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A powerful earthquake has struck off Mexico’s southern coast killing at least six people.

The 8.1-magnitude tremor was described by Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto as the country’s strongest in a century.

Another person also died in neighboring Guatemala, the president has said.

The earthquake, measured at 8.1 by the US Geological Survey (USGS) but higher by Mexico, struck in the Pacific, about 54 miles south-west of Pijijiapan.

A tsunami warning has been issued for Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama and Honduras.

The earthquake was felt in Mexico City, with buildings swaying and people running into the street. The tremors there, about 1,000km from the epicenter, were reported to have lasted up to a minute.

President Enrique Peña Nieto said some 50 million Mexicans would have felt the tremor and that the death toll might rise.

Four deaths were reported in Mexico’s Chiapas state, near the epicenter, and two more in Tabasco state.

Severe damage was reported in southern Mexico and in western Guatemala.

Image source Wikimedia

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Social media images showed collapsed buildings in the Mexican state of Oaxaca, including in the city of the same name and in Juchitan, where the municipal palace was leveled.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said that tsunami waves “reaching more than three meters above the tide level are possible along the coasts of Mexico”. There is a coastal evacuation in Chiapas state.

The earthquake struck at a depth of 70km, the USGS said.

At magnitude 8.1, the quake outstrips the deadly 1985 tremor that hit close to Mexico City and caused thousands of deaths.

The Mexican interior ministry has given the latest quake a higher magnitude, of 8.4.

More than 10 aftershocks ranging from 4.3 to 5.7 in magnitude have been recorded closer to the Mexican coast, off the town of Paredon.

President Peña Nieto warned there might be more.


He also said the Salina Cruz refinery on the southern coast had temporarily suspended operations.

Schools have been closed in 11 Mexican states.

Some electricity cuts have been reported in the capital and social media video showed lampposts swaying violently, but there are no reports of major damage there.

Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales appealed for calm on national TV and in a Twitter post.

“We have reports of some damage and the death of one person, even though we still don’t have exact details,” Associated Press quoted Jimmy Morales as saying.

No tsunami warning has been issued for the US west coast.

Mexico is currently also being threatened on its eastern coast by Hurricane Katia.

The category one hurricane is about 300km south-east of Tampico and has sustained winds of 140km/h the National Hurricane Center says.

President Donald Trump is seeking a tax on goods imported from Mexico and use the revenue to build a border wall, White House spokesman Sean Spicer has said.

Donald Trump’s plan was announced just after Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto canceled a visit to Washington, amid a row sparked by the question of who will pay for the wall.

On January 25, the president signed an executive order to create a wall on the US southern border with Mexico.

Making Mexico pay for it was one of Donald Trump’s key election campaign pledges.

However, President Enrique Pena Nieto has always insisted that will not happen and on January 26 he pulled out of next week’s White House meeting.

Hours later, Sean Spicer told reporters that President Trump had discussed the funding proposal with lawmakers, and that they are considering making it part of a tax reform package the US Congress is planning.

Image source Flickr

Sean Spicer said that a 20% tax could generate approximately $10 billion in tax revenue per year.

He said aboard Air Force One: “Right now our country’s policy is to tax exports and let imports flow freely in, which is ridiculous.”

He added that the tax will “easily pay for the wall”.

The plan is still being finalized, Sean Spicer explained, saying that the tax could ultimately be as low as 5%.

The rift between the neighbors and trade partners has deepened just days into Donald Trump’s presidency.

After President Pena Nieto pulled out of the summit, Donald Trump said the meeting would have been “fruitless” if Mexico didn’t treat the US “with respect” and pay for the wall.

Earlier the Mexican leader said he “lamented” the plans for the barrier.

In a TV address, Enrique Pena Nieto told the nation: “I’ve said time and again: Mexico won’t pay for any wall.”

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Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto said that his country will not pay for Donald Trump’s border wall.

In a message to the nation, Enrique Pena Nieto said he “lamented” the plans for the barrier, adding that “Mexico doesn’t believe in walls”.

However, he made no mention of cancelling or postponing a trip to Washington on January 31 to meet President Donald Trump.

President Trump has signed an executive order for an “impassable physical barrier” and has insisted Mexico will reimburse the US for it.

Enrique Pena Nieto told the nation in a televised address: “I’ve said time and again; Mexico won’t pay for any wall.

“I regret and condemn the decision of the United States to continue construction of a wall that, for years, has divided us instead of uniting us.”

However, President Pena Nieto said his country offered “its friendship to the American people and its willingness to reach accords with their government”.

Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray – in Washington to lead a delegation that has held talks at the White House – told the Televisa network the president was still weighing January 31 visit but said “the meeting stands for now”.

Enrique Pena Nieto met Donald Trump – then a presidential candidate – in Mexico City in September and came under intense criticism at home and his current approval ratings are low.

Donald Trump said in an interview with ABC News that Mexico would “absolutely, 100%” reimburse the US for his wall.

However, Congress would have to approve funding for the structure, which is estimated to cost billions of dollars.

Building a 2,000 mile barrier along the Mexican border was one of Donald Trump’s key pledges in the election campaign.

The president spoke of a “crisis” on the southern US border as he signed the directives during a ceremony at the Department of Homeland Security on January 25.

The orders also called for hiring 10,000 immigration officials to help boost border patrol efforts.

