Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Los Zeta boss in Playa del Carmen behind hotel owner's murder; extortion was the motive, police say

"El Condón," Zeta boss of the plaza in Riviera Maya tourist town, is alleged culprit in slaying

Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo --
On June 15, prominent Playa del Carmen businessman Juan Manuel Díaz Moguel, 48, was kidnapped from his hotel about 3:30 p.m. He was found dead on a quiet side street several hours later, the victim of a single gunshot wound to the head. Authorities said his execution was almost surely the result of refusing to pay the obligatory derecho de piso, or "floor charge," assessed against virtually every business owner in town. They were apparently right.

Yesterday police charged the local Zeta boss of the plaza in Playa del Carmen, who, like all Mexican gangsters, goes by an alias. His is El Condón - the condom (spelled Kondon in his tattoo). Here is MGRR's earlier story on the case: Riviera Maya hotel owner refuses to pay the "rent," so extortionists execute him.

Mexican economy grew at more than double the U.S. rate in second quarter of 2012, reports Hacienda

Mexico's GDP growing much faster than its neighbor to the north, and national debt is far less

Mexico's federal tax collection and budget preparation agency said yesterday that the nation's economy grew by four percent in the second quarter, computed on an annualized basis. The Secretaría de Hacienda y Crédito Público reported Monday (July 30) that it was the country's 10th consecutive quarter of economic growth.

First quarter economic expansion was 4.6%, compared to the same reporting period in 2011. Annualized growth through June 30, 2012 was 4.3%. Based on those indices, experts anticipate that Mexico's GDP (Producto Interno Bruto) will grow about four percent in the present year. That figure is considerably better than the nation's central bank, Banixco, predicted in December 2011.

HSBC to pay $2 billion for laundering Mexican drug profits

Dirty Cayman cash sent north to U.S. bank accounts, while HSBC execs looked away

*Updated Mar. 18, 2013*
British multinational banking and financial services giant HSBC expects to pay up to $2 billion in fines and costs for failing to maintain adequate internal controls to prevent wide-scale money laundering, its president has announced.

Earlier this month, a U.S. Senate report condemned the "pervasively contaminated culture" at the bank. The report said that in one year, between 2007 and 2008, HSBC Mexico moved $7 billion to U.S. financial institutions.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Mexico's Soriana grocery chain targeted by bombers

A harbinger of coming urban unrest?

*Video clip added*
No, this man is not an obscure Mexican politician. He is Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Molotov (1890-1986), a Russian diplomat and Soviet minister of foreign affairs during the long reign of Joseph Stalin. He supposedly disliked the term intensely, but homemade incendiary devices known as Molotov cocktails (typically just a bottle or can filled with gasoline) were named after him during World War II. They've been popular with insurrectionists and terrorists ever since.

Today Mexico's largest grocery chain, Soriana, which has 600 stores nationwide, got a taste of the famous cocktail. In Guadalupe, part of the Monterrey metropolitan area in northern Nuevo León state, three men in a car tossed the bombs into a neighborhood store about 7:00 a.m. today. No one was injured, but damage was extensive.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Yucatán has well-educated labor force, but offers one of Mexico's worst job markets

News Analysis -
Penurious local employers understand the cost of everything, but the value of nothing

Mérida, Yucatán -
It's no secret here, with anybody. If you came to Mérida, or to Yucatán state, looking for a sustainable wage, you most definitely came to the wrong place. If you came here thinking that a good education or skilled training would open doors, you erred. Pick yourself up and head down to the ADO terminal for the next bus out of town.

I don't own a car here, but I virtually never take taxis. I like to walk, and if I choose not to, bus service everywhere is excellent and cheap (six pesos, even if you board just to cat-nap on the air conditioned units, which some people do). But one rainy night months ago I splurged (45 pesos) to take a cab for the 12 ride from downtown to my home. One too many Sols made the prospect of a wet evening stroll daunting.

