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Jun 7, 2015

Elections test Mexican president as graft, gang murders bite

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto’s party is expected to keep its slim working majority in the lower house of Congress in legislative elections on Sunday despite discontent about corruption, gang violence and lackluster economic growth.

Mexicans also began casting their ballots for nine state governorships and more than 1,000 state and municipal posts, with voting due to run until 2300 GMT and preliminary results expected around 0300 GMT on Monday.

May 14, 2015

Mexico plans land reform to boost investment – sources

MEXICO CITY, May 14 (Reuters) – Mexico’s government is
drawing up a land reform to strengthen the rights of private
companies dealing with rural landholders in a bid to lure
investment and lift the economy, according to two people
familiar with the plan.

The legislation being drafted will draw on an energy reform
completed last year that gave the government more power to act
in favor of investors in disputes with communal landholders over
usage of rural areas such as those known as ejidos, said the two
officials from the government and the ruling Institutional
Revolutionary Party (PRI).

May 12, 2015

Weak Mexico industrial output pressures gov’t GDP forecast

MEXICO CITY, May 12 (Reuters) – Mexican industrial output
unexpectedly stagnated in March compared with February,
dampening growth hopes and putting pressure on the government’s
forecast for a third year running.

Adjusted for seasonal swings, output was flat in March
month-on-month, figures from the national statistics office
showed on Tuesday. That fell short of expectations from a
Reuters poll of economists for a 0.35 percent increase.

May 6, 2015

Mexico may act fast if external conditions hit peso, prices -Carstens

MEXICO CITY, May 6 (Reuters) – While domestic growth and
inflation do not suggest the need to move interest rates,
Mexico’s central bank may have to act fast if external
conditions hit the peso and inflation expectations, bank
governor Agustin Carstens said on Wednesday.

Speaking at an event in Mexico City, Carstens said Mexico
was on target to meet its inflation goals, noting that aggregate
demand is not growing fast enough to push up prices.

May 1, 2015

Chile upbeat on Pacific trade deal, urges Canada to give ground

MEXICO CITY, April 30 (Reuters) – The 12 countries working
toward a historic Pacific trade pact could reach a deal at the
end of May, though Canada must still show greater willingness to
open up its markets, a senior Chilean official said on Thursday.

Chile is among the nations in talks over the Trans-Pacific
Partnership (TPP), a trade pact that would cover 40 percent of
the world economy and includes the United States and Japan.

Apr 12, 2015

Obama meets Raul Castro in highest-level U.S.-Cuba talks in decades

PANAMA CITY (Reuters) – President Barack Obama met Cuban President Raul Castro on Saturday in the highest-level talks between the two countries in nearly 60 years, and the two men agreed to push ahead on improving relations after decades of hostility.

Describing their private meeting as “historic,” Obama said the two countries can now end the antagonism of the Cold War era, although he said he would continue to pressure the communist-led country on democracy and human rights.

Apr 11, 2015

Obama, Castro shake hands as U.S., Cuba seek better ties

PANAMA CITY (Reuters) – President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro shook hands on Friday at a summit in Panama, a symbolically charged gesture as the pair seek to restore ties between the Cold War foes.

A photograph showed Obama and Castro, both wearing dark suits, chatting in a small group of leaders at the summit’s opening ceremony. A White House official confirmed the two men shook hands and spoke briefly.

Apr 10, 2015

Obama, Castro will meet at summit amid US-Cuba detente

PANAMA CITY (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro have talked by telephone about restoring diplomatic ties and are due to meet at a summit this weekend as they seek to set aside decades of hostility between two Cold War enemies.

The historic rapprochement is set to dominate the Summit of the Americas meeting in Panama, less than four months after a landmark announcement by Obama and Castro that they would improve relations and boost trade and travel.

Apr 10, 2015

U.S., Cuba hold highest-level meeting in more than 50 years

PANAMA CITY (Reuters) – The U.S. and Cuban foreign ministers sat down for talks late on Thursday in the highest-level meeting between the two sides since the early days of the Cuban revolution more than half a century ago.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez in a Panama City hotel, the latest step toward better ties since President Barack Obama announced a historic shift in Cuba policy on Dec. 17.

Mar 4, 2015

Mexican ruling party insiders fear embattled president a liability

MEXICO CITY, March 4 (Reuters) – Mexican ruling party
lawmakers fear President Enrique Pena Nieto’s lurch into
scandal, weak economic record and struggle to tame corruption
could hurt them in upcoming elections, raising pressure on him
to take bold steps or shake up the cabinet.

Pena Nieto’s approval rating has slumped to as low as 25
percent since events began to spiral out of control with the
September abduction and apparent massacre of 43 trainee teachers
by corrupt police and a drug gang in southwest Mexico.