Uncertainty clouds NAFTA renegotiations


Following the announcement of a breakthrough in the trade talks between the United States and Mexico, economists and industry leaders both have been speculating on what the revised deal means for the continent.

On August 27 — more than one year after US President Donald Trump launched the renegotiations of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) — he said that the countries had reached an “incredible” bilateral agreement.

While Mexican negotiators presented the development as a victory, policy experts expressed concern that Canada — one of the three NAFTA partners — would be excluded from the deal.

Read the complete article at The Centre for International Governance Innovation

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Celebrating cross-border unity in the age of Trump


The United States and Mexico are more culturally and economically intertwined now than at any point in their histories – even with President Donald Trump clinging to his promise to build an “impenetrable” border wall and make Mexico pay for it.

Two timely new books about this deepening bilateral relationship offer an explicit rebuttal to the recent revival of anti-Mexico rhetoric. Alfredo Corchado’s Homelands: Four Friends, Two Countries, and the Fate of the Great Mexican-American Migration brings the dramas of immigration to life with a touching autobiographical tale, while Andrew Selee offers expert analysis in Vanishing Frontiers: The Forces Driving Mexico and the United States Together.

Read the complete article at Americas Quarterly

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LBC Radio interview about the Aeromexico plane crash

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Prospects for health in Mexico after the presidential election


The country’s president-elect faces a tough challenge to redress the health system, but his stance on corruption might help.

Read the article at The Lancet (login required)

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The cartel’s deadly grip on Mexico’s elections


GUADALAJARA, Mexico—There is no escaping the fact that Chapultepec Avenue has changed since the Jalisco New Generation cartel tried to kill the former state prosecutor.

Despite enjoying a reputation as one of Mexico’s trendiest locations, business has slowed in the once crowded bars along the famous Guadalajara street and only a handful of shoppers are in sight.

“A white car stopped outside the fruit cart and four guys in bulletproof vests got out with assault rifles,” said Roberto, a local business owner who witnessed the shootout in May and asked not to be identified by his real name for fear of retaliation. “They started shooting at the restaurant and kept firing for about three minutes.”

The brazen attack highlighted the danger that Mexico’s most powerful cartel poses to the health of its democracy. When Mexicans went to the polls on Sunday, they did so after a campaign season punctuated by death threats and political assassinations, with many suspecting the Jalisco cartel has driven much of the bloodshed.

Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the leftist populist candidate won by a landslide campaigning against violence and crime, but has also suggested an amnesty for some criminals could help pacify the country.

Read the complete article at The Daily Beast

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LBC Radio interview about Mexico’s 2018 elections

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Central Americans are more afraid of their home countries than Trump


GUADALAJARA, Mexico — Like most migrants stopping in Guadalajara on their way to the United States, Ricardo made it here by riding on top of the trans-Mexico freight train commonly known as “The Beast.”

The 22-year-old Honduran arrived at the city’s migrant shelter in a desperate state; still shaken after seeing a travel companion fall from the railroad car to his death and dismayed by the news trickling through of President Donald Trump’s crackdown on the border.

Read the complete article at Vice News

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Spraying bullets not sunscreen: Violence in Baja California Sur


Baja California Sur – popular with tourists – and drug cartels. You don’t want to be a reporter caught in the middle.

Read the article at Index on Censorship (subscription required)

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How former Mexican president Vicente Fox went from drug tsar to legalization trailblazer


The tiny Mexican village of San Cristóbal is not somewhere you would immediately associate with North America’s cannabis revolution. Smoking weed is still illegal there and there are no headshops in town, just a sleepy plaza ringed by narrow, cobblestone streets.

But the most recognizable of the town’s 3,000 residents—Vicente Fox, the former president of Mexico—has recently become one of the continent’s highest-profile cannabis legalization advocates.

Read the complete article at Herb

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Index on Censorship podcast interview about violence against journalists in Baja California Sur

I spoke to Index on Censorship about press freedom and violence in Baja California Sur ahead of their forthcoming issue.

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