Migrant activist found beaten near Mexico City

AP – A U.S. border rights activist has been found on the outskirts of Mexico City, after he sent a chilling Facebook live message saying he was stranded and people were trying to kill him. A Mexican federal official said the person found beaten was Hugo Castro. He is a member of the migrant defense group Border Angels.


Telecom sector is Mexico’s fastest growing

Zack’s – According to a recent report by The Competitive Intelligence Unit, Mexico’s telecom sector witnessed 10.9% growth in revenues year-over-year in 2016. This growth rate is highest among all other sectors of the economy. Remarkably, the telecom sector’s growth rate is more than four times higher than the 2.3% overall growth rate of Mexico’s GDP in the same time frame.


Avocado production down but demand still grows

The Packer – Natural production cycles and the lasting effect of hail during flowering last year are likely to be seen on the Mexico’s post-season avocado totals when the current season ends on June 30. Predictions put the decrease at 20%, compared with the year before. Far from being gloomy, however, Mexico’s avocado exporters are upbeat about their future prospects.


Mexico’s arrest of 2 former governors fails to satisfy anti-corruption critics

Ex-Veracruz Gov. Javier Duarte was captured at a Guatemalan seaside resort.
Ex-Veracruz Gov. Javier Duarte was captured at a Guatemalan seaside resort.

By Jude Webber / Financial Times

President Enrique Peña Nieto hailed the arrests of two fugitive former governors from Mexico’s ruling party within a week as a “convincing message” about the state’s commitment to fight corruption, which is often seen as a bigger problem for the country than Donald Trump’s threatened renegotiation of Nafta.

The detention of Javier Duarte, who is accused of bankrupting the southern state of Veracruz before absconding last year, and of Tomás Yarrington of the northern state of Nuevo León, who enjoyed state-assigned bodyguards for part of his five years on the run from money-laundering and drugs charges, are undeniable advances, analysts say. 

But the number of other former senior officials still wanted, and the slow progress in arming a new anti-corruption system with a prosecutor to lead the fight against the country’s endemic graft, suggest a lack of political will to match the rhetoric, critics say. 

The timing of Mexico’s arrests — ahead of a key gubernatorial election in the State of Mexico in June that the ruling Institutional Revolutionary party (PRI) must win to remain afloat in the July 2018 presidential polls — looks expedient in a country where a corruption scandal over the president’s wife’s house decimated his popularity. 

“The evidence that they are really moving forward and determined to attack the problems at the root is just not there,” says Juan Francisco Torres Landa, who heads Mexico United Against Crime, a non-governmental organisation. 


Once prickly, U.S. and Mexico bound by trade

The Atlantic -The grandiose promise of trade is that it binds countries together, breeding peace and cooperation. This is a risible overstatement when applied generally to the world. But in the case of the countries separated by the Rio Grande, it has proved wondrously true. A generation after the signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement, the United States and Mexico couldn’t be more interdependent.


U.S. dairy farmers worry about trade to Mexico

AP – U.S dairy farmers already struggling with low milk prices worry President Donald Trump’s talk of renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement could harm trade to Mexico, its biggest export market.

About 15 percent of dairy production in the United States is exported with one-third valued at $1.2 billion going to Mexico in the form of milk powder, cheese and whey protein.


Another journalist gunned down in Mexico

LAT – Another journalist has been killed in Mexico — the fourth in just six weeks. Authorities said reporter Maximino Rodriguez Palacios was shot dead outside of a shopping center Friday in La Paz Rodriguez, 72, wrote about politics and crime for a news organization called the Pericu Collective. He had previously worked as a spokesman for the state attorney general’s office.

Friday’s shooting is the latest in a string of violent attacks on journalists in Mexico that has claimed four lives since March 2 and has left several others wounded.


Asylum claims lodged in Canada from Mexico rise

CTV – The number of people seeking asylum in Canada from Mexico continues to rise. New figures from the Immigration and Refugee Board show that March recorded the highest number yet of new claims in 2017 — 110, up from 85 in February and 71 in January, for a total of 266 so far this year. In all of 2016, there were just 241, statistics from the IRB show.


