Mexico

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From Texas Standard:

In the 1990s, the North American Free Trade Agreement was created to better align the economies of the U.S., Canada and Mexico. One small part of it was a special work visa program that allowed American employers to more easily hire skilled foreign workers in certain fields, including in agriculture. But some employers took advantage of the program.

Officials in Matamoros, Mexico, are threatening to separate asylum seekers from their children if they don't leave a tent encampent of more than 1500 people near the Inernational Bridge that connects to Brownsville, Texas.

Updated at 5:53 p.m. ET

People in Guadalajara, Mexico, woke up on Sunday to a thick blanket of ice over areas of their city, after a freak hailstorm that damaged houses and left cars partially buried.

This is particularly striking because it's the middle of summer. In the past month, temperatures most days have hit 90 degrees Fahrenheit or over.

Updated Saturday at 10:30 a.m. ET

A day after U.S. and Mexico officials announced an agreement to avert tariffs — set to begin on Monday — affecting billions of dollars in imports from Mexico, President Trump took a victory lap on Twitter.

Under a joint agreement released by State Department officials, Mexico will assist the United States in curbing migration across the border by deploying its national guard troops through the country, especially its southern border.

Updated at 7:22 p.m. ET

President Trump tweeted that talks with Mexican officials would continue Thursday, raising hopes they may be able to reach an agreement to avert potentially crippling tariffs on Mexican imports.

The possibility of a deal comes amid great pressure from the Mexican government and top Republican leaders who warned of potentially disastrous consequences.

The Trump administration is canceling English classes, recreational activities including soccer, and legal aid for unaccompanied migrant children who are staying in federally contracted migrant shelters.

The Office of Refugee Resettlement, which is charged with caring for minors who arrive at the Southern border without a parent or legal guardian, says the large influx of migrants in recent months is straining its already threadbare budget. ORR is part of the Department of Health and Human Services.

Updated at 3:01 p.m. ET

New tariffs against Mexico will begin to bite next week, President Trump vowed Tuesday, unless the White House is satisfied that Mexico's government is acting with new alacrity to stop migrants from crossing into the United States.

"This will take effect next week, 5%," Trump said during his visit to London.

Trump said he is open to continuing negotiations with Mexican leaders, including at a meeting scheduled for Wednesday between its foreign minister and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

With a looming trade war with Mexico on the horizon, Texas’ proximity to its southern neighbor could spell economic trouble for the state’s consumers and workforce.

But it’s the added dynamic of how this country trades with Mexico that could do far greater damage to the state and national economies than President Donald Trump's current trade battles with China or Canada, analysts warn.

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From Texas Standard:

Pew Research Center recently published a report showing how a majority of unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. live in one of 20 metropolitan areas. But there was another statistic within the report that was important in its own right: The number of unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. has gone down over the last decade. As of 2016, Pew estimates there were about 10.7 million, compared to about 12.2 million in 2007.

Mark Hugo Lopez is director of global migration and demography at Pew Research, and says there's been a large decline in unauthorized immigrants from Mexico, in particular. At the same time, there's been an increase of unauthorized immigrants from other countries, whom Lopez says have most likely overstayed their visas.

Updated Jan. 21 at 9:55 a.m. ET

For weeks, a crackdown on fuel theft by the Mexican government has led to widespread gas shortages and miles-long lines at gas stations.

So when a pipeline in the state of Hidalgo burst open Friday, sending a spray of fuel into the air, area residents rushed to collect it in buckets and barrels.

Two hours later, the gushing pipeline exploded, turning what had been an excited gathering into a hellish inferno.

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From Texas Standard:

Over the last two decades, the U.S. has recalled 26,700 medical devices, according to Mexicanos Contra la Corrupción y la Impunidad - a team of journalists in Mexico City working in association with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. The reason these Mexican journalists are on the case is because these recalled or defective medical devices usually end up back in Mexico.

Reporter Miriam Castillo is one of the reporters on that team, and says Mexicans most likely won't know that these devices – which include pacemakers and orthopedic implants for people with damaged bones or joints – could be harmful because the Mexican equivalent of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration rarely recalls products.

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From Texas Standard:

On Saturday, Mexico will inaugurate a new president who campaigned on a "Mexico First" platform.

Alfredo Corchado, Mexico-border correspondent for The Dallas Morning News and author of the book "Homelands," says Mexicans, in general, are hopeful that Andrés Manuel López Obrador, or AMLO as the president-elect is known, will bring change to the country. But they're also skeptical because the country has elected the leader of an opposition party before – Vicente Fox served as president from 2000 to 2006.

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From Texas Standard:

Fifty years ago Tuesday, a protest by thousands of students in Mexico City ended with military tanks on the streets and hundreds dead. Just in the past few weeks, the Mexican government officially recognized that on the night of Oct. 2, 1968, it ordered the killings of students. For the first time since the massacre, a government official called it a “crime of the state.” That recognition is by no means an apology, but it is a step that may help survivors begin the healing process.

Updated at 4 a.m. ET

Leftist Andrés Manuel López Obrador — who campaigned partly on a platform of standing up to President Trump — will become Mexico's next president after easily outpacing his two main rivals.

With about a third of the votes counted, López Obrador was polling about 53 percent to 24 percent for conservative candidate Ricardo Anaya and 15 percent for Jose Antonio Meade of the ruling Institutional Revolutionary (PRI) party.

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From Texas Standard.