“A nation without borders is not a nation,” Donald Trump said.

“Beginning today the United States gets back control of its borders.”

The executive orders are among a flurry expected on national and border security this week.

Donald Trump is next expected to announce immigration restrictions from seven countries with Muslim-majority populations in the Middle East and Africa. This could affect refugee programs.

These countries are believed to be Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Sudan, Somalia and Yemen.

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Former Mexican Finance Minister Luis Videgaray, who organized Donald Trump’s visit to Mexico, has been named as President Enrique Pena Nieto’s new foreign minister.

Luis Videgaray was sacked as finance minister in 2016 over the role he played in organizing the visit of then-presidential candidate Donald Trump.

Donald Trump had angered Mexicans, calling Mexican immigrants to the US “rapists”.

Luis Videgaray will now lead talks with the Trump administration, including on the wall the president-elect has promised to build between the US and Mexico.

Announcing the appointment, President Enrique Pena Nieto said that “the instruction to minister Videgaray is to accelerate the dialogue and contacts so that, from the first day of the new [US] administration, we can establish the basis of a constructive working relationship”.

Image source Wikipedia

Luis Videgaray was seen as the main organizer of the meeting between Donald Trump and President Enrique Pena Nieto in August, which was criticized by Mexicans both in the national press and on social media.

Many Mexicans saw the invitation by Enrique Pena Nieto as a sign that the Mexican president was bowing to Donald Trump even though the latter had said during his campaign that he wanted to build a border wall between the US and Mexico which he insisted Mexico would pay for.

Enrique Pena Nieto said the meeting was to convey Mexico’s interests to Donald Trump.

When Donald Trump appeared at a campaign rally in the US just hours later again promising that Mexico would pay for his planned wall “100%”, President Pena Nieto said that “we could have done things in a better way”.

Luis Videgaray stepped down from his post as finance minister just days after the visit and a spokesperson for the ministry said at the time that Videgaray would not take on another public office.

However, on January 4, President Enrique Pena Nieto named him as his new foreign minister, saying that Luis Videgaray would “promote Mexico’s interests without diminishing our sovereignty and the dignity of Mexicans”.

Luis Videgaray is replacing Claudia Ruiz Massieu who reportedly was opposed to President Enrique Pena Nieto hosting Donald Trump.

Donald Trump has in the past praised Luis Videgaray as “brilliant”.

In a major immigration speech in Phoenix, Arizona, Donald Trump has insisted Mexico will pay for a border wall “100%”.

The GOP nominee told a cheering crowd that he would secure the border, and left open the possibility that millions of illegal immigrants be deported.

Hours earlier, Donald Trump met Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto but said they had not discussed financing the wall.

President Pena Nieto later insisted he had told Donald Trump Mexico would not pay.

There had been speculation that Donald Trump would back off his plan to deport the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the US.

In his speech in Phoenix, there were conflicting signals about this. The Republican said their fate was not a “core issue” and that deporting “criminal aliens” would be the priority.Donald Trump hails Brexit referendum result

“We will treat everyone living or residing in our country with great dignity,” he said.

Later Donald Trump struck a more uncompromising note when he added: “Anyone who has entered the United States illegally is subject to deportation. That is what it means to have laws.”

He said it was the right of the US to choose immigrants that “we think are the likeliest to thrive and flourish and love us”.

Elaborating on that idea, Donald Trump said his “extreme vetting” would involve an ideological test for immigrants applying to live in the US.

“Applicants will be asked for their views about honor killings, about respect for women and gays and minorities, attitudes on radical Islam,” he said.

Donald Trump stormed to an unlikely victory in the Republican primaries partly due to his tough talking on immigration.

In Phoenix he vowed to protect the interests of Americans who he said lose out to new arrivals: “We have to listen to the concerns that working people, our forgotten working people, have over the record pace of immigration and its impact on their jobs, wages, housing, schools, tax bills and general living conditions.”

Donald Trump accused his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton of wanting to grant amnesty to undocumented immigrants and of advocating “open border” policies.

Reacting to Donald Trump’s visit to Mexico, Hillary Clinton said he had “choked” by not asking his hosts to pay for his wall.

Donald Trump has defended his call for a wall on the Mexican border, during his visit to meet President Enrique Pena Nieto.

The GOP nominee said he did not discuss who would pay for the wall.

Donald Trump also called Mexicans “amazing” and “spectacular” people, in contrast to earlier comments branding Mexican migrants “rapists” and “murderers”.

President Pena Nieto said Mexicans had been hurt but he respected that Donald Trump genuinely wanted to build relations.

Donald Trump will later fly to Phoenix, Arizona, to deliver a key speech on measures to tackle illegal immigration.

He has seen his poll ratings slip since the GOP conventions last month.

Both nationally and in key states, Donald Trump trails Hillary Clinton, who enjoys particularly strong support among minorities.Donald Trump Mexico trip

Donald Trump said his words to Enrique Pena Nieto had been strong and straightforward.

He tried to put behind him his previous comments on Mexicans by saying those in the US had made a “great contribution”.

“I have a great feeling for Mexicans. They are amazing people,” he said.

Donald Trump said he had employed many Mexicans and that they were “beyond reproach, spectacular people with strong values of faith and community”.

