Washington Post – Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto signed a decree this week legalizing medical marijuana. The measure also classified the psychoactive ingredient in the drug as “therapeutic.” The new policy isn’t exactly opening the door for medical marijuana dispensaries on every corner.
Express – A strong 6.9 magnitude tremor struck eight kilometres southwest of Tajumulco, Guatemala. The tremor has caused five fatalities, with reports also suggesting that a further seven have been severely injured by the quake.
NBC – Tropical Storm Beatriz hit Mexico’s southwestern coast last Thursday night with heavy rain and sustained winds of about 45 miles per hour. The heavy rain was far more damaging than the wind. Soaking and unrelenting rain caused a number of landslides that killed at least three people. Two others are missing.
Weather Channel – Tropical Depression Two-E is tip-toeing toward Mexico’s Pacific coast, and it will likely develop into this season’s next tropical storm. A tropical storm watch has been issued by the government of Mexico for a part of the coast of Oaxaca state. This does not include Acapulco or Zihuatanejo.
NY Daily News – President Trump to world leaders: Call me on my cellphone. Trump is sharing his personal digits with some world leaders, including Canada and Mexico, and extending an informal invite to ring his cellphone.
The banner stretched across the stage carried the face of Delfina Gomez, a teacher-turned-politician with the leftist Morena party seeking the Mexico state governorship, and that of her party’s president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, a charismatic early favorite for a third run for Mexico’s presidency.
One year before Mexicans pick their new top leader, the impending gubernatorial election in Mexico state is seen as a referendum on the government of Enrique Pena Nieto, who was governor here before becoming president five years ago as the candidate of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, known as the PRI.
A PRI win could stanch the bleeding after the party’s loss last year of four governorships it had always held. Mexico state has long been a key source of the PRI’s so-called “voto duro,” or hard vote — voters it can count on year after year, most of them from a lower socio-economic status, less educated and many older than 50, said Ivonne Acuna, a professor in Iberoamerican University’s social and political sciences department.
A Morena victory in the state would give Lopez Obrador “an immense advance in his quest for the presidency in 2018,” Acuna said. But the opposition vote will be shared among several candidates, which will make it difficult to overcome the PRI’s deeply rooted organization.
A poll released Wednesday by the newspaper El Financiero put PRI candidate Alfredo del Mazo ahead of Gomez by five percentage points in the gubernatorial contest. Juan Zepeda of the leftist Democratic Revolution Party, which Lopez Obrador left to form Morena, was a distant third and Josefina Vazquez Mota of the National Action Party came in fourth. The poll surveyed 1,200 eligible Mexico state voters from May 20-23 and had a margin of error of three percentage points.
With more than 11 million voters, the state of Mexico has been governed by the PRI for 88 years and is the largest potential prize of three PRI-controlled states holding gubernatorial races June 4. The others are Coahuila and Nayarit.
“For the PRI, winning Mexico state is indispensable to be able to have something to do in 2018” during the presidential election, said researcher Marcela Bravo Ahuja at the National Autonomous University of Mexico’s Center for Political Studies. “That’s not to say that if it wins Mexico state it’s guaranteed, far from it, but if it doesn’t win Mexico state there won’t be anything to do.”
News 24 – Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, 93, reportedly left Cancún on Thursday “in a huff” after he was not given a “speaking slot” at the ongoing United Nations World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction.
Amnesty Intl – Mexican Congress passed the General Law on Torture which was promised over two years ago by the Mexican president after a national public outcry following massive human rights violations in the case of 43 disappeared students. Authorities must now ensure all those responsible for these heinous crimes under international law face justice.
U.S. President Donald Trump indicated an openness on Monday to delaying his push to secure funds for his promised border wall with Mexico, potentially eliminating a sticking point as lawmakers worked to avoid a looming shutdown of the federal government.
Trump, in a private meeting with conservative media outlets, said he may wait until Republicans begin drafting the budget blueprint for the fiscal year that starts on Oct. 1 to seek government funds for building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, the White House confirmed.
Trump, whose approval ratings have slid since he took office, is facing a Friday deadline for Congress to pass a spending bill funding the government through September or risk marking his 100th day in office on Saturday with a government shutdown.