I engaged the driver in friendly chit-chat the moment I sat down next to him. "Desde cuando eres taxista?," I casually asked him. "How long have you been a cab driver?" "Oh, I'm not a taxi driver," he replied confidently. "I'm a lawyer." "Really," I said, not quite sure how to respond. "So am I, what a coincidence." The fact is, I shouldn't have been surprised in the slightest.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Grenade attack in Monterrey casino leaves guests unharmed, but terrified

Second gaming center targeted in less than a year

Monterrey, Nuevo León --
A grenade tossed into a busy gaming casino in this commercial metropolis less than two hours south of the U.S. border left patrons uninjured but terrified this afternoon, news services have reported.

The attack was launched against the Casino Revolución about 3:30 p.m. One source reported that the grenade failed to explode. Another said that it detonated, but that no one was hurt.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Aeroméxico places huge order with Boeing

Eleven billion in new aircraft will renovate carrier's aging fleet

Grupo Aeroméxico, corporate owner of the nation's flag carrier and premier airline, yesterday announced that it has placed an $11 billion (USD) order with U.S. aircraft manufacturing giant Boeing. The order is for 100 new jets, consisting of 90 737-8s and 10 787 Dreamliners, which are just coming off the assembly line. Boeing delivered the first 787s to a Japanese carrier in October 2011.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

No sign of journalist who vanished in Q.R. after reporting threats, being followed

Cancún, Quintana Roo --
Oscar Díaz Peniche, 72, failed to show up for a regular Tuesday morning breakfast in Cancún with an old friend and colleague. The last time anyone heard from him was the evening before, Monday, July 16.

Peniche had managed papers in Quintana Roo and Campeche, and had also worked in radio. A native of Yucatán, he was retired but remained active.

Dengue Fever roars on in Yucatán and all of Mexico, rising almost 300% since 2011

Almost 1,700 state cases diagnosed, nearly half of them the most serious variety

A major intersection in one of Mérida's most well-maintained and heavily traversed areas, along the historic Paseo de Montejo, shows what most streets look like after just an hour or two of rain. This pedestrian crosswalk over a busy underpass was opened less than a year ago, but it was almost inaccessible when the photo was taken (April 17, 2012). Standing water provides ideal conditions for the mosquitoes which carry Dengue. Hundreds of city streets have no modern storm sewers.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

PRI urges chemical castration for rapists

Sobering rape statistics from south of the border

Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) representatives in Mexico's lower legislative chamber, the federal House of Deputies, are proposing optional chemical castration for convicted rapists in this country.

Under the measure, which is still being studied, an offender could cut his sentence in half by advising the court that he wanted to submit to the treatment. Rape carries a 5-15 year sentence in Mexico, which the deputies want to increase to 10-30 years as part of the same bill.

PRI president-elect Enrique Peña Nieto has not publicly commented on the plan.

U.S. Immigration boss pleads to child porn

*Update Jan. 29, 2013*
Miami -
The former top cop in south Florida for the U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) has entered a guilty plea to possession of child pornography. Anthony Mangione, 51, was placed under investigation and suspended in April 2011 after internet service provider AOL alerted officials to suspicious activity on his account. MGRR reported on this case Sept. 27, 2011, the day he was arrested in his office in the federal courthouse here. Federal ICE chief in Miami arrested on child porn charges.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Enrique Peña Nieto's biggest challenges will be economy and environment, not drug cartels

MGRR News Analysis: The global economy -
El Universal columnist says that it's more about poverty than drug-running

*Updated Dec. 27*
Mérida, Yucatán -
When he walks into Los Pinos, Mexico's White House, on Saturday, Dec. 1, president Enrique Peña Nieto probably will be thinking less about the vicious Los Zetas drug cartel and more about rock-hard farmland in Kansas. Such was the suggestion yesterday (July 22) of columnist Jorge Zepeda Patterson, writing in Mexico City's prestigious El Universal. His editorial, La crisis que viene ("The coming crisis") will leave the reader with sobering thoughts about the immediate future of the Mexican state and its 112 million citizens.

