald Trump made the construction of a border wall the central promise of his campaign. One key discovery, he said, was that “most of this territory can’t even be crossed.”
NBC – Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto said NAFTA benefits workers and companies on both sides of the border. He expressed concern that the U.S. could be turning its back on a bilateral trade relationship responsible for moving $1 million worth of goods every minute.
Before Veracruz Gov. Javier Duarte went on the lam, there was Eugenio Hernandez, and Tomas Yarrington, and Jorge Torres Lopez, and Mario Villanueva, and, until last week, Guillermo Padres. (There are still others.) All governors at one time, all who took it on the run, trailing corruption charges like clanging cans that fell on deaf ears.
Crooked governors have evaded the law for decades in Mexico, either through agreements struck with presidential administrations or an inability of law enforcement to seize them or their assets, says Mike Vigil, the former head of international operations for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
“Many governors in Mexico are corrupt,” said Vigil, whose territory included Mexico until his retirement in 2004. ”It’s rare that we can get to these governors because many times they’re protected” by the administration in power. Marko Cortes, lower-house leader of the opposition National Action Party, or PAN, concurred, saying Duarte’s escape “appears as if it was something agreed upon.”
It was supposed to be different this time. Enrique Pena Nieto returned the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, to the presidency in 2012 partly on an anti-corruption platform, yet the scandals continue (including his own).
AP – Mexico is starting to seriously contemplate the possibility that millions of its migrants could be deported, and the picture is not pretty. Under proposals put forward by President-elect Donald Trump, Mexico could see millions of people streaming back with no jobs available; the country might lose some of the billions of dollars in remittances sent home annually; and some jobless deportees could swell the ranks of drug cartels, sparking more violence.
Reuters – Ford Motor Co is moving ahead with plans to shift production of small cars to Mexico from Michigan, while “two very important products” will be built in its U.S. factories, Chief Executive Officer Mark Fields says. President-elect Donald Trump has criticized Ford for the decision to shift production of Focus small cars to Mexico in 2018, and said he would consider levying tariffs on Mexican-made Fords.