He said: “We recognize and respect the right of either country to build a physical barrier or wall on any of its borders.”

But he said there was no discussion on who would pay for the wall.

Donald Trump had earlier threatened to stop cash earned by Mexicans based in the US being sent home until the country paid for it to be built.

He concluded by saying he was honored by President Pena Nieto’s invitation to visit, adding: “I call you a friend.”

Enrique Pena Nieto accepted there were border challenges but pointed out the massive contribution Mexicans have made to the US, and that “six million jobs rely on exports to Mexico”.

He said: “My priority is to protect Mexicans wherever they may be. That is my responsibility. Mexicans in the US are honest people, hard-working people who respect their families, their community and the law. They deserve everybody’s respect.”

President Pena Nieto has invited both candidates to visit Mexico, but has faced criticism at home over Donald Trump.

Former Mexican President Vicente Fox earlier told CNN: “We don’t like him. We don’t want him. We reject his visit.”

Former First Lady Margarita Zavala also tweeted: “We Mexicans have dignity, and we reject your hate speech.”

At least two demonstrations have been planned in Mexico City.

Hillary Clinton’s campaign has not yet said if she will travel to Mexico.

Donald Trump is to visit Mexico on August 31, hours before he details measures against illegal immigration in a speech.

The Republican presidential nominee tweeted that he was looking forward to meeting Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto, who has invited both him and Democrat Hillary Clinton.

President Enrique Pena Nieto said dialogue would help “protect Mexicans wherever they are”.

Donald Trump has condemned Mexican migrants during his campaign and vowed to build a wall between the two countries.Donald Trump San Diego rally

The Republican will visit Mexico in between a fundraising event in California and his immigration speech in Phoenix, Arizona, on Wednesday night.

Donald Trump has seen his poll ratings slip since the party conventions last month.

Both nationally and in key states, Donald Trump trails Hillary Clinton, who enjoys particularly strong support among minorities.

Enrique Pena Nieto said he had invited both candidates for talks and would meet Donald Trump in private on August 31.

“I believe in dialogue to protect Mexican interests in the world and, principally, to protect Mexicans wherever they are,” the Mexican president said.

Hillary Clinton’s campaign has not yet said if she will travel to Mexico.

Enrique Pena Nieto has previously accused Donald Trump of hurting US-Mexico relations and compared the Republican’s rhetoric to that of German Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.

Donald Trump has threatened to stop cash sent home by Mexicans based in the US until the country pays for the wall.

He blames Mexico for the disappearance of jobs from the US, with companies choosing to locate south of the border to take advantage of cheaper labor costs.

In June, Donald Trump expressed anger after a leading golf tournament was moved from one of his courses to Mexico, accusing the PGA Tour of putting “profit ahead of thousands of American jobs”.

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Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto has likened Donald Trump’s rhetoric to that of Adolf Hitler.

In an interview with Mexican daily Excelsior, Enrique Pena Nieto called Donald Trump’s rhetoric “strident”.

The Mexican leader added that “that’s how Mussolini got in, that’s how Hitler got in”.

Enrique Pena Nieto also said that Donald Trump had hurt US-Mexico relations.

The Republican presidential hopeful has said that if he is elected he will build a wall along the US-Mexico border to keep immigrants from crossing into the US illegally.Enrique Pena Nieto and Donald Trump

Donald Trump has also insisted that Mexico would pay for the border wall, which President Enrique Pena Nieto dismissed out of hand.

The president said there was “no scenario” under which Mexico would ever pay for such a wall.

Donald Trump, who has made the fight against illegal immigration the main plank of his campaign, outraged Mexicans last June when he called undocumented Mexican immigrants “criminals” and “rapists”.

Enrique Pena Nieto said Donald Trump offered “very easy, simple solutions to problems that are obviously not that easy to solve”.

“And there have been episodes in human history, unfortunately, where these expressions of this strident rhetoric have only led to very ominous situations in the history of humanity,” he said.

“That’s how Mussolini got in, that’s how Hitler got in, they took advantage of a situation, a problem perhaps, which humanity was going through at the time, after an economic crisis,” he added.

Enrique Pena Nieto, who had up until now avoided commenting on Donald Trump’s candidacy, insisted he would be “absolutely respectful” of the US political process.

Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto has signed a controversial law that allows foreign companies to drill for oil for the first time since the sector was nationalized in 1938.

The legislation was passed by Congress last week and ratified by a majority of Mexican states.

Enrique Pena Nieto says the reform will help Mexico attract the investment needed to boost its falling oil output.

The opposition says it damages national interests.

The legislation changes three articles in the Mexican constitution and allows foreign investment in oil, gas and electricity.

Private companies will be allowed to sign contracts to drill for oil and gas with state-controlled firm Pemex, which will get a share of the profits

Private companies will be allowed to sign contracts to drill for oil and gas with state-controlled firm Pemex, which will get a share of the profits

Private companies will be allowed to sign contracts to drill for oil and gas with state-controlled firm Pemex, which will get a share of the profits.

“This is the beginning of a new history for our country. We have opened the doors for a better future for all,” said Enrique Pena Nieto.

Oil production in Mexico has dropped from 3.4 million barrels per day in 2004 to the current rate of 2.5 million barrels per day.

Opposition legislators attempted to stop last week’s vote by all means, including piling up chairs to block the entrance to the Congress building.