YoSoy 132 "infiltrated," López Obrador is "crazy and violent" says Mexican politician

Conduct "bordering on the criminal"

Mérida, Yucatán -
The comments were made by Diego Fernández de Cevallos, a prominent National Action Party (PAN) politician who is frequently in the headlines. He was the PAN presidential candidate in 1994, and once served as president of the Mexican Senate.

Cevallos said that the leftist candidate's election complaints are "not honorable; they're serving to generate hate. He wants just to be handed the presidency, like a gift to which he's entitled. López Obrador is not helping the poor. He's not helping the Left. He's not helping Mexico. He's only helping to create a climate of violence, fear and hate." It borders on the "criminal," Cevallos added.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

It's time for America to reconsider its gun laws, Calderón tells U.S. Congress

Mexican president tweets his sympathy, but with an urgent plea to U.S. lawmakers

Mexico's president sent condolences to the U.S., and particularly to those in Aurora, Colorado touched by last week's theater shooting. He also said that American gun laws are wrong and pose a threat to everyone -- a familiar refrain during his nearly concluded six year presidency: "Dear friends in the United States - please, no more assault weapons to Mexico." And:
U.S. guns play key role in Mexico's raging drug war, says Calderón.

July 24 - Colorado gun sales rise after mass shooting
July 25 - Requests in U.S. for permits to carry concealed weapons skyrocket

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Mexico facing greater political crisis this year than in 2006, says commentator

"Right now the most important thing is that the radicalism of Plan Atenco be deactivated so that it doesn't turn Mexico into a powder keg. The rebellions of last year's Arab Spring are still fresh in our minds.""

"Peña Nieto didn't win; Mexico woke up"

Mérida, Yucatán --
Jose Santiago Healy is a Mexican national columnist whose editorials may be found with some regularity in several newspapers, including Diario de Yucatán. Healy lives in and writes from the U.S. (Chula Vista, California).

Healy's an unabashed supporter of the National Action Party (PAN), which is one reason his periodic pieces are carried in the Diario. That being said, he wrote an interesting one in today's edition, entitled "The Left pulls out the machetes." He suggests that a lot of trouble is ahead over the next several months, including the prospect of street violence.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Machine gun fire in upscale Cancún mall terrifies hotel zone shoppers

Cancún, Quintana Roo -
Kukulcán Plaza in Cancún's internationally famous hotel zone bills itself as the city's "most exclusive shopping mall."

It may also be the only one where where a heavily armed commando team of 15 bandits used machine guns rather than credit cards to complete their transactions yesterday.

One of the prime tenants of the mall is Luxury Avenue, a high end department store which has but two locations in Mexico - Cancún and Cabo San Lucas in Baja Claifornia, a premier tourist destination. Shoppers at either location had better have cash in hand or plenty of credit available before selecting merchandise.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

TV reporter, not "Zeta killers," behind prominent Cancún businessman's murder

Ex-girlfriend lured victim to bedroom so killers could enter the house

*New content*
Cancún, Quintana Roo --
The body of Raúl Enrique de Jesús Encalada Burgos, 52, originally of Mérida, was discovered by his housekeeper when she arrived for work on the morning of May 21. He was bound hand and food and his head had been tightly wrapped in industrial tape. Police say Burgos died from asphyxia. A narcomensaje, or executioner's warning, was left at the scene, purportedly signed by the Cártel de Jalisco Nueva Generación (CJNG). That group is commonly known as Los Matazetas, or the Zeta killers. Mexican authorities say it's a drug cartel and execution gang currently working in Quintana Roo to exterminate its chief rivals, Los Zetas, who control narcotics, extortion and other criminal activity in much of Q.R. (use the search engine for previous stories).