Nearly $1 million in drugs seized at Nogales

Arizona Republic – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers seized nearly $1 million in smuggled drugs at the U.S-Mexico border crossing in Nogales last week, officials said Monday. Border agents arrested five U.S. citizens and two Mexican nationals in separate attempts to smuggle drugs into the United States from Mexico.


Vintage Chrysler gave Mexican president ride on tequila

R&T – Chrysler experimented with turbine powered cars from 1953 to 1988, and the highlight of the program was a fleet of more than 50 bronze colored cars they built in 1963. One went on a whirlwind tour of the globe. That car, as one might imagine, is the one that had the craziest tales to tell. Like the afternoon it spent giving the president of Mexico a ride, powered entirely by tequila.


Mexican deportees now find “open arms” in Mexico

NYT – For years, as the Obama administration sent back thousands of Mexicans each week — more than two million altogether — Mexico’s establishment barely reacted. All but invisible, the deportees were left to cope on their own with divided families, uncertain job prospects and the poverty that had pushed so many north in the first place. Now, Mexican politicians are eagerly embracing them, portraying deportees as the embodiment of President Trump’s hostility toward their country and their people — even though deportations of Mexican citizens actually fell in the opening months of his term.


Mexico revives 3,000-year-old ball game

BBC -The finals of a revived 3,000-year-old ball game have been played in the Mexican city of Teotihuacan. Organisers have been trying to bring back the game, known as Ullamaliztli in Mexico, because of its ancient cultural and religious significance. The game was played in Central America and parts of North America before being banned by the Spanish conquistadors.


New species of giant spider found in Baja cave

CBS – There’s a new spider in town: specifically, a large, cave-dwelling one found in the mountains of Baja California Sur, Mexico. The spider was first spotted on a research expedition back in 2013 in La Paz, Baja California. It took four years, but scientists have formally confirmed that this spider is not only a new species, but belongs to a genus never seen before. The discovery was published in the March issue of the journal Zootaxa.


Frayed U.S.-Mexico Ties Mend as Trump Refrains From Attacks

Mexican citizens demonstrating against U.S. President Donald Trump at a rally in Mexico City in February. (Mario Guzman/European Press Photo Agency)
Mexican citizens demonstrating against U.S. President Donald Trump at a rally in Mexico City in February. (Mario Guzman/European Press Photo Agency)

By David Luhnow and Jacob Schlesinger / Wall Street Journal

Earlier this year, U.S.-Mexican relations hit their worst crisis in decades when Presidents Donald Trump and Enrique Peña Nieto quarreled over who would pay for a proposed border wall, prompting the Mexican president to call off a planned trip to Washington.

But then a funny thing happened: Trump, at the urging of senior aides, stopped attacking Mexico on Twitter and in public statements, opening up space to officials from both countries to markedly improve ties since then, U.S. and Mexican officials say.

“The relationship is much more constructive,” a senior Mexican government official said. A senior U.S. official agreed, saying the greater contact between the sides had improved ties.

Mexican officials say they are more confident now that the two countries can strike a deal to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, which Trump attacked repeatedly on the campaign trail as the worst trade deal the U.S. ever signed.

“We’ve gone from panic to concern,” another top Mexican official said.

The White House declined to comment.


Fast and Furious: Suspect arrested in U.S. agent’s death

Fox News – The cartel member suspected of shooting and killing Border Patrol agent Brian Terry in 2010 with a gun supplied by the U.S. government was arrested in Mexico Wednesday.  The suspect, Heraclio Osorio-Arellanes, was apprehended by a joint U.S.-Mexico law enforcement task force. The agent’s death exposed Operation Fast and Furious, a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) operation in which the federal government allowed criminals to buy guns in Phoenix-area shops with the intention of tracking them once they made their way into Mexico.