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Mexico’s Senate has approved a measure to open the state-run oil fields to foreign investment for the first time in 75 years.

The measure would let private firms explore and extract oil and gas with state-run firm Pemex, and take a share of the profits.

It now moves to the lower house to be voted on, where it is expected to pass.

President Enrique Pena Nieto wrote on Twitter that it was “a significant decision for Mexico”.

Mexico's Senate has approved a measure to open the state-run oil fields to foreign investment for the first time in 75 years

Mexico’s Senate has approved a measure to open the state-run oil fields to foreign investment for the first time in 75 years

Enrique Pena Nieto said it was necessary to modernize Mexico’s energy sector and increase oil production, which has dropped from 3.4 million barrels per day in 2004 to the current rate of 2.5 million barrels per day.

However, the left-wing Democratic Revolution Party said it was a submission to US oil companies, and protestors set up camp outside the Senate.

They say the move strikes at the heart of Mexico’s identity.

In 1938, then-president Lazaro Cardenas nationalized the oil industry, which had been operated by foreigners up to that point, asserting that Mexico had a right to its mineral wealth.

If the measure passes Mexico’s Congress, it must then be approved by 17 of the country’s 32 federal entities.

The death toll of Tropical Storms Manuel and Ingrid in Mexico now stands at 110, the interior minister says.

Another 68 are still missing, believed dead, after a landslide destroyed the village of La Pintada in western Guerrero state.

President Enrique Pena Nieto asked Congress to increase the federal budget in light of the emergency.

Officials are still trying to evaluate the total extent of the damage.

“We are confronting rainfall that has practically been the most extensive in the history of the entire national territory,” President Enrique Pena Nieto said on Sunday.

“Today we can already anticipate that due to the damages that we have seen, our [emergency] funds are insufficient.”

Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong said work was under way to establish which areas were worst affected by Tropical Storm Manuel which hit Mexico’s western coast, and Ingrid, which made landfall on its eastern coast last week.

Twenty-four out of Mexico’s 31 states have been affected by the twin storms.

“There’s no point in the government offering us kind words and nothing else,” Alicia Sanchez told the Associated Press news agency.

The death toll of Tropical Storms Manuel and Ingrid in Mexico now stands at 110

The death toll of Tropical Storms Manuel and Ingrid in Mexico now stands at 110

“They’ve made us promises but I don’t think they’ll keep them,” the Acapulco resident said.

Acapulco’s international airport re-opened for commercial flights on Sunday, a week after it had to close due to power cuts and flooding.

Some 20,000 people are still living in shelters in the surrounding state of Guerrero.

Rescue workers continue to search the rubble and mud for bodies of those buried in a landslide in La Pintada, where some 40 homes were swept away by mud from a hillside.

Touring the site of the disaster on Saturday, President Enrique Pena Nieto said there was little hope of finding anyone alive.

Lt Carlos Alberto Mendoza, who is leading the team of soldiers searching La Pintada, said it was the most daunting task he had faced in more than two decades of service.

“They are doing unbelievable work, hours and hours for just one body,” he said of his team of 16 soldiers.

“No matter how hard the day is, they never get tired of working,” he added.

Continuing rainfall is putting the rescue workers at risk of renewed landslides.

Five police officers died on Thursday when their Black Hawk helicopter crashed into a hillside on its way to La Pintada.

A total of 1.2 million people were affected when Tropical Storm Manuel made landfall on 15 September on Mexico’s south-western coastline.

More than 25,000 tourists had to be airlifted out of Acapulco after the beach resort was cut off.

Just 24 hours after Manuel had made landfall, Tropical Storm Ingrid hit the country’s Gulf coast, causing destruction in Verazcruz and Tamaulipas.

After temporarily weakening, Manuel regained strength and hit Mexico’s north-western coast with hurricane-strength winds and more rain on Thursday.

Forecasters say rains will continue to fall on the Gulf Coast of Mexico and the country’s interior until Tuesday.

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At least 97 people have been killed by storms that hit Mexico earlier in the week, according to authorities.

In the village of La Pintada, near the Pacific coast, a landslide partially engulfed the town.

At least 15 bodies have been recovered and almost 70 residents are missing, the authorities said.

A helicopter involved in the rescue effort in the area has disappeared with three crew on board, according to Mexican media.

Officials are hoping that the helicopter had to land amid bad weather conditions and that the crew has been unable to update their base on their location.

Police and navy teams are to begin looking for the helicopter early on Friday when visibility improves, the Excelsior newspaper reports.

Meanwhile, President Enrique Pena Nieto has announced in a statement that he is cancelling a planned trip to the UN in New York next week to focus on relief efforts.

Tropical Storm Manuel, which on Thursday briefly became a hurricane, has now moved north, forcing hundreds from their homes in Sinaloa state.

As it hit land, Hurricane Manuel brought torrential rain and winds of up to 75mph and caused flash floods in Sinaloa.

Schools in the region have been closed and a fishing village of Yameto was evacuated as Hurricane Manuel approached.

At least 97 people have been killed by storms that hit Mexico

At least 97 people have been killed by storms that hit Mexico

More than 100,000 were affected by the hurricane, the State governor, Mario Lopez Valdez told reporters.

