News and Analysis

Mexico News and Analysis: November 14-27, 2011

1 - PRI WINS MICHOACAN GOVERNORSHIP
2 - IMMIGRATION NEAR ZERO
3 - PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION DYNAMICS
4 - CALDERON NAMES FIFTH INTERIOR SECRETARY
5 - GOVERNMENT ADMITS DIRTY WAR DISAPPEARANCE
6 - WTO RULES AGAINST U.S.
7 - INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS CASE NAMES PRESIDENT CALDERON
8 - HISTORIC DROUGHT AND EARLY FREEZES DEVASTATE AGRICULTURE

The PRI candidate won the gubernatorial election last Sunday in Michoacan, Felipe Calderon's home state, defeating the President's sister, Luisa "Cocoa" Calderon, in a close race. The PRI took 35% of the vote, apparently winning many former PRD votes, against 33% for the PAN and 29% for the PRD. The election was marred by illegal use of federal resources by the PAN and probable PRI and PRD links to organized crime. The vote may be a harbinger of 2012 presidential elections in which PRI candidate Enrique Pena Nieto leads all candidates by substantial margins. Michoacan is a major producer of marijuana, opium and methamphetamines, and home to the Knights Templar, a cartel with strong roots in popular barrios.

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PRI
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Immigration
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Elections
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WTO
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Human Rights
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News and Analysis
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Dirty War
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agriculture

NEWS AND ANALYSIS: NOVEMBER 7-13, 2011

1 - NEWS FROM THE OTHER CAMPAIGN (http://enlacezapatista.ezln.org.mx/)
2 - PREDATOR DRONES USED IN BORDER SURVEILLANCE
3 - GOVERNMENT ACCUSED OF WIDESPREAD HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES
4 - INTERIOR SECRETARY DIES IN HELICOPTER CRASH
5 - PRESIDENT BECOMES LEAD SALESMAN
6 - CROSS BORDER TRUCKING LARGELY A FAILURE

1 - NEWS FROM THE OTHER CAMPAIGN (http://enlacezapatista.ezln.org.mx/)

  • Ejido San Sebastian Bachajon denounces violence in Chilon.

  • The Fray Bartolome Human Rights Center denounces two years of violations against two human rights activists.

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Calderon
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War on Drugs
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News and Analysis
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militarization
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border

NEWS & ANALYSIS: OCT 31 - NOV 6, 2011

1 - MEXICO ABANDONS PLANS FOR NUCLEAR POWER
2 - TROOPS UNEXPECTEDLY SENTENCED TO PRISON FOR HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES
3 - IMMIGRANT REMITTANCES INCREASE AS PESO SHRINKS
4 - OPPOSITION TO AMBITIOUS PLAN TO CLEAN POLICE FORCES
5 - PAN TRADES CEMENT FOR VOTES
6 - PARTIES REJECT POPULAR CONSULTATIONS
7 - GRAIN PRODUCTION DECLINES
8 - ANONYMOUS DROPS PLANS TO OUT ZETA CARTEL
9 - MSN PROGRAMS: Contact msn [at] mexicosolidarity [dot] org or (773) 583 7728   

Mexico has abandoned plans to construct as many as ten nuclear power plants in light of recent discoveries of huge natural gas deposits, perhaps as much as 300 million cubic feet in Coahuila and more in the Gulf of Mexico. Energy Minister Jordy Herrera announced plans this week to focus on new natural gas-fired electricity plants, and to search for US$10 billion in private investment during the next five years, despite constitutional prohibitions against private ownership in the energy sector. The re-orientation may also be related to the March 11 nuclear disaster in Japan. Mexico is one of only three Latin American countries that currently uses nuclear power. Herrera rejected renewable energy sources for the foreseeable future: "Until we find a model to make renewable energy more profitable, gas is more convenient."

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PAN
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PRD
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PRI
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Calderon
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CISEN
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Zetas
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Anonymous Iberamericano
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militarization
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human rights abuse
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remittances

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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Anti-immigrant legislation
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Tourism
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Neoliberalism

News and Analysis: October 10-16, 2011

1 - DECREASE IN CENTRAL AMERICANS ENTERING MEXICO
2 - INTERNATIONAL CHARGES PENDING AGAINST PRESIDENT CALDERON
3 - ECONOMY STAGNANT
4 - U.S. MAY IMPORT WATER FROM MEXICO
5 - REPUBLICAN CANDIDATES OFFER BORDER “SOLUTIONS”
6 - CARTEL LEADER ON PRISON HUNGER STRIKE, SORT OF

Mexican immigration authorities report a drop of 70% over the past five years in the number of Central Americans crossing Mexico to reach the US.  The estimate is based on dramatic declines in the number of Central Americans detained in Mexico without documentation, from 433,000 in 2005 to 140,000 last year.  The downward trend continued this year, probably due to a combination of poor job prospects in the US and dramatic increases in cartel violence, including kidnapping, rape, forced labor and murder, directed against Central Americans as they cross Mexico.  More than 60% of Central American migrants pay human smugglers, with costs ranging as high as US$10,000.

