What’s Going On In This Country?

santi vec copy.jpgThe publisher of this paper is in Paris this week, and she left me in charge. Well, she would have, but it seems that she didn’t make that crystal clear enough to everyone on the staff and they are a little hazy on the details of my power.

Anyhow, I want to show her that I’m sympatico with her even though she’s about 10,000 miles and 10 time zones away, so I spent a little of the company funds on a nice drawing of me in my French ensemble. I think it makes me look quite dapper and my mom will see it when she checks the paper online. Yes, the publisher is my mom, how do you think I got this gig, on my talent? More likely on my good looks! Ja ja ja.

 

More candy, please! Mars candy is building its second chocolate factory in Guanajuato, Mexico in the hopes that Mexicans will eat more of the stuff. Mexicans eat just 1.5 pounds of the stuff anualy, compared with the Swiss who lead the world a massive 20 pounds. The US places 9th at just over nine pounds per capita per year. The factory will primarily produce Snickers bars for distribution in Mexico and South America.

On the plus side for Mexicans, the workforce could grow to 5000 workers, if we all do our part and chow down Snickers. Mars will purchase domestic ingredients from local suppliers and they  expect to reduce the sugar content. Awe shucks, what fun is that?

High tech for drug smugglers. Two young Mexican guys plead guilty to charges of drug trafficking from Mexico into the United States using drones. They were caught on border patrol surveillance cameras flying in 28 lbs of heroin. This is the first seizure involving the use of drones by Mexican drug traffickers, although drones have been used for some time by drug cartels. A drone carrying six pounds of crystal meth crashed just south of the border last January, landing in a parking lot. It was never claimed, surprise, surprise.

Druggies have used tunnels, Cessnas, jet skis, pangas, and now drones. “The use of drones to bring drugs along the Mexico-US border is an emerging threat,” admitted Ronnie Martinez of Homeland Security. The Drug Enforcement Administration reported increased use of drones because they transport with speed and efficiency and reduce the chances of being caught. However, drones are limited in the amount of drugs they can carry. So what? If you find a safe spot, you can hired someone to send it back and forth all day and all night.

Meanwhile, President Obama has asked for drones of his own, requesting funding for 16 drones for surveillance of the Mexican border at a cost of $39 million. Boy, those are costly drones, the ones the druggies are using cost about $1500.

Ban on hunting trophies. Three American airlines, Delta, American and United Airlines, announced they will no longer transport big-game trophies following the widely publicized killing of Cecil the lion in the Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe, and now Aeromexico has jumped on the bandwagon. Aeromexico reported it would prohibit transport of hunting trophies in its 600 daily flights to 80 cities, even if the trophies are acquired legally. This is just a courtesy notice to our precious tourists, to send those souvenirs that are in the form of furry heads home on a bus.

So what has our president done for us lately? Plenty. President Pena Nieto has been flying all over the world trying to expand everyone’s trade with Mexico. In this point in time Mexico is the most prolific signer of free trade agreements in the world, according to a report by the United States-Mexico Chamber of Commerce. The numerous countries Mexico has signed agreements with are home to 850 million people and 60 percent of global GDP. But what do you most commonly hear about the President? Whining that it’s all his fault El Chapo escaped from prison. And where was the president when that caper went down? In Europe, signing more trade deals.

More on juice. An additional 2.4 million people were connected to Mexico’s electricity grid in the year ending March 31, the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) has reported. The new connections mean that 98.44% of the population now has access to electrical power, up from 98.27% in early 2014. The electrification process has consisted of 3,517 projects in both rural and marginalized urban areas, in which the CFE installed 8,599 transformers, 48,794 poles and 1,221 kilometers of wire.

Who’s got the pesos? Carlos Slim is the richest man in Mexico, with a reported fortune of nearly $70 billion. Slim’s wealth is so immense that it equals 6.3% of Mexico’s gross domestic product, a percentage greater than the combined income of the poorest 20% of Mexicans — nearly 25 million people — who account for just 4.9% of the country’s GDP, according to a report from El Daily Post.

Ambassadors all over the place. President Enrique Pena Neito appointed Miguel Basanez, an academic with no diplomatic experience, as Mexico’s ambassador to the United States. Basanez, 65, has a personal history with the Mexican president, having served as a trusted advisor and pollster between 2005 and 2008. Although his decision has been questioned by some, President Neito appointed a man he can trust to represent Mexico in Washington, D.C.

In contrast, President Obama has nominated Roberta Jacobson, a top State Department official for Latin America. She played a key role in restoring diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba. Serving during the Bush and Obama administrations, she handled the relationship between the U.S. and Mexico, starting as a desk officer at the State.