All posts by Diane

How Mexico, Not Saudi Arabia, Could Drive Oil Prices Higher

The Street – With prices of crude oil at fresh five-year lows, investors are wondering when Saudi Arabia might finally cry uncle, cut oil production and reverse the dramatic slide in oil prices. Yet Mexico, a non-OPEC country and third largest exporter of oil to the U.S. behind Canada and the Saudi Arabia, could have nearly as much near-term influence on oil prices as Saudi Arabia if they cut their own production.

Company stores trap Mexican farmworkers in a cycle of debt

By Richard Marosi/Los Angeles Times – Company stores, called tiendas de raya, are a stubborn vestige of an oppressive past. The country’s export farms have modernized rapidly in recent years to meet U.S. food safety standards and satisfy Americans’ appetite for fresh fruit and vegetables year-round. But the company stores operate as they have for generations: as mom-and-pop monopolies that sell to a captive clientele, post no prices and track purchases in dog-eared ledgers.