Category Archives: Column

Why Mexico’s economy doesn’t depend on the election of Donald Trump

A woman and her son walk past a newspaper stand in Ciudad Juarez displaying a local newspaper with a headline for the victory of U.S. Republican president-elect Donald Trump. (Jose Luis Gonzalez/Reuters)
A woman and her son walk past a newspaper stand in Ciudad Juarez displaying a local newspaper with a headline for the victory of U.S. Republican president-elect Donald Trump. (Jose Luis Gonzalez/Reuters)

By Alejandro Ruelas-Gossi / Harvard Business Review

The Mexican peso initially fell 13% in trading after Republican Donald Trump won the U.S. presidency in a surprise result over Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. It was the biggest drop for the currency since an economic crisis in 1994.

President-elect Trump has threatened to rip up and renegotiate Mexico’s most important free-trade agreement: NAFTA. The Trans-Pacific Partnership that would have linked Mexico in a free-trade agreement with the United States and 11 other countries is now as good as dead. To be sure, these roadblocks to further trade and investment will damage Mexico’s economy in the short and medium terms.

However, I fear that Mexico continuing its existing trade-based economic strategy will not necessarily produce different results in the long term — as it wouldn’t for any other developing country.

While it’s understandable that stock and currency markets would react this way to the outcome of the election, I believe that it’s somewhat of an overreaction. Mexico’s economy was going to have to enter into a new era regardless of who became the next U.S. president.

Getting away with murder in Mexico

Al Jazeera – Every November 2, Mexicans mark the Day of the Dead by honouring deceased loved ones. Given the disproportionate number of deaths produced by Mexico’s US-backed drug war, officially launched in 2006, it is starting to seem like an ever-more tragically appropriate tradition.

Estimates vary as to the total number of deaths since the start of the drug war, but many observers put it at above 100,000. And this isn’t even counting the more than 27,000 Mexicans currently missing or disappeared – by most objective accounts an underestimate – or the 70,000-120,000 Central American migrants estimated to have disappeared while travelling through Mexico since 2006.

But this alibi is more than slightly defective. For one thing, the cartels are often indistinguishable from local and state police, and form networks dedicated to extortion, kidnapping, and killing, all of which increases social control and helps to suppress dissent.

Mexico’s drug war goes much deeper than drugs

Why the legalization of marijuana won't change the forces underlying the country's bloody conflict.
Why the legalization of marijuana won’t change the forces underlying the country’s bloody conflict.

By Steven Cohen The New Republic

Perhaps one day, many years down the road, people will look back at Mexico’s Supreme Court decision on marijuana this week as a pivotal step toward a more humane, sensible drug policy in the country.

But for now, that possibility seems remote. Wednesday’s ruling is limited to precisely four individuals—the activist plaintiffs who brought the case—granting them the right to legally grow, possess, and transport weed for non-commercial purposes.

And even if it does lead to outright legalization of marijuana across the country, as reformers hope, the forces underlying Mexico’s disastrous drug war—corruption, poverty, and institutional neglect—will be just as strong as ever.

Jorge Ramos: Mexico’s corruption problem

Fusion – President Enrique Peña Nieto’s administration is fed up with the persistent complaints from his fellow Mexicans. So much so that the government recently produced an online ad titled “Enough!” The wave of criticism that broke on social media after the ad was released led to its swift removal from the government’ website. The overwhelming response to this wrongheaded campaign underlines the fact that Mexicans are tired of Peña Nieto and his inability to deal with serious issues in Mexico. Take an issue like corruption, for instance.