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FW: MSN Mexico News and Analysis, Nov 11-17, 2002

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  • John Tanton
    Hello ERers - Item #8 below is of interest. Can anyone find the Pemex report? JHTanton ... From: Mexico Solidarity Network Email List
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 21, 2002
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      Hello ERers - Item #8 below is of interest. Can anyone find the Pemex
      report? JHTanton

      -----Original Message-----
      From: Mexico Solidarity Network Email List
      [mailto:mexicosolidaritynetwork@...]On Behalf Of Mexico
      Solidarity Network
      Sent: Tuesday, November 19, 2002 5:35 PM
      To: Mexico Solidarity Network Email List
      Subject: MSN Mexico News and Analysis, Nov 11-17, 2002


      MEXICO SOLIDARITY NETWORK
      WEEKLY NEWS AND ANALYSIS
      NOVEMBER 11-17, 2002

      1. FOX WARNS BUSH ON IRAQ WAR
      2. PARAMILITARY JAIL TERMS UPHELD
      3. DATES SET FOR CAFTA NEGOTIATIONS
      4. METHANEX CASE STILL HAS LEGS
      5. FOX BUDGET WILL HURT AGRICULTURE
      6. ARMY OPPOSES CIVIL PROSECUTIONS
      7. FOX ANNOUNCES PEACE IN CHIAPAS?
      8. ONLY EIGHTEEN YEARS OF OIL RESERVES IN MEXICO
      9. TOUR HIGHLIGHTS MURDER EPIDEMIC IN JUAREZ



      1. FOX WARNS BUSH ON IRAQ WAR
      President Fox warned the Bush administration against
      taking unilateral military action on Iraq. Fox spoke on
      Thursday before the French National Assembly: "Mexico is
      convinced the action of one or several countries, without
      the backing of the international community, would badly
      damage the credibility of the United Nations and restrict
      its capacity for action? Any potential action against
      Iraq for failing to respect the resolutions of the
      Security Council must be founded on the reports presented
      by the inspectors to the secretary general, and through
      him to the Security Council." Mexico holds one of ten
      rotating seats on the 15-member United Nations Security
      Council.


      2. PARAMILITARY JAIL TERMS UPHELD
      On Tuesday a federal appeals court upheld 36-year prison
      sentences for 18 paramilitaries responsible for the 1997
      Acteal massacre in which 45 members of Las Abejas, a
      pacifist religious community, were killed. The court
      decision linked the paramilitary operation to local PRI
      officials. Human rights groups complained the
      intellectual authors of the massacre and members of the
      army who have been implicated remain free. Silvia
      Aguilera, director of the Mexican Commission for the
      Defense and Promotion of Human Rights, said Wednesday that
      her group was pleased by the judge's decision, but that
      prosecutors should have brought massacre-related charges
      against army commanders.


      3. DATES SET FOR CAFTA NEGOTIATIONS
      Formal negotiations on the Central America Free Trade
      Agreement (CAFTA) will begin in Washington, DC, on January
      8, then continue later in the month in Costa Rica.
      Government officials expect seven rounds of negotiations
      scheduled at five week intervals. CAFTA represents an
      extension of NAFTA to the seven Central American nations.
      It is a high priority for President Bush who hopes to use
      the negotiations to pressure South American nations to
      finalize the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) by
      2005.


      4. METHANEX CASE STILL HAS LEGS
      Canadian-based Methanex Corporation may proceed with its
      NAFTA Chapter 11 claim against the US government, despite
      a partial set-back in an August 5th interim ruling.
      Chapter 11 of NAFTA allows companies to sue governments
      for regulations that may affect corporate profits. The
      suits are heard behind closed doors by secret tribunals
      composed mainly of trade lawyers. Methanex is demanding
      US$970 million in compensation following California's ban
      on the cancer-causing gasoline additive MTBE. The company
      will probably argue that California Governor Gray Davis
      banned MTBE to protect Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), a
      producer of ethanol and a major contributor to Davis's
      campaign. Methanol and MTBE are both used as additives to
      help gasoline burn cleaner. The Davis/ADM argument is a
      new element in a case that is widely seen as a benchmark
      that will define the ability of governments to legislate
      in the public interest.


      5. FOX BUDGET WILL HURT AGRICULTURE
      On Monday more than a dozen campesino organizations
      criticized the Fox administration?s budget proposal, and
      demanded a three year moratorium on NAFTA's agricultural
      chapter. Under NAFTA, Mexico has already phased out most
      agricultural subsidies and protective tariffs. The last
      tariffs are scheduled to end in December of 2003. Mexican
      producers, particularly small and medium-sized corn
      producers, are unable to compete with highly subsidized
      imports from the US. In addition, Mexican producers pay
      60% more for gasoline than their US counterparts, 108%
      more for diesel, and 2.5 times as much for credit. In
      1990 Mexican agriculture produced 84% of the national
      consumption of basic grains, meat and dairy products, but
      in 2001 national producers accounted for only 68%,
      according to the National Agricultural Council (CNA). The
      campesino organizations called for an emergency plan to
      rescue the agricultural sector, and increased budgets for
      agriculture and environmental protection. Agriculture
      accounts for 10% of the gross national product and
      generates about seven million jobs.


      6. ARMY OPPOSES CIVIL PROSECUTIONS
      Twenty-two months ago the Inter-American Human Rights
      Commission recommended that Mexico try members of the army
      accused of three violent rapes in civilian courts, but the
      army refuses. The crimes occurred in Chiapas in June of
      1994, and to date no one has been tried or convicted. The
      army's position is supported by the Federal Attorney
      General, himself a former army general.


      7. FOX ANNOUNCES PEACE IN CHIAPAS?
      On Wednesday, President Vicente Fox announced "I am very
      proud that we have peace in Mexico, with Marcos and with
      the Zapatistas" in a talk at Trinity College in Dublin,
      Ireland. Fox's comments were widely criticized by
      indigenous communities living under siege in Chiapas where
      60,000 army troops are stationed. One political
      cartoonist lampooned the president in a conversation
      between two campesinos. The first said "According to the
      president, some problems don?t exist," while the second
      responded "According to some problems, what doesn?t exist
      is the president."


      8. ONLY EIGHTEEN YEARS OF OIL RESERVES IN MEXICO
      Assuming current levels of production, Mexico's proven
      crude oil reserves will last about 18 years, according to
      new estimates by Pemex, the national oil monopoly. Mexico
      has the ninth largest proven reserves in the world.


      9. TOUR HIGHLIGHTS MURDER EPIDEMIC IN JUAREZ
      A seven day tour sponsored by the Mexico Solidarity
      Network highlighted the murder epidemic in the border city
      of Juarez, Mexico, in which over 800 young women have been
      murdered or disappeared since 1993. The tour featured
      Rosario Acosta, founder of Nuestras Hijas de Regreso a
      Casa, a group that represents the families of the victims,
      and "Señorita Extraviada," an award-winning documentary
      film by Lourdes Portillo on the Juarez epidemic. To date,
      no one has been convicted of a single murder, and official
      investigations have been marked by corruption and
      incompetence. Acosta recently testified before the
      Inter-American Human Rights Commission and is pressuring
      the Fox administration to assume responsibility for the
      investigations. Juarez is a tough border town dominated
      by maquiladores (sweatshops that produce for export to the
      US) where young women often work 12-hour shifts for as
      little as US$5 per day. To schedule a showing of the film
      and a discussion afterward, contact the Mexico Solidarity
      Network as msn@....

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