What a pleasant surprise! Mexico, whose government routinely supports human rights violators throughout the region, played a key role in thwarting an effort by a group of countries to weaken the region's most important human rights commission
After decades of unsuccessful efforts to modernize its public education system, President Nieto's government arrested almighty teachers' union leader Elba Esther Gordillo and - perhaps more important - signed a constitutional amendment that will allow key education reforms
I couldn't help being surprised by the scornful reaction of many Mexicans to the growing consensus in the world media that this is 'Mexico's moment' in the global economy. There is a constellation of positive factors working in Mexico's favor
French movie star Gerard Depardieu made the wrong choice by seeking Belgian and Russian citizenship to avoid paying higher taxes in France. He should have moved to Mexico
The United States is a nation of immigrants. That is the ultimate cliche and the absolute truth
The 95-point political agreement signed by Mexico's three biggest political parties may have a positive impact on Mexico, and could teach a lesson of civility to the U.S. Congress as it continues fighting over how to avert a fiscal cliff
New Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto will have a big advantage over his two most recent predecessors -- he's lucky. Pena Nieto is starting his six-year-term under highly favorable economic and political conditions
There are good reasons to be cynical about the return of the PRI in Mexico. Even so, when it comes to human rights in Mexico, there's plenty of room for improvement
The recent elections in Mexico have created a youth-led movement for change
Despite the drug war's widespread violence and Mexico's besmirched image, the tourism industry has continued to perform in spite of the persistent violence
Striker Oribe Peralta scored twice and Mexico finally captured its first-ever Olympic gold medal with a 2-1 triumph over heavy favorite Brazil in the men's soccer finals at Wembley Stadium
In 2013, violence in Mexico likely will remain a significant threat. Overall levels of violence decreased during 2011, but cartel operations and competition continued to afflict several regions of Mexico throughout 2012
The enormous profits from the cocaine trade have not only motivated much of the cartels' global expansion, but have also financed it
Candidates frequently aspire to institute particular policies when elected, but once in office, presidents often find that their policy choices are heavily constrained by outside forces. This concept holds true for the president of Mexico
In most Latin American countries, companies complain about the shortage of well-trained engineers. And the experience of China, India, Taiwan, and other Asian countries shows that producing large numbers of engineers pays off
Few paid attention to a news item that should have raised eyebrows -- a new ranking of the world's best universities shows a near total absence of Latin American schools
We all know what conventional economists say about the future of Latin America: countries that pursue populist policies will go downhill, whereas countries that pursue 'responsible' economic policies will do great
Mexico's president-elect Nieto maintains that there was no vote-buying in the contested vote, but told us that he would support putting behind bars any member of his own party found guilty of electoral fraud
Judging by the vast street protests against his election, Mexicans aren't buying their new president-elect's claims to reform
NAFTA was touted as the cure for Mexico's economic 'backwardness.' Promoters argued that the trilateral trade agreement would dig Mexico out of its economic rut and modernize it along the lines of its mighty neighbor, the United States
A new study on corruption in Latin America contains some alarming figures -- an average of about 20 percent of the region's people say they have been asked to pay a bribe by a policeman or another public official in the past year
If Mexico's President-elect Enrique Pena Nieto's first tour abroad is any indication of his foreign policy, we won't lose much sleep: it's looking pretty much like Mexico's current foreign policy
Over time, North America will see two significant powers. In the short run, Mexico's traditional strategic problems will remain
Policies that focus on suppressing drug flows are often ineffective in suppressing organized crime. Illicit economies exist in some form virtually everywhere
If Mexico's president-elect Enrique Pena Nieto gets his way, there will be a major upgrade of the U.S.-Canada-Mexico free trade deal and a 're-adjustment' of the war on drugs
The United States is leading the way to another corporate-friendly free-trade agreement, and it's bringing its NAFTA partners along for the ride
Mitt Romney is reportedly planning to visit Great Britain, Germany, Poland and Israel in an effort to boost his foreign policy credentials. Big mistake -- he should start his foreign tour in Mexico
President-elect Enrique Pena Nieto is likely to step up Mexico's activism in Latin American affairs, where it has been completely overshadowed by Brazil in recent years
A U.S. operation sheds light on how drug traffickers are working north of the border and laundering the proceeds
With virtually all polls showing that candidate Enrique Pena Nieto is likely to win the July 1 elections, the big question is whether his victory would mean a return to Mexico's corruption-ridden, authoritarian ways of the past
There are solid grounds to believe that the new bloc will be different, among other things, because it starts out with a big advantage
