PA coed fourth in world
free dive competition
Mexico’s record holder improves
performance on world stage
Camila Jaber Lara of Puerto Aventuras upped her performance in the world free dive championship competition held in May on Long Island, the Bahamas.
The international challenge, known as “Vertical Blue 2016”, brought together 56 athletes representing 21 countries spanning every continent, all working to claim the title of the “world’s deepest man and woman.” It was the largest turnout ever in that sport.
Miss Jaber came in fourth in the women’s division with 218.88 points preceded in first place by Sofia Gomez of Colombia, 274.50 points; Sayuri Kinoshita of Japan, 260.04 points and Kate Middleton of New Zealand, 235.65 points.
Of the 18 female competitors, two were from Mexico, Jaber and Estrella Navarro Holm, who, ironically, came in fifth with 218.83 points.
In the men’s division, William Trubridge of New Zealand set a new world record free inmersion of 124 meters.
Miss Jaber, daughter of Felix Jaber and Georgina Lara and a student in environmental engineering at the Technical College of Monterrey, achieved two personal goals in the competition, accomplishing all valid dives in the nearly two-week competition, and a personal best in the no-fins discipline, piling up points to earn fourth place among all the best free divers in the world.
Videos of her dives are at:
War in Akumal…
Battle over public vs. private
beach access turns intense
It was inevitable that the long-running battle between private versus public beach access in Akumal would reach a more aggressive intensity.
It did just that last weekend when what began as another mostly peaceful demonstration turned into clashes between police, four of whom were injured, and the use of Molotov cocktails that set one palapa stand ablaze along the road that links the beach to the pueblo. There were attempts by a crowd to remove a wire fence topped with what appears to be razor wire blocks traditional free access..
The land in question is part of considerable acreage purchased in the 1950s by the late Mexico-city born adventurer Pablo Jose Bush Romero and now controlled by his descendants.
The base issue spurring the turmoil is and has been the ambiguous law that both gives and takes away traditional rights of a given community’s residents access to the federal zone beach across private property.
In one version of the community’s history, it is noted the law forbids the denial of free resident access to the federal zone through private property BUT, it has a disclaimer that allows private property owners and developments to select where that access will be.
Bush’s daughter, Laura Bush Wolfe, is a principal of her father’s estate and as such has been the mentor of Akumal’s phased tourism development over the years while owning a popular restaurant there and patron of an ecological center to protect turtles from a growing onslaught of snorkelers believed to be endangering the bay’s sea life. Some turtles are growing never-before-seen tumors. This is attributed by some ecologists to overuse by tourists and independent, uncontrolled marine service providers.
Aggrieved residents turned to peaceful demonstrations and blockades over several years in attempts to gain federal and/or state intervention that would guarantee traditional access. While several agencies have responded and have studied the situation, solutions have yet to be worked out.
Puerto Aventuras fishing boats
place well in iconic tournament
Puerto Aventuras sport fishing boats took five of the top 10 places in the 38th annual “Prof. Augusto R. Sosa Centeno” tournament out of Playa del Carmen last weekend including the top prize captured by the PA-based “Sea Phantom” captained by Pedro Noh of the Capt. Rick’s fleet , who garnered 19084.60 points. The “Sea Phantom” was the first-day contender for first prize after landing a 219.6 pound blue marlin.
Sixty-six boats, from Cancun, Cozumel, Puerto Morelos and Playa del Carmen participated . Other Puerto Aventuras boats finishing in the top ten were the “Sea Queen”, coming in third; “Puffin” fifth; “Diego” sixth and “O’Hara,” seventh. The “Puffin” , another Capt. Rick’s boat, landed the largest Wahoo while the vessel “Wild Goat” reeled in the biggest Dorado.
This annual event is the second largest sport fishing tourney on the Mexican Caribbean. Fishing committee chairman Martin Arguelles said some 2000 fans attended the traditional “fish fry” after the two-day event and that the tourney has helped the Riviera Maya become one of the most important destinations for the sport fisherman.
