Content about Mexico

November 10, 2013

A judge in Mexico City, Mexico, has recently approved a temporary injunction against the approval of any new genetically modified or GM food permits for experimental or commercial corn plantings.The suspension is to remain in effect until pending lawsuits alleging environmental dangers are resolved. This is a victory for food sovereignty and agricultural integrity. The announcement was made at a press conference in Mexico City, where officials notified the public and press that all GM corn plantings including pilot commercial plantings were to be immediately suspended.

Though not necessarily permanent , the injunction came after years of protest against  transgenic crops, particularly those that threaten the continued cultivation of staple crops like corn.

For Mexico, corn, also known as maize, is a primary food crop for which there are hundreds, if not thousands of heirloom varieties currently being grown. If GM corn varieties are allowed to be cultivated along side them, at any considerable scale, Mexico's entire agricultural heritage could become extinct.

“The decision came after years of lobbying by activist who noted that Mexico, the birthplace of modern day maize and its cultivation in Mexico-knows a little bit about how to create various disease resistant strains of corn, given that Mexicans….have been doing it for millennia, ”writes Gustavo Arellano for the OC weekly.

Despite a moratorium on GM corn cultivation in Mexico that dates back to 1998, many native maize varieties have still tested positive for low levels of modified genes, which proves that Genetically Modified Organisms or GMOs cannot be contained and have a tendency to contaminate other crops. Because of this, a coalition of 53 groups and individuals which includes scientist and human rights groups, filed a lawsuit last year to suspend all trials of GM corn and other experiments that could be causing contamination.

Agreeing with their argument, a Mexican judge ruled that all field trials of GM corn in Mexico must  end, citing specific imminent environmental risk.

A press release recently issued by the non-governmental organization, La Copenacha, affirms this decision, noting that Mexican law requires Justices to protect the interest of the people rather than the interest  of big business, which in this case means multinational chemical companies like Monsanto.

                Mexico will still import GMO corn, despite suspension

The  ruling is timely, as many areas of Mexico have been pressured in recent years to accept not only field trials of GM corn, but also commercial plantings, despite their risk to native corn varieties. Unfortunately, the ruling does not go far enough, say experts, as Mexico will continue to import GM corn from other countries like the U.S.- roughly one third of the corn Mexico consumes is imported.

“The ruling has understandably caused joy across Mexico and the entire anti - GMO world, but its also not as far reaching as you think,” added Arellano. “The judge in question didn't ban the import of GMO corn into Mexico and in this globalized society, Mexicans are just as likely to eat corn from Minnesota as they are [to eat the variety] elote from Puebla.”

Even so,the decision has earned considerable attention the world over, as Mexico is now the only country in North America to ban the cultivation of GMO crops. Neither the U.S. nor Canada has taken any action, thus far, against the growing onslaught of GMO pollution within their borders, despite the fact that most other developed countries in the world have either banned GMOs or require them to be at least properly labelled.

October 21, 2013

Representatives of the governments of France, Mexico, Brazil and the European Union are demanding detailed explanations from the US regarding covert telecommunications spying operations which have been identified and exposed  by the news media.  Most recently, the French government summoned the US ambassador to provide details related to allegations published in the French newspaper Le Monde that the National Security Agency (NSA) collected tens of thousands of phone records of French citizens, as reported by Reuters. The summons, it was mentioned,  was conveyed on the same day as US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Paris enroute to Syria.

Hundreds of ‘top secret’ US National Security Agency  documents containing highly classified Information were leaked when Edward Snowden, a former NSA contractor,  transferred access to the files to the British newspaper The Guardian and the US Washington Post.  The revelations  continue to be a cause of grave concern to the affected nations,  most of whom run intelligence operations of their own; however, as ‘allies’, the extent and nature of the breaches committed by the NSA spying has led to a serious rupture of confidence and trust between them.  The Reuters report also elaborated that earlier, France's interior minister, Manuel Valls, said Le Monde's revelations that 70.3 million pieces of French telephone data were recorded by the NSA between Dec 10, 2012 and Jan 8, 2013 were "shocking."

