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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Mexico and Mexican News

 Country Profile
Mexico officially the United Mexican States  is a Federal Constitutional Republic in North America.
Mexico is the most populous Spanish -Speaking Country.
The United Mexican States are a federation of 31 free and sovereign states, which form a union that exercises a degree of jurisdiction over the Federal District and Other Territories.

Each state has its own constitution,Congress, and a judiciary, and its citizens elect by Direct Voting a Governor for a 6year term, and representatives to their respective unicameral state congresses for 3 year terms.
Mexico has one of the highest rates of kidnappings in the world, and over 35,000 people have died in drug-related violence since December 2006.Powerful cartels control the trafficking of drugs from South America to the US, a business that is worth an estimated $13bn (£9bn) a year.
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) in 2011 described Mexico as "one of the hemisphere's most dangerous countries" for the media. Since 2000, scores of journalists have been murdered. "Drug cartels and corrupt officials are implicated in most of the crimes of violence against journalists, which almost always go unpunished.

Capital                          Mexico City
Currency                      Peso
Population                   113 Million (2010 Estimate)
Official Language         Spanish
Independence Day       Sep 16
Religion                       83% Roman Catholics;10% Other Christians and 7% Others

Golden Eagle is the national symbol of Mexico

Flag of Mexico 


After the fall of Dictator Portfirio Diaz  in 1910 because of the Mexican Revolution, there was no stable government until 1929, when all the revolutionary leaders united in one political party: the National Revolutionary Party, which later changed its name to the Party of the Mexican Revolution, and is now the Institutional Revolutionary Party(PRI). From then until 1988, the PRI ruled Mexico as a virtual one-party state.
Until 1988, the PRI's candidate was virtually assured of election, winning by margins well over 70 percent of the vote—results that were usually obtained by massive Electoral Fraud. In 1988, however, the PRI ruptured and the dissidents formed the National Democratic Front with rival center-left parties (now the PRD)
The first presidential election broadly considered legitimate was the one held in 1994, when the PRI's Ernesto Zedillo took office, and in his term several reforms were enacted to ensure fairness and transparency in elections.
Partly as a consequence of these reforms, the 1997 federal congressional election saw the first opposition Chamber of Deputies ever, and the 2000 Presidential Elections saw Vicente Fox of a PAN/PVEM Alliance become the first opposition candidate to win an election since 1911.

Mexico is a Federal Presidential Representative Democratic Republic whereby President of Mexico is both Head of State and Head of Govt.Mexican Presidents are limited to a single six-year term, called a Sexenio.

Felipe de Jesús Calderón Hinojosa is the current and 56th President in office from Dec1,2006.The President's official residence and main workplace is Los Pinos.

Congress of Mexico is Bicameral - 

Senate(Upper Chamber)has 128 Seats,96 members are elected by direct popular vote for six-year terms; the other 32 seats are allocated based on proportional representation. 

Chamber of Deputies(Lower Chamber)has 500 seats, 300 members are elected by popular vote to three-year terms; the other 200 seats are allocated according to proportional representation

Politics of Mexico

The politics of Mexico is dominated by 3 parties -

1)National Action Party(PAN)

2)Party of the Democratic Revolution(PRD) and

3)Institutional Revolutionary Party(PRI)

Mexican Independence Day is celebrated on September 16 of each year, the anniversary of the start of Father Miguel Hidalgo's Revolt. 

On September 16, 1810, the priest Father Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla started a revolt against Spanish rule. He and his untrained Indian followers fought against the Spanish, but his revolt was unsuccessful and Father Hidalgo was executed. After this setback, Father Jose Maria Morelos led the revolutionaries, but he also failed and was executed. These two men are still symbols of Mexican liberty and patriotism.
After the Mexican-born Spanish and the Catholic Church joined the revolution, Spain was finally defeated in 1821.
Mexican Independence Day is a major celebration in Mexico and is bigger than Cinco de Mayo. It is celebrated with a fiesta (party). The celebrating begins on September 15 (the eve of Independence Day) where crowds of people gather in the zocalos (town meeting place) of cities, towns, and villages. In Mexico City a huge square is decorated with flags, flowers and lights of red, white, and green. People sell confetti, whistles, horns, paper-machete helmMexico City closes world's Largest Trash Dump

Mexico City has closed its main rubbish dump''Bordo Poniente'' which is one of the world's biggest open-air landfills.Opened 26 years ago, Bordo Poniente receives an average of 12,600 tonnes per day of garbage and accounts for 1.5 percent of Mexico's total emissions of greenhouse gases.Mexico City Mayor Marcelo Ebrard said the closure would significantly help reduce the capital's greenhouse gas emissions.