Fiddler on the Roof, the play, will be presented by the Puerto Aventuras Colegio students on Friday, June 3, in Playa del Carmen’s new “Teatro de le Ciudad” – City Theater – adding a modern venue to the talents of the students for a pleasant and enjoyable evening. Tickets are on sale at the Colegio from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Trivial pursuits Sunday, June 8, at 4 p.m. at Latitude 20 Restaurant and Lounge with Shannon Rachynski. Proceeds go to the needy. Happy hour 4 to 6 p.m.. Menu available during play.
Riviera Film Festival will be held June 24-30 in Playa del Carmen and at thus far unannounced July dates in Puerto Morelos…
Monthly recycling will take place Friday at the skate park from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Annual reminders to prepare
for this year’s hurricane season
Analysts say area due for a major storm
Mother Nature has opened the door to the 2016 hurricane season from June to November, spurring area officials and Solidaridad’s hotel association into action to prevent or minimize damages and assure public safety, precautions that are recommended also for individual homeowners and condo complexes.
Of 17 tropical storms predicted for the season by the University of Colorado, a number considered about average, five are expected to be hurricanes and several of those predicted to be intense and possibly make landfall, calling the attention of all hands to follow the Boy Scout motto of “be prepared.”
To that end, Capt. Rick’s Sportfishing passed on the following preparatory information as a heads up to local residents: Herewith a summary:
BEFORE: Plan what actions you will take in the event of an emergency and a list of who to call should you need or your property need immediate help. Plan and get what you may need to dig in for several or more days, such as tinned foodstuffs, plenty of potable water, radio with batteries, lanterns and/or candles, matches; safely store important documents, money and expensive personal items; keep an eye out for elderly or disabled neighbors too; immediately evacuate if so recommended by state authorities and know where your nearest emergency shelter is located.
DURING: Every three hours the location and intensity of the storm will be broadcast on radio. Disconnect light switches and propane; move away from the sea if possible and practical; otherwise, don’t leave the house until it is recommended by authorities; don’t be fooled by the calmness within the eye of the storm and venture out during that time since it will be followed by powerful reverse wind direction.
AFTER: Wait for authorities to clear your neighborhood before returning; Do not touch fallen wires or allow children and pets near them; do not attempt to move seriously injured people but contact authorities for help; take note of the safety condition of buildings before entering since they could be in danger of collapse. The local emergency numbers are 066 and (065 for Red Cross ambulance); Solidaridad’s Civil Protection number is 01-984-877-3053. (Note that the pending change to the more familiar 911 emergency number is now in use as well as the 066 number. The government will phase out the 066 number following a period of transitional publicity. For now, use either number. Don’t forget also that PA Security has an emergency number for English-speaking residents. It is 984-214-7589 and is functional during daytime and evening hours but not at night.
Analysts in Mexico say the Caribbean coast averages a strong cyclone about every 10 to 13 years, noting that “we are in that timeline from Hurricane Wilma to date. It warrants giving attention to preparedness and prevention this year,” they suggest.
New places – We get word a full-time produce retail store will be opening soon in the marina area next to the Pub restaurant. More later. Also, former Latitude 20 owner Peter Metrick has opened a luncheon eatery at the Grand Marina plaza open from noon to 5 p.m. and featuring Jamaican BBQ… Meanwhile the Europea/Go Mart convenience and wine retail market has opened its doors by the main gate, an event attracting shoppers and the just plain curious…
Murder update – The state attorney has filed a murder charge against Hugo Vergara Rangel following initial investigation into April’s dismemberment death of Lori Archambault, 36, native of Canada who recently relocated to the Maya Riviera. Vergara was reportedly her boyfriend. Early reports said the pair recently moved to the Tulum municipality from Los Cabos. Ms. Archambault’s remains were found in two abandoned suitcases at a Playa del Carmen van stop…
Project begins – Work has begun on the first phase of the Puerto Aventuras main gate improvement project and is expected to last for about four months. The project, approved by voters at the April 16 special assembly, involves landscaping, roadwork and site preparation for Phase 2, which will involve some reconstruction of the building and addition of lanes. Funds for the second phase will be sought at the annual assembly. The current work will require some rerouting of access lanes so motorists are asked to use caution in the gate area during construction.
