Dutch “abortion boat” arrives off Guerrero coast

Al Jazeera – A Dutch sailing boat offering abortions has arrived in international waters off Mexico’s west coast, according to the organization which operates it. The vessel, which operates often in defiance of some countries’ laws, took up position on Friday off Guerrero state on Mexico’s southern Pacific coast.


Corruption is at a Level of Audacity ‘Never Seen in Mexico’

Impunity  is more public than ever, pushing Mexicans to a boiling point.
Impunity is more public than ever, pushing Mexicans to a boiling point.

By Elisabeth Malkin / New York Times

When the authorities caught up with him at a lakeside hotel in Guatemala this past weekend, Javier Duarte, a fugitive former Mexican governor, went quietly.

Less than a week earlier, the Italian police had surrounded another former Mexican state governor, Tomás Yárrington, as he finished dinner at a restaurant on a Florentine piazza, ending his five years on the run.

At least three other former Mexican state governors are missing, and more than a half-dozen are under investigation or fighting prosecution on corruption charges. Whatever the accusations, the governors in this rogues gallery share at least one trait: All behaved as if they were untouchable.

“The decades of impunity have generated a level of audacity and absurdity that we have never seen in Mexico,” said Max Kaiser, an anticorruption expert at the Mexican Institute for Competitiveness, a research organization.


Migrant activist found beaten near Mexico City

AP – A U.S. border rights activist has been found on the outskirts of Mexico City, after he sent a chilling Facebook live message saying he was stranded and people were trying to kill him. A Mexican federal official said the person found beaten was Hugo Castro. He is a member of the migrant defense group Border Angels.


Telecom sector is Mexico’s fastest growing

Zack’s – According to a recent report by The Competitive Intelligence Unit, Mexico’s telecom sector witnessed 10.9% growth in revenues year-over-year in 2016. This growth rate is highest among all other sectors of the economy. Remarkably, the telecom sector’s growth rate is more than four times higher than the 2.3% overall growth rate of Mexico’s GDP in the same time frame.


Avocado production down but demand still grows

The Packer – Natural production cycles and the lasting effect of hail during flowering last year are likely to be seen on the Mexico’s post-season avocado totals when the current season ends on June 30. Predictions put the decrease at 20%, compared with the year before. Far from being gloomy, however, Mexico’s avocado exporters are upbeat about their future prospects.


Mexico’s arrest of 2 former governors fails to satisfy anti-corruption critics

Ex-Veracruz Gov. Javier Duarte was captured at a Guatemalan seaside resort.
Ex-Veracruz Gov. Javier Duarte was captured at a Guatemalan seaside resort.

By Jude Webber / Financial Times

President Enrique Peña Nieto hailed the arrests of two fugitive former governors from Mexico’s ruling party within a week as a “convincing message” about the state’s commitment to fight corruption, which is often seen as a bigger problem for the country than Donald Trump’s threatened renegotiation of Nafta.

The detention of Javier Duarte, who is accused of bankrupting the southern state of Veracruz before absconding last year, and of Tomás Yarrington of the northern state of Nuevo León, who enjoyed state-assigned bodyguards for part of his five years on the run from money-laundering and drugs charges, are undeniable advances, analysts say. 

But the number of other former senior officials still wanted, and the slow progress in arming a new anti-corruption system with a prosecutor to lead the fight against the country’s endemic graft, suggest a lack of political will to match the rhetoric, critics say. 

The timing of Mexico’s arrests — ahead of a key gubernatorial election in the State of Mexico in June that the ruling Institutional Revolutionary party (PRI) must win to remain afloat in the July 2018 presidential polls — looks expedient in a country where a corruption scandal over the president’s wife’s house decimated his popularity. 

“The evidence that they are really moving forward and determined to attack the problems at the root is just not there,” says Juan Francisco Torres Landa, who heads Mexico United Against Crime, a non-governmental organisation. 


Once prickly, U.S. and Mexico bound by trade

The Atlantic -The grandiose promise of trade is that it binds countries together, breeding peace and cooperation. This is a risible overstatement when applied generally to the world. But in the case of the countries separated by the Rio Grande, it has proved wondrously true. A generation after the signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement, the United States and Mexico couldn’t be more interdependent.


U.S. dairy farmers worry about trade to Mexico

AP – U.S dairy farmers already struggling with low milk prices worry President Donald Trump’s talk of renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement could harm trade to Mexico, its biggest export market.

About 15 percent of dairy production in the United States is exported with one-third valued at $1.2 billion going to Mexico in the form of milk powder, cheese and whey protein.


Another journalist gunned down in Mexico

LAT – Another journalist has been killed in Mexico — the fourth in just six weeks. Authorities said reporter Maximino Rodriguez Palacios was shot dead outside of a shopping center Friday in La Paz Rodriguez, 72, wrote about politics and crime for a news organization called the Pericu Collective. He had previously worked as a spokesman for the state attorney general’s office.

Friday’s shooting is the latest in a string of violent attacks on journalists in Mexico that has claimed four lives since March 2 and has left several others wounded.


Asylum claims lodged in Canada from Mexico rise

CTV – The number of people seeking asylum in Canada from Mexico continues to rise. New figures from the Immigration and Refugee Board show that March recorded the highest number yet of new claims in 2017 — 110, up from 85 in February and 71 in January, for a total of 266 so far this year. In all of 2016, there were just 241, statistics from the IRB show.