The Trans-Pacific Partnership could add billions of dollars to the U.S. economy and solidify Washington's commitment to the Pacific. But if the Obama administration fails to calm critics of the deal, there is a growing possibility that it could collapse
It's not fair to blame Mexicans for portraying cartel operators as Robin Hoods when their police are often corrupt and their president's policies ineffective
Shortly after Mexican President Felipe Calderon ordered the military to deal with drug trafficking, the cartels began openly offering soldiers jobs
The rising trade barriers that several Latin American countries, especially Brazil and Argentina, are erecting to protect their industries imports are causing growing concern in the hemisphere
Marco Rubio, Florida Republicans' golden politician, has served as the state's Junior Republican Senator. Born into a Cuban immigrant family, Rubio himself has weighed in with his opinion on the immigration reform issue
When we talk about the violence that has left nearly 50,000 dead in Mexico over the past five years, we usually focus on Mexico's drug cartels, but it may be time to include the U.S. National Rifle Association cartel
The Calderon administration reportedly plans to capture the leader of the Sinaloa cartel to gain a boost before the July presidential election, but it won't be easy
Mexico's interior secretary called the latest U.S. State Department travel warning for Mexico 'ridiculous'
New surveillance equipment and weapons being deployed along the U.S. border with Mexico are prompting some Mexicans to complain that U.S. law enforcement is becoming too military
Every year brings about changes, but 2012 is likely to be an especially eventful one in the Americas: there will be elections in the United States, Mexico and Venezuela, as well as other news events that could change the political map
A key United Nations think tank that has been very bullish about Latin America in recent years is sounding a little less optimistic about the region's economies for 2012
President Obama's announcement that he will seek to create what may be the world's largest trading bloc along the Pacific rim raises an interesting question in this part of the world: whether we will see a de facto split of Latin America into a Pacific and Atlantic bloc
The online activist collective Anonymous posted a message on the Internet saying it would continue its campaign against Mexican criminal cartels and their government supporters despite the risks
Condoleezza Rice, whose boss President George W. Bush vowed during the 2000 campaign to make Latin America a 'fundamental commitment' of his presidency, devotes only two of the 58 chapters of her memoir 'No Higher Honor' to the region. That's about 15 pages of the 766-page book, plus a few sporadic references here and there
Mexican government officials are again concerned that U.S. law enforcement agencies might have trampled their sovereignty by infiltrating drug cartels
A caravan of private vehicles carrying Central Americans is traveling through Mexico searching for their relatives who disappeared while headed toward an illegal entry into the United States
An Islamic terrorist tried to detonate explosives to destroy the American embassy in Mexico City last year, according to Mexican media reports this week
Presidential candidate Rick Perry is stirring up a firestorm of controversy in Latin America with his recent comment that if he is elected next year he would consider sending American troops into Mexico to fight drug cartels
Drug cartels are trying to overcome resistance to their U.S. distribution networks through 'narco-terrorism,' according to the 2012 Republican Presidential Candidates
The turmoil for reform sweeping most Middle Eastern oil producers is grabbing big headlines today, but that region may lose some of its economic clout in the future: there are signs that the Americas will replace the Middle East as the world's biggest oil-producing region
Mexico's elections will determine if current President Felipe Calderon's bloody strategy of targeting cartel leaders will endure
Mexicans want change, and Peña Nieto's offer of "responsible change" has more appeal than leftist candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador's calls for social justice, which some fear would lead to a Venezuelan-styled radical populism
Here's how can the U.S. government do a better job of stanching the flow of drug cartel money across the U.S.-Mexico border
Women leaders do not by definition implement policies promoting women's rights
Mexico will affect America's destiny in coming decades more than any state or combination of states in the Middle East
Two new studies confirm what we have long suspected: Latin American companies cannot effectively compete in the world economy because their countries' educational systems are totally disconnected from reality
Despite more than 47,000 deaths in drug-related violence over the past five years, Mexico is receiving record numbers of foreign tourists. How come?
The cartels are extremely sophisticated in their intel and operations. And their raison d'etre is not violence but making money
Mexican soldiers arrested the alleged financial manager of the deadly Sinaloa drug cartel. The man, Jose Sanchez Villalobos, also is wanted in the United States on cocaine trafficking charges
Attitudes toward democracy are on the decline in Latin America, and U.S. foreign policy isn't helping
A new United Nations report has good news for Latin America: it says that poverty levels in the region have dropped to their lowest levels in 20 years. But are the U.N. figures about Latin America as great as they sound?