"If an allied country spies on France or spies on other European countries, that's totally unacceptable," Valls told Europe 1 Radio. French prosecutors opened an inquiry into the unethical spy program named ‘Prism’ which was first revealed in the German weekly Der Speigel  and the British Guardian as well.

Agence  France Presse (AFP) coverage of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff at the United Nations reported that she blasted the US during her UN General Assembly address in September , cancelling  an October visit to the US in outrage at the worldwide spying network that she said ‘violates the sovereignty of other countries and the civil liberties of their citizens.’ Ms. Rousseff said the transgressions of the covert program was tantamount to ‘disrespect’ and a breach of international law, describing arguments that the technological surveillance of individuals, businesses and diplomatic missions is necessary in the global fight against terrorism as "untenable" and an affront to the sovereignty of nations.

EU Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom stated that  the European Union was ‘not satisfied’ with the responses provided by Washington to the EU’s inquiries about NSA spying on international bank transfers and promised that the EU would be  “seeking exhaustive explanations, comprehensive information.” Reports that US intelligence services tapped into the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) have strained relations between Washington and Europe, and if the reports are confirmed ” will certainly  further weaken the confidence between the EU and the US and would undoubtedly impact our cooperation in the field of counter-terrorism,” Commissioner Malmstrom told AFP.

Information leaked by the Snowden NSA files also documented the fact that the personal email account of former Mexican President Philippe Calderon had been ‘hacked’ by NSA spy technology during his tenure as president. Revealed in Der Spiegel, the intrusion occurred in May of 2010 and provided a ‘lucrative’ source of private information, while an additional hack into a central network server used by Calderon’s administration provided  a ‘trove’ of diplomatic and economic information to the NSA,  and in turn the US government.

"This practice is unacceptable, illegal and against Mexican and international law. In a relationship between neighbors and partners there is no place for the actions that allegedly took place," the Mexican foreign ministry said in a statement, adding that the infraction could damage ties between the US and Mexico, one of America’s biggest trading partners, and also cause tensions in other cooperative dealings such as border security and the ongoing war against organized crime.  The Reuters report mentioned that US president Barack Obama promised a vigorous and thorough investigation into the charges of espionage to current Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto who, according to other reports, had already remarked that the covert   transgressions were totally unacceptable. Still, eighty- percent of Mexico’s exported goods are sold to the US, a critical factor for the Mexican economy which could explain its  measured response to the spy allegations.  

According to information published on the Guardian.com, the NSA, founded in 1952, is the USA’s signal intelligence agency, and the biggest of the country’s myriad intelligence organizations. It supposedly has a strict focus on overseas, rather than domestic, surveillance. It is the phone and internet interception specialist of the USA, and is also responsible for code breaking.

June 10, 2010

Governor Jan Brewer of Arizona signed the nation’s toughest immigration bill last month. Its aim is to identify, prosecute and deport illegal immigrants. Shortly after the passing of the new immigration law, revisions were made to the original version, authorizing local and state law enforcement authorities-including the campus police to question those they suspect to be illegal immigrants and ask that they produce verification of their status.”

Governor Jan Brewer of Arizona signed the nation’s toughest immigration bill last month. Its aim is to identify, prosecute and deport illegal immigrants. Shortly after the passing of the new immigration law, revisions were made to the original version, authorizing local and state law enforcement authorities-including the campus police to question those they suspect to be illegal immigrants and ask that they produce verification of their status.”

June 10, 2010

In parts of Asia, Africa and Latin America, particularly Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Paraguay and Peru, peasants and indigenous farmers are losing tens of millions of hectares of their fertile farmland to foreign states and private sector investors. These invaders, representing large banks and agribusiness corporations are grabbing the land from their rightful owners and using it to produce food and fuel, primarily for export, not with a concern for reducing worldwide poverty, but moreso to gain profit.

