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Archive for Mexico

Newsline: Families of missing students protest outside Israel’s embassy in Mexico City

Relatives of the 43 Mexican students who disappeared in 2014 protested outside Israel’s embassy, demanding the extradition of a former top investigator wanted in connection with the case. Hundreds gathered outside Israel’s embassy in Mexico City, with no visible police presence. Some carried pictures of the missing students while others sprayed graffiti on the embassy walls. Tomas Zeron, who previously led Mexico’s Criminal Investigation Agency, is accused of manipulating the probe into one of the country’s worst human rights tragedies. “Israel is protecting Tomas Zeron, a human rights violator who tortured those he detained at the time to build the ‘historical truth,'” Meliton Ortega, a representative of the students’ families, told AFP. (https://www.cbsnews.com/news/families-43-missing-students-mexico-urge-israel-to-deport-tomas-zeron-protests/) But Israeli Ambassador to Mexico Zvi Tal criticized the demonstrators’ actions. “It is clear to us that the violence displayed during the demonstration, where they left the walls of our headquarters painted with offensive graffiti, here is written ‘Death to Israel,’ has no relation to the Ayotzinapa case,” he said in a video address in front of the embassy. Mexico has repeatedly asked Israel to hand over Zeron, who is accused of kidnapping, torturing suspects and manipulating evidence — allegations he has denied. The 43 teaching students had commandeered buses in the southern state of Guerrero to travel to a demonstration in Mexico City before they went missing. Investigators say they were detained by corrupt police and handed over to a drug cartel that mistook them for members of a rival gang, but exactly what happened to them is disputed. So far, the remains of only three victims have been identified.

Newsline: Nigerian Embassy In Mexico Shuts Down Over COVID-19

The Nigerian embassy in Mexico has been closed due to an outbreak of COVID-19 at the embassy. Abimbola Tooki, special adviser on media to Adejare Bello, Nigerian ambassador to Mexico via a statement on Monday said that six staff of the embassy tested positive for COVID-19. The ambassador said that the closure would last till August 15, 2022. He said the affected staff are undergoing treatment and that the situation is under control. (https://bizwatchnigeria.ng/nigerian-embassy-in-mexico-shuts-down-over-covid-19/) Bello disclosed that appropriate quarters like the ministry of foreign affairs, Abuja and that of Mexico have been duly notified of this development. The temporary closure, according to the ambassador, will allow the Embassy to be fumigated and all other precautions put in place while the closure lasts. Bello also said that all home-based officers and the local staff of the mission have been directed to work from home pending further directives.

Newsline: Ex-U.S. employee at Mexico City embassy was described as ‘experienced’ predator

A longtime U.S. government employee arrested this month and accused of drugging and sexually assaulting a woman in Mexico City was described in federal court documents as an “experienced sexual predator” with at least 22 apparent victims. According to еру motion arguing that Brian Jeffrey Raymond should remain behind bars while awaiting trial, Raymond was arrested after authorities in Mexico City responded to reports of a “naked, hysterical woman desperately screaming for help” from the balcony of his U.S. Embassy-leased apartment on May 31. (https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/ex-u-s-employee-mexico-city-embassy-was-experienced-predator-n1245054) The documents don’t name the agency that Raymond worked for but said that he’d been a government employee for 23 years and worked in six countries. In Mexico City, he worked out of the U.S. Embassy, the documents say. The woman, who’d met Raymond on Tinder, later told authorities that she’d suddenly blacked out after he allegedly gave her a glass of wine, the documents say. A medical evaluation showed that she had several injuries and appeared to have been sexually assaulted, according to the court papers. Raymond told federal investigators that the encounter was consensual, according to the documents. Raymond has not been charged in the incident. In the documents, authorities say they are still investigating that case and 21 others after a forensic analysis of his phone revealed 25 video fragments of naked, unconscious women. Hundreds more photos were found on his iCloud account, the documents say.

Newsline: Ambassador of Mexico in Honduras is transferred by air ambulance after testing positive for COVID-19

David Jiménez, Mexican Ambassador to Honduras, was transferred by air ambulance to Mexico City, and is currently in intermediate therapy with a good medical prognosis. Through Twitter, Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard gave the news and wished the diplomat a speedy recovery. The Mexican ambassador was admitted to a private hospital in Mexico City where his health status would be reported as stable. (https://www.theyucatantimes.com/2020/08/ambassador-of-mexico-in-honduras-is-transferred-by-air-ambulance-after-testing-positive-for-covid-19/) So far, the Ministry of Foreign Relations of the Government of Mexico has not made any additional comments on the state of health of David Jiménez González.

Newsline: How Trump’s Ambassador to Mexico Became a Twitter Star

If you were Donald Trump’s ambassador to Mexico, you might be forgiven for lying low. Instead, in early September 2019, Christopher Landau, the newly appointed U.S. ambassador to Mexico, posed a challenge to Mexican Twitter users. His counterpart in Greece, he wrote, had almost 150,000 followers in a country with a population of 10 million, whereas the @USAmbMex account only had 40,000 followers in a country of 130 million. “This is an outrage! … Mexico has to be #1!” he tweeted in Spanish. The following day, Landau’s followers numbered more than 76,000. Today, he has over 245,000—and his account offers an unexpected lesson in American digital diplomacy. (https://slate.com/technology/2020/07/mexico-ambassador-twitter.html) Landau’s followers come, we might assume, to learn about U.S. policy and the binational relationship—but they stay for the memes, food pictures, GIFs, and charisma. Or perhaps it’s the other way around. Either way, Landau, the representative of a president famous for his attacks against Mexico, has leveraged social media to present a starkly different outreach to our southern neighbor. He has cultivated a solicitous, admiring public persona, inviting people to ask questions about visas or U.S. policy. Often, he responds personally. Incredulous followers argue there’s no way he runs his own account, but he insists that he does.