Finally, there is a voice of reason on immigration among the front-runners for the Republican nomination, who until recently seemed to be competing with one another to see who could take the craziest stand against Hispanic immigrants
Mexico's attorney general moved into a political hot seat by asking the U.S. government to extradite six American citizens suspected of smuggling guns during Operation Fast and Furious
Domestic production of marijuana and opium poppy in Mexico are at high levels because of the deployment by the government of soldiers to urban areas to fight criminal gangs
Rethinking Mexico's relationship with the United States is an urgent priority, according to leading Mexican politician Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador
Since the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) became the law of the land, millions of Mexicans have joined the ranks of the hungry. Malnutrition is highest among the country's farm families, who used to produce enough food to feed the nation
American Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials celebrated but Mexican politicians are fuming after the latest U.S. deportation figures were announced
A new ranking of Latin America's best universities shows that Brazil is way ahead of the pack, with the No. 1 school and 65 of the best 200 in the region. It suggests that Brazil may become 'the next university superpower'
The recent torture and murder of two Mexican bloggers after anonymous posts on anti-crime blogs has shocked the country's internet community. But even more worrisome is how little elected leaders understand the importance of social media, in a country where criminals and citizens alike rely on it as an essential platform for communication
While virtually all headlines from the United Nations General Assembly in New York focused on the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, there is another conflict that is going almost unnoticed despite the fact that it is causing many more deaths: the drug-related wars in Mexico, Central America, and northern South America
Every year, 500,000 Central Americans pass through Mexico on an invariably dangerous journey to the United States in search of better opportunities, but it is unknown how many reach their intended destination. Migrants are regularly treated as second-class citizens during their journey and many fall victim to the violence of criminal gangs
Poor Mexico! So far from God and so near the United States. The words are attributed to Mexican President Porfirio Diaz, who governed for a 35-year period ending in 1911
In July, Mexico will elect a new president. Whoever wins will need to address the foremost challenge confronting the country today: the battle against the drug cartels
Even a competent, well-paid and well-equipped police institution cannot stand alone in a culture unprepared to support it and help maintain its integrity
When the recent Summit of the Americas in Colombia decided to commission a study on whether to decriminalize drugs, many thought that would be the end of it, and the whole thing would be quickly forgotten. Well, maybe not
For the first time since the United States launched its 'war on drugs' four decades ago, there are signs that the forces supporting legalization or de-criminalization of illegal drugs are gaining momentum across the hemisphere
Wages in China are rising faster than expected, leading multinational firms to move their manufacturing plants to Mexico and other countries closer to the U.S. market
Mexican prison officials are being accused of helping 30 members of the violent Zetas drug cartel escape from a northern Mexico prison after they murdered dozens of their rivals
Like in every election season, when legislators compete to make headlines, there are some bizarre ideas being discussed in the U.S. Congress these days
Latin America should take a close look at the latest U.S. technological innovation figures: They show that, despite signs of progress in several countries, the gap between Asian and Latin American countries keeps widening
The president of Colombia and Mexico's former foreign minister suggested that legalizing some recreational drugs might be the only way to stop the violence and smuggling associated with drug cartels
Central America is experiencing increasing levels of crime and the prospect of heightened competition from Mexican drug cartels in its territory. The institutional weakness and security vulnerabilities of Guatemala and other Central American states mean that combating these trends will require significant help, most likely from the United States
With a little under a year remaining until the next U.S. presidential election, a coherent and sustainable area policy toward Latin America remains absent from the campaign literature and both parties' electoral strategies
While Mexico's bloody war against the drug cartels is making headlines worldwide, there is a little-known fact that is sounding alarm bells among U.S. and Latin American officials: Central America's drug-related violence is far worse than Mexico's
A group of 46 high-profile Mexican politicians and academics from across the ideological spectrum shook this country recently with a daring proposal to end Mexico's political gridlock: forcing whomever is elected president in 2012 to form a coalition government
In GOP primary politics, the U.S.- Mexico border fence is an immigration litmus test, but an apparently unhelpful one. Nevertheless, some 2012 candidates continue to find political capital in touting the fence
A fence along the U.S. border with Mexico illustrates a lack of understanding of the logistics and costs, the historical motivations driving U.S. immigration, and ignores a profound systemic change that must be achieved in order to address illegal immigration problems in a sustainable and cost efficient manner
For more than fifteen years, Mexico's lawmakers -- absurdly -- seemed to prefer to abolish the desire to eat rather than comply with international agreements on human rights signed by Mexico regarding the recognition of the right to food
