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Happy hour is happier as Mexico lime prices plummet

           By Nacha Cattan / Bloomberg

Falling lime prices in Mexico earlier in the year pushed up the cost of margaritas in bars from Mexico City to New York.

“Margarita drinkers should relax now and order a second round,” Marco Oviedo, chief Mexico economist at Barclays, said by telephone from Mexico City. Limes “provided a strong push to maintain the downward trend in inflation.”

The price of the fruit plunged 39 percent in April from March, accounting for more than half of the monthly drop in national consumer prices and helping annual inflation slow to 3.5 percent.

 

Mexico, which supplies about 97 percent of the fruit in the U.S., saw lime prices surge after disease and heavy rains limited supply and some growers banded together to keep rates high, sparking a government probe into price fixing.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-05-08/mexico-prices-fall-more-than-expected-as-fruit-costs-plummet.html

Magnitude-6.4 earthquake hits Mexico near Acapulco, rocks Mexico City

By Doug Stanlin

USA Today

A magnitude-6.4 earthquake struck the coast of southern Mexico on Thursday about 60 miles northwest of Acapulco, the second big quake in the region in a month, according to the U.S. Geological Society. 

The quake rocked downtown Mexico City, located about 170 miles northeast of the epicenter, in Guerrero state. There were no immediate reports of serious injuries or major damage in the capital.

In Tecpan de Galeana, 9 miles from the epicenter, part of a highway bridge fell, according to El Universal. The bridge was being repaired from flood damage last fall and a strong quake three weeks ago that ruptured 22 miles from the city.

The mayor described Thursday's shaking as ferocious and said it caused a "wave of panic." Some roofs collapsed.

Initial, tweeted reports from a reporter said the quake lasted for as long as 40 seconds in the capital, where office workers streamed into the streets. The report said the city had a 68-second warning.

"It was very scary. Some of my colleagues suffered panic attacks because the buildings moved," Carmen Lira, a secretary in Mexico City, told the Los Angeles Times. "It felt very strong."

 

The USGS downgraded the magnitude of the quake from an initial 6.8 to 6.4.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2014/05/08/quake-mexico-city/8851999/

Environmental groups fight Cabo Dorado tourism project

            EFE

Environmental organizations are demanding the Mexican government block a proposed tourist project in Baja California Sur, saying it would pose a severe threat to the Cabo Pulmo marine reserve.

"The Cabo Dorado project must be avoided at all costs due to the large amount of regional impacts that would jeopardize the environmental viability and people's wellbeing in that region in the short, medium and long term," they said in a statement.

La Rivera Desarrollos, a joint venture made up of China's Beijing Sansong International Trade Group and U.S.-based Glorious Earth Group, plans to invest $3.6 billion to build Cabo Dorado in the same spot where another giant development project, Cabo Cortes, had been planned.

Mexico's government canceled that earlier project in 2012 over environmental concerns.

http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/news/2014/05/08/environmental-groups-fight-proposed-mexico-tourist-project/

Mexico to invest $13.9 billion in tourism infrastructure to become global power

AAP

Mexico plans to invest 180 billion pesos ($13.9 billion) in tourism infrastructure to turn the country into a global power in the industry, President Enrique Pena Nieto says.

"Mexico has everything necessary to become a tourism power at the global level," the president told industry leaders gathered at the 39th Tourism Fair in the Caribbean resort city of Cancun on Wednesday.

"Today, Mexico is the No 2 tourism destination in the Americas and the only Latin American country that ranks in the top 25 most-visited nations in the world," Pena Nieto said.

The government plans to pursue a three-pronged strategy to develop Mexico's tourism infrastructure.

The beaches and colonial districts in the country's main tourist destinations will be renovated, and the "magic towns" program will be expanded to 100 locations, the president said.

New offerings will be developed at Meso-American heritage sites, with sustainable areas being created in Chichen Itza, Palenque, Calakmul and Teotihuacan, while convention centres and 20 new public parks are built at Mexican beaches, Pe'a Nieto said.

 

The third element in the strategy is to modernise and refurbish Mexico's ports and airports to make them more attractive for arriving tourists, the president said.

http://www.news.com.au/finance/business/mexico-to-invest-a15b-in-tourism/story-e6frfkur-1226910178021

Mexican coach Herrera aims high for World Cup

           By Kevin Baxter / Los Angeles Times

Miguel Herrera will be either a hero or a goat this summer. There is no other possible outcome for the coach of Mexico's national soccer team in a World Cup year.

If the team does well in Brazil, he won't have to pay for a meal for the rest of his life. If it flops, he won't be able to find a restaurant that will serve him.

But whichever way he goes, he's not going to go quietly.

"We're going to reach the final," Herrera boasted to reporters recently. "When you arrive at the top you have to keep looking up with the idea of changing everything and winning a World Cup."

http://www.latimes.com/sports/soccer/la-sp-world-cup-mexico-20140504-story.html

Mexico's mature oil fields identified as key to near-term production gains

By Anthony Harrup and Juan Montes

Wall Street Journal

Mexico expects an increase in crude-oil production in the next few years to come primarily from the reactivation of mature oil fields, which would be included along with other types of deposits in the first rounds of bidding involving private companies.

"Additional production will come for example from mature oil fields…fields that were producing in the 1930s and that could be exploited with new technology to increase production quickly," Lourdes Melgar, deputy minister for hydrocarbons at the Energy Ministry, said Tuesday at a meeting with reporters.

