Marketplace Americas: 80K new jobs, 7 reasons Mexico’s economy is doing well, 5 states Latinos could decide the election
Mercosur: “Our North is the South” Venezuela is in, Paraguay is out.
It’s a Friday jobs day and the U.S. job numbers for June again disappointed. The slow recovery continues and the unemployment rate remains at 8.2%. Despite U.S. weakness the Mexican economy continues to do well, below we highlight 7 reasons why. Ruy Teixeira and William Frey also take a closer look at the five states where Latinos can decide the U.S. election. In LatAm news, the regional spat over Paraguay’s “Golpeachment” continues, while Mercosur replaces Paraguay with Venezuela (not so sure about that trade) and the U.S. stays quiet.
VIEWPOINT: Why is the Mexican economy doing so well? Here are 7 reasons – The poor economy is supposedly one of the reasons that Mexico’s Partido Nacional de Acción (PAN) lost the presidency this past weekend, however, while some Latin economies like Brazil and Argentina have slowed to a halt the Mexican economy seems to be heating up. It’s true that the PAN’s economic record was pretty weak. Average GDP growth under outgoing President Felipe Calderón was just 2.4 percent per year—compared to around 3.4 percent in Latin America. But the economy has rebounded strongly since 2009 and Mexico currently has one of the fastest growth rates in the region. Here are seven reasons why the economy is doing well: Mexico is in the midst of an industrial boom, Mexico has the largest trade agreement network in the world, the Mexican peso has weakened during the past year, Mexico is becoming a majority middle-class nation, Agustin Carstens, Foreign investment and finally, the economic contraction in 2009 was particularly strong…via Univision News
THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS
80,000 U.S. jobs created in June — The overall unemployment rate remains unchanged at 8.2%. The Latino unemployment rate is at 11%. This report highlights four straight months of weak job creation. The slow recovery continues.
EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Peña Nieto denies vote-buying – Mexican President-elect Enrique Peña Nieto talked to Maria Elena Salinas for his first interview with a U.S. Spanish-language network. The PRI candidate, who won the presidential elections according to the preliminary official vote count, denies vote-buying allegations that have plagued his campaign and addresses how he plans to fight organized crime in his country…via Univision News
MEXICO: PRI supporters go on “panic-stricken” shopping spree – Carolina del Busto writes: Mexican citizens who allegedly received supermarket gift cards from the Institutional Revolutionary Party [PRI] in exchange for their vote, are going on a “panic-stricken” shopping spree, La Jornada reports. According to the Mexican newspaper, some card holders are afraid that credit on their cards might be confiscated by officials investigating allegations of vote-buying. Others fear that the credit on the cards might be cancelled because the PRI politician who distributed them may not end up winning local elections in the municipality of Nezahualcoyotl…via Univision News
MEXICO: López Obrador refuses to concede defeat, claims election was fraudulent – Manuel Rueda writes: Mexico’s leftist presidential candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador, has still not conceded defeat in Sunday’s elections. Instead, he told journalists on Monday night that he will present evidence of vote-buying and fraud to Mexico’s electoral authorities, and ask them to carry out a full fledged investigation, which hypothetically could lead to the annulment of Sunday’s vote. Obrador said the elections were “plagued” by irregularities…via Univision News
SPOTLIGHT ON PARAGUAY’S “GOLPEACHMENT”:
Mercosur welcomes Venezuela, suspends Paraguay – The Chicago Tribune reports: The Mercosur trade bloc—which includes regional heavyweights Brazil and Argentina—will make Venezuela a full member next month, uniting South America’s biggest grains and energy exporters. At a presidential summit on Friday, Mercosur’s leftist leaders also decided to extend Paraguay’s suspension over the ouster of President Fernando Lugo until democracy is restored via new elections, scheduled for April 2013.
Questions raised on Venezuela joining Mercosur—The Miami Herald writes: More than six years after Hugo Chávez said that joining Mercosur was Venezuela’s destiny, the presidents of Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay had decided that his oil-rich nation will finally become the fifth full member of the common market. The decision, after the leaders temporarily suspended Paraguay, has brought questions about the move’s timing and legality. Such decisions must be unanimous under Mercosur rules, and Paraguay’s senate has long objected to Venezuela’s membership.