The preparations for the Pan American Games included more than just addressing infrastructure concerns. Due to the crime environment in Mexico, security is also a very real concern for the athletes, sponsors and spectators who will visit Guadalajara during the games
I read a press report that Brazil's tourism minister was illegally using a government driver as his wife's private chauffeur. By the time I arrived in Brasilia seven hours later, the minister had already been sacked. What a difference with what is happening in many other Latin American countries
The U.S. State Department is trying to smooth over relations with Mexico after a congressman implied the Mexican government is losing control over its own country
Veracruz, a city on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, experienced a horror like no other when two abandoned trucks containing thirty-five bodies were found dumped beneath an overpass in Boca del Río
It's time to re-cast U.S. drug policy in Mexico and Guatemala and stop supporting killing methods that end up aiding drug traffickers
Forty years after the war on drugs began the fallout from bad policy has had dire consequences throughout the Americas
Fencing off the entire U.S.-Mexico border was one of the 'dumbest' ideas former Customs and Border Protection Commissioner W. Ralph Basham was presented with during his tenure
Current policies, clearly, have unsatisfactory results. But what is to replace them? Neither of the standard alternatives -- a more vigorous pursuit of current antidrug efforts or a system of legal availability for currently proscribed drugs -- offers much hope. Instead, it is time for Mexico and the United States to consider a set of less conventional approaches
As the number of violent deaths along the U.S.-Mexico border continues to climb, a new report reveals a chilling trend: U.S. gun manufacturers, faced with declining sales, are increasingly selling high-powered military-style firearms to civilians
There is some truth to the fact that there is a Latin American individualist trait in all countries, but the Mexican case is exceptionally acute,
On the afternoon of May 27, a convoy transporting a large number of heavily armed gunmen was ambushed on Mexican Highway 15 near Ruiz, Nayarit state, on Mexico's Pacific coast. When authorities responded they found 28 dead gunmen and another four wounded, one of whom would later die, bringing the death toll to 29. This is a significant number of dead for one incident, even in Mexico
As one studies Mexico's cartel war, it is not uncommon to hear Mexican politicians — and some people in the United States — claim that Mexico's problems of violence and corruption stem largely from the country's proximity to the United States. According to this narrative, the countries positioned between the source countries and the U.S., are trapped in a very bad position
The world has been captivated by the drama unfolding in the aftermaths of uprisings in Libya, Tunisia, and Egypt, the so-called Arab Spring. But that doesn't mean the killings have stopped elsewhere, nor the challenges and dangers for the United States. Here are three major conflicts that could pop up on the front pages or TV screens any day
The escalation of drug-related violence in Mexico -- including the mass execution of 72 migrants -- is moving a small but growing number of U.S. foreign policy hawks to call for a radical solution: send in the U.S. Army
Republican Party candidates who won recent primary elections have gone so far to the right on the immigration issue, that they may have shot themselves in the foot. Look at what happened in Florida and Arizona, the two states with heavy Hispanic populations
Legalization of drugs -- long an issue championed mainly by fringe groups -- is rapidly moving to the mainstream in Latin America. A recent surprise statement by former Mexican President Vicente Fox in support of 'legalizing production, sales and distribution' of drugs made big headlines around the world
Everything that could possibly go wrong seems to be going wrong for Mexico, Latin America's worst performing economy this year. But a new government idea could put this country back on the road to prosperity for decades to come -- if government officials really are serious about it.
The swine flu outbreak that has wrecked Mexico's economy may become a case study in reckless journalism. Like most of you, I had taken it for granted that the disease had started in Mexico.
The conventional wisdom says that the U.S. economic slowdown will be devastating for Mexico and Central America because of their excessive dependence on the United States. But the conventional wisdom may be wrong
Across Latin America, governments are hailing security gains against organized criminal groups. Yet in spite of more arrests, criminal networks are stronger and criminality just as pervasive, suggesting that another reality lies behind the numbers.
Although the 1917 Mexican constitution called for democratic institutions, the actual implementation of democratic practices only began about a decade ago. Democracy really began to burgeon when the PRI, the party that once single-handedly ruled the nation, was ousted from the presidency in 2000 by the PAN
Mexico's president congratulated his military leaders for finding what appears to be the largest marijuana field in the country's history
Pablo Barrera drilled two crucial goals as Mexico captured their second straight CONCACAF Gold Cup title with a come-from-behind 4-2 win over team USA at the jam-packed Rose Bowl. Michael Bradley and Landon Donovan scored for the United States
The country that received the most attention during President Barack Obama's visit to Latin America -- other than Libya -- was Brazil, but the place where he will probably have the biggest, and most needed, impact will be Central America
Over the last four years, Mexicans have learnt that waging a war against organised crime not only takes a toll on human life at home, but also impacts on the complex and sometimes ambivalent relationship with their northern neighbour.
