Osorio boosts roster for World Cup qualifiers

Fox Sports – Mexico are feeling good right now. They got four points from two away matches against the United States and Panama to start World Cup qualifying, but there are still eight matches to play. Juan Carlos Osorio is well aware of that, and that El Tri need to continue improving so they can make a deep run at next year’s World Cup.


Stranded Haitians build new homes in Tijuana

Reuters – Some 3,500 Haitians are now in the border cities of Tijuana and Mexicali, according to Mexican government data. Amid the hammering of tools and the swell of songs from their homeland, dozens of Haitians are working to build the “Haitian Villa” on the western flank of Tijuana.


China Southern opens faster Bangkok-Mexico route

Bangkok Post – China Southern Airlines will offer a new flight option from Bangkok to Mexico City, one that will significantly cut travel time between both ends. The airline, Asia’s largest, said the shorter travel time — 7-14 hours shorter than flights by other operators — is possible with the launch of a new service to the Mexican capital on April 10.


Tarahumara are being displaced

Men’s Journal – The Tarahumara, a tribe of northwestern Mexico known for their long-distance running prowess, have been struggling in the face of displacement. A relentless five-year rain shortage has decimated crops, depleted seeds, and stripped the soil’s nutrition. Last year, thousands of people were forced to leave the canyon to job hunt or sell their belongings for corn and beans.


Mexico’s States Gained Power and Money; Then Came Corruption

The sudden disappearance of Veracruz governor Javier Duarte, leaving behind nearly empty state coffers, shows how the dispersal of political authority to the states made them vulnerable to graf.
The sudden disappearance of Veracruz governor Javier Duarte, leaving behind nearly empty state coffers, shows how the dispersal of political authority to the states made them vulnerable to graf.

By Jose de Cordoba and Juan Montes /  Wall Street Journal

One day last October, the governor of Veracruz state was scheduled to appear on a morning news program. He never showed up.

Instead, Javier Duarte disappeared, the same day authorities asked a judge for a warrant to arrest him. Many in Mexico think he was tipped off.

Duarte has since been charged with racketeering and using illegally obtained funds. Investigators believe he used front men and a web of phantom companies to divert public funds and acquire real estate in Mexico, Houston and Miami. With Veracruz state’s affairs in disarray, federal and state auditors said $2.5 billion spent by his administration was unaccounted for.

Duarte, who before vanishing denied wrongdoing in a series of media interviews, has become the public face of corruption in Mexico and an embarrassment to the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party. Its hopes for retaining power in elections next year are hampered by the alleged financial malfeasance not just of Duarte but of half a dozen other former state governors.

On Sunday, the acting governor who filled in after Duarte’s disappearance was detained and accused of helping him flee.

The mystery of Duarte’s disappearance has riveted Mexicans’ attention even with the strong news focus this year on issues that could affect their lives and economy: the trade and border policies of U.S. President Donald Trump. Long after those controversies have receded, many in Mexico say, their country will still need to get a handle on its deep-seated corruption problem if it is to become a fully modern country. Prince-like state governors often answerable to no one pose a continuing threat to Mexico’s economic health and struggle to establish universal rule of law, political analysts say.


250 human skulls found in Veracruz grave

NYT – A mass grave discovered in the Mexican state of Veracruz contained more than 250 human skulls, most likely the victims of criminal drug cartels. Veracruz, on Mexico’s Gulf coast, has been the epicenter of battles among the country’s drug gangs. The remains found at the site indicated that the victims might have been killed years ago.


Environmental activists fear for their lives

Newsweek – Latin America is now the most dangerous place in the world for environmental activists, according to a 2016 report by Article 19, a British human rights group. More than 122 activists were killed in 2015, one of the deadliest years on record, according to the most recent study from Global Witness, another nongovernmental organization. Mexico has emerged as one of the most perilous countries in the region.


Mexico protests ruling in baseball classic

NYT – It was around 4:45 p.m. on Monday when the first sign emerged that Mexico had lost its protest over the way it was eliminated from the first round of the World Baseball Classic. For that was when Venezuela, and not Mexico, took the field at Estadio de Béisbol Charros de Jalisco y Atletismo for pregame stretching and batting practice.


Cuaron wraps filming of Roma in Mexico

AP – For Oscar-winning director Alfonso Cuaron, returning to film in his native Mexico was an itch that took 16 years to finally scratch. Cuaron has now wrapped shooting on “Roma,” a 1970s period piece about a year in the life of a middle-class family that is infused by the director’s experiences as a child and his Mexican identity.


Walmex to invest 17 billion pesos in Mexico

WSJ – Retailer Wal-Mart de Mexico said it plans to increase its capital expenditures by a fifth this year, with investments in opening and remodeling stores and bolstering the firm’s logistics and online commerce. The unit, also known as Walmex, said it would invest 17 billion pesos ($863 million) this year, 19% more than in 2016.


Mexico grants Trump organization trademarks

Newsweek – Though President Donald Trump has said he wants to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, his company received three trademarks from Mexico The trademarks, valid until 2026, reportedly add to another license the Trump Organization received from Mexico and cover a wide range of businesses from construction to hotels to insurance.