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The Myth of Middle Class Mexico

A recent opinion piece in Bloomberg makes a concerted effort to paint Mexico as “a moderately prosperous nation,” that “the World Bank calls upper-middle-income.” The thrust of the article is that Trump’s rhetoric on Mexico is wrong, and the country is, in fact, doing pretty alright. While I’m obviously not out to prove Trump right, I do want to correct the record on a few things…

Bloomberg vs. Trump?

Let’s start with the contention that Mexico is “upper middle income.” In 2019 World Bank ranked 60 countries as upper middle income. These are countries where GNI (Gross National Income, formerly known as GDP or Gross Domestic Product) is between $3,996 and $12,375 per capita (all figures in USD unless otherwise noted). According to the World Bank, Mexican workers earned an average of $9,180 a year, which is the equivalent of approximately $15,000 pesos per month. read more

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Global News and Analysis

The Alliance for Prosperity Will Intensify the Central American Refugee Crisis

Source: The Nation

Conceived without the participation of civil-society groups, the chief goal is to advance elite US and Northern Triangle business interests.

It took a few tries before the taxi driver taking me to meet Lorena Cabnal found his way to her address. We drove up and down streets along the outskirts of Guatemala City, directions made confusing by the profusion of closed-off neighborhoods. Here, residents simply block streets and put up barriers to prevent cars from circulating, paying a guard to monitor who goes in and out. These aren’t the private gated communities of the rich, but rather survival strategies of the poor and working class in Central America’s largest metropolis. read more

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Global News and Analysis

Mexico – Ayotzinapa Resistance: “This is just getting started”

Source: Vancouver Media Co-op

The forty three students disappeared by municipal police in Iguala, Guerrero on September 26, 2014, are still missing. As much as the state wants to put a lid on the protests, families and fellow students of the missing young men refuse to accept the official version, and have vowed to continue searching until they find the 43 alive.

The government of Mexico is facing the largest crisis of legitimacy since the war on drugs started in December, 2006. One of the chants at the marches is “It wasn’t narcos, it was the state!” This is a common sentiment, and one which undermines the state’s ability to produce hegemonic discourse with regards to what happened to the students. read more

Marta de Jesus Raudales Varela
Americas

War on the Poor in Honduras: Social Control, Gangs and the US’s Role in Remilitarizing Central America

Election day in Tegucigalpa kicked off with the feel of a carnival, a rare sensation in a city where the vast majority of residents are faced with grinding poverty, regular gang extortion and a murder rate that is among the world’s highest. But for Marta de Jesus Raudales Varela, who lives in a small house on a steep unpaved street, it was a heart-wrenching day.

Americas

Blood Along the Border: Environmental Activism and Violence in Juarez, Mexico

Saul Reyes Salazar is a man who understands loss. In January 2010, his sister Josefina was shot in the head, following a botched kidnapping in their hometown of Guadalupe los Bravos, across the border bridge from Tornillo, Texas. She was, at the time, one of the best-known activists in the Juarez Valley, the agricultural region that follows the Rio Grande river east of Ciudad Juarez.