Saturday, April 18, 2015

Today's Mexico City Headlines: Drug war success has its price

All the dailies give prominent play to yesterday's violence in the border city of Reynosa that kept residents inside their homes for hours. Only Milenio leads with the news, under the headline “El Gafe capture ignites Reynosa.”
    El Gafe is a capo of the Gulf Cartel. The reports coming out of Reynosa are sketchy and contradictory, but we do know that soon after the arrest Friday morning, gunmen went after federal police, attacked their headquarters and set fires across the city. Three civilians were killed, and two of them may have been bystanders.
    The Gulf Cartel has been disputing control of the border smuggling routes with the  Zetas. Both organizations have suffered losses through arrests over the last year or so, which had the undesired result of turning Tamaulipas into one of the most violent states in Mexico.

El Universal staffers hit their archives again and came with this lead front-page headline: “Attacks on candidates on the increase.”
    According to the paper, there have been 28 such cases in 11 states aimed at seven different parties since the start of the campaign for the June 7 mid-term elections. The victims include campaign staff members as well as the candidates themselves.
    The attacks include threats and vandalism, but also beatings, abductions and shootings. Three have died, according to El Universal.

Excélsior likes to hunt down news favorable to the Peña Nieto administration, while La Jornada does the opposite. They would cancel each other out, but Jornada has a higher circulation and makes no hypocritical effort to disguise its political stances. Jornada wins today’s battle, with this lead head: “Drastic fall in private sector support for Peña’s leadership.”
    It’s comes from a poll of business executives and managers conducted by KMPG, the prominent  business services consultant. The numbers are indeed alarming, at least from the administration’s point of view. Favorable opinion has dropped from 49% at the beginning of the Peña Nieto administration to 11%.
    The percentage of business leaders who consider the administration’s economic performance to be “abysmal” or “dreadful” (pésimo) has gone up from 2% to 20%. Peña Nieto’s poll numbers among the general public have declined significantly over the last year, but this latest responding segment consists of his strongest supporters in the past.

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