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SourceMex focuses on Mexican economic and political issues such as trade and investment, agriculture, elections, the petroleum industry, environment and sustainability, human rights, and social issues. It also places particular emphasis on developments and analysis of U.S.-Mexico relations, including matters related to the U.S.-Mexico border.

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Mexican Senate Approves Legislation to Ban Dogfights Nationwide

In late November, the Mexican Senate approved bill that would outlaw the staging and organization of dogfighting events throughout the country, potentially ending a practice that some consider an iconic cultural activity. The ban was approved by a vote of 71 to 3, with three other legislators abstaining. The initiative is the latest legislative measure to address animal cruelty in Mexico. Several states and municipalities have enacted legislation that bans bullfights and cockfights and prohibits the use of animals in circus acts As in those state and local initiatives, the main sponsor of the dogfight ban is the Partido Verde Ecologista de México (PVEM), specifically Sen. Jorge Emilio González. The Chamber of Deputies has not yet taken up the initiative, and it is not certain how soon it will vote on the issue. However, the PVEM delegation in the lower house is leading the effort to persuade the leadership (Junta de Coordinación Política) to pass nationwide bans on both dogfights and cockfights. The PVEM initiative in the Chamber of Deputies is similar to the one in the Senate, imposing prison sentences on organizers of dogfights and cockfights. Tougher penalties would be imposed on individuals caught trafficking dogs and roosters for the express purpose of using them in fights.

Resignation of Central Bank Governor Dampens Optimism over OPEC Agreement

Just days after the Mexican economy received a boost from predictions that oil prices might be on the rise, the announcement that the highly effective chief governor of the central bank (Banco de México, BANXICO), Agustín Carstens, had resigned his post put a damper on that optimism. Global oil markets reacted positively to reports in late November that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) had reached an agreement to reduce production by about 1.2 million barrels per day. According to initial reports, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, United Arab Emirates, and Kuwait will account for the bulk of the cuts, although official details will not be announced until after a meeting of OPEC members with non-member producing countries in Vienna on Dec. 10. The reductions are expected to help Mexico and other countries whose economies have depended on oil exports. Mexican officials reacted positively to the OPEC news, since higher export prices could help boost the federal treasury. Mexico remains fairly dependent on oil-export earnings despite repeated efforts to diversify sources of revenue. The optimism about the OPEC news was overshadowed the next day by Carstens’ announcement that he was leaving BANXICO for a position with the Bank for International Settlements (BIS).

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