Mexico's Worst Drought in 70 Years

Mexico is being battered by its worst drought in seven decades. The drought is affecting almost 70 percent of the country, devastating farm life, and is expected to continue into next year.
Crops of corn, beans and oats are withering in the fields. Mexican farmers have lost 2.2 million acres (900,000 hectares) of crops to dry conditions and about 1.7 million cattle have died of starvation and thirst.
Hardest hit are five states in Mexico’s north.The government is trucking water to 1,500 villages scattered across the nation’s northern expanse, and sending food to poor farmers who have lost all their crops.

Cracks are seen in dry earth in San Isidro de Cienega in the state of Nuevo Leon November 28, 2011

The sun sets over a dry patch of land in Parras de La Fuente in the state of Coahuila November 24, 2011

  Drug War in Mexico

More than 47,000 people have been killed in drug violence in the 5 years since President Felipe Calderon launched a military crackdown against drug cartels.47,515 drug-related killings occurred when Calderon deployed thousands of troops to drug hot spots  from December 2006 to September 2011.
The Mexican Drug War is an ongoing  armed conflict taking place among rival drug cartels fighting each other for regional control, and Mexican Govt. forces seeking to combat drug trafficking.
Mexico, a major drug producing and transit country, is the main foreign supplier of cannabis and a major supplier of  methamphetamine to USA.Almost half the cartels revenue come from cannabis. Drug cartels in Mexico control approximately 70% of the foreign narcotics that flow into USA.
                                                         The states where most of the conflict takes place, marked in red.

Mexican drug cartels, or drug trafficking organizations, have existed for several decades, they have become more powerful in the 1990s. 
Mexican cartels advance their operations, in part, by corrupting or intimidating law enforcement officials.Under the 'Cleanup Operation' performed in 2008, several agents and high ranking officials have been arrested and charged with selling information or protection to drug cartels.
Mexico is considered the most dangerous country in the world to practice journalism because more than 80 journalists have been killed for publishing narco-related news.

American 'illegals' in Mexico

National Migration Institute in Mexico has no idea just how many Americans are living or working illegally in Mexico.In 2011 about 1,000 US citizens were questioned over irregularities in their immigration status, according to Mexican authorities. They face a modest fine - up to $50 - if officials find them working without a permit or living in Mexico without proper documents.

According to the last Mexican census (2010), more than 738,000 people born in the United States now live in Mexico.
Some 60,000 of them are living in the country indefinitely, mostly in Baja California in the northwest of the country and in Mexico City.
The rest are temporary visitors and legal employees of international companies.

With thousands of people from Central America crossing into Mexico illegally every year, and the threat from drug gangs and human traffickers on their way to the US, the presence of undocumented Americans is considered little more than a minor issue for Mexico's immigration services.

Mexico City's bike Revolution


In 2007, Mexico City's local government launched a 15-year-long green plan to promote cycling, hoping that by the end of 2012 5% of trips made every day would be by bike.In 2010 a 17km-long bike lane through the city opened - and more efforts to promote pedal power are being unveiled in the coming few months.Perhaps the biggest factor has been the launch of the so-called Ecobicis (Eco-bikes) in 2010.Following on from similar schemes operating in London, Paris and Barcelona, Mexico City launched a public bike rentals at 90 different sites.The Ecobici system is expected to expand to 75,000 users by the end of 2012, with 4,000 more bicycles made available at new sites.Since then, some 30,000 people have joined and there is a waiting list for new members.


It's an eerily calm Sunday morning on the city's Avenida Reforma, an avenue which is grid-locked on weekdays by tens of thousands of cars sitting bumper-to-bumper.The Reforma's closure to car traffic on Sundays in 2007 kickstarted the capital's attempts to make life easier for cyclists.