It then gradually began losing strength, according to the United States National Hurricane Center, going back to being a tropical storm.

Hurricane Manuel is now expected to dissipate before the weekend.

However, weather conditions are expected to remain poor over the coming days as a third storm is forecast.

With the Gulf Coast having been hit by Hurricane Ingrid, this week was the first time since the 1950s that Mexico has had to deal with two storms simultaneously.

The resort town of Acapulco and its surrounding areas were worst hit by Hurricane Manuel earlier in the week.

Since then, more than 10,000 stranded tourists have been airlifted by military planes out of the resort town of Acapulco.

Several stores have been looted and residents of the outskirts of Acapulco have complained about being left to fend for themselves.

Residents of La Pintada, a remote village of about 600 people north-west of Acapulco, described how the hillside buried their homes as they were holding independence day celebrations on Monday evening.

The landslide tore through the middle of the village, destroying the church, the school and the kindergarten.

“We were eating when it thundered, and when the mountain collapsed the homes were swept away and the thundering noise became louder,” Erika Guadalupe Garcia told AFP news agency.

Ana Clara Catalan, 17, described the noise as “ugly, worse than a bomb”.

“More than half of La Pintada was demolished, few homes were left,” Maria del Carmen Catalan said.

Most of the residents have been now been evacuated by helicopter.

Hurricane Ingrid made landfall on Monday in the town of La Pesca on Mexico’s Gulf Coast. It mainly affected the state of Tamaulipas, where thousands of people were moved from low-lying areas to higher ground.

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Brazil announces it will demand an explanation from the US after allegations that the National Security Agency (NSA) spied on Brazilian government communications.

The allegations were made by Rio-based journalist Glenn Greenwald in a programme on TV Globo on Sunday.

Glenn Greenwald obtained secret files from whistle-blower Edward Snowden.

Communications from the Mexican president were also accessed by the NSA, Glenn Greenwald said.

Glenn Greenwald, a columnist for the Guardian newspaper, told TV Globo’s news programme Fantastico that secret documents leaked by Edward Snowden showed how US agents had spied on communications between aides of Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff.

Brazil’s Justice Minister Jose Eduardo Cardozo said that “if these facts prove to be true, it would be unacceptable and could be called an attack on our country’s sovereignty”.

According to the report, the NSA also used a program to access all internet content that President Dilma Rousseff visited online.

Edward Snowden’s documents showed how US agents had spied on communications between aides of Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff

Edward Snowden’s documents showed how US agents had spied on communications between aides of Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff

The report also alleges that the NSA monitored the communications of Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto before he was elected.

Glenn Greenwald said that a document dating from June 2012 showed that Enrique Pena Nieto’s emails were being read.

A spokesman for the Mexican foreign ministry told the Agence France Presse news agency that he had seen the report but had no comment.

The documents were provided to Glenn Greenwald by ex-US intelligence analyst Edward Snowden, who was granted temporary asylum in Russia after leaking secret information to media in the US and Britain.

Glenn Greenwald was the first journalist to reveal the secret documents leaked by Edward Snowden on June 6. Since then, he has written a series of stories about surveillance by US and UK authorities.

The detention last month for nine hours at London’s Heathrow airport of Glenn Greenwald’s partner, David Miranda, caused widespread controversy in the UK and abroad.

Glenn Greenwald said the detention of his partner amounted to “bullying” and was “clearly intended to send a message of intimidation” to those working on the NSA revelations.

The British government said that it was right for the police to act if they believed that someone had “highly sensitive stolen information”.

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Miguel Angel Trevino Morales, one of the world’s most notorious drug-gang leaders, has been captured by Mexican marines in a raid near the US border.

Miguel Angel Trevino Morales, 40, head of the Zetas cartel, was intercepted with two lieutenants in a pick-up truck near Nuevo Laredo.

Mexican officials said he had eight guns and $2 million in cash.

Miguel Angel Trevino Morales, infamous for his brutality, was wanted on both sides of the border for ordering massacres and running drugs on a global scale.

He took control of the Zetas following the death of group founder Heriberto Lazcano in October 2012.

His is the highest-profile arrest since President Enrique Pena Nieto came to office last December.

Enrique Pena Nieto promised to change the policy of the previous government by tackling cartels through law enforcement on a local level rather than the capture of big-name targets.

Ex-President Felipe Calderon had deployed the army across the country and pursued cartel leaders.

Although the policy eliminated many senior criminal figures, it also created power vacuums that helped fuel the violence.

Miguel Angel Trevino Morales, one of the world's most notorious drug-gang leaders, has been captured by Mexican marines

Miguel Angel Trevino Morales, one of the world’s most notorious drug-gang leaders, has been captured by Mexican marines

Miguel Angel Trevino Morales Trevino Morales, known as “Zeta-40”, was captured outside Nuevo Laredo, near the US border at dawn on Monday, government spokesman Eduardo Sanchez told a news conference.

“Three people in the truck were detained by ground troops, who had arrived to support the naval forces, who had carried out the detention via the helicopter. Not a single shot was fired,” he said.

It is thought the authorities were acting on a tip-off.

The Zetas began as the enforcement arm of the Gulf cartel, another powerful criminal gang.

They were made up of defectors from an elite military unit and quickly became known for their brutality.

Miguel Angel Trevino Morales was unlike most of the Zetas because he was a civilian who worked his way up through the ranks.