Newsline: Former ambassadors warn of unwelcoming signs for investors in Mexico

Mexico needs to do more to create a welcoming environment for foreign investors, three former ambassadors said. Speaking during a virtual forum on the future of North America beyond the coronavirus pandemic and the ratification of the new free trade pact between Mexico, the United States and Canada, former U.S. ambassador to Mexico Roberta Jacobson said the Mexican government is failing to demonstrate that it really welcomes foreign investment. (https://mexiconewsdaily.com/news/former-ambassadors-warn-of-unwelcoming-signs-for-investors/) Jacobson, ambassador between 2016 and 2018, said that Mexico needs to establish a level playing field on which foreign investors and their capital are not unfairly disadvantaged. Jacobson’s remarks came two weeks after her successor, Ambassador Christopher Landau, said that it’s not a good time to invest in Mexico. Specifically citing recent changes to energy policy, Landau said that the federal government failed to keep its pledge not to change investment rules that were in place when it took office in late 2018. The “uncertainty” created by the government could be a barrier to increased investment, he said. Speaking at the virtual forum, former Canadian ambassador Pierre Alarie expressed a similar sentiment, asserting that clear rules and a stable political environment are paramount to attracting foreign investment.

Newsline: U.S. ambassador appears to question wisdom of investing in Mexico

The U.S. ambassador to Mexico appeared to question whether it was a good time to invest in Latin America’s No.2 economy, just days before a new North American trade agreement takes effect, although he later walked back the comments. The remarks drew strong reaction on social media, as some local media outlets interpreted U.S. Ambassador Christopher Landau’s remarks as a broad rebuke of the Mexican government. “For me, an essential part of my job as ambassador is trying to fix problems when they arise, and frankly try to encourage the investment of my compatriots,” said Landau in a webcast hosted by Mexican business lobby CONCAMIN. “But I can’t lie to them, nor can I tell them it’s an opportune time to invest in Mexico if you see very discouraging things for foreign investment. In various sectors we have obviously seen worrying things,” he said. (https://www.reuters.com/article/usa-mexico-trade/us-ambassador-appears-to-question-wisdom-of-investing-in-mexico-idUSL1N2E302M) The United States-Canada-Mexico Agreement (USMCA) trade deal, which replaces the North American Free Trade Agreement, formally starts on July 1.

Newsline: US embassy in Mexico vandalized by protesters

The U.S. Embassy in Mexico City has locked down amid violent protests over the death of George Floyd. A notice from the embassy’s regional security office claims protesters have thrown molotov cocktails and rocks at the embassy. “They have become violent,” according to a notice obtained by The Hill. “The embassy remained locked down. All personnel should avoid the area,” the notice continued. (https://thehill.com/policy/international/501408-us-embassy-in-mexico-vandalized-by-protesters) Mexican media outlets described protesters as vandalizing the embassy, which sits on one of the city’s main thoroughfares near a monument to Mexican independence. Protests the night before were largely peaceful, with protesters lighting candles around signs condemning racism and listing the names of victims harmed by the police. The State Department office in Washington did not immediately respond to request for comment.

Newsline: Bolivia prosecutor seeks Spain response over embassy spat

Bolivia’s attorney general has pushed forward a probe into Spanish officials the South American country’s government alleges were seeking to help allies of ousted leftist leader Evo Morales who are holed up in the Mexican embassy in La Paz. The prosecutor said it had sought information on why Spanish officials, on a December visit to the embassy in Bolivia, were accompanied by Spanish tactical police. The incident sparked a diplomatic stand-off and Bolivia expelled Mexico’s ambassador and several Spanish officials. Spain responded with a similar measure. (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-bolivia-diplomacy/bolivia-prosecutor-seeks-spain-response-over-embassy-spat-idUSKBN1Z8005) The affair has tested Bolivia’s caretaker government, which took power after Morales resigned under pressure in November after widespread protests, evidence of electoral fraud and waning support from military and police. The government of interim President Jeanine Anez claims that Spanish security forces had tried to hide their identity to gain access to the Mexican embassy, which granted asylum to Morales’ backers including former senior aide Juan Ramon Quintana.

Newsline: Spain orders Bolivian diplomats to leave

The Spanish government declared three Bolivian diplomats “personae non gratae”, after Bolivia’s interim president, Jeanine Anez, said the country would expel Mexico’s ambassador and two Spanish diplomats. Spain’s move came after Bolivia accused the Spanish diplomats of attempting to infiltrate the Mexican mission in the capital, La Paz, accompanied by masked men in order to extract the former aide to ex-president Evo Morales, who resigned in November after weeks of protests over corruption. “This group of representatives of the governments of Mexico and Spain have gravely injured the sovereignty and dignity of the Bolivian people and its constitutional government”, Anez said on 30 December, and gave the Mexican and Spanish diplomats 72 hours to leave the country. Previously, Mexico said it will file a complaint against the interim government of Bolivia at the International Court of Justice at The Hague. Its foreign ministry explained that the buildup of security agents around the Mexican ambassador’s residence violates his rights, established under international treaties. Spain has denied it tried to extract the former Morales aide. As a security measure, Spanish diplomats in their own country are sometimes accompanied by bodyguards wearing masks. “Spain categorically rejects any insinuation of presumed willingness to interfere in Bolivia’s internal political affairs”, the government said, and denied that “there was any aim to facilitate the exit of people holed up inside the building”. (https://www.neweurope.eu/article/spain-orders-bolivian-diplomats-to-leave/) Last month, Bolivia issued an arrest warrant for Morales, accusing him of “sedition, terrorism and the financing of terrorism”. He accepted Mexico’s offer of political asylum and stayed a month in there before moving to Argentina.