Mexico

Prominent Mexican left-wing politician Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador demanded on January 10 to know how the authorities could catch an escaped gangster, but were unable to find the 43 students kidnapped in Ayotzinapa in Guerrero state in September 2014.

The National Regeneration Movement (Morena) leader and twice presidential candidate hit out at the government following the arrest of Sinaloa Cartel drug kingpin Joachin “El Chapo” Guzman on January 8.

The student teachers from Ayotzinapa, meanwhile, are feared dead at the hands of a gang. Their remains have not been found.

The controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is slated to hit Mexico with more food insecurity and hard times for farmers by extending tariff exemptions to more countries.

The TPP has been negotiated, largely in secret, by 12 Pacific nations and incorporates 40% of the world's GDP. The deal is still to be ratified by parliaments of signatory countries of Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, United States and Vietnam.

Hurricane Patricia — the most intense hurricane ever recorded in the Western Hemisphere — was downgraded to a tropical depression on October 24. It offered a reminder of the consequences of a warming planet.

Unionists, rural workers and environmentalists are coming together in Arequipa, in southern Peru, to halt the proposed Tia Maria copper mine. The mine project belongs to Southern Copper Corporation, a subsidiary of Grupo Mexico.

Mine opponents are demanding respect for workers' rights, community democracy and involvement in development decisions, and protection for the ecosystem and rural farmers.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) being negotiated between the US and 11 other Pacific Rim nations — including Australia — is a treaty covering regulations and investments.

It is being negotiated in secret from the peoples of the affected nations, but not from the corporations that are set to benefit from the deal — as chapters leaked by WikiLeaks reveal. For the US side alone, about 600 corporate representatives are neck deep in the negotiations.

The US government issued a congratulatory statement on June 9, praising the Mexican people after June 7 elections, despite large protests and boycotts held by activists and teacher unions across the nation.

The elections were marked by violence, but the US Department of State considered the process democratic, saying: “We congratulate the people of Mexico for exercising its democratic right to vote and choosing its leaders.”

The leftist political party led by two-time former presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador will govern in areas representing more than 8 million people after Mexico's June 7 elections.

Lopez Obrador's National Regeneration Movement (Morena) took part for the first time in the mid-term elections. It won in six of the 16 districts of Mexico City, breaking the long-time hegemonic rule of the once popular Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) in the country's capital, which won five.

Greece, Venezuela discuss cooperation

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has invited the newly-elected Greek prime minister to Caracas, TeleSUR English said on February 9.

“I have invited Alexis Tsipras, comrade Alexis, to visit us as soon as he can, here in Venezuela,” Maduro told Venezuelan public TV.

“He plans to come to Latin America. He mentioned all the pressures that he is under. Because of a savage, savage neoliberal system that has been applied in Greece.”

Tsipras expressed an interest in touring Latin America, starting with the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

In Australia, the life of a teaching student comes with certain inconveniences, but not acute physical danger at the hands of law enforcement, political authorities and organised crime. Sadly, that is not the case in Mexico.

On the night of September 26-27 last year, in the southern state of Guerrero, police attacked a bus convoy taking a group of students from their normales rurales (rural teaching college) in Ayotzinapa to the city of Iguala.

New phase in the Cuban epic

In ther aftermath of freeing of all the Cuban Five prisoners held by the US and the announcement of new openings in Cuba-US relations, Marxist economist Claudio Katz looks at the new wave of economic reforms in Cuba.

Broad opposition movement rises in Mexico

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