Catholic Church

Mexico News and Analysis: March 26 - April 1, 2012

1 - NEWS FROM THE OTHER CAMPAIGN
2 - PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN SEASON
3 - OBAMA’S CONFLICTING IMMIGRATION POLICIES
4 - CONSTITUTIONAL REFORM EXPANDS ROLE OF CATHOLIC CHURCH
5 - HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION CONDEMNS STUDENT MURDERS

On March 22, Francisco Santiz Lopez reached the front gate of the Chiapas prison where he had spent the past three months, charged with a murder he couldn’t have possibly committed.  Just as he was about to walk out the door a free man, prison officials pulled him back, fabricating a new set of charges.  According to the Junta of Good Government in Oventic, “The fabrication of charges against our companero comes directly from Los Pinos [Mexico’s equivalent of the White House], in an effort to destroy the resistance of the Zapatista communities.  They are trying to impede at all costs the construction of autonomy among the indigenous population.  It is part of a plan of low intensity warfare against our communities in resistance.”

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Mexico News and Analysis: February 6-19, 2012

1 - STATE DEPARTMENT REISSUES TRAVEL ADVISORY
2 - BILLBOARD CALLS FOR END OF U.S. WEAPONS IN MEXICO
3 - ANONYMOUS STRIKES AGAIN
4 - U.S. INFLUENCING MEXICAN PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN
5 - CATHOLIC CHURCH JOINS ELECTION BATTLES
6 - FAMILY OF FORMER CHIAPAS GOVERNOR IN HOT WATER  

In anticipation of Spring Breakers travelling south, the State Department reissued a travel advisory that includes 14 Mexican states, mainly along the US border.  Travel updates have become an annual event in anticipation of thousands of US students vacationing in Mexico in March.  In addition to border states, the latest advisory includes parts of Aguascalientes, Guerrero and Nayarit.  About 50,000 people have been killed over the past five years in drug-related violence, with US citizens accounting for about 400 deaths.  Despite the drug-related violence, Mexico attracted a record number of tourists last year as 22.7 million foreign visitors arrived by air.  These figures do not include the millions of US tourists who travel by land.  Visitors from the US travelling by air declined by 3%, possibly due to increased airline prices since the demise of Mexicana Airline, but Brazil, Russia, China and Peru registered sizable increases over 2010.  Tourism is Mexico's fifth largest source of foreign currency, following migrant remittances, illegal drug sales (mainly to the US market), petroleum exports and maquiladora production.

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Mexico News and Analysis: Dec 26 - Jan 1, 2012

1 - POVERTY INCREASING
2 - ENRIQUE KRAUZE ON THE REAL MEXICO
3 - POPE TO VISIT MEXICO
4 - MICHOACAN ELECTION ANULLED

More than half of Mexico's population now lives below the official poverty line, in large part because the economy is so tightly linked to the United States. About one-third of Mexico's production is exported, with 90% headed to the US. Mexico boasts the world's richest man, Carlos Slim, worth about US$74 billion, or about 7% of the annual GNP, while 58 million Mexicans live on less than US$150 per month. Economic growth under Felipe Calderon has averaged 2.2% annually, about half the overall rate for the rest of Latin America and the Caribbean. Despite the dismal figures, Calderon continues to bank on his expensive and largely ineffective "war on drugs" as the foundation of his political program.

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