Mérida records another gay homicide, the fifth seventh in 10 12 months

*Updates below*
Mérida, Yucatán --
In this sprawling capital of one million people, sometimes called the City of Peace, many come to find refuge from the drug violence ravaging much of Mexico. People sleep easily at night, comforted by the fact that there have been no reported narco executions here for almost four years, since a dozen decapitated bodies were discovered in the summer of 2008 (U.S. focused on Yucatán security in 2008-2009, diplomatic cables reveal).

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Mexican state of Tabasco on cholera alert

Authorities in the Mexican state of Tabasco, at the bottom of the Yucatán peninsula, have joined in the regional alert for the intestinal borne disease, and for the same reason as here: the rising number of cases diagnosed in nearby Cuba. Cuban cholera outbreak has Yucatán health authorities on high alert. Villahermosa is the state capital. For updates on the Cuban outbreak follow MGRR's main story published July 14 (linked just above).

July 30 - A Mexican senator today called upon the federal government to issue a nationwide alert for Dengue. So far, only Yucatán and Tabasco states have done so.

Another hot-button adoption case, linking Guatemala and Missouri

Mérida, Yucatán --
Two months ago I reported on the saga of a now almost eight year old Guatemalan girl whose mother says she was snatched off her doorstep in that country in November, 2006. The child ended up in Liberty, Missouri, just outside of Kansas City, and was eventually adopted by Timothy and Jennifer Monahan. The case has generated litigation which is yet to be resolved, raising all sorts of complicated legal, and moral, issues: Guatemalan toddler kidnapping illustrates ancient maxim, "hard cases make bad law." Now there's another one, with equally challenging facts.

López Obrador will take his case to Inter-American Court if vote challenge fails

Mérida, Yucatán --
Defeated PRD presidential candidate Manuel López Obrador has announced tentative plans to carry his allegations of voter fraud and other claimed irregularities in Mexico's July 1 election to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.

The candidate's team members said that they would first wait for a ruling on legal challenges filed by the Democratic Revolution Party, which are anticipated in early September. The case is now pending before a Mexican federal court which has the power to review disputed election results, after those results have been certified by the nation's Federal Electoral Institute (IFE). Ten days ago the IFE declared PRI candidate Enrique Peña Nieto the winner by a margin of 6.62%, or about 3.3 million votes of the approximately 50 million votes cast in the presidential contest. The court has appointed a panel to review AMLO's claims, which has made it clear that it expects hard evidence, not just allegations.

Mitt Romney's "Mexican connection"

But it won't do him any good, according to the latest Latino poll results

In a 30 second campaign spot narrated by the presumptive GOP nominee's son, Craig Romney says, "I want you to know how my dad thinks about things. He greatly values the fact that we're a nation of immigrants. My grandfather, George, was born in Mexico. For my family, the greatness of the United States is that we all respect and help one another. As president, my father will work for a permanent solution to immigration issues with the leaders of both parties."

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

No release for Bruce Beresford-Redman

Cancún, Quintana Roo -
A former associate producer of the popular U.S. television series Survivor has lost a bid for release from custody in a state criminal court proceeding.

In November 2010 Bruce Beresford-Redman was charged with murdering his wife, Mónica Burgos, while the two were on vacation here in April of the same year. A local judge conducted a preliminary hearing last February and found sufficient evidence to hold the ex-producer for a full trial (Feb. 16 - Former producer of Survivor bound over for trial in Cancún murder).

But Beresford-Redman's Mexican attorneys challenged that ruling before another court and asked that he be freed. Yesterday the court denied the request, known as an amparo petition. Amparo, the functional equivalent of a writ of habeas corpus in Anglo-American law, is designed to short-circuit the legal process by testing the strength of a case at an early date, often before all of the evidence has been presented. It's commonly sought by defendants in this country's criminal justice system, but less commonly granted.