Almost two decades after the 1994 free-trade agreement among the United States, Mexico and Canada, the idea of North American integration is losing steam. China has overtaken Mexico as the second-largest U.S. trading partner, and trade between the three North American countries is diminishing as a percentage of their total trade
It is a common claim that almost all the weapons used by Mexican drug cartels come from the United States, but the numbers don't add up.
In the last two decades, Mexican drug cartels have acquired unprecedented power to corrupt and intimidate. Three factors account for their rise: preexisting corruption, the inability of weak law enforcement institutions to counter them, and the demand for illegal drugs in the United States.
One of the most frequent arguments of supporters of Arizona's anti-immigration law is that it doesn't do anything different than what Mexico does with undocumented Central American migrants, or what most Latin American countries do with their own illegal immigrants. It's a powerful argument, and partially true.
Not so fast, Mr. President. I'm not saying I support the Arizona immigration legislation, but I have two points to make about President Obama's claim that federal legislation is needed and that Arizona's bill is misguided
The news that Brazil and Mexico have come out of the recession and are poised for solid growth in 2010 should be celebrated, and both countries' leaders should be given credit for their sound economic management. But in the global economic context, the two Latin American giants' recovery will be modest.
Mexico is engulfed by escalating violence. The question is not whether the Mexican state will fail. It will not. The actual risk of the violence today is that it will undermine democracy tomorrow.
A new congressional report sure to stir up the heated immigration debate finds that about 1 in 4 foreigners in America are here illegally and that 62 percent of them come from Mexico through America's most porous border
Details of the confirmed firefight remain unclear, but from all indications, a large movement of Zeta forces into a Gulf stronghold did occur, and it suggests a heightened operational tempo in the war between these two cartels. In the coming months, this increasing violence is likely to continue in Gulf-held Reynosa and Zeta-held Monterrey as well as Matamoros
To understand what the arrest of El Chango -- the leader of one of the factions of the La Familia Michoacana cartel -- means, we have to really go back and look at the flow, or really the context, of what has been happening with the Mexican cartels over the last year
Former Mexican Attorney General Arturo Chavez Chavez is suspected by the U.S. government of having assisted drug cartels to hide their illegal activities, according to recent Wikileaks reports
In any democratic election, opposition parties always criticize the policies of the incumbent. This tactic is especially true when the country is involved in a long and costly war. This strategy is what we are seeing now in Mexico with the opposition parties criticizing the way the Calderon administration has prosecuted its war against the Mexican drug cartels
A scary new reality arrived with the long Christmas season in Mexico. This year, the Mexican government put out stark warnings to such merry travelers. Travel in convoys, in daylight and if possible, contact federal authorities for a military escort through the portions of Mexico where the drug cartel violence has been particularly gruesome
When the presidents of Brazil, Mexico and Argentina attended the G-20 meeting of the world's biggest economies in South Korea, they should have taken some time off from the conference to take a look at the host country. They could have learned why South Korea has done so much better than their own nations
If Californians legalize marijuana on Nov. 2, maybe Mexico will end its horrific drug war. The 'war on drugs,' like the war on terror, is a simplistic and brutally stupid solution imposed on a complex, multifaceted human problem, born out of the notion that you can take evil out of context and eradicate it with the firepower of righteousness
Mexico's drug cartels have become well-equipped armies thanks to a flood of semi-automatic U.S. weapons, which have been easier to get since the U.S. government allowed a 10-year ban on sales of assault weapons to expire. Does Mexico have a point in blaming Washington for part of its bloodshed? Or is it conveniently passing on the blame to the United States for its own drug violence?
Mexico is silently working on proposals aimed at drawing millions of U.S. retirees to this country, which could eventually lead to the most ambitious U.S. - Mexican project since the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's trip to Mexico drew a lot of media attention to the bloody U.S.-backed war on the drug cartels along the border. But Mexico is facing five other wars that nobody is talking about, and that may pose even bigger threats than the drug lords.
A dispassionate look at Mexico's murder rates shows that some parts of the country are indeed dangerous, but the country as a whole is safer than what the latest headlines suggest.
The street blockades that almost paralyzed Mexico City and Buenos Aires in recent days, interrupting traffic and keeping millions of people from going to work, are becoming a major economic problem. But their invisible costs may be larger than their immediate monetary impact
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