The Zetas split from the Gulf cartel in 2010, sparking brutal turf wars across northern Mexico.

By 2012, they were reputed to be the largest and most powerful cartel.

But expert Alejandro Hope says the arrest is another step towards the destruction of the Zetas as a coherent organization.

“There will still be people who call themselves Zetas, bands of individuals who maintain the same modus operandi,” said Alejandro Hope, a former member of Mexico’s domestic intelligence service.

Analysts say Miguel Angel Trevino Morales’ younger brother, Omar, has been one of his closest lieutenants and may try to position himself as successor.

The Mexican authorities fear that the arrest could lead to a period of in-fighting between different Zeta factions.

Miguel Angel Trevino Morales is believed to be responsible for ordering two notorious attacks on migrants from other Latin American countries.

In 2010, he allegedly ordered the torture and murder of 72 Central American migrants as punishment for their refusal to act as drugs mules.

A year later, he apparently oversaw the massacre of almost 200 immigrants for similar reasons.

Before he became the group’s overall leader, Miguel Angel Trevino Morales co-ordinated the gang’s important Nuevo Laredo drug corridor into the US, the region in which he was finally apprehended.

He is also believed to have controlled a squad of killers who operated in the US state of Texas.

The US authorities had offered $5 million reward for any information leading to Miguel Angel Trevino Morales’ capture, making him one of the world’s most-wanted drug traffickers.

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Elba Esther Gordillo, known as Mexico’s most powerful woman, has been arrested on corruption charges.

Elba Esther Gordillo, who runs the 1.5 million-member Mexican teachers’ union, is alleged to have diverted about $200 million from union funds to personal accounts.

No-one from her legal team has responded to the allegations, but in the past Elba Esther Gordillo has denied any wrongdoing in handling the funds.

The arrest came after major reforms to the education system on Monday.

President Enrique Pena Nieto signed the sweeping reforms, which seek to change a system dominated by Elba Esther Gordillo in which teaching positions could be sold or inherited.

“We are looking at a case in which the funds of education workers have been illegally misused, for the benefit of several people, among them Elba Esther Gordillo,” Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam said.

His office alleges Elba Esther Gordillo, 68, used the money on property, including in the US, private airplanes and plastic surgery.

Elba Esther Gordillo is one of the highest profile figures in Mexican political life, known simply as “la maestra” or “the teacher”.

For more than 20 years she has led the National Union of Education Workers (SNTE).

With an estimated 1.5 million members, the SNTE is considered Latin America’s most powerful union.

Elba Esther Gordillo, who runs the 1.5 million-member Mexican teachers' union, is alleged to have diverted about $200 million from union funds to personal accounts

Elba Esther Gordillo, who runs the 1.5 million-member Mexican teachers’ union, is alleged to have diverted about $200 million from union funds to personal accounts

Elba Esther Gordillo has held real influence over governments and individual presidents by persuading her union members to vote as a single bloc, our correspondent says.

The teachers were also responsible for manning polling stations on election day.

Her union is very wealthy, and can count on an annual budget of tens of millions of dollars.

It is on claims that Elba Esther Gordillo mishandled those funds, allegedly diverting money intended for the union’s coffers to her personal accounts, that she has now been arrested.

The reforms appeared set to weaken the powerful teachers’ union, which has largely controlled access to the profession.

The union has argued that reforms could lead to massive lay-offs.

Critics also say the changes could signal the start of the privatization of education in Mexico.

Mexico’s education system currently ranks bottom in a list of members of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

The reforms will require teachers to undergo regular assessments, something that has previously never taken place inside Mexico’s primary and secondary schools.

Many teachers in Mexico are said to have a very low standard of education themselves, with some only having graduated from high school.

Another change is intended to tackle the problem of absent or even deceased teachers receiving wages.

Elba Esther Gordillo has been an outspoken critic of the current education minister and his approach to the reforms.

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Enrique Pena Nieto, Mexico’s new president, has been inaugurated amid tight security in the capital Mexico City.

He wants to boost economic growth and cut drug-related violence, but analysts say it is not clear how he will do so.

Some 60,000 people have been killed in drug-related violence during the rule of his predecessor, Felipe Calderon.

As Enrique Pena Nieto’s motorcade approached Congress, petrol bomb-wielding protesters clashed with riot police who fired tear gas outside the building.

One protester was gravely injured after being hit with a tear gas canister.

The demonstrators are angry at what they say was vote-buying by the president’s campaign.

They were also protesting more generally against the return to power of Enrique Pena Nieto’s Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) after a 12-year absence.

Amid a cacophonic trumpet fanfare, outgoing President Felipe Calderon handed a sash with the colors of the Mexican flag to Enrique Pena Nieto, who was expected to address the nation from the presidential palace later on Saturday.

Enrique Pena Nieto has been inaugurated as Mexico's new president

Enrique Pena Nieto has been inaugurated as Mexico’s new president

All week in Mexico City, a ring of steel had been in place around the Congress building ahead of the ceremonial presidential inauguration.

It had created massive traffic jams in the already congested city as authorities tried to prevent protesters from gaining access to parliament.

Earlier, the new president, who is 46, named a 20-member cabinet.

His foreign minister will be Jose Antonio Meade, who was treasury minister in Felipe Calderon’s outgoing government.