“Now the bipartisan and bicameral negotiators can continue working on the outstanding issues,” Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement on Monday night.
SD Union-Tribune – Monday marked the fourth day since San Diego-based migrant activist Hugo Castro disappeared in Mexico on Thursday after he made a plea for help and offered clues to his whereabouts on Facebook Live.
BBC -The collapse of a partially-built car park in the Mexican capital has killed seven construction workers. At least 10 people were hurt in the accident in Mexico City. An official blamed a flaw in the construction process on the collapse. He said a heavy load had been placed incorrectly.
LATimes -The new Netflix series “Ingobernable” — “Ungovernable” — is set in Mexico. But the show’s star had a problem: She couldn’t go there without risking arrest. Kate del Castillo, one of Mexico’s best-known actors, was wanted by authorities for having met with Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, Mexico’s best-known drug lord, while he was on the run in 2015.
NYT – John F. Kelly, the homeland security secretary, said Wednesday that it was doubtful that a wall along the full border with Mexico would ever be built, despite an oft-repeated campaign promise by President Trump. “It is unlikely that we will build a wall from sea to shining sea,” Kelly told senators on the Homeland Security Committee.
MySA – Two teenage girls were posing for selfies when they were killed by a plane in Mexico earlier this week, according to media reports. El Diario de Chihuahua said that Nitzia Mendoza Corral, 18, and Clarissa Morquecho Miranda, 17, were hit while standing on the plane’s landing strip after leaving a horse race March 26 in Chínipas, Chihuahua.
MLive – President Donald Trump wants to squeeze this year’s Great Lakes cleanup funding to help make a down payment on a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico. A $50 million cut to current fiscal year funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is part of $18 billion in immediate federal budget cuts proposed this week by the White House.
By J.J. Gallagher / ABC
In a withering editorial published on Sunday, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Mexico said that Mexican firms interested in helping build President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall are “traitors to the homeland.”
“It is not two or three, but more than 500 companies,” from Mexico expressing interest in Trump’s proposed border wall, the editorial says. “For them, the end justifies the means.”
Building a wall along the nearly 2,000-mile U.S. border with Mexico was estimated by congressional Republicans to cost $12 billion to $15 billion. An internal report prepared for Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly estimated that a wall along the entire border would cost about $21 billion, according to the Associated Press.
After repeatedly claiming that Mexico would pay for the wall, President Trump requested $2.6 billion to start the initial planning and construction in his 2018 budget request. Congress is expected to take up the proposed budget before the end of the fiscal year in September.
The editorial, published in the Archdiocese’s weekly publication Desde la fe, lambasted the wall as “an open threat that violates relations and peace.”
San Diego Union-Tribune – With Donald Trump’s presidency creating a rift in U.S.-Mexico relations, dozens of San Diegans and bajacalifornianos are joining forces this week in Mexico’s capital, aiming to showcase their strong bilateral relationship and win support for border projects. Close to 90 people are making the trek from the border to Mexico City for three days of meetings with high-level Mexican officials that begin Monday. They carry a common message: that neither Trump’s plans for a fortified border wall and nor his call to re-negotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement will change the fact that Tijuana and San Diego are intensely inter-dependent on many fronts.
News4 – More than a hundred Americans and Mexicans came together for a rally between the two countries Saturday afternoon on the International Bridge between Acuña in Mexico and Del Rio in Texas. “It’s a reality on the border. Every border state – in the states, in Mexico – we’re interdependent and you can’t deny it,” said Jorge Ortiz, a dual citizen living in Acuña.
AP – Mexican authorities have rescued 14 crocodiles and found 20 others dead in a squatters’ settlement where people were apparently “milking” the crocs for their blood. The office for environmental protection said that some local residents in Chiapas wanted the blood because they believed it could cure cancer, diabetes, AIDS and other diseases. Scientists say there is no evidence that crocodile blood cures these diseases.
Mexico News Daily – Mexico’s ranking on the United Nations Human Development Index has declined for the fourth year in a row. The 2016 report puts Mexico in 77th place on the list of 185 countries. Norway placed first and the Central African Republic last.