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MEXICO POLITICS: Graft Probe into Enrique Pena Nieto’s Ally Tricky Challenge Ahead of Election

MEXICO POLITICS: Graft Probe into Enrique Pena Nieto’s Ally Tricky Challenge Ahead of Election

Odebrecht has admitted to U.S. and Brazilian prosecutors that it paid $10.5 million in bribes in Mexico.

Details of the payments have not been made public, though in August, Brazilian and Mexican media reported that Lozoya had asked Odebrecht executives for bribes in 2012 in return for contracts, citing testimony from Odebrecht employees.

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CANADA POLITICS: US Creates More Tensions in NAFTA Talks

CANADA POLITICS: US Creates More Tensions in NAFTA Talks

The Trump administration says the clause, causing NAFTA to expire every five years unless all three countries agree it should continue, is to ensure the pact stays up to date. But Mexico and Canada insist there is no point updating the pact with such a threat hanging over it, arguing the clause would stunt investment by sowing too much uncertainty about the future of the agreement. The head of Unifor, Canada’s largest private sector labor union, said it was clear the United States did not want a deal.

“NAFTA is not going anywhere. This thing is going into the toilet,” Jerry Dias told reporters on Thursday.

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MEXICO POLITICS: Indigenous Woman Maria de Jesus Patricio Martinez Registers to Run for Mexican Presidency in 2018

MEXICO POLITICS: Indigenous Woman Maria de Jesus Patricio Martinez Registers to Run for Mexican Presidency in 2018

Patricio Martinez, a traditional healer and native Nahua speaker, is originally from the central Mexican state of Jalisco. Her support from the Zapatistas marks a more visible turn for the insurgent movement, which has faded in recent years.

Local media reported that after Patricio Martinez registered with the National Electoral Institute (INE), she pledged not to accept any funding from the government to run her campaign.

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MEXICO POLITICS: Mexico Warns US Against ‘Protectionist War’

MEXICO POLITICS: Mexico Warns US Against ‘Protectionist War’

“We are deeply worried by what the U.S. has added recently in the free-trade negotiations,” said Senator Marcela Guerra, who heads Mexico’s Senate committee on North American affairs.

U.S. President Donald Trump argues that NAFTA has hollowed out U.S. manufacturing, sending jobs to Mexico and fueling a U.S. goods trade deficit of more than $60 billion with its southern neighbor.

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USA POLITICS: $10bn Trump’s Wall Approved By US House Panel

USA POLITICS: $10bn Trump’s Wall Approved By US House Panel

Prior to the voting, committee Chairman Michael McCaul of Texas praised Trump’s focus on border security and called on the committee members to seize the opportunity.

“We finally have a partner in the White House who has prioritized this issue, and it’s time for Congress to do its job,” he said.

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MEXICO POLITICS: Protesters Block Goldcorp’s Top Peñasquito Mine in Mexico

MEXICO POLITICS: Protesters Block Goldcorp’s Top Peñasquito Mine in Mexico

The entrances to the Peñasquito mine have been occupied since Thursday by protesters who demand the company make good on a commitment to supply nearby communities with water, said Felipe Pinedo, a leader of the protesters.

Pinedo said the protesters were only allowing workers to leave the mine, which is located in northern Zacatecas state and last year produced 465,000 ounces of gold.

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CANADA POLITICS: Negotiators Weigh NAFTA Progress as Canada Fumes Over Bombardier

CANADA POLITICS: Negotiators Weigh NAFTA Progress as Canada Fumes Over Bombardier

“This is an unjust, punitive ruling,” Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland told reporters before the dinner, reiterating comments by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. “The government of Canada cannot treat, as a trusted partner, a company which is attacking our aerospace sector,” she said.

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MEXICO POLITICS: Politicians Fear Flunking Quake Test Before 2018 Election

MEXICO POLITICS: Politicians Fear Flunking Quake Test Before 2018 Election

On Tuesday, when a 7.1 tremor struck, he aborted a trip to the first quake’s disaster zone to return to Mexico City, where 38 buildings collapsed killing scores of people, including more than 20 children at a school. Pena Nieto went to the school as rescuers searched for children and adults trapped inside. The death toll from Tuesday’s quake, which struck the capital and nearby states on the anniversary of a devastating 1985 tremor, has reached 230.

Politicians from all sides called for solidarity and praised how Mexicans, many of whom volunteered to help climb through rubble and search for survivors, had come together.

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MEXICO POLITICS: Thousands Protest Violence Against Women in Mexico Cities

MEXICO POLITICS: Thousands Protest Violence Against Women in Mexico Cities

“We live with fear and that is a reality,” said Pixie, a 27-year-old teacher.

Similar protest rallies were staged in other Mexican cities. Castilla’s murder was the 83rd of a woman documented in Puebla this year by civic organizations and the 59th publicly acknowledged by the state attorney’s office.

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MEXICO POLITICS: In First, US Defense Chief Jim Mattis to Attend Mexican Independence Day Events

MEXICO POLITICS: In First, US Defense Chief Jim Mattis to Attend Mexican Independence Day Events

Jim Mattis’ planned trip on Friday would be only the fifth by a U.S. defense secretary to Mexico, said Pentagon spokesman Army Lieutenant Colonel Jamie Davis.

