AP – A former border security contractor in Texas says there was “spying on Mexico” during aerial surveillance missions and urged caution with state officials over that disclosure.
NK News – North Korea brought Mexico’s nine-month ship seizure into the spotlight, in the process highlighting the Latin American country’s indecision over what to do with the 7,000-ton freighter in Tuxpan port.
North Korea on Wednesday said Mexico has “forcibly detained” one of its ships months after it ran aground off Mexico’s Gulf coast last year, and Pyongyang blames the United States for making sure the ship is not released.
North Korea’s deputy permanent representative to the U.N. told reporters that his country will take unspecified “necessary measures to make the ship leave immediately.”
An Myong Hun said the Mu Du Bong is strictly a commercial ship and that more than 50 crew remain on board.
A U.N. panel, however, has reported that the ship is controlled by a company that has tried to evade U.N. sanctions imposed in response to North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs.
PanAm Post – UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Juan Méndez says he was pressured by the Mexican government to alter the results of an investigation that determined torture in the country is “widespread” and goes virtually unpunished.
By Amber Hildebrandt / CBC News
The CBC News report earlier this week that Canada hacked into Mexican computer networks to gather intelligence is expected to worsen an already tense relationship with a key trading partner.
“This type of cyberwarfare and cyberspying is generally done to countries that are considered your enemy, not your friends, certainly not your partners in a free trade agreement,” said Andres Rozental, a former Mexican deputy foreign minister and career diplomat.
CBC News reported that the U.S. National Security Agency and Canada’s Communications Security Establishment “co-operate closely” on computer network access and exploitation in hotspots like North Africa and the Middle East, but also in friendly nations like Mexico and in Europe.
Those details came out of a 2013 memo, written by the NSA, that was among a cache of documents obtained by U.S. whistleblower Edward Snowden, and analyzed jointly by CBC News and the U.S. news site The Intercept.
The memo didn’t name the spy agencies’ specific targets in the countries, nor did it detail the tactics used.
Terra – Guatemala President Otto Perez Molina is visiting Mexico today, Friday, The presidents will discuss border infrastructure, energy cooperation, sustainable development and trade facilitation.
MercoPress – The UK and Mexico signed in London a memorandum to further support trade and markets, and advance cooperation between the two countries export promotion organizations.
AP – For the third time in less than a month, the Mexican government has condemned the killing of one of its citizens by police in the United States. In a statement, it had called on the U.S. Justice Department to look at the cases for suspected excessive force.
Reuters – A remark by Pope Francis to the effect that he hoped his homeland Argentina could avoid “Mexicanization” was not intended to offend Mexicans or to undervalue the government’s efforts to fight drug trafficking, the Vatican said on Wednesday.
La Jornada – The Mexican government, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, regretted the decision of the federal judge in the Southern District of Texas that temporarily suspended the implementation of the extended version of the program of action for Deferred Arrived in Children and deferred action for parents of US citizens and lawful permanent residents.
La Jornada – Criticism is growing in Mexico about the killing of Mexican apple picker Antonio Zambrano by police at an orchard in Pasco, Wash. Witnesses said he was fleeing when he was shot.
Voactiv – Bill Clinton, speaking at the Laureate Summit of Youth and Productivity, apologized for the United States’ involvement in a drug war that has claimed the lives of over 120,000 people, seen 27,000 go missing and caused myriad social problems. “I wish you had no narco-trafficking, but it’s not really your fault,” he said.
By Carlos Tejada / Wall Street Journal
A Chinese rail-construction company is seeking compensation from Mexican officials stemming from a halted $3.7 billion Mexican high-speed-rail project.
In a statement Tuesday to the Shanghai stock exchange, China Railway Construction Corp. said it was still in negotiations with “the Mexican side and will update if there is important progress.” It didn’t offer further details but said the postponement won’t have a major effect on its operations.
In November, CRCC warned it would resort to legal means to protect its interests after the contract was revoked.
The halt on construction of the roughly 130-mile bullet-train line, from Mexico City northwest to Querétaro city, has become a sore point in China. On Monday, China’s National Development and Reform Commission, the country’s top economic-planning body, called on Mexican officials to protect the rights of Chinese companies.
“We feel really sorry about the decision,” the NDRC said. “Chinese companies have invested much in bidding for the project.”
Officials at the Mexican embassy in Beijing didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
Mexico postponed the project last week as part of an effort to cut government spending by $8.3 billion amid an adverse economic environment and falling oil prices, as Mexico is a significant oil producer.
Sun News – British Columbia’s highest court has sided with workers in a failed union-busting attempt where the Labour Relations Board determined Mexico had conducted “improper interference” over how employees voted a the decertification campaign.
Politico – President Barack Obama’s nominee to be ambassador to Mexico, Maria Echaveste, a daughter of Mexican immigrants, has withdrawn her name from consideration.
Xinhua – China today, Monday, asked Mexico to ensure the lawful rights and interests of Chinese enterprises, after the Mexican government suspended a proposed high-speed rail.
Los Angeles Times – President Obama raised concerns about violence in Mexico during an Oval Office meeting Tuesday with Mexico’s president, while also praising the two nations’ efforts to improve their handing of issues such as immigration.
As protesters in the snow outside waved signs about human rights abuses south of the border, Obama and President Enrique Peña Nieto talked about the investigation of the fall disappearance of 43 students in the state of Guerrero, where a violent drug gang reportedly collaborates with corrupt police and stands as a symbol of a crisis.
Al Jazeera – Coinciding with President Enrique Peña Nieto’s trip to Washington, activists ramped up pressure Tuesday on the United States to withdraw support from an administration they allege is riven with corruption and frequently colludes with the drug cartels it is supposed to be fighting.
Bloomberg – U.S. President Barack Obama is counting on Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto to pressure Cuba to make democratic reforms, now that the White House has moved toward normalizing relations with the island nation.
Politico – President Barack Obama and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto will discuss the “mechanics” of how to quickly wrap up Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations when the two leaders meet today in Washington.