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Immigration
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Corruption
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Elections

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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Corruption
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Anti-immigrant legislation

News and Analysis: September 19 - October 2, 2011

1 - ZEDILLO SUED FOR ACTEAL MASSACRE
2 - U.S. GENERAL CLAIMS “SHARED RESPONSIBILITY” FOR DRUG WAR
3 - FAST AND FURIOUS GETS MORE COMPLICATED
 
A small group of relatives of victims of the infamous Acteal massacre are suing former President Ernesto Zedillo in US District Court in Connecticut for his complicity in the killings of 45 indigenous and the subsequent cover-up.  Zedillo thought he was living in relative obscurity, teaching part time at Yale, but a Miami-based law firm tracked him down in a wealthy New Haven neighborhood.  The 1997 massacre by paramilitary groups acting in concert with local military authorities resulted in the forced resignation of then-Governor Julio Cesar Ruis Ferro and Interior Minister Emilio Chuayfett, but Zedillo finished his six year term in 2000 largely untouched.  The Zedillo administration has long been suspected of complicity, if not outright coordination of the crime.  According to the suit, Zedillo conspired with former Attorney General Jorge Madrazo Cuellar to hide the President’s links to this and other covert operations. 

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War on Drugs
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Fast and Furious
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Acteal

NEWS AND ANALYSIS SEPTEMBER 5-18, 2011

1 - ZAPATISTAS DENOUNCE PARAMILITARY ACTIVITY
2 - PEACE CARAVAN VISITS SOUTHERN MEXICO
3 - ELECTRICAL WORKERS ABANDON ZOCALO IN EXCHANGE FOR JOBS
4 - U.S. DENIES DEAL WITH DRUG LORD
5 - POLITICIANS CRACK DOWN ON SOCIAL MEDIA USERS
6 - MONTERREY MAYOR REFUSES TO RESIGN
7 - WTO RULES AGAINST DOLPHIN-SAFE LABELING
8 - HACKERS TAKE DOWN GOVERNMENT WEB SITES
9 - NEW MEXICO GOVERNOR'S GRANDPARENTS WERE UNDOCUMENTED
10 - MSN PROGRAMS: Contact msn [at] mexicosolidarity [dot] org or (773) 583 7728 

1 - ZAPATISTAS DENOUNCE PARAMILITARY ACTIVITY
The Roberto Barrios caracol, a political/cultural center of Zapatista resistance, denounced paramilitary activity that  left the autonomous municipality of La Dignidad under a virtual state of siege.  At least 160 armed paramilitaries surround the community and have established a "permanent presence" on Zapatista lands.  Authorities from Roberto Barrios report armed paramilitaries blocking roads, burning 40 acres of crops, stealing corn harvests and threatening to assassinate people in Zapatista support bases.

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WTO
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narcotrafficking
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Javier Sicilia
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No Mas Sangre
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new mexico
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PAN
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SME
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Caravan for Peace

Mexico News and Analysis: Aug 22 - Sept 4, 2011

1 - MARCOS AND SICILIA EXCHANGE THOUGHTS
2 - UNDOCUMENTED BORDER CROSSINGS DECLINE
3 - CASINO DEATHS REVEAL CORRUPTION SCANDAL
4 - FEMICIDES INCREASE IN CHIHUAHUA STATE
5 - RADIO HOSTS CALLS FOR “FLATTENING” BIKE RIDERS
6 - OBAMA OFFICIALS RESIGN OVER “FAST AND FURIOUS”
7 - PRI LEADER CAUGHT IN SCANDAL

Subcomandante Marcos wrote a letter last week addressed to Mexican sociologist Luis Villoro, with significant comments directed to Javier Sicilia and his national peace movement.  Marcos begins with a powerful critique of Mexico’s entire political class, a group of criminals that “don’t understand - their time is up.”  Politicians simulate governing through media representations while the nation falls apart.  Marcos singles out President Felipe Calderon for, among other things, his “war on drugs” waged from the “cartel of Los Pinos” (a reference to Mexico’s White House), and his tendency to “blame the victim,” whether blaming the poor for economic failure, women’s clothing for rapes, or the victims of violence for being “criminals.”

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No Mas Sangre
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Immigration
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Femicides

NEWS AND ANALYSIS | AUGUST 8-21, 2011

 

1 - NEWS FROM THE OTHER CAMPAIGN - http://enlacezapatista.ezln.org.mx

2 - DEA AND CIA AGENTS IN MEXICO CRITICIZED

3 - CHICAGO-BASED COMPANY IS ETHICALLY CHALLENGED

4 - MSN PROGRAMS: Contact msn [at] mexicosolidarity [dot] org or (773) 583 7728   

 

Paramilitaries from Orcao destroy Zapatista building. On August 17, 150 paramilitaries associated with the Regional Organization of Coffee Growers of Ocosingo (Orcao) destroyed a community building used by Zapatista base communities and human rights observers in the ejido Patria Nueva in the autonomous municipality of Lucio Cabañas.

 

2 - DEA AND CIA AGENTS IN MEXICO CRITICIZED

Poet and peace activist Javier Sicilia this week called on the federal government to remove DEA and CIA agents from Mexican territory. Sicilia joined mounting criticism of joint intelligence and police training operations involving at least 24 US agents functioning in Mexico, a violation of the Mexican constitution. The Permanent Legislative Committee in Mexico's lower house called for the Calderon administration to explain the presence of US forces.

 

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