Anti-immigrant legislation

News and Analysis: June 25 - July 1

1 - MEXICAN ELECTIONS MARRED BY FRAUD
2 - US SUPREME COURT UPHOLDS KEY ANTI-IMMIGRANT LAW
3 - WTO RULING FAVORS MEXICO

Exit polls released late Sunday night show PRI candidate Enrique Pena Nieto winning Mexico’s presidency, with Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of the PRD finishing a surprisingly close second, and PANista Josefina Vazquez Mota a distant third.  CNN, Parametria, and Mitofsky exit polls all showed Pena Nieto with about 41% and Lopez Obrador with about 32%, though a “quick-count” based on a sampling of returns from across the country showed a closer race, and the actual returns gave Pena Neta 38% with Lopez Obrador close behind at 33%.  Vazquez Mota was quick to concede Sunday evening, while Lopez Obrador will wait for the official vote announcement on Wednesday and may contest the election after reports of widespread fraud. The PRI reportedly offered pre-paid supermarket cards worth up to 1,000 pesos and millions of boxes filled with food or cheap electro-domestics in exchange for votes.  Vote-buying was particularly widespread in Mexico State, where Pena Nieto served as Governor, and Veracruz, with some reports of as many as a million votes purchased in Mexico State alone.  Pena Nieto reportedly spent up to five times his legally allotted campaign fund, with massive private donations from businesses looking for influence in his administration.  And he enjoyed a virtual lock on news coverage by Televisa, the largest of two national television networks.  His wife, Angelica Rivera, is a popular soap opera star on the network.  

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News and Analysis: October 17-23, 2011

1 - POLITICAL PARTIES SPAR AHEAD OF ELECTIONS
2 - NEARLY 1,000 POLICE FIRED IN VERACRUZ
3 - ALABAMA IMMIGRATION LAW WREAKS HAVOC IN SCHOOLS AND FARMING
4 - CALDERON COMPLAINS ABOUT DUMPING CRIMINALS AT BORDER
5 - FORMER PRESIDENT FOX CALLS FOR NEGOTIATIONS WITH CARTELS
6 - CALDERON SUGGESTS ADVENTURE TOURISM FOR INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES

The Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) filed a largely ritual complaint this week with the Federal Electoral Institute (IFE), accusing President Felipe Calderon of interfering with the 2012 presidential elections.  In an October 15 New York Times interview, Calderon suggested the PRI may cut deals with drug cartels, similar to agreements reached by party members when they ruled Mexico for seven decades.  Mexican law technically prevents sitting presidents from influencing elections, but complaints of this type are typical in election seasons.

Meanwhile, Enrique Pena Nieto, the likely PRI presidential candidate, called for privatization of Pemex, Mexico’s national petroleum monopoly.  The PRI nationalized petroleum in 1938 under President Cardenas, perhaps Mexico’s most beloved political figure.  Now 70 years later, Pena Nieto appears to have contracted the neoliberal bug, claiming the country would benefit from foreign investment – and ownership – in the oil sector.  Historically this has not been a popular position, either within the PRI or in the broader society.  This may be part of Pena Nieto’s campaign strategy to distance himself from the historic PRI while benefiting from the political clout and national structure of the party.

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Neoliberalism

News and Analysis: October 3-9, 2011

1 - ANOTHER US GUN “WALKING” PROGRAM REVEALED
2 - CITY POLICE FORCES ARRESTED
3 - SANTA MARIA OSTULA SUFFERS ANOTHER MURDER
4 - ALABAMA LAW WREAKS HAVOC IN IMMIGRANT COMMUNITIES
5 - FIGHT OVER I.F.E. CONTINUES

The Bush administration allowed illegal exports of military style weapons to Mexico from 2006 to 2007 in an undercover program dubbed “Wide Receiver,” similar to the Obama administration’s Operation Fast and Furious.  Both programs were intended to track weapons bought in the US until they reached cartel leaders in Mexico, but agents quickly lost track of most of the “walked” firearms.   Watch for Republicans, who mounted a Congressional investigation of Fast and Furious in hopes of political gains, to quietly bury their efforts.  The Calderon administration, anxious to maintain cozy relations with the US, complained briefly about threats to national sovereignty, but appears anxious for the issue to simply disappear.

2 - CITY POLICE FORCES ARRESTED
Last Sunday, Mexican soldiers, federal police, and state investigators arrested the entire police force in the towns of Linares and Villadama, about 75 miles from Monterrey.  The detention of 145 local officers comes after a rise in kidnapping and extortion, with reports that local officials in Juarez, a suburb of Monterrey, allowed cartel members to hold kidnapped victims in the local jail.

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Anti-immigrant legislation
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