National Geographic – The southern border of the U.S. is a hot zone for wildlife smuggling, and while President Trump has vowed to stop illegal immigration from Mexico, it’s unclear what he intends to do to thwart the flow of illicit wildlife.
BBC – Mexico’s football federation has imposed stiffer sanctions against two players from top flight clubs involved in rows with referees. They have been suspended for a year, after referees went on strike over the initial bans regarded as too lenient.
NYT – Mexican sports fans mourned a weekend without soccer after referees for the country’s first-tier league refused to officiate games in protest of the decision not to impose tougher punishments on two players who shoved officials.
AP – Environmental authorities are searching for a 10-foot (3-meter) crocodile that killed and apparently ate a man in Chiapas. The federal Environment Department said when the victim and three friends went to the La Encrucijada reserve to fish, an 18-year-old was carried off by the reptile, but his companions escaped.
KRGV – The plight of Cuban nationals who attempted to emigrate to the U.S. unsuccessfully were sent back to their country.Mexico’s Immigration Institute said 49 Cubans were returned to Cuba morning.
Men’s Journal -Sure, Mexico City’s artistic credentials, cultural cool, and Old World traditions (not to mention its taquerias) are enough to entertain tourists for a short lifetime. But what if you want to go hiking? After all, Mexico City is nestled among the towering Cordillera Neovolcánica mountain range (which includes three of Mexico’s tallest summits, including the 18,491-foot Pico de Orizaba) and dozens of lakes. Indeed, two hours in any direction from the city will land you in flowering alpine meadows, tall pine forests, or cracked ridges fit for all levels of outdoor enthusiasts. From the 11,000-foot Pass of Cortes to a 400-year-old monastery tucked away in the mountains, here are four of the area’s best hikes.
AP – A gang of dozens of fishermen overturned inspectors’ trucks, burned or destroyed 15 vehicles and patrol boats, and beat three inspectors from the office for environmental protection in a town on Mexico’s Gulf of California. The fishermen were angered by Mexico’s attempt to save the vaquita porpoise by banning some types of net fishing in the Gulf –also known as the Sea of Cortez — where only about 30 of the elusive animals are believed to survive.
Gangland-style murders are a daily event in Culiacán, the capital of Mexico’s Sinaloa state, where businesses close early, schools suspend classes and people must take precautions to avoid getting caught in the crossfire.
The extradition of Mexican drug kingpin Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán to the United States in January was supposed to curb the violent drug wars raging south of the border. Instead, rival factions of Guzmán’s organization have ignited a new deadly turf war for control of the drug lord’s rudderless empire.
“It is a nightmare but one we have lived many times before,” said Rosita Méndez, a mother of two young children who lives in Culiacán.
Mexican Defense Secretary Salvador Cienfuegos acknowledged at a recent news conference that Guzmán’s criminal organization “is fighting an internal struggle for control of the organization due to the absence of its leader.”
A rival faction within the cartel headed by a former lieutenant of El Chapo, former state police official Dámaso López, aka “El Licenciado” or “the Graduate,” is believed to have killed Guzmán’s sister and wounded his two adult sons in a shootout in western Mexico earlier in February.
“It appears that we are seeing a generational transition from El Chapo to his sons,” said Alejandro Hope, an independent security expert in Mexico City. “It is the greatest such power shift within the organization for many years, and all hell is breaking loose.”
Fox News – Mexico has canceled existing sugar export permits to the United States to avoid penalties in a dispute over the pace of shipments, a document seen by Reuters said, partly blaming the issue on unfilled positions at the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Voice of San Diego – As the U.S. prepares to invest tens of billions of dollars in Trump’s project, it is worth asking whether immigrants from Mexico are likely to continue coming north at the same rates, particularly given research showing that economic considerations weigh most heavily among people choosing to immigrate.
CNBC – Renault-Nissan has no plans to move production out of Mexico despite speculation that the anticipated revision of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) could slap tariffs on trade between the U.S. and Mexico.
Bloomberg – Strong demand for contracts that protect from declines in Mexico’s peso shows lingering concern the currency is vulnerable to a fresh selloff after a six-week rally.
CNN – With millions of gallons of raw sewage spilled into the Pacific Ocean surface and onto the shores of southern California, officials in the United States and Mexico have launched a bi-national investigation into the spill that apparently originated in Mexico.
Reuters – U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly confirmed a report that he was considering a proposal to separate women and children who cross the U.S. border with Mexico illegally, a policy shift he said was aimed at deterring people from making a dangerous journey.
Financial Times – E-commerce giant Amazon has launched its Amazon Prime service south of the border a day after official data pointed to a pickup in consumer confidence. The service will cost 449 pesos ($23) for the first year, rising to 899 pesos a year after that, giving shoppers in Mexico City, Querétaro, Puebla and Guadalajara one-day delivery.
Reuters – Mexico opened legal aid centers at its 50 consulates across the United States to defend its citizens, the Mexican government said, amid worries of a crackdown on illegal immigration under U.S. President Donald Trump.
Reuters – Mexican federal police rescued 31 Cuban immigrants who had been held in a house in the resort city of Cancun. The 22 men and 9 women did not have visas to be in Mexico and said they were being held by a group of armed men who had demanded money for their release.
By Jude Webber / Financial Times
Ildefonso Guajardo, Mexico’s economy minister, will meet executives from Ford and General Motors in Detroit on Friday, today, as well as officials from two auto-parts companies with plants in Detroit and Mexico, as part of a visit designed to talk up the benefits of Nafta.
Guajardo, who was part of the team that negotiated the North American Free Trade Agreement that took effect in 1994, will also address the Detroit Economic Club on the subject of US-Mexican bilateral relations, relations between the state of Michigan and Mexico and the current situation and future of the free-trade pact.
A statement did not say whom the minister would meet or name the car-parts companies.
President Donald Trump has vowed to revamp Nafta, saying the current deal is not in the US’ interests.
U.S. Commerce secretary Wilbur Ross has suggested talks could focus on rules of origin and dispute resolution mechanisms. Trump has vowed to pull the US out of Nafta unless he can get a better deal.
Reuters – The Mexican peso rallied on Friday to its strongest level since the day following the U.S. presidential election after U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said that a sensible trade deal with Mexico will help its battered currency. The peso strengthened to 19.5200 per dollar.
LAT – A top U.S. drug official made a strong case Thursday for continued cooperation with Mexico on fighting drug-trafficking, saying successful law enforcement already has created a virtual wall. In a subtle dig at the Trump administration, William Brownfield, the State department’s senior diplomat involved in drug policy, said that despite a crisis drug epidemic, the United States and Mexico were in a better position than ever to combat it.