Still celebrating its advance in the World Cup this week, Mexico is headed into another emotional weekend as the much anticipated presidential election gets underway.

Pixabay

From Texas Standard.

Four years later, the disappearance of 43 Mexican college students is still a mystery. A government inquiry was inconclusive – and it turned into an international scandal after it came to light that some people were tortured to make confessions.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

From Texas Standard.

Sunday will mark the second presidential debate for candidates vying to be the next political leader of Mexico. The debate will be televised and take place in the border city of Tijuana.

José F. Moreno)/Wikimedia Commons

From Texas Standard:

if Andrés Manuel López Obrador becomes the next Mexican president in July, the government will close all Catholic churches 

That’s just one of the fake news stories circulating on Facebook feeds about the Mexican presidential election.

Sound familiar?

Remember "pizzagate" during our own presidential campaign a couple of years ago?

ProtoplasmaKid/Wikimedia Commons ([CC BY-SA 4.0)

From Texas Standard:

Earlier this month a group of Mexican reporters received Spanish-speaking media's highest journalistic honor for an investigation that uncovered uncomfortable truths about Mexico’s university system. Long considered pillars of integrity in a country rife with corruption, investigative reporters revealed that some of those most respected universities were part of an organized money laundering system. About $400 million (U.S.) taxpayer were siphoned into phantom businesses. Now, nearly half that money can't be accounted for.

Mani Albrecht / CBP Media Relations

The Trump administration will be able to move ahead with building a wall along the country’s southern border after a federal judge ruled the administration could continue waiving environmental regulations for the barrier’s construction.

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From Texas Standard.

As of now, about half a million people have registered to vote in July’s  presidential election in Mexican, and there are a few things you should probably know about the way our neighbor to the south conducts its elections.  For one, this year, Mexicans will elect the first cohort of politicians that will be eligible to be reelected.

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From Texas Standard.

What’s the most popular cocktail in the U.S.? Here’s a hint: It’s one that holds a special place in the hearts of Tex-Mex fans – the humble margarita. But you better enjoy one while you can because we’re on the brink of a full-blown tequila crisis. Reuters reports that agave shortages have manufacturers of the spirit on edge, concerned about keeping up with demand as tequila’s popularity soars.

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From Texas Standard.

While Texans are gearing up to vote in the 2018 midterm elections, there’s another election coming up even sooner that could have huge implications – the Mexican presidential election.

The election will be held on July 1. As Dallas Morning News border correspondent Alfredo Corchado reports, Mexicans living in Texas could play a big role in the outcome. Dallas has the second largest number of Mexicans in the U.S. registered to vote in the election – a record high of 50,000 people.

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From Texas Standard.

When it comes to combating Mexican drug cartels, law enforcement agencies have aimed at the head, aiming to weakening them by eliminate the groups’ leadership. According to the Congressional Research Service, Capitol Hill’s nonpartisan think tank, 107 of Mexico’s 122 most violent criminals have been removed from cartels. The results? Violence has surged, with media outlets reporting that death tolls have hit 20 year highs. So how did this explosion of violence happen and what’s coming next?

Magister Mathematicae/Wikimedia Commons

From Texas Standard.

For decades, if you pulled into any gas station in Mexico, the brand name on the pump would invariably be PEMEX, the name of the state-run oil monopoly. Now oil giant Exxon Mobil has announced it will open 50 gas stations in Mexico in 2018. Eight are opening this week. Most other major energy companies have begun operations in Mexico since the nation opened its energy economy to private companies.

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From Texas Standard.

Lots of folks will soon be southbound, spending the holidays with family and friends in Mexico. There are the usual warnings about traveling through regions where there’s considerable cartel violence. Now the Mexican Senate has taken a big step toward deploying the army on the streets – perhaps indefinitely.  Critics are worried  that this is the start of a de facto militarization of Mexico.

Alfredo Corchado, Mexico bureau chief for the Dallas Morning News, says Mexico is responding to the large amount of crime and violence associated with the drug cartels that operate there.

INEGI

From Texas Standard.

I don’t want to downplay how complicated issues of race are, but in a way, race in the United States is a pretty easy to understand concept. As Michael Jackson put it, it’s about whether you’re black or white.

Max Krochmal, a History, Race and Ethnic Studies professor at Texas Christian University, says, “The American understanding of race has been largely dictated along the lines of a black-white racial binary.”

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/Texas Standard

From Texas Standard:

South of the border, there’s big news with implications for Texas. The AP reports Mexico's ruling party pushed a bill through the lower house of Congress which would authorize the military to act as police in an effort to get the upper hand at long last against Mexico's drug cartels.

Joel Salcido

From Texas Standard.

For a good time in Texas, few combinations beat the trio of Jose Cuervo, salt and a dash of lime. While tequila has long been a staple in bars across the Lone Star State, most Texans probably aren’t familiar with the labor-intensive process that goes into making the liquor.

Divya Darsi/KUT News

From Texas Standard:

The drug war between the Mexican government and drug cartels has been raging ever since then-President Felipe Calderon declared a crackdown on narcos in December 2006. Hundreds of thousands have died, and that’s not even counting the mass kidnappings, with innocent people disappearing without a trace.

Ariel Dulitzky has been looking into some of these disappearances. The University of Texas law professor was appointed in 2010 by the United Nations Human Rights Council to a working group investigating the increase in kidnappings. His new report looks into some of these disappearances.

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