Enrique Pena Nieto spent his final days as president-elect in talks with leaders in the US and Canada, Mexico’s partners in the regional trade organisation, Nafta.

The PRI governed without interruption for 71 years until 2000, and its opponents often accused it of being authoritarian and corrupt, and of having links to the drug cartels.

But during his election campaign Enrique Pena Nieto was adamant the party had evolved.

“I can say categorically that in my government, there won’t be any form of pact or agreement with organized crime,” he said.

“It’s not the path nor the route to greater security for the Mexican people.”

Earlier this month, he denied the PRI’s return to power would be a return to the past.

“It is not, because this is a different country,” he said.

Enrique Pena Nieto has indicated he will focus on tackling extortion, kidnapping and murder, and he has drafted in support from Colombia’s former top policeman.

The outgoing president is due to take up a position at Harvard University and maintains he has made Mexico safer.

But for many Mexicans, Felipe Calderon’s legacy as president is of an estimated 10,000 drug-related killings a year for the past six years.

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More than 130 prisoners are on the run in Mexico after a mass breakout from Coahuila jail close to the US border.

The inmates escaped through a tunnel dug out from the prison’s carpentry workshop to a perimeter fence.

The prison director and two other employees are being held over the incident at the facility in Coahuila, the state’s attorney general said.

A massive manhunt is under way, and the US authorities are on alert in case any escapees attempt to cross the border.

Some 132 men managed to escape from the prison in the city of Piedras Negras, which borders Eagle Pass in Texas to the north.

More than 130 prisoners are on the run in Mexico after a mass breakout from Coahuila jail close to the US border

More than 130 prisoners are on the run in Mexico after a mass breakout from Coahuila jail close to the US border

One by one, the inmates fled through a tunnel measuring 2.9 m (9.5 ft) deep and 7 m long, attorney general Homero Ramos said in a statement broadcast on local TV.

The state government has offered rewards of 200,000 pesos ($15,600) for information leading to the arrest of each prisoner.

This is not the first time such a mass breakout has taken place in Coahuila, but it is by far one of the biggest in recent years.

Such events only go to underline further to the incoming government of President Enrique Pena Nieto the dire state of the prison system in Mexico.

Enrique Pena Nieto is to take office on 1 December. However, prison reform is not expected to be one of the main priorities of his government.

 

Tens of thousands of people in Mexico City are marching 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 Enrique Pena Nieto’s party, the PRI, of buying votes; some carried banners saying “Not another fraud”.

Enrique Pena Nieto, who was declared the winner after a recount of nearly half the votes, denies the allegation.

The second-placed candidate in Mexico’s presidential election, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, has said he will mount a legal challenge to the result.

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

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

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said he would prove that illicit money was used to buy votes in the 1 July poll and secure the victory of centrist candidate Enrique Pena Nieto, who denies this.

Six years ago, after losing the presidential election by a narrow margin, the left-wing Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador led weeks of protests that caused disruption in central areas of Mexico City.

Enrique Pena Nieto was confirmed the winner on Friday after a final recount, with 38.21% to Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s 31.59%.

Third-placed Josefina Vazquez Mota, from the right-wing National Action Party, has admitted defeat.

There is a broad spread of people, not necessarily from the left, who feel that votes in their parts of Mexico were tampered with.

But Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, of the Party of the Democratic Revolution, said the election had been fraudulent and that he would file an appeal next week.

He accuses the party of Enrique Pena Nieto, the Institutional Revolutionary Party, of paying for votes using gift cards for a supermarket chain.

Numerous videos have emerged of people claiming they received credit in exchange for voting for the PRI.

The party governed Mexico for 71 years until it was defeated in the 2000 presidential poll.

 

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the second-placed candidate in Mexico’s presidential election, has said he will mount a legal challenge to the result.

He said he would prove that illicit money was used to buy votes and secure the victory of centrist candidate Enrique Pena Nieto, who denies this.

Enrique Pena Nieto was confirmed the winner on Friday after a final recount, with 38.21% to Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s 31.59%.

A protest march is planned in Mexico City on Saturday.

Six years ago, after losing the presidential election by a narrow margin, the left-wing Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador led weeks of protests that caused disruption in central areas of Mexico City.

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the second-placed candidate in Mexico's presidential election, has said he will mount a legal challenge to the result

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the second-placed candidate in Mexico's presidential election, has said he will mount a legal challenge to the result

Third-placed Josefina Vazquez Mota, from the right-wing National Action Party, has admitted defeat.

It is not just Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s team who are pushing for alleged irregularities to be investigated.

There is a broad spread of people, not necessarily from the left, who feel that votes in their parts of Mexico were tampered with, he adds.

Accusations of irregularities led to a re-check of about 50% of votes after the result was announced on Monday.

The president of Mexico’s electoral body said on Friday following the recount that there was no reason not to accept the result.

But Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, of the Party of the Democratic Revolution, said the election had been fraudulent and that he would file an appeal next week.

He accuses the party of Enrique Pena Nieto, the PRI, of paying for votes using gift cards for a supermarket chain.

Numerous videos have emerged of people claiming they received credit in exchange for voting for the PRI.

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador promised to keep protests peaceful and “act responsibly”.

