July 30, 2013
Politics and Economic Reform: On July 5 I tweeted this story from The Economist called “The battle for baja” about the closely watched election in the state of Baja California. The article explains, “WHY should outsiders care about the hotly contested election for governor of Baja California on Sunday July 7th? Quite simply because it will help determine the future of thePacto for Mexico, the strangely schizophrenic accord between Mexico’s three biggest parties which, in the coming months, is expected to address two of the most important reforms in Mexico in decades: oil and taxes.” After the election, I tweeted this story for Americas Quarterly by Mexico analyst Dwight Dyer in which he explains, “Mexico’s July 7 local elections, held in half of the country’s states, were the first since President Enrique Peña Nieto took office. As such, they served as a quasi-referendum on the president’s Partido Revolucionario Institucional (Institutional Revolutionary Party—PRI), and provide the political backdrop against which Peña Nieto will push his agenda to remake Mexico into a global powerhouse with a vibrant, reformed democracy.” Mexico’s right of center PAN party won key races against Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto’s PRI party, including the “battle for baja.” Still, the outcome could prove favorable for Peña Nieto’s reform efforts. Dyer explains, “Yet the mild electoral snub for the PRI could prove to be Peña Nieto’s gain. Had the results tilted a little too much in PRI’s favor, it would have risked alienating the opposition and cost the president vital allies in his quest to reform energy and government finances. As it stands, the vote preserved the delicate political balance he needs to press forward with reforms.”
Getting ready to make mezcal in Oaxaca Mexico
A Kingpin Falls: After Miguel Treviño Morales, the brutal leader of Mexico’s ultra-violent crime group the Zetas was captured, I tweeted this story by San Antonio Express-News staff writer Jason Buch. In the article, which provides great background information and history, Buch explains, “Treviño Morales loved to hunt, be it deer or people, said Rosalio Reta, a so-called teenage sicario, or hit man, who gained notoriety for his participation in a string of U.S. murders allegedly ordered by the cartel leader.”
Ongoing Violence in Mexico’s Avacado Capital: Ealier today I tweeted this story by Gustavo Ruiz and Adriana Gomez Licon who reported for AP about a series attacks by armed gunmen against police and military operatives in Michoacan, Mexico. Gunmen killed a senior level navy official and four federal police officers. The article explains “Since Tuesday, gunmen apparently working for the Knights Templar cartel have been staging a series of attacks on federal police convoys, killing at least four officers and wounding five others. The death toll from the clashes also included 20 gunmen. Authorities said gunmen have hijacked trucks and buses to block highways before making their attacks..”
Additional reading: These are two fantastic Spanish-language stories from Mexican magazines Nexos and Letras Libres about human trafficking in Mexico City and Central American immigrants crossing through Mexico.