Paraguay accuses Venezuelan government of trying to organize a coup – Ana Maria Benedetti writes: The last time Venezuela was up against Paraguay was at the Copa America semi-finals. Now the two countries are clashing again, though this time it’s on political turf. Following accusations that Venezuela’s foreign minister attempted to convice Paraguayan generals to defend ousted President Fernando Lugo, Paraguay’s new government declared the Venezuelan ambassador a “persona non grata” on Wednesday, and it also removed its ambassador in Venezuela…via Univision News
The incredible shrinking State Department – South America doesn’t seem to mind meddling with the affairs of smaller countries, except when the U.S. does it. This from NYTimes.com: The controversial impeachment of Paraguay’s president, Fernando Lugo, is quickly turning into a kind of Rorschach test of Latin American politics: the reactions to it say more than the event does itself. Pressure came from all parts of the hemisphere except for one: notably, Washington more or less sat out the crisis, issuing just a few noncommittal remarks. The center of diplomatic gravity on the continent has shifted decidedly south. Oddly, the shift doesn’t seem to please the more radical governments of the region, even as obsessed as they are with the specter of U.S. imperialism. Anti-U.S. posturing has become so central to their legitimation strategies that a passive and distracted Washington undercuts their reason for being.
THE BOLSA TRACKER (price quoted refers to Thursday close)
It’s been a good week so far for stocks with all exchanges up since last Friday. Colombia’s IGBC index has been strong and once again took the lead for the best performance year to date, jumping past Mexico which lasted just one week in the top slot. Brazil’s BOVESPA had some big gains but remains in last place.
1 (COLOMBIA) IGBC Index: 13,823.86, UP since Friday, +9.14% yr to date
2 (MEXICO) Bolsa IPC Index: 40,040.69, UP since Friday, +7.99% yr to date
3 (CHILE) IPSA Index: 4,426.20, UP since Friday, +5.95% yr to date
4 (USA) Dow Jones: 12,896.67, UP since Friday, +5.56% yr to date
5 (BRAZIL) BOVESPA: 56,379.06, UP since Friday, -0.66% yr to date
USA: The 5 states where Latino growth could decide the election – Ruy Teixeira and William Frey write: It’s become a staple of campaign discourse that mobilizing Latinos is going to be a key factor in deciding the outcome of the 2012 election. Of course, some of the states that have experienced large increases in the Latino share of eligible voters are considered generally uncompetitive between the two parties (California, New York, Hawaii) or only marginally competitive (New Mexico). We therefore focus on states that have both had a strong increase in their Hispanic share of eligible voters and look to be meaningfully competitive between the two parties this November. Here is our top five: Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, Florida and North Carolina…via Univision News
USA-MEX: How will the U.S.-Mexico relationship unfold in the Peña Nieto era? Jordan Fabian writes: Enrique Peña Nieto’s election as Mexico’s next president represents a shift back to the party that autocratically ruled the country for over 70 years, sparking some fears in the U.S. that tensions could fray with its southern neighbor on key issues. Despite the fears, experts say that the U.S.-Mexico relationship will remain fundamentally unchanged with Peña Nieto taking power. Andrew Selee, director of the Mexico Institute at the Washington, D.C.-based Woodrow Wilson Center, said that deep ties between the United States and Mexico on issues such as trade and security that developed over the last decade mean that the PRI isn’t likely to revert to its past mistrust of the U.S…via Univision News
USA: Amid severe budget cuts in Los Angeles, Freedom School stands strong – In one of my favorite reads of the week Albert Sabate writes: The self-conscious high schoolers smiled shyly as their group discussion leader Jozik Benitez began beat-boxing energetically. They were rehearsing a rap they would perform in a few minutes in front of their peers to make an obscure Latina leader more relevant. They weren’t expecting this much energy from Benitez, but then again, they’d never been to a Freedom School. The high-energy summer school program by South Los Angeles-based Community Coalition focuses on developing leadership and self-esteem of the 100 Latino and African American youth participating. It drills literacy and civil rights history as part of a national program by the Children’s Defense Fund…via Univision News
DOMINICAN REP: Bets on gold to boost economy - The Miami Herald reports: One of the world’s largest gold mining operations is about to open in the Dominican Republic, where the industry has a toxic legacy of pollution that stained rivers a searing red and failed to lift the fortunes of this largely poor country. The joint venture has said the Barrick Pueblo Viejo project will begin processing gold in the second half of this year, and that it will take 12-18 months to reach full production of about 1 million ounces annually. Officials promise it will be radically different from the previous project, and will be managed to prevent environmental damage. The Dominican Republic lacks strong environmental regulations, a major reason the former state-owned mining company could cause such destruction and why there was no real effort to clean up the mess.
