Trump has already created a crisis for Mexico’s new president

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GUADALAJARA, Mexico — Mexico’s new president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, rose to power on the promise that he would tackle the country’s rampant corruption and violence.

That will have to wait, as he faces a more urgent matter: the migrant crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Thousands of migrants have arrived in the northern city of Tijuana in recent weeks, having trekked through Mexico as part of the caravans from Central America that began forming in October. Most of them have crowded into dirty makeshift shelters. Local officials have complained that they are unable to cover the cost, and humanitarian groups have warned of deteriorating conditions. Last week, UNICEF said it was “deeply concerned for the safety and wellbeing” of more than 1,000 migrant children in Mexico.

Read the complete article at Vice News

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Mexico: All Aboard the Tequila Express!

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I’m offered my first tequila cocktail before the train has even departed from Guadalajara station. It’s the first of many drinks served on the Jose Cuervo Express to Tequila, the colonial town that gave its name to Mexico’s national beverage.

The train, a mock-19th-century-railcar, comes to life and slices along the tracks. Past Guadalajara’s gridlocked main avenues and featureless outer districts, we enter greener terrains that slide by soothingly.

Distant cattle graze in wide, beige fields, and all sorts of alien contraptions loom into view: vast water tanks that look like spaceships, maize harvesters from Mars and other spindly structures that have landed from beyond.

Read the complete article at Travel Mag

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Mexico students v the state: Anniversary of 1968 massacre reopens recent wounds

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Photo by Duncan Tucker

Student leader Myrthokleia González was addressing the crowd in the square from an apartment balcony when she heard the first shots. She thought they were blanks at first and tried to calm the panicking protesters below. But Ms González realised what was happening when she saw the first activists drop.

Fifty years on, the Mexican media is paying tribute to the student protesters who died during the 1968 Tlatelolco protests in Mexico City. The death toll has never been clear: an official report from the time put it at 26, while student leaders estimated it at 190.

However, last week a Mexican government body finally recognised the state was behind the massacre – something many Mexicans had insisted for years.

Read the complete article at BBC News

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Uncertainty clouds NAFTA renegotiations

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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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