Fear and loathing, in route to December 1

Mérida, July 7, 2012
They're opposed to the incoming government, but respect for country brings these anti-PRI protesters to attention as their national anthem is played at the Monument to the Flag

Monday, July 16, 2012

YoSoy 132 discusses civil disobedience to stop Enrique Peña Nieto from taking office

"History teaches us that every 100 years or so Mexico has to go through a violent revolution" - Peruvian Nobel Prize Laureate Mario Vargas Llosa, Oct. 7, 2011

YoSoy demonstrators in Mérida, June 10, 2012

Mérida, Yucatán -
YoSoy 132, the largely student-composed protest movement which is scarcely 60 days old, met over the weekend with other dissident groups to discuss the possibility of acts of national civil disobedience, including violence, to stop president-elect Enrique Peña Nieto from being sworn into office on Dec. 1.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Spain's El País blasts Manuel López Obrador

And the candidate fires right back

Spain's El País, the most influential newspaper in the country and one of the most respected in Europe, today called defeated PRD candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador a poor loser and a "dead weight" on his leftist Democratic Revolution Party.

The lead editorial was published in Madrid under the title "Obrador es un lastre." Lastre means a burden or weight.

Political power is ultimate goal of Mexican drug cartels, says U.S. security expert

"All of this transforms the threat of Mexico's drug war from just a political matter to one of U.S. national security"

A security adviser for the Rand Corporation told a Senate panel last week that Mexican drug cartels increasingly are investing in legitimate businesses in this country and abroad, with the ultimate goal of both economic diversification and the acquisition of political power. The latter could portend major problems for the United States, he testified.

Brian Michael Jenkins, a senior Rand executive, appeared last Thursday (July 12) before the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.

Mexican federal cop killer arrested

One of three Mexican Federal Police officers wanted by authorities in connection with the June 25 murders of three fellow officers at the Mexico City International Airport has been captured. Bogard Lugo de León was taken into custody today by Mexican military units, law enforcement officials said. He was arrested after an anonymous tip to police.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Cuban cholera outbreak has Yucatán health authorities on high alert

No local cases detected yet, but state health officials remember 1995 disaster

*Updates below*
Mérida, Yucatán --
A two week old cholera outbreak in Cuba has Yucatán health officials concerned and on the alert.

This morning the Cuban government acknowledged the outbreak for the first time, although it was reported in the international press in early July. Havana said that 158 cases of the illness have been officially diagnosed in major cities, with isolated instances in remote areas of the country. Three people have died, according to government sources. But some outside the country have claimed there are many more cases, based upon anecdotal reports.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Andrés Manuel López Obrador fires in all directions, demanding a new election

A massive conspiracy to defeat him, especially by the press, claims the candidate

Defeated leftist PRD candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador is pressing ahead with plans to challenge the July 1 election results.

Last week Mexico's federal election authority, the IFE, declared Enrique Peña Nieto the winner by a margin of 6.62%, or about 3.3 million votes of the approximately 50 million votes cast in the presidential contest. The two other parties and their candidates have accepted the IFE ruling, but López Obrador said today that he's assembling proof of fraud and voting irregularities which will be presented in the weeks ahead.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The incompetent CORRUPT getting much better Mexican Aduana, and the great DHL guys in Guadalajara

How to go mad living in Mexico . . .

*See Jan. 7, 2014 update at bottom*
Mérida, Yucatán --
People who live outside this country are naturally curious about what day to day life is like in Mexico. I share this experience for those who are accustomed to routinely ordering all sorts of things from electronic marketplaces, like eBay or Amazon. I was a regular customer of both for years, but not anymore. Most of their offerings are now far beyond my reach.

The overwhelming majority of products offered by U.S. retailers on eBay are simply not available for delivery to Mexico. The same is true with most foreign retailers who are authorized eBay dealers. They won't do business with you if you're in Mexico. There are occasional welcome exceptions. I bought a small item from a Shangai merchant on Christmas Day, 2011. He sent it by ordinary parcel post, and said that I would likely receive it within four to six weeks. If it never arrived, I was assured a full refund. I had made up my mind not to even think about the item until March 1. It got here in 17 days, all marked up with Chinese characters, and in perfect condition. I was amazed.

