February 2012

Acapulco tourism takes a dive over drug war

BBC - Acapulco was once the haunt of the rich and famous, but recently it has struggled to attract visitors as Mexican tourism suffers from bad publicity because of the country's drug wars.


G20 foreign ministers convene in Cabo

Xinhua - Foreign ministers of the Group of 20 (G20) on Sunday convened in Los Cabos to discuss important issues including global governance, food safety, climate change and green growth.


Messenger angels amid Juarez drug violence

Toronto Star - Juarez, a city of 1.3 million, saw 1,200 murders in the first nine months of 2011. Competing cartels and corrupt security forces ensure a culture of fear. The messenger angels want to play a small role in changing the situation.


Philippines, Mexico sign two bilateral agreements

Inquirer Global Nation - The Philippine and Mexican governments signed two bilateral agreements that include the establishment of a joint consultaton meetng and providing for an exchange of information and training.


Cold weather kills 44 across Mexico

The Times of India - The winter season and low temperatures in Mexico have led to the death of at least 44 people, the government said. The deaths were caused by hypothermia, carbon monoxide poisoning and burns.


Despite reforms, corruption continues in judiciary

Mexidata.info - A new report from Contralinea details the regularity with which judges and magistrates in Mexico are sanctioned for their misdeeds, pointing to the scores of bad apples in the judiciary.


Mexico had six kidnappings per day in 2011

Fox News Latino - Mexico experienced an average of six kidnappings per day in the second half of last year, up 23.4 percent from the same period in 2010, according to the government, while an NGO said that only one abduction in 10 is reported.


Wealthy exec surrenders in employee beating

LAT - Wealthy businessman Miguel Sacal Smeke surrendered to a municipal prison to face charges that he beat and violently berated an employee in a case that social-media users decried as an act of classist rage.


Mexico prison brawl ends with 44 killed

By Tracy Wilkinson / Los Angeles Times

Dozens of inmates were killed Sunday in a fierce brawl inside a Mexican prison, authorities said, the latest lethal incident in Latin America's overcrowded, poorly maintained jails.

Officials said at least 44 inmates died at the prison outside the northern industrial city of Monterrey.

Initial reports blamed the violence on efforts to transfer some inmates to another jailhouse elsewhere in the country. But it was also likely that the fighting involved rival drug gangs that increasingly dominate Mexican prisons. One guard was reported having been taken hostage, but none was reported killed.


Mexico pushes to join Asia-Pacific trade talks in belief it could increase exports by $180 billon

By Enda Curran
Wall Street Journal

Mexico is speeding up efforts to join an Asia-Pacific trade pact that it believes could add $180 billion in value to the country's exports, said Bruno Ferrari, the economy secretary.

By joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations, which aim to eliminate all tariffs among member nations within 10 years, Mexico can build on its role as a bridge between Asia and U.S. trade, Ferrari said in an interview Monday.

"We are trying to move as fast as possible, we have a sense of urgency to be part of this," he said, adding the talks are going "very well."

"We do believe this is a new generation agreement, which will be very important for Mexico," he explained. "We can increase our exports in a very substantial way."

U.S. President Barack Obama is pushing the TPP policy as key to promoting U.S. exports. Originally signed in 2005, the TPP comprises the U.S., Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. In addition to Mexico, Japan and Canada have expressed an interest in joining the talks; South Korea and China are also eventually expected to do likewise.