Security Upgrade – The PA Colonos will deactivate all existing security cards, including resident gate cards and employee passes on June 30. To pre-empt deactivation, visit the Colonos office and fill out the required security form. Absent snowbirds can fill out the form online at www.colonos.com to avoid inconvenience upon return for the high season. Send the completed form to [email protected]org .Have your auto plate number handy when you fill out the form.
A drunk driver who steered himself into a bad accident that tipped his car over in front of the Barcelo Hotel on 307 in the early morning of May 24 had been drinking at a bar in Puerto Aventuras, said the police who had to extricate him from the car in which he was trapped. He and a passenger were taken to a hospital in Playa for treatment of injuries…
The new aerodrome that was supposed to take off by now to replace the one in Playa seems to have lost the air beneath its wings. Apparently, the project has run into disagreements with land owners in or on or around the airport who complain of encroachment on their land west of 307…
Aerial surveillance of waterfront activities using a drone began in February along the Playa del Carmen waterfront and is being extended by the municipality to Paamul and Puerto Aventuras. The drone collects data on the operation of nautical tourism services…
A brilliant light on May 22 that was seen streaking across the night sky by residents of the State of Puebla and two other states is believed to have been a meteor entering the atmosphere and burning out with a very loud and frightening bang…
The General Hospital Staff in Playa del Carmen held a protest in May over unfair working conditions and other irregularities at the hospital including an abrupt power failure half way through a medical procedure. The protest involved an estimated 50 doctors and nursing staff who have threatened a strike unless efforts are made to address their grievances.
Akumal project denied – The environmental statement for a proposed Hotel Jade project involving construction of 12 villas and/or 401 rooms in three-story buildings in Akumal was rejected by the federal environmental agency…
Another death was recorded on the Puerto Aventuras-Paamul section of Federal Highway 307 0n May14 when a speeding VW Jetta driven by a non-resident struck a taxi from behind, then swerved off the roadway into a CFE cement abutment. Witnesses said the car was traveling at an estimated speed of 150 Km per hour. Meanwhile, a report out of Cancun notes that so far this year taxis have been involved in more than 1,003 accidents in that city, half of which, the report notes, was the fault of the taxi drivers…
New crime stopper? – A smart-phone app is being developed in Playa del Carmen that will put citizens in the law enforcement loop by simplifying real-time reporting of criminal activity by citizens witnessing events such as robberies, car accidents and other acts requiring police, fire or medical response. Area businesses are supporting the app’s development…Meanwhile, the press reports that Acapulco has been transformed by criminal violence and murder from a tourist mecca to a hit-man hangout where man-bags around the necks of local businessmen are now used to carry a handgun for protection…
A Tulum transvestite who left a local nightclub with a “stranger” at 3.a.m. May 15 was found stabbed to death a few hours later according to police. Two of the victim’s companions found the body in their shared apartment. The companions were interrogated as witnesses who may have been able to identify the “stranger”…
Legalize opium farming for medicine? State governments are leading a debate to legalize opium farming in Mexico to be used as medicine. The move is seen as depriving drug cartels of the product as a possible way of reducing cartel violence…
The peso’s volatility continued in May reaching an x-rate above 18-1. It is causing concern about inflation and the need to increase prices for products and services that can seriously harm the economies of families and local businesses…Nonetheless, the Caribbean coast continues to attract tourists and hotel investments, one of which is fostering objections from native residents to privatizing a traditional public beach in Playa del Carmen…
Well-known businesswoman here
attacked in home near main gate
A well-known former restaurant owner, writer and activist in Puerto Aventuras was the victim of a nighttime house break and physical attack by an intruder last month in an apartment just outside the resort’s main gate where resort Security has no jurisdiction despite the proximity.