Enrique Pena Nieto, of the PRI party, said he had done nothing wrong and said he may sue his opponents over the allegations.

The election had been a tortuous process, and Enrique Pena Nieto is unlikely to see a quiet acceptance of the result.

Mexico’s Federal Electoral Institute has until early September to address complaints and formally announce a winner in the presidential election.

 

Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), Mexico’s old ruling party, is set to return to power as early official results indicate its candidate Enrique Pena Nieto has won the presidential election.

Enrique Pena Nieto, 45, is on some 38%, several points ahead of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who has not conceded.

Thousands of police were on duty for the vote, amid fears of intimidation from drug gangs.

Mexicans were also electing a new congress and some state governors.

Celebrations at the headquarters of the PRI started after the polls closed.

Enrique Pena Nieto declared: “We all won in this election. Mexico won.”

“This is just the start of the work we have before us.”

He thanked Mexican voters for giving the PRI a second chance, saying his administration would have a “new way of governing”.

The election campaign was dominated by the economy and the war on drugs.

“There will be no pact nor truce with organized crime,” Enrique Pena Nieto said.

Enrique Pena Nieto is on some 38 percent, several points ahead of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador

Enrique Pena Nieto is on some 38 percent, several points ahead of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador

He had been presented as the new face of the PRI, a break with the party’s long and at times murky past that included links with drug gangs.

The party held on to power for 71 years until it was defeated in 2000.

Enrique Pena Nieto built his reputation on the “pledges” he set out for his governorship in Mexico state, focusing on public works and improvement of infrastructure.

Outoing President Felipe Calderon has congratulated Enrique Pena Nieto and promised to work with him during the transition to his inauguration in December.

“I sincerely hope for the smooth running of the next government for the benefit of all Mexicans,” Felipe Calderon said, in a televised address.

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, running for the leftist Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) is in second place with about 31% of the vote.

The official quick count, published by the electoral authorities (IFE), is based on returns from a sample of around 7,500 polling stations across Mexico.

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who was the runner-up in the 2006 election, has not conceded victory.

“The last word hasn’t been spoken yet,” he said.

“We simply do not have all the facts. We are lacking the legality of the electoral process.”

In 2006, he refused to recognize Felipe Calderon’s victory and led street protests for months afterwards.

Josefina Vazquez Mota, the candidate of the governing National Action Party (PAN) had already accepted defeat.

The initial results from IFE put her on some 26%.

Almost 80 million people were eligible to cast their ballots on Sunday.

Police and army were deployed to protect voters from intimidation by drug cartels at polling booths.

Officials said the voting was largely peaceful, but reported some initial problems as a number of stations opened later than planned.

With nearly half the Mexican population living in poverty, the economy was one of the main issues in the campaign.

Unemployment remains low at roughly 4.5%, but a huge divide remains between the rich and the poor.

Another issue dominating the campaign was the war on drugs, launched nearly six years ago by President Felipe Calderon, who is constitutionally barred from seeking re-election.

The main opposition candidates have been critical of Felipe Calderon’s policies.

They point out that more than 55,000 people have been killed in drug-related violence since 2006.

Mexicans were also electing 500 deputies, 128 senators, six state governors, the head of government in the Federal District (which includes Mexico City) and local governments.

 

Mexico has opened the polls in a presidential election dominated by the economy and war on drugs.

Ex-governor Enrique Pena Nieto – seen as the frontrunner – is attempting to win the presidency back for the PRI party that ruled for decades.

His main opponents are left-wing politician Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, and Josefina Vazquez Mota from the ruling conservative PAN party.

Voters are also choosing a new congress and some state governors.

Nearly 80 million voters are eligible to cast their ballots.

Enrique Pena Nieto, the 45-year-old former governor of Mexico state, is seeking to bring back the presidency to the PRI (Institutional Revolutionary Party), which held on to power for 71 years until defeat in 2000.

“My priority will be to battle the poverty in our country at its roots,” he said during his final campaign rally.

But in recent weeks the gap between Enrique Pena Nieto and Andreas Manuel Lopez Obrador, a 58-year-old former Mexico City mayor, has been narrowing, opinion polls say.

Mexico has opened the polls in a presidential election dominated by the economy and war on drugs

Mexico has opened the polls in a presidential election dominated by the economy and war on drugs

Andreas Manuel Lopez Obrador, of the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) has seen his campaign boosted by a student-led movement against the PRI.

The PRD candidate came close to winning the poll six years ago. He accused the governing party of fraud and vote-buying and led a month of street protests against the official result.

But he said things have changed: “In 2006 we lacked organization, now we are organized. 2012 is not 2006.”

The candidate of the ruling National Action Party (PAN) is 51-year-old Josefina Vazquez Mota, a businesswoman who has promised to tackle corruption.

With nearly one third of the Mexican population living in poverty, the economy has been one of the main issues in the campaign.

Unemployment remains low at roughly 4.5%, but a huge divide remains between the rich and the poor.

Another issue dominating the campaign is the war on drugs launched nearly six years ago by President Felipe Calderon, who is constitutionally barred from seeking re-election.

The main opposition candidates have been critical of Felipe Calderon’s policies.

They point out that more than 55,000 people have been killed in drug-related violence since 2006.

Mexicans are also electing 500 deputies, 128 senators, six state governors, the head of government in the Federal District and local governments.