“Secretary Mattis’ visit to Mexico reaffirms our commitment to the bilateral defense relationship and to the North America community,” Davis said.

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MEXICO POLITICS: Mexico Expels North Korean Ambassador Because of Pyongyang Nuclear Test

MEXICO POLITICS: Mexico Expels North Korean Ambassador Because of Pyongyang Nuclear Test

An official at the Mexican Foreign Ministry said, however, that President Enrique Pena Nieto’s government was not breaking diplomatic ties with North Korea. The developments come amid high tensions over the North Korean missile and nuclear programs. South Korea, the US, and Japan have been worried by the North’s weapons programs, which Pyongyang has been defiantly advancing as countermeasures to their animosity.

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MEXICO POLITICS: Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador Rejects Comparisons to Venezuela

MEXICO POLITICS: Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador Rejects Comparisons to Venezuela

“(They are) saying that if MORENA wins Mexico, it’s going to be like Venezuela. That’s a lie!” Lopez Obrador told a crowd of thousands of supporters who rallied at a monument in the nation’s capital.

“We’re not taking inspiration from any foreign government … Neither Maduro, nor Donald Trump.”

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MEXICO POLITICS: NAFTA Nations Plan Talks Progress Under Barrage of Trump Treats

MEXICO POLITICS: NAFTA Nations Plan Talks Progress Under Barrage of Trump Treats

“We want to see positive signs of progress at the negotiating tables,” said Moises Kalach, head of the international negotiating arm of Mexico’s CCE business lobby, which is leading the private sector in the talks. “Hopefully we’ll get it, even if it doesn’t have to be stated publicly. Hopefully we’ll start getting closure on some issues.”

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WORLD POLITICAL NEWS DAILY BRIEF: 27 August 2017

WORLD POLITICAL NEWS DAILY BRIEF: 27 August 2017

WORLD BRIEF: “We are in the NAFTA (worst trade deal ever made) renegotiation process with Mexico & Canada. Both being very difficult, may have to terminate?” U.S. President Donald Trump wrote.

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MEXICO POLITICS: Mexico, Canada Dismiss Trump Threats to Scrap NAFTA Trade Pact

MEXICO POLITICS: Mexico, Canada Dismiss Trump Threats to Scrap NAFTA Trade Pact

Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray sought to brush off Trump’s threat, saying his remarks were simply a tactic and Mexico would keep negotiating. The comments were not a surprise, nor would they scare Mexico, he added.

“He’s negotiating in his own particular style,” he told local television.

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MEXICO POLITICS: Odebrecht Scandal Takes Center Stage

MEXICO POLITICS: Odebrecht Scandal Takes Center Stage

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto’s office denied his campaign took bribes from Odebrecht, calling such suspicions “absurd.” But the scandal threatens to deepen perceptions that the Mexican government is festering with corruption, less than a year out from presidential elections.

“The accusations against Lozoya will reinforce the already widespread discontent against President Pena Nieto’s administration, which is largely driven by voter perception that corruption is rampant. The PRI will have a hard time crafting a campaign strategy that allows them to be competitive,” said political analyst Carlos Petersen of consulting firm Eurasia Group.

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MEXICO POLITICS: Emilio Lozoya Denies Taking Bribes From Odebrecht

MEXICO POLITICS: Emilio Lozoya Denies Taking Bribes From Odebrecht

“Supposing there were accusations against me by confessed criminals, it is important to mention at least that these people can say anything in exchange for a reduced sentence,” Pena Nieto’s confidant Emilio Lozoya wrote in a letter appearing on his Twitter account.

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CANADA POLITICS: Canada Suggests it Could Quit NAFTA Talks

CANADA POLITICS: Canada Suggests it Could Quit NAFTA Talks

“Canada will uphold and preserve the elements in NAFTA that Canadians deem key to our national interest – including a process to ensure anti-dumping and countervailing duties are only applied fairly when truly warranted,” Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said in a speech at the University of Ottawa.

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VENEZUELA POLITICS: Opposition Rejects Trump’s Military Intervention Remarks

VENEZUELA POLITICS: Opposition Rejects Trump’s Military Intervention Remarks

Trump’s said that his administration was considering many options, “including a possible military option if necessary” to repair the “dangerous mess” in Venezuela. The Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD) rejects “the use of force, or the threat of applying such force, by whatever country against Venezuela.” “The only path to peace is the restoration of democracy. Venezuelans demand free elections be held at all levels,” added the statement.

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MEXICO POLITICS: Thousands of Mexicans Protest Against NAFTA

MEXICO POLITICS: Thousands of Mexicans Protest Against NAFTA

The protesters, who numbered up to 10,000 people, took to the streets in Mexico City, saying the trilateral trade deal was ruining Mexican farmers’ and workers’ livelihoods. President Enrique Peña Nieto, the protesters said, has broken the promises he had made to the farmers and workers in regard to land and labor reforms. The protest comes as NAFTA re-negotiations are scheduled to take place from August 16 to 20 in Washington.

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