As related by the victim and a friend who escorted her for hospital treatment of knife cuts and bruises, the intruder broke into the apartment at around 2 a.m. while the sleeping victim was awakened with the knife-wielding intruder’s hand around her throat. An ensuing struggle resulted in a knife cut on the victim’s nose.
When reporting the incident, the victim said she learned that it was the third such attack within two months in which the attacker tells the victim he was paid to kill them. One such attack was in Puerto Morelos two months previous and another in the PA Poblado 20 days prior to the latest attack, according to the Ministerio Publico.
The victim said her hands were tied behind her back while the intruder rummaged for money but untied her hands so she could retrieve it. The intruder fled after he was given money, a laptop computer and phone. He threatened the victim that he would be back.
Police investigators found footprints, broken screen and glass above a door through which the intruder gained access to the apartment. Inside, the police found a shirt and spoon believed used to do drugs left behind by the trespasser. The victim, who has recovered physically from the attack, explained the reporting process for the benefit of the foreign population unfamiliar with the local process.
She said she was brought by a friend to the police station in the Poblado to report the crime. “But they are like the beat cops on the street. They deal with active crime events in real time. They came to my house, checked it out and saw there was no crime going on in the moment and suggested that I go to the Ministerio Publico in the morning, which is what I did.”
In order for any crime to be investigated, she said, a person must make an official complaint at the Ministerio Publico in Playa del Carmen. “The case is then assigned to Judicial police and an investigator. The Judicial police and investigator followed me home to gather evidence which they photographed, bagged and took away to check for fingerprints etc.”
“If a victim doesn’t report a crime to the Ministerio Publico, crimes are never investigated,” she said. “The process is different here,” (compared to the US and Canada).
Families internally displaced
by crime estimated at 35,000
When a lawyer resettled his family in Puerto Aventuras from Monterrey two years ago, he told the Pelican the move to safer ground was prompted by the consistent drug-related incidents of crime in the sprawling metropolitan city and suburbs just a several hour drive from the Texas border.
It wasn’t known at the time just how many Mexican nationals were being internally displaced by mostly drug-related crime until last month. That’s when the federal Human Rights Commission filed a report estimating that at least 35,000 families have moved from high-crime areas to other Mexican districts such as the Yucatan considered relatively free of organized mayhem.
While the commission was able to document 1,784 cases, it said in the report that the figure exceeds 35,000 according to municipal and state authorities. The commission said this is the first ever such report on internally displaced families and urged the government to conduct a census to arrive at exact figures and to design a plan to protect and assist displaced families.
The non government humanitarian group Norwegian Refugee Council estimated last year that 280,000 people have been internally displaced in Mexico.
Luis Raul Gonzalez, the human rights commission’s president, said on the report that “violence, insecurity, impunity, the weakness of our rule of law and lack of adequate conditions for development for people, have caused a considerable number of Mexicans to abandon their homes in various regions.”
PRODUCTION DEADLINES: The Pelican Free Press encourages and welcomes public announcements of events and activities. The deadline for publication during our monthly schedule beginning in May is the third week of the month for production at month’s end. Thank you.
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Akumal murder victim
Family seeks funds for return of remains
The remains of a woman who was murdered reportedly in Akumal in mid-April and her body dismembered has been unofficially identified as that of Loriane “Lori” Archambault, 36, believed to be a native of the Montreal, Canada, area. While she was believed by police to be a resident of Akumal, informal sources there told the Pelican she was unknown to most residents and was thought to have relocated from Cabo San Lucas just a month or so before her death.
Akumal residents have been questioning why the police and/or the local press have dropped mention of the crime after the initial report and the discovery of the victim’s remains in two suitcases abandoned at a tourist-van stop in Playa del Carmen.