In parts of Asia, Africa and Latin America, particularly Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Paraguay and Peru, peasants and indigenous farmers are losing tens of millions of hectares of their fertile farmland to foreign states and private sector investors. These invaders, representing large banks and agribusiness corporations are grabbing the land from their rightful owners and using it to produce food and fuel, primarily for export, not with a concern for reducing worldwide poverty, but moreso to gain profit.

March 19, 2010

Following the lead of China and the U.K., India has investments totaling $9 billion in Latino-Caribe based industries - a trend forecast by the Wall Street Journal as an upward spiral. Ravi Viswanathan, former Indian ambassador to Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay, guages the viability of Latin American investing.”

Following the lead of China and the U.K., India has investments totaling $9 billion in Latino-Caribe based industries - a trend forecast by the Wall Street Journal as an upward spiral. Ravi Viswanathan, former Indian ambassador to Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay, guages the viability of Latin American investing.”

March 19, 2010

The common concerns and priorities of the Latin American and Caribbean nations have once again culminated in coalition.  The ‘Rio Group’convened in Cancun, Mexico recently.

The common concerns and priorities of the Latin American and Caribbean nations have once again culminated in coalition.  The ‘Rio Group’convened in Cancun, Mexico recently.  The yearly summit has been another venue through which the attending member nations have been able to formulate a unified vehicle to use to represent the specific interests, problems, and concerns of all its 32 members - a collective bargaining agent for use in dialogue in the global forum.  Speaking as to the nature of the peculiarities of the Latino-Caribe regions, Mexican President

February 21, 2010

“What the science community needs is a few huge donors to throw millions of dollars behind PR campaigns to counter the propaganda out there,” one author of the disputed three part UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPPC) report told the UK Guardian in defense of the panel’s chair, Rajendra Pachauri. “This is a transient and manufactured crisis and will likely go away with time,” the author said.

“What the science community needs is a few huge donors to throw millions of dollars behind PR campaigns to counter the propaganda out there,” one author of the disputed three part UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPPC) report told the UK Guardian in defense of the panel’s chair, Rajendra Pachauri. “This is a transient and manufactured crisis and will likely go away with time,” the author said.

February 21, 2010

The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), a British research institute focusing on international security, revealed that Russia in 2009 became the main exporter of weapons to Latin America thanks to the purchases made by Venezuela, but also to Brazil, Mexico, Peru and Colombia. However, two of the countries with the largest defence budgets, Colombia and Mexico, remain faithful to US military arms, while other countries have “diversified suppliers.”

The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), a British research institute focusing on international security, revealed that Russia in 2009 became the main exporter of weapons to Latin America thanks to the purchases made by Venezuela, but also to Brazil, Mexico, Peru and Colombia. However, two of the countries with the largest defence budgets, Colombia and Mexico, remain faithful to US military arms, while other countries have “diversified suppliers.”

February 12, 2010

Lawmakers in Mexico are contemplating the enactment of laws which would make writing or performing songs or films that glorify criminals or criminal activity illegal. Along with the continued nationwide crackdown on the drug cartels initiated by Mexican President Felipe Calderon which mobilized thousands of soldiers and federal police, legislators in the Mexican Congress have now concluded that the culture of the drug world must also be curtailed, if not eradicated.

Lawmakers in Mexico are contemplating the enactment of laws which would make writing or performing songs or films that glorify criminals or criminal activity illegal. Along with the continued nationwide crackdown on the drug cartels initiated by Mexican President Felipe Calderon which mobilized thousands of soldiers and federal police, legislators in the Mexican Congress have now concluded that the culture of the drug world must also be curtailed, if not eradicated.

January 10, 2010

Since the fall of last year, the official jobless rate has been over ten percent, while the unofficial rate (taking in the severely underemployed and those who have given up looking) has been over 17 percent.

American employers eliminated 4.2 million jobs in 2009 and sent unemployment soaring into double digits for the first time in more than a quarter century.

Since the fall of last year, the official jobless rate has been over ten percent, while the unofficial rate (taking in the severely underemployed and those who have given up looking) has been over 17 percent.