The attraction of new, latest-generation technology is one of the central goals behind a historic energy overhaul promoted by President Enrique Peña Nieto that opens the oil and gas industry to competition, ending the monopoly of state company Petróleos Mexicanos, or Pemex, and allowing private firms to exploit the country's resources for the first time in 76 years.

Last week, Peña Nieto unveiled a raft of bills that will guide the implementation of last year's constitutional changes to open the energy industry. The bills were welcomed as market-friendly proposals that capture the best international standards.

 

"The government is very aware that they need technology, human resources and money that Pemex currently doesn't have if they want to lift a declining oil production," said Carlos Solé, co-chair in Latin America at law firm Baker Botts. "They're taking the right steps to reach those goals.”

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303417104579546110481099786?mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424052702303417104579546110481099786.html

Catching the world's most notorious drug lord

           By Patrick Radden Keefe / The New Yorker

One afternoon last December, an assassin on board a K.L.M. flight from Mexico City arrived at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport. This was not a business trip: the killer, who was thirty-three, liked to travel, and often documented his journeys around Europe on Instagram. 

He wore designer clothes and a heavy silver ring in the shape of a grimacing skull. His passport was an expensive fake, and he had used it successfully many times. 

But, moments after he presented his documents to Dutch customs, he was arrested. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration had filed a Red Notice with Interpol—an international arrest warrant—and knew that he was coming. Only after the Dutch authorities had the man in custody did they learn his real identity: José Arechiga, the chief enforcer for the biggest drug-trafficking organization in history, Mexico’s Sinaloa cartel.

 

Arechiga supervised the armed wing of the Sinaloa—a cadre of executioners known as Los Ántrax—and coördinated drug shipments for the cartel’s leader, Joaquín Guzmán Loera, who was known as El Chapo, or Shorty.

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2014/05/05/140505fa_fact_keefe?currentPage=all

In Mexico, Ciudad Juarez is emerging from the grip of violence

By Tracy Wilkinson

Los Angeles Times

Angel Corral is in many ways the new face of a city long known for its criminal gangsters and one of the world's highest homicide rates.

At 29, with pale green eyes and a can-do spirit, Corral is riding Ciudad Juarez's return to life, running three nightclubs and investing in a gym. Where all his money comes from is not exactly clear, but no one seems to be asking questions.

As the city climbs out of the depths of despair, Corral and a host of other residents — including returning exiles — are jumping aboard.

The reasons for the border town's revival are also unclear, and the uplift could well prove short-lived. But there is no question that homicides have declined precipitously and that shuttered businesses are reopening.

Just a couple of years ago, Gomez Morin Boulevard, at the commercial heart of Juarez, had become a ghost town, like much of the city just across the Rio Grande from El Paso. Drug, extortion and kidnapping gangs ran amok, fighting turf wars and terrorizing rich and poor. 

Today, much of the city, including the boulevard where the bar is located, is bustling, replete with signs saying "Now open" outside restaurants, casinos, spas and yoga studios.

 

"The city is reestablishing itself," Corral said. "The economy still lags behind. We haven't returned to [the prosperity of] 2008, but maybe in a couple of years we will be back to that level. So we want to be in position for that."

http://www.latimes.com/world/mexico-americas/la-fg-mexico-juarez-recovery-20140504,0,1478626.story#axzz30qohC2jO

Mexico is making some great wines in Valle de Guadalupe

           By Michael Kaplan / New York Post

Some of Mexico’s best wines come from Valle de Guadalupe, situated on the Baja coast. Close proximity to the Pacific Ocean, a climate that’s cooler than most of Mexico and mountains that border the valley all conspire to create good growing conditions there for chardonnay, cabernet and merlot. 

“The Baja region gets a lot of sun, which is good for full-bodied wines,” says Hugo D’Acosta, lauded as the Robert Mondavi of Mexico and owner of four wineries, including the esteemed Casa de Piedra. “It [feels like] Northern Italy.”

Wine has been produced in Mexico since the 1600s, but in recent years, vintners have traveled and educated themselves to create unique wines that hold their own alongside global competitors. “There is a new generation of winemakers who have been traveling the world,” says D’Acosta. “They’ve been exposed to places like France and Italy and Spain and to the wines from there.”

https://www.google.com/search?q=baja+california+wines+photos&es_sm=91&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=QJtjU5SEAYmjyASChIHACA&ved=0CDgQsAQ&biw=1280&bih=702&dpr=2

Mexico is making some great wines in Valle de Guadalupe

           By Michael Kaplan / New York Post

Some of Mexico’s best wines come from Valle de Guadalupe, situated on the Baja coast. Close proximity to the Pacific Ocean, a climate that’s cooler than most of Mexico and mountains that border the valley all conspire to create good growing conditions there for chardonnay, cabernet and merlot. 

“The Baja region gets a lot of sun, which is good for full-bodied wines,” says Hugo D’Acosta, lauded as the Robert Mondavi of Mexico and owner of four wineries, including the esteemed Casa de Piedra. “It [feels like] Northern Italy.”

 

Wine has been produced in Mexico since the 1600s, but in recent years, vintners have traveled and educated themselves to create unique wines that hold their own alongside global competitors. “There is a new generation of winemakers who have been traveling the world,” says D’Acosta. “They’ve been exposed to places like France and Italy and Spain and to the wines from there.”

http://nypost.com/2014/05/01/mexico-is-making-some-great-wines-really/

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