USA: Obama hosts Independence Day naturalization ceremony for members of the armed forces – Emily Deruy writes: While most people were busy setting up grills for backyard barbecues or watching parades on July 4th, President Obama welcomed more than two dozen active service members to the White House for a naturalization ceremony. The service men and women took an oath of allegiance to the United States before their friends and families, signaling their status as naturalized citizens. Specialist Carlos Eduardo Navichoque, who was born in Guatemala and enlisted in 2009 before deploying to Iraq in March 2010, said it was a very emotional day for him. “I’m very proud,” he said. “This is one of the great nations.” Here are some great photos of the event…via Univision News
BRAZIL: Economic performance keeps sliding – Brazil’s manufacturing output in June shrank for the third straight month in the latest sign that a battery of government stimulus measures have yet to spur economic growth, a survey showed on Monday. Despite a relatively weak foreign exchange rate for the Brazilian currency in June, the PMI survey showed export orders declined at the same pace they did in May — extending the negative trend recorded for that component of the survey notched each month since April 2011… via Reuters
BRAZIL: A struggling Brazil planning further rate reductions – Bloomberg reports: while the situation in Europe has stabilized in recent days, it and the U.S.’s fiscal situation are hurting the confidence of investors and consumers in Brazil. The world’s sixth-largest economy grew slower than the government expected in the first quarter and is facing a difficult moment though growth will accelerate in the second half of the year, the official said.
PARAGUAY: “Earth robbery” or The downside of an agricultural boom –Jeremy Hobbs writes: Paraguay is now the world’s fourth-largest exporter of soy and demand is surging, driven primarily by China and Europe for cattle feed and biofuels. Paraguay’s agricultural landscape has altered dramatically on the back of this boom. Since 1996, more than 1.2 million hectares of forest have been cut down to grow soy rather than food and other crops. Brazilian settlers — the brasiguayos — have set up large-scale soy farms, provoking a prolonged conflict over what locals say is “earth robbery.” Over the last 20 years 100,000 small-scale local farmers have migrated to city slums or to other countries or have become landless. Each year in Paraguay 9,000 rural families are evicted by soy production and nearly half a million hectares of land are turned into soy fields… via the New York Times
VENEZUELA: Inflation slows for seventh month on import surge – Bloomberg reports: Venezuela’s inflation rate fell as the government stepped up imports as part of an expansion in public spending ahead of elections in October. President Hugo Chavez seeks to extend his 13 years in power at elections on Oct. 7…allowing the government to stock subsidized state- run food markets with cheap goods ahead of the vote.
ECUADOR: US trade agency raps Ecuador over Chevron pollution lawsuit – The Hill reports: U.S. energy giant Chevron is applauding the U.S. Trade Representative for taking Ecuador to task over its refusal to obey an international tribunal in an $18 billion pollution lawsuit. Ecuador wants Congress to renew its duty-free access to the U.S. market under the 1991 Andean Trade Preference Act, which expires next year. Chevron and several U.S. business groups however argue Ecuador is violating the terms of the deal and felt vindicated by a USTR report late Friday that raised similar concerns.
THIS SUNDAY ON
The best political show covering the Americas, every Sunday on Univision at 10amET/9amCT
**Maria Elena Salinas interviews Mexican President-elect Enrique Peña Nieto
**Senator Ricardo Monreal of the PRD talks to Al Punto about election recount
**Janet Murguia, President and CEO of NCLR
**Manuel Roig Franzia, author of new book “The Rise of Marco Rubio”