The Last Newsletter from us

It’s not you, it’s us

It’s been a good run, friends, but like everything good in life (except Chabelo) México Desde Afuera is coming to an end. We’re sorry to break your hearts like this, but the PRI broke your hearts more. Jokes aside, it has been an honor bringing you news from Mexico through the eyes of the foreign press for the last 7 months. However, other projects, hobbies, and friends have been vying for our Wednesday evenings, and we finally gave in. We hope you found MDA helpful and brought you a few Thursday morning laughs. Truly, we appreciate all of your comments and the community we’ve built together. If we decide to pick the project back up in some form or another, you’ll be the first to know : ) 

Un abrazo fuerte, 

Oscar & Joe

P.S. At this moment, we can’t confirm or deny Fox News has bought MDA for $75 million.

No, the border crisis didn’t end with Trump

Washington Post / The Guardian

While newly-elected President Biden has asked Mexican and Central Americans not to come to the US, many (unsurprisingly) have not halted their dreams of attaining a better life through migration. Forced by an economic crisis and recent natural disasters, and with hopes of being welcomed by a friendlier government, migrants trying to cross the U.S. border, mostly from Central American, have significantly increased. 

“Many of the migrants said they had spent their life savings and gone into debt to pay coyotes — human smugglers — who had falsely promised them that the border was open after President Biden’s election.” 

Meanwhile, Mexico has stepped up immigration raids to try to halt Central American migrants. About 1,2000 migrants, including 300 children, were detained in raids between January 25 and February 16. The former head of Mexico’s immigration agency, Tonatiuh Guillén, said that the frequency and scale of the raids are unprecedented. 

As a new administration occupies the White House, human rights groups are worried about Mexico’s immigration policy, which was born after then President Trump pressured AMLO into reducing migration 

In the case of unaccompanied children, Mexico is currently holding hundreds of them before they reach the U.S. border. A common reason for minors to try to migrate unaccompanied is because even if they are detained in the US, they could be released to a relative and apply for asylum

💉U.S might (just might) share its vaccines with Mexico

Earlier this week, Deputy Foreign Minister, Martha Delgado, confirmed that Mexico requested that the US share some of its AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 doses - which the U.S. has in stock, but can’t use because the FDA hasn’t approved them. The Biden administration has continuously stated that they will share its vaccines, once the supply issue is dealt with domestically. When the time comes and the US starts sharing some of its hoarded vaccines, Mexico and Canada are presumably at the front of the line, according to an unnamed source. The U.S. is expected to respond to the request on Friday.  Reuters

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki explaining for the nth time why the U.S. has vaccines it can’t use nor its willing to share. If folks want a vaccine they should’ve decided to be born in the US… or Israel

👶 Don’t like the Constitution? Change it

Remember the electricity law that AMLO signed last week? Yes, the one it favors state-run CFE over private companies. Two days afterwards a court granted a provisional suspension, when two companies introduced a legal injunction against the law. Even though legal setbacks were expected, they weren’t expected to be seen so soon.  Following the suspension, the President alluded to corruption being behind the judge’s resolution and presented a complaint against him in the Supreme Court. What did the Judge do? He granted additional provisional suspensions to more companies. The president has already announced that if the Court finds his law unconstitutional, he will send Congress a constitutional reform.  Bloomberg

🔒 Bye bye island penal colony. Hello tourist destination

For over 100 years Islas Marias, off the coast of Nayarit, hosted the last island penal colony in the Americas. That was until 2019, when the current government closed the prison, infamous for its brutality, and turned it into an environmental education center but apparently it didn’t go very well - only 40 young people were ever sent there. Last weekend the government announced they are planning to build a dock for larger ships. Although visitors will not be able to stay overnight, they will be able to tour the island remotely via a ferry from San Blas or Mazatlán. Associated Press

💵 A Green Wave? Mexico’s Marijuana Market May Be Middling

Weed legalization in Mexico is set to be a guaranteed economic success, right?! It turns out most Mexicans don’t puff puff, they only pass. A 2016 Mexican government study found that only 1.2% of those between 12 to 65 years old had smoked in the past month, and only 2.1% in the past year. Some say those numbers are actually higher because many Mexicans would be reluctant to admit to smoking weed due to the stigma that surrounds it. However, it’s possible that marijuana sales won’t be high in the country and exporting could also be difficult. Medical marijuana, industrial hemp, and other things that are manufactured from the plant could become Mexico’s strong suit. It would definitely be symbolic, Mexico would be the largest economy so far to legalize marijuana and it could set an example for others to come soon (USA! USA!). The New York Times

🔫 How Smugglers Flood Mexico With Cheap US Guns

The U.S. has more than 130,000 licensed firearms dealers, in comparison to there only being around 14,000 McDonald’s. This excerpt by Vice of Ioan Grillo’s latest book, Blood Gun Money: How America Arms Gangs and Cartels, goes into the arms trafficking industry between the US and Mexico. Smugglers can buy rifles in the US for about $500-$700 and sell them for over $2,000 in Mexico, which is a very attractive job compared to a standard labor wage in Mexico. Ioan describes an black market that facilitates this at Texas gun shows where some sellers don’t ask for paperwork and others don’t have to because they are using the private sale loophole.  US and Mexican studies point to about 2 million guns being smuggled from the US to Mexico in the past decade, fueling violence by organized crime violence. Vice

What else we’ve been reading:

Cabo is so last year, discover the new ‘it place’ in Baja [The New York Times]

Mexico’s president López Obrador fails to recognise his women problem [Financial Times]

La recuperación económica en México será débil y desigual [El País]

Literal Translation: If they tell me 'I am a feminist' I answer 'I am a humanist'

Real Translation: I don’t understand gender related matters… at all