The initial report in the local newspapers also noted the police considered the victim’s then-unidentified man friend and co-worker, who has subsequently and unofficially been identified as Hugo Vergara Rangel, as a person of interest in the case. There has been no further mention as to suspects or whether an arrest has been made. “It’s disconcerting that the local press has mentioned nothing – custody or not?” noted one resident concerned about a possible killer on the loose.
A source from this area who has contact with the victim’s former co-workers in Cabo, said it is generally believed the victim relocated to Akumal at the urging of Vergara to join him in selling time shares or otherwise working at an area hotel.
A web search by the Pelican found a site requesting donations on Gofundme.com for the return of Ms. Archambault’s remains to Canada from Cancun, an expensive proposition requiring some $25,000, according to the site set up by family friend and emergency contact Lee Anne Lane.
Lane said she was notified by a “Niagara Regional police officer” of Ms. Archambault’s death on April 21, five days after the remains were discovered on April 16. S said Ms. Archambault had lived and worked in Cabo since 2005.
Gulf to open gas stations in June,
some outlets offering self-serve
The Gulf brand is ready to open gasoline stations in Mexico in June, possibly offering the US standard “self-serve” option and bringing an end to the national Pemex monopoly of its nearly 11,000 stations nationwide. It is not immediately known when any of the new outlets will reach the Yucatan Peninsula.
Opening the nation’s energy market to competition and foreign investment is directed by 2014 legislation inviting not only gasoline distributors from foreign countries but also foreign investment in oil exploration and production.
As far as gasoline stations are concerned, the government is opening 50 percent of that market to foreign bidders including such brands as Shell, Texaco, Exxon Mobile Chevron and others that have already expressed interest in the lease process.
Sergio de la Vega, director general of the Mexican subsidiary of Gulf, said the company plans to have at least 100 stations operating by the time, estimated to be in 2018, that competition is in full play.
Snowbirds and ex-pats locally are already expressing confidence that along with foreign competition will come an end to certain practices by some Pemex stations that short-changed consumers.
Compiled by staff
Payments and questions concerning the Aguas del Caribe water and sewer concession in Puerto Aventuras can be made as of May 9 on the first floor of the Fideicomiso headquarters in the Isla Building adjacent to the Chac Hal Al complex between 9 a.m. and noon Mondays through Fridays. Payments are accepted at a first-floor window by Ms. Karla Marin.
A Colorado judge agreed to a postponement of a court appearance May 4 for George W. Bowen, a fugitive who was arrested here after a wanted poster mysteriously appeared in the community. He faces charges of defrauding a number of Colorado residents. A time-share sales business operated by him had relocated recently to Puerto Aventuras and is now closed. (Background in previous editions.)
The municipal building codes need updating according to the president of the Mayan Riviera College of Architects, to keep up with modern times and rapid development. Code enforcement is also suggested since previous illegal and health-threatening code infractions such as buried gas lines between walls and floors of some Puerto Aventuras condo complexes were allowed to continue unnoticed by inspectors…
Cuban competition is getting some notice from Maya Riviera tourism officials as the US market provided Cuba with its first cruise ship of tourists last week after 38 years. The tourism result of the US and Cuban rapprochement has already caused overbooked hotels as travelers were greeted with rum drinks and salsa dancers. Cause for worry here is that, according to the Associated Press, cruises are expected to generate tens of millions in foreign currency to Cuba that might otherwise have gone to the Mayan Riviera and Cozumel…
Cartel boss “El Chapo” was secretly transferred to a less-secure prison in Ciudad Juarez last week, just across the border from El Paso, Texas, spurring two schools of thought: One is that he was being set up for another escape and the other, that an extradition transfer to the US to face multiple criminal charges in multiple states was imminent…
The Mexican Army plans to keep troops patrolling the streets of Mexico until such time as local and federal law enforcement units are able to get a better handle on controlling crime. Some of these troops have been periodically deployed in Playa del Carmen and in the Puerto Aventuras area… A joint venture by US Delta Airline and Aeromexico concerning flights between the two countries has been approved by the Mexican government with stipulations on the number of landing slots at the Mexico City airport…
Long day, short pay – A bricklayer in the Riviera Maya earns between 350 and 400 pesos a day ($20-$23 USD) while an apprentice is paid 180 to 200 pesos ($10-11.50 USD). More construction projects that last longer – as much as a year or more on major hotel projects in the booming Riviera Maya – is why pay rates here are a bit higher than in Chetumal, the state capital, where journeymen earn what an apprentice does in this area…
Sunday, May 22, at 4 p.m. at Latitude 20 Restaurant and Lounge with Shannon Rachynski. Proceeds go to the needy…
Cap’t Rick Sportsfishing will again host several wounded warriors to participate as guests at the upcoming 12th annual Dave Harris Memorial fishing tournament on May 21.