Memo to Andrés Manuel López Obrador: "¡Ya basta, señor!" (Give it a REST, sir)

MGR Opinion -
This isn't 2006, and it's time for the conspiracy-possessed firebrand to take a seat

PRI - 19,227,000 votes (38.21%)
PRD - 15,896,000 votes (31.59%)

Mérida, Yucatán -
I believe in democracy, and the right of people to select their own leaders. Many say they do, but really don't. They believe in democracy, as long as their candidate ends up on top. If he or she doesn't, they cry foul. Such is the case with defeated PRD candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador and many (although not all) PRD loyalists.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Mexican voters got suckered on drug war

MGRR Opinion -
A week after July 1, the winner finally 'fesses up on his plans for "Calderón's drug war"

Protester in Mérida, Saturday, July 7, 2012. The photo insert on her sign says, "Este Pendejo No - This idiot no." A more colloquial translation would be of the four letter genre.

Mérida, Yucatán -
I've been writing about Mexican national politics and the just completed presidential election since the first few days of July, 2011. In other words, for more than a year.

Last fall I wrote a piece in a local newspaper praising the aggressive drug war policy of Felipe Calderón, to which a Mérida expat reader responded angrily. She complained that every thing in this country has gone straight down hill since the PANista took office on Dec. 1, 2006. The proof of it, in her estimation (and that of many others, to be sure), was the 50,000 person death toll (a number which is at least 5K higher now).

Rising protests against Enrique Peña Nieto, amid charges of "Soriana-gate"

MGRR photojournal report -
Anti-PRIstas take the streets, but Mexico's election commission says there's no legal basis to annul the results

Mérida, Yucatán --
As many as 2,000 people took to the streets here early last evening to protest the IFE's (Mexican Federal Electoral Institute's) official confirmation that PRI candidate Enrique Peña Nieto won the 2012 presidential contest. Final vote tabulation was completed yesterday, and showed all the candidates in more or less the same positions reported last week. IFE declared that Peña Nieto's margin of victory in the four way race was 6.62%, clearly decisive but not the landslide predicted less than two weeks ago.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Security consultant elaborates on "new" Mexican drug war strategy - but is it?

MGRR News Analysis -
A new design for the wheel, or maybe just new chrome plating

Mexico's president-elect Enrique Peña Nieto raised eyebrows several weeks ago when he announced that if elected, he would hire General Óscar Naranjo, a Colombian, as his drug war consultant. Naranjo is the former head of his country's tough, well-respected national police force, and built it into a very effective fighting force against the drug lords with which Bogotá is still contending, albeit on a greatly reduced scale.

These days Naranjo tours on the international circuit, writing, speaking and offering national security advice to countries facing similar challenges. Although none of the other candidates had negative words about Naranjo when Peña Nieto dropped his name - the man's reputation is stellar - PAN candidate Josefina Vázquez Mota suggested that Mexico could find a qualified expert within its own ranks, and without looking abroad.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Enrique Peña Nieto's Manifesto makes New York Times

MGRR News Analysis -
"There can be neither negotiation nor a truce with criminals." - Enrique Peña Nieto

In a open letter to the American public published Monday (July 2) in the New York Times, Mexico's president-elect plainly sought to assuage fears. "Not to worry," was the clear message of the 45 year old PRI candidate, who won a four way race the day before.

Although the results are still being counted and recounted and not everyone is exiting the stage quietly (Andrés Manuel López Obrador calls 2012 election "very dirty, a national shame"), Peña Nieto appears to have won the contest by solid numbers - about 3.2 million votes (Mexico's IFE declares Enrique Peña Nieto the winner; Enrique Peña Nieto captures Mexican presidency).

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

One year later, Mérida remembers the "aggression" of July 4 at Glorieta de la Paz

MGRR photojournal report -
A postcard from Yucatán, and a glimpse at the other side of Mexican politics

State police line up on the city's famed Paseo de Montejo, July 4, 2011

Mérida, Yucatán -
Anyone who followed the just-ended presidential campaign knows that political life can get pretty heated at times in this nation of 112 million people, where four major parties (and a few smaller ones) seem never to tire of trading insults. Even when the balloting is over, the name calling often isn't (Andrés Manuel López Obrador calls 2012 election "dirty, a national shame").