 Mexican Economy


The Mexican economy is based on 3 main areas:
Tourism and 
Remittances from Mexican Nationals living abroad. 

While oil revenues looks set to remain strong this year, the other two sectors look vulnerable  
The country's well-documented drug violence, which has seen more than 47,500 people killed since 2006, is putting off both tourists and investors coming to Mexico.

The number of Mexicans leaving their country for the US declined from more than one million in 2006 to 404,000 in 2010, a reduction of 60%.Many Mexicans have decided either to stay or return voluntarily, but others have been forced to come back home.Deportations have reached record levels under President Barack Obama's administration. The average number of deportations of illegal immigrants has been 400,000 per year since 2009, 30% higher than during President George W Bush's second term.

Remittances sent to Mexican nationals last year 2011 totalled $22.7bn, according to the National Bank of Mexico. This is less than was being sent before 2008's downturn, when more than $26bn dollars were sent every year.

7.4 Earthquake struck near Acapulco on Mexico's Pacific coast

A strong 7.4-magnitude Earthquake  hit southern Mexico on Tuesday March 20,2012, damaging some 800 homes near theepicenter  and swaying tall buildings and spreading fear and panic hundreds of miles away in the capital of Mexico City.

One of the strongest to shake Mexico since the deadly 1985 temblor that killed thousands in Mexico City, Tuesday's earthquake hit hardest in border area of southern Oaxaca and Guerrero states.

A magnitude-8.0 quake near Manzanillo on Mexico's central Pacific coast killed 51 people in 1995 and a magintude-7.5 quake killed at least 20 people in the southern state of Oaxaca in 1999.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) said the quake had a magnitude of 7.4 and put the epicentre at 15 miles (25km) east of Ometepec, in Guerrero state.
Witnesses in the capital, Mexico City, said the tremor sent office workers rushing out onto the streets.
Some 500 houses were damaged in Guerrero state, according to the state's governor.
A pedestrian bridge reportedly collapsed and crushed a microbus in Mexico City.

Office workers and residents were sent running into the streets in wealthy districts and poor neighbourhoods alike.
Mobile phone networks have been affected.

The quake - which lasted for more than a minute - was felt strongly in the capital Mexico City and brought people out on to the streets to escape shaking buildings

Mexico City Mayor Marcello Ebrard tweeted, "we have an earthquake''
Mexican President Felipe Calderon tweeted that no serious damage had been reported and that the epicenter was in the municipality of Ometepec, in the state of Guerrero.

2012 Mexican General Election - July 1, 2012
A General Election is to be held on Sunday, July 1, 2012. Voters will go to the polls to elect, on the federal level -

A new President of the Republic to serve a 6-year term, replacing President Felipe Calderon (ineligible for re-election under the1917 Constitution)

128 members (3 per State by first-past-the-post and 32 by proportional representation from National Party Lists) to serve 6-year terms in the Senate. In each state, two first-past-the-post seats are allocated to the party with the largest share of the vote, and the remaining seat is given to the first runner-up.

500 members (300 by the  first-past-the-post system and 200 by proportional representation) to serve for a 3-year term in the Chamber of Deputies.

2012 Mexican Presidential Election - The Candidates
1)Enrique Pena Nieto(former Mexico State Governor) of the Institutional Revolutionary Party(PRI) which governed for 71 years until 2000

2) Josefina Vazquez Mota of the Governing National Action Party (PAN)

3)Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of the Party of the Democratic Revolution, runner up in the last 2006 presidential election

4)Gabriel Quadri de la Torre of the New Alliance Party, closely associated with the powerful teachers' union

Presidential elections have been held every six years since 1934 (the constitution previously provided for a four-year mandate). However, until 1994, most elections were not considered to have met international standards of transparency and cleanliness.
The President is elected by direct, popular, universal suffrage. Whoever wins a simple plurality of the national vote is elected .The current President,Felope Calderon , won with 36.38% of the votes in the 2006 General Election  finishing only 0.56 percent above his nearest rival,Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