Art exhibition of ipad and oil paintings by local artist Adam James Butcher will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. May 14 at the Puerto Aventuras Art and Information Center at the junction of Bahias Xcacel and Yanten. Ten percent of sales for the evening will be donated to the award-winning youth sailing club. Coming soon to the center is a book containing the works of the late Michel Brown who was for many years a resident here showing his work to strollers along the popular Dolphin Walk on Sundays, a practice by Brown and other artists that is missed…
While dates are uncertain, also coming up soon is the opening of La Europea wine and liquor store under construction adjacent to the main-gate entrance and behind the Pemex gasoline station; updating of main gate landscaping, lighting and traffic flow; location and design of a potential doggie park. Also, a hoped-for removal by CFE of an electrical wire over an area of the Phase 4 canal that is preventing access of larger boats to the docks of people who purchased lots there; the start of condo projects at the Phase 4 entrance and creation of more much-needed golf-cart parking in Centro…
PA’s Dolphin Discovery announces
birth of 2 healthy manatee calves
Human care extends life, stalls extinction
By Dolphin Discovery
The community of Puerto Aventuras has once again witnessed the birth of two manatees, the first one on March 20th from Dorothy and Pablo, the second on April 10th from Julieta. Pablo is the resident male manatee in Puerto Aventuras and was transferred here from the Aquarium of Veracruz as part of the “interchange of the genetic diversity program “ between the aquarium and Dolphin Discovery.
The calves, which soon will be named, include a female and male, each weighing around 33 pounds. During the first three weeks of life, the newborns were breast-fed every 30 minutes, rapidly gaining weight and consistently growing until they weigh as much as their family members and other companions of the lagoon. The natural lagoon of Dolphin Discovery in Puerto Aventuras hosts three adult manatees, the aforementioned Julieta, Dorothy and Pablo, plus two other calves, Conchis and Clau, that were born in 2015.
The birth of a manatee is an important achievement since they are an endangered species. Eight out of the combined 16 manatees that live at various Dolphin Discovery dolphinariums were born in captivity while the rest have been rescued.
Manatees are herbivores and the mothers, such as Julieta and Dorothy, eat up to 132 pounds of lettuce a day when breast-feeding. This means they eat two tons of lettuce every month in addition to a varied diet of fruits and vegetables. The gestation period of manatees exceeds a year, and they are close relatives of the pachyderms. Births are natural and exit tail first 90% of the time. Reproduction of manatees, like other species, is synonymous with well-being and tranquility.
With proper care, manatees can achieve a lifespan of 50 to 60 years in the care of humans, unlike the more rapid death rate of manatees in the wild. Experts say that survival of manatees in their wild habitat is threatened by the pressure of human activity among other reasons, as on the crowded rivers of Florida where manatees are constantly injured by propeller blades of boats passing overhead. The manatee could be extinct in a matter of several decades.
The newborn manatees can be viewed along the dolphin walk at Dolphin Discovery Puerto Aventuras alongside sea lions and dolphins. Other dolphinariums from the group that have manatees are in Isla Mujeres, Cozumel and Dreams Hotel of Puerto Aventuras.