Beginning in December, we'll have a divided government here. The powerful Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) held on to the state governor's post, but the National Action Party (PAN) captured the mayor's office. Which means, beyond doubt, that more political storm clouds are on the local horizon. In fact, the war has already started, as PAN today announced that it will file a challenge to the gubernatorial results.

Mexican police investigate death of young AP reporter intern Armando Montano

Aspiring journalist may have died in freak accident

Authorities in Mexico City are continuing their investigation into the death of a young Associated Press intern, whose body was found in an elevator shaft Saturday, June 30.

Armando Montano, a Colorado Springs resident, was 22.

Montano had just graduated from Grinnell Colleged with a bachelor's degree in Latin American studies, according to published news accounts. He was a native Spanish speaker, and had arrived in Mexico City in early June for a summer internship. He planned to pursue a master's degree in journalism at the University of Barcelona.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Vicente Fox faces expulsion from PAN

"I only did it out of love for country"

*Updates below*
The president of Mexico's lower legislative body, the Cámara de Diputados, today asked the executive committee of the National Action Party (PAN) to expel former president Vicente Fox, who served as the nation's chief executive from 2000-06.

Fox infuriated his own party during the recent political campaign when he repeatedly made public statements of support for Mexico's president-elect, Enrique Peña Nieto, a member of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). Fox said that Josefina Vázquez Mota couldn't win, and that the country needed to get behind the most popular candidate (México tiene un nuevo presidente). He claimed that he made his remarks only out of "love for Mexico." Vázquez Mota finished in distant third place in Sunday's balloting.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Andrés Manuel López Obrador calls 2012 election "very dirty, a national shame"

"This election was plagued with irregularities" - PRI candidate López Obrador

Mérida, Yucatán --
The Federal Electoral Institute is still busy tonight in Mexico City, tallying the last of Sunday's estimated 50 million ballots. When they're done, they'll begin an automatic recount of every one, a task they've been preparing for many months.

But defeated PRI candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador wasted no time in making his displeasure known, telling a packed, nationally broadcast press conference earlier this evening that he plans to challenge the final results by every legal means possible.

"This election was plagued with irregularities," he said in a calm and steady voice. "We're going to proceed in accord with the law."

Enrique Peña Nieto captures Mexican presidency, returns Los Pinos to PRI

News Analysis - A win, but no mandate
"Esta noche, sí, ganó México - Tonight, Mexico won" - Enrique Peña Nieto

The president-elect made his first campaign stop on the Yucatán peninsula April 9, 2012, at the seaside town of Puerto Progreso.

Mérida, Yucatán --
A funny thing happened to Enrique Peña Nieto, the 45 year old ex-governor of the State of Mexico and leader of the country's powerful Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), on his way to fulfilling a boyhood dream of being elected president of the Republic of Mexico. He almost didn't make it.

The dashing candidate, whom runner up Andrés Manuel López Obrador once called a soap opera actor, captured 38% of the ballots cast, and beat his opponent by 6.3% - not the 18.4% predicted by the last major poll published on June 27. It wasn't a photo finish. But it wasn't a cakewalk, either, and it left no doubt that PRD is alive and well in this nation of 112 million. Enrique Peña Nieto scored a clear victory. He hardly won a mandate.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Mexico's IFE, others declare Enrique Peña Nieto the winner; Josefina concedes; PRI holds on to Yucatán state governorship

Enrique Peña Nieto is declared WINNER of Mexico's 2012 presidential contest

Based on exit polls released at 8:00 p.m:
PRI - Enrique Peña Nieto: 42%
PRD - Andrés Manuel López Obrador: 31%
PAN - Josefina Vázquez Mota: 23%
PNA - Gabriel Quadri de la Torre: 4%