June 2011

Mexico wins CONCACAF Gold Cup in exciting match

rediff sport
Mexico won the CONCACAF Gold Cup on Saturday with a 4-2 victory over the United States in a hugely entertaining final played in front of 93,000 fans.

The pulsating game was a fitting finale to a tournament boasting plenty of goals and attacking games in front of bumper attendances and Mexico, with their exciting young team, were deserved champions for a record sixth time.

Mexico had to fight back from 2-0 down after 23 minutes but with Giovani dos Santos at his sparkling best, Manchester United a constant threat and Pablo Barrera causing havoc on the right wing, they ran out convincing winners.

www.rediff.com/sports/report/concacaf-gold-cup-mexico-beat-united-states/20110627.htm

La Familia drug cartel preys on numerous businesses in its Michoacan base

News 24

Mexico's cult-like La Familia drug cartel conducts widespread extortion rackets aimed at farmers, miners and even bullfight organizers while getting protection from state police commanders, federal officials said on Sunday.

Mexico's federal police agency, the Public Security Secretariat, outlined the local businesses preyed upon in a new report on the extent of the gang's corruption and intimidation tactics in its home base of Michoacan state.

In order to supplement drug-trafficking income, La Familia forces miners to pay $1.50 per ton of metal they sell and cattle ranchers to pay $1 per kilogram of meat, it said. Michoacan's rich lime and avocado farms are subject to "quotas", or a percentage of farmers' earnings. Bullfights, cockfights and concerts also are extorted, the report says.

While news reports of extortion by drug gangs have become common, authorities had not confirmed in detail the extent of La Familia's hold on raw material production in the western state.

The report came five days after federal authorities apprehended La Familia's alleged leader, claiming the arrest was a debilitating blow against the crime per kgroup. Jose de Jesus Mendez Vargas, alias El Chango, or "The Monkey", was the last remaining head of the cartel that authorities say has terrorised Mexico's western states.

The report charges that Michoacan state police commanders aid La Familia in its operations by permitting cartel operatives to use patrol cars, radio frequencies and police uniforms.

The report relates how one former state police official used patrol cars to block off streets and help hit men escape other police.

www.news24.com/World/News/La-Familia-extortion-practices-exposed-20110627

Slim increases stake in Spanish banking group

Bloomberg - Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim bought an additional 500,000 in direct shares in Criteria CaixaCorp, the listed holding company of Spain’s La Caixa banking group, a regulatory filing showed.

www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-06-25/carlos-slim-increases-stake-in-criteria-caixacorp-filing-shows.html

Mexico expects $8 billion for renewables

Bloomberg - Mexico expects foreign investment in renewable energy to almost triple this year to $8 billion, helping U.S. states such as California to slash carbon emissions, said the head of the Latin American nation’s investment promotions agency.

www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-06-23/mexico-s-8-billion-power-projects-may-cut-california-emissions.html

Cemex is topping list of Mexican bond issuers

Bloomberg - Cemex, the largest cement maker in the Americas, is selling the most debt overseas this year by a Mexican company to repay loans even as its borrowing costs climb. A planned offering of eight-year notes this week will push its 2011 sales to $2.45 billion.

www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-06-23/cemex-topping-list-of-bond-issuers-as-loan-repayment-looms-mexico-credit.html

Mexico in "total shock" over Princess Cruises exit

USA Today - Princess Cruises' decision to cancel calls in Puerto Vallarta for the rest of the year has left the country's tourism industry in "total shock," said a top Mexican tourism official, who called the destination "perfectly safe.

travel.usatoday.com/cruises/post/2011/06/puerto-vallarta-mexico-princess-cruise-travel-vacation-safety/175366/1

Mexico urges inquiry into death at U.S. border

BBC - Mexico's government has condemned the fatal shooting of a Mexican man who was allegedly throwing stones at US agents across the Tijuana-San Diego fence. The foreign ministry said the use of firearms to repel stone-throwing was "disproportionate".

www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-13885438

U.S. and Mexico to face off in Gold Cup finals

AP — The United States and Mexico both turned to their stars to advance to the Gold Cup final. The Americans defeated Panama 1-0 and El Tri beat Honduras 2-0 in Wednesday's semifinals, setting up another championship final between the CONCACAF's two power teams.

www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jPPYWGhJW2lEgLM-oINWU69Zg0fw

America Movil's Carlos Garcia is Latin Trade's CFO of the year

Latin Business Chronicle
Mexico-based America Movil has expanded dramatically the past decade and now is the top technology company in Latin America, with 2010 revenues of $49.2 billion. In the midst of that expansion has been Carlos Garcia Moreno, the company’s chief financial officer since 2001.

As a result, he is the recipient of the first CFO Award by Latin Trade, a business magazine with 160,000 readers in Latin America. Latin Trade is published by the Latin Trade Group, which also publishes Latin Business Chronicle.

Apart from administrating the fast-growing company’s finances, Garcia Moreno has played a key role in keeping investors informed about the firm’s plans and results.

www.latinbusinesschronicle.com/app/article.aspx

Like big multinationals, drug cartels have diversified, thus limiting the impact of legalization

By Elizabeth Dickinson
NPR

When the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) releases its annual status report on the narcotics trade later this month, it will almost certainly show a decrease in the volume of cocaine traveling through Mexico into the United States.

This would be excellent news — if it weren't for some alarming trends going in the other direction. As the cocaine trade through Mexico has fallen dramatically, the violence has risen remarkably.

This is a stubborn fact that runs counter to an emerging consensus about the drug war. Across Latin America, intellectuals, scholars, and even policymakers are increasingly arguing that there is just one thing that can bring an end to the narco-troubles: the decriminalization of the drug trade in the United States.

Legalize and regulate use, proponents argue, and prices would drop and the illicit trade would disappear overnight. Cartels would be starved of their piece of the global illicit drug pie, which the UNODC has estimated at some $320 billion per year.

But would legalization really work?

With each day that passes, it looks like it wouldn't be enough, for one overarching reason: The cartels are becoming less like traffickers and more like mafias. As they have grown in size and ambition, like so many big multinational corporations, they have diversified. The cartels are now active in all types of illicit markets, not just drugs.

"Mexico is experiencing a change with the emergence of criminal organizations that, rather than being product-oriented — drug trafficking — are territorial based," says Antonio Mazzitelli, head of the UNODC office in Mexico City.

www.npr.org/2011/06/23/137362363/foreign-policy-legalization-wont-make-it-better