Mexico on right track
in post-petroleum era
Successful government policies
will help ride out the storm
By Glen Olives Thompson
Mexico News Daily |
The standard view among experts in world energy markets for at least a half-century has been that demand for oil and other non-renewable energy sources such as coal and natural gas would continue to rise as supplies inevitably declined, eventually culminating in a worldwide energy crisis, political disruption, and even wars.
Books have been written about this as well as countless essays and white papers, and only god knows how many survival shelters have been built in anticipation of the coming collapse.
But then something funny happened on the way to the apocalypse. Back on June 16, 2013, in Germany, of all places. It was a sunny, windy Sunday. Wind and solar farms were almost literally bursting with energy and the grid was in danger of overloading.
Free renewable energy, of course, had priority and grid managers had to make a decision. Energy market prices went briefly negative. So brown coal energy producers, instead of selling their power, had to pay the grid managers to take their electricity. It was an ominous portent.
This anomaly was reported in The Economist, but nobody paid much attention. Crude was selling at US $98 a barrel, a near record high. Investment in non-traditional energy extraction in the U.S. and Canada, such as fracking and exploitation of shale fields, was pouring in.
Energy independence! A new energy economy! Jobs! Prosperity! Irrational exuberance, as it turns out. Oil prices are now hovering between US $30 and $45 per barrel. Bankruptcies and bad loans among American and Canadian upstart energy producers are mounting, hundreds of billions of dollars in new investment have been erased, and the Dakotas are looking more and more like a wasteland of rusting rigs and broken dreams.
Renewable green energy production worldwide finally got its footing, shale field production in the U.S. grew almost exponentially, Iraqi oil output expanded to record highs, Iran returned to the global oil market after sanctions were lifted and, most recently, the Saudis, who can produce oil at a cost of US $3 per barrel, have rejected an agreement to freeze production levels in the hope of punishing competitors like the U.S. and Iran while weathering the storm (a perfect storm, as it turns out).
We are living in a post-petroleum era. The game has changed, and despite taking a hit, Mexico is poised to not only ride out the storm, but surf the waves.
Yes, Mexico’s economy has traditionally depended on oil production as a major source of revenue. But that is only one cylinder of a six-cylinder engine (an imperfect analogy, but bear with me). There’s also increasing manufacturing, tourism, services, remittances and, of course, the black market drug trade.
The fuel injector, if you will, on that first cylinder isn’t working at capacity, but the others will keep the engine plugging along at a rate of 3% GDP growth per year – not too shabby, even in the best of circumstances.
Other less diverse Latin American economies that depend disproportionately on oil revenue, such as Brazil and Venezuela, by comparison, are in freefall and widespread civil unrest is becoming an increasing problem.
Yes, Mexico took a punch on the kisser, to be sure, but it then parried, didn’t panic and caught its breath. The value of the peso plummeted, but the current Mexican administration acted responsibly and prudently. It slashed public spending and initiated a package of measures to ameliorate the peso’s decline.
It worked. The peso has stabilized, inflation is well below GDP growth, and the economy continues to power through the gears of the global economic transmission.
Since writing “Mexico: rising sun of the Americas” a year ago, I’ve had reasons to doubt my sanguine conclusions and analysis, as a lot of negative news has eclipsed the pockets of good things happening.
But having reread that piece, and analyzed Mexico’s response to the end of the oil era, I remain convinced that the fundamentals remain in place for Mexico to not only survive, but also thrive, in an increasingly volatile global economy.
Glen Olives Thompson is a professor of North American Law at La Salle University in Chihuahua, a specialist in law and public policy and a regular contributor to Mexico News Daily.
PRODUCTION DEADLINES: The Pelican Free Press encourages and welcomes public announcements of events and activities. The deadline for publication during our monthly schedule is the last week of the previous month. Thank you.
The End – Previous edition below