Presidential Candidates launch campaigns  - Friday March 30,2012

Enrique Pena Nieto of the centre-left Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), Josefina Vasquez Mota of the ruling centre-right National Action Party (PAN), centre-left coalition candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and environmentalist Gabriel Quadri are competing to succeed the outgoing incumbent Felipe Calderon.
Pena Nieto, whose PRI governed Mexico from 1929 to 2000, used the word “change'' 26 times in his first official campaign speech on Friday
Vazquez Mota is campaigning on the one-word slogan, "Different,'' perhaps an attempt to distance herself from Calderon's six-year offensive against drug cartels, during which time 47,000 lives have been lost to drug-related violence.
Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who is making his second run for the presidency for the leftist Democratic Revolution Party after narrowly losing the 2006 election, said at his first campaign news conference on Friday that he represented “true change.''
Pena Nieto launches his campaign in Guadalajara, Mexico's second largest city and traditionally been a PAN stronghold, with other ceremonies in cities around the nation just after midnight.
"It's a way of signifying the start of a new era for the country," said Luis Videgaray, coordinator of the PRI campaign.
Vazquez Mota was to hold a rally in Mexico City and then head to the central state of Puebla where her family is from.
Lopez Obrador opens his drive with a press conference in the capital and then heads to his hometown, Macuscapa in the southeast state of Tabasco

Mexico Presidential favorite Pena Nieto has clear lead: poll

Voters will go to the polls for a single round majority vote in the Mexican presidential election. The Senate's 128 seats and 500 seats in the Chamber of Deputies will also be up for grabs, along with the mayor of Mexico City and authorities in a dozen states.
The Reforma poll also found that just three months before the elections, 27 percent of the 77 million eligible voters (out of a population of 112 million) remain undecided.


Mexican Elections - July 01,2012

Mexicans go to the polls on Sunday July 01,2012to elect a successor to President Felipe Calderon. There are also elections for Congress and several state governors, as well as some local elections.

Voters will elect the 500 members of the Chamber of Deputies and 128 senators.

Elections for influential state governors are being held in Guanajuato, Jalisco, Morelos, Yucatan, Chiapas and Tabasco. Mexico City is also electing a new Mayor and there are elections for Mayors and local congress in a number of states.

All the presidential candidates have pledged to reduced poverty, which edged up from 44.5% to 46.2% between 2008 and 2010, according to the National Council for the Evaluation of Social Development Policy.

Main Presidential Candidates


Front-runner is Enrique Pena Nieto(45)of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), which ruled the country from 1929 to 2000.  

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador(58) is the candidate of the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD). Mr Lopez Obrador, 58, lost the 2006 presidential race by less than 1%. 

Josefina Vazquez Mota(51) is running on the governing National Action Party (PAN) ticket.
With the slogan "Different", she is trying to convince voters tired of the PAN's 12-year rule that she can reverse the country's sluggish economy and tackle heightened insecurity.


 Presidential Election Results

The official results show Enrique Pena Nieto of the (Institutional Revolutionary Party -PRI )got 38.15% votes 


Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador(Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD)got 31.64% votes

Josefina Eugenia Vázquez Mota(National Action Party - PAN) got 25.4% votes and


Gabriel Ricardo Quadri de la Torre(New Alliance Party)got 2.3% votes

Runner-Up Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador in the Mexican Presidential Election Seeks Re-Count

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador(Party of the Democratic Revolution - PRD) had refused to concede victory after the official preliminary count gave Enrique Pena Nieto of the PRI victory .Speaking on Tuesday July 03,2012, Lopez Obrador, the candidate of the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) said he had evidence of widespread irregularities.

"For the good of democracy and of the country, all the votes must be counted," Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, of the leftist PRD, told reporters.

 Demonstrations Against Enrique Pena Nieto's Victory







Demonstrators protest outside an office of the Federal Electoral Institute (IFE) in Mexico. Demonstrators gathered two days after the elections to protest against the apparent victory of Mexico`s presidential race, Enrique Pena Nieto.

 Recounting of Votes in Presidential Election 


Amidst fraud claims, Mexican electoral authorities announced on Wednesday July 04,2012 that they will recount more than half the ballot boxes used in the weekend’s Presidential Election.

Edmundo Jacobo, the executive secretary of Mexico’s Federal Electoral Institute, said that 78,012 ballot boxes, out of the 143,000 used during Sunday’s vote, will be opened and the votes recounted.

Pena Nieto's Win Confirmed by Recounting of Votes

The Federal Electoral Institute reported late on Thursday July 05,2012 that with nearly 100 per cent of the ballot boxes counted, about half of them double-checked due to the possibility of fraud, Pena Nieto had more than 38 per cent of the vote and Lopez Obrador was second with more than 31 per cent. Pena Nieto led by more than 3.3 million votes.

Mexicans challenge Pena Nieto's victory in huge march

Tens of thousands of people in Mexico City are demonstrating against the result of the presidential election, which was won by Enrique Pena Nieto. 

The demonstrators, who are not necessarily linked to any particular party, say the vote was not fair.
They accuse Mr Pena Nieto's party, the PRI, of buying votes; some carried banners saying "Not another fraud".

 US,Mexico Signs Rules on Sharing Colarado River

The Colorado River flows 1,450 miles (2,230km) from the Rockies into the Gulf of California.

The United States and Mexico on Tuesday  Nov 20,2012 signed a pact for new rules on sharing water from the Colorado River, capping a five-year effort on how to spread the pain of drought and reap the benefits of wet years.

Under the deal, the US will send less water to Mexico during a drought, while Mexico will be able to store water north of the border during wet years. 


The agreement is a major amendment to a 1944 treaty considered sacred by many south of the border. The treaty grants Mexico 1.5 million acre-feet of river water each year — enough to supply about 3 million homes — making it the lifeblood of Tijuana and other cities in northwest Mexico.
The pact represents a major departure from years of hard feelings in Mexico about how the U.S. manages the 1,450-mile river, which runs from the Rocky Mountains to Mexico.The US and Mexico signed a treaty in 1944 governing the allocation of resources from the Colorado River, which supplies seven US and two Mexican states.

The latest accord, which runs until 2017, is a major amendment of the original treaty.The far-reaching agreement gives Mexico badly needed water storage capacity in Lake Mead, which stretches across Nevada and Arizona.Mexico will forfeit some of its share of the river during shortages, bringing itself in line with western U.S. states that already have agreed how much they will surrender when waters recede.

Mexico also will capture some surpluses when waters rise. Mexico will begin to surrender some of its Colorado River allotment when Lake Mead drops to 1,075 feet above sea level and begin to reap surpluses when it rises to 1,145 feet. Mexico will be allowed to store up to 250,000 acre-feet of water in the reservoir and draw on nearly all of those reserves whenever needed.



Enrique Pena Nieto sworn-in President of Mexico


Enrique Pena Nieto took the oath of office as Mexico’s new President on Saturday Dec 1,2012 vowing to restore peace and security and take on the vested interests that have hindered economic prosperity.


Inaugural events were marred all day by protesters opposed to the return of the PRI after a 12-year hiatus.

Before he took the oath of office, leftist congressional members inside the chamber gave protest speeches and hung banners, including a giant one reading “Imposition consummated. Mexico mourns.”


Pemex HQ Building Blast in Mexico City - Thursday Jan 31,2013

Pemex, created as a state-owned company in 1938, has nearly 150,000 employees and in 2011 produced about 2.5m barrels of crude oil a day, according to its website, with $111bn in sales.

The explosion occurred at about 3.45pm local time, just as the administrative shift was about to end. It hit the basement and first two floors, which rescuers said all collapsed on to each other.

The cause of the basement explosion in an administrative building next to the 51-floor Pemex tower in Mexico City remained a mystery early on Friday, with the Mexican president, Enrique Peña Nieto, urging people not to speculate.

Theories ranged from an electrical fire to an air conditioning problem to a possible attack

Some 46 people remained hospitalised after the Thursday afternoon blast, some gravely injured and others with cuts, fractures and burns. Authorities said the dead were 17 women and 8 men.

More than 500 firefighters, soldiers and rescue workers dug through chunks of concrete with dogs, trucks and a Pemex crane.

The interior minister, Miguel Osorio Chong, said it was uncertain if any of the roughly 10,000 people who work in the five-building headquarters were still trapped, but that the search would continue.


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