Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for Mexico

Newsline: US began construction of three new consulates in Mexico

The United States is investing more than US $1.5 billion to build a new embassy and several consulates in Mexico including three whose construction started last month. Diplomatic staff and officials from the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations held groundbreaking ceremonies during May at sites in Guadalajara, Jalisco; Hermosillo, Sonora; and Nogales, Sonora. (https://mexiconewsdaily.com/news/us-began-construction-of-three-new-consulates/) Construction of the new $374-million four-story, energy-efficient consulate in Guadalajara began in the middle of the month. Consul General Robin Matthewman said the facility in the west of the Jalisco capital will have the capacity to attend to 2,000 people per day. The $230-million consulate in Hermosillo and the $211-million facility in Nogales are both expected to be completed in 2022. Their construction will generate 750 jobs for local workers. All three new consulates will be high-security facilities equipped with cutting-edge technology. Commencement of the three new projects follows the beginning of construction in February last year of a new embassy in the Mexico City neighborhood of Nuevo Polanco. It is also expected to open in 2022.

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Newsline: Mexican ambassador to the US explains Trump’s claim of a new agricultural deal

Mexico’s ambassador to the United States, Martha Bárcena Coqui, worked to clarify elements of the recent US-Mexico immigration agreement that staved off tariffs on Mexican goods on June 9. (https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/6/9/18658768/mexico-us-trade-tariffs-ambassador-coqui-trump-agricultural-deal) As part to the deal, Mexico has agreed to station 6,000 members of the National Guard around the country, most at the Mexico-Guatemala border. The tariffs would have placed a 5 percent tax on all Mexican goods starting Monday; that tax would have risen at regular intervals to 25 percent. Trump said the threat of tariffs was necessary to push Mexico to increase its efforts to reduce the flow of South American immigrants and asylum seekers traveling to the US-Mexico border. The deal was announced by President Donald Trump on June 7, but tweets he sent, as well as reporting that showed the National Guard agreement had actually first been made in March, led to some confusion about the compact.

Newsline: Guatemala’s Ambassador to Mexico Injured in Traffic Accident

Guatemala’s ambassador to Mexico, Nelson Olivero, was injured in a traffic accident in Mexico City, along with several others from the embassy, the Guatemalan foreign ministry said in a statement on May 25. (https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2019-05-25/guatemalas-ambassador-to-mexico-injured-in-traffic-accident) It was not immediately clear how many people were injured in May 25 accident. Olivero was transferred to hospital, the statement said.

Newsline: Hackers release documents stolen from Mexico’s embassy in Guatemala

A hacker stole thousands of documents from Mexico’s embassy in Guatemala and posted them online. The hacker, who goes by the online handle @0x55Taylor, tweeted a link to the data earlier this week. The data is no longer available for download after the cloud host pulled the data offline, but the hacker shared the document dump with TechCrunch to verify its contents. The hacker told TechCrunch in a message: “A vulnerable server in Guatemala related to the Mexican embassy was compromised and I downloaded all the documents and databases.” He said he contacted Mexican officials but he was ignored. (https://techcrunch.com/2019/04/19/mexican-embassy-hack/) In previous correspondence with the hacker, he said he tries to report problems and has received bounty payouts for his discoveries. “But when I don’t get a reply, then it’s going public,” he said. More than 4,800 documents were stolen, most of which related to the inner workings of the Mexican embassy in the Guatemalan capital, including its consular activities, such as recognizing births and deaths, dealing with Mexican citizens who have been incarcerated or jailed and the issuing of travel documents.

Newsline: US offers $20,000 reward in Guadalajara consulate grenade attack

The United States government is offering a US $20,000 reward for information leading to the identification and arrest of the person or group responsible for a grenade attack on the U.S. consulate in Guadalajara the night before the inauguration of President López Obrador. A statement issued yesterday by the United States Embassy in Mexico said that “on November 30, 2018 at 10:48pm, an unidentified individual threw two grenades, which exploded on the United States Consulate compound in Guadalajara, Jalisco.” The person who threw the grenades was caught on film by surveillance cameras.

https://mexiconewsdaily.com/news/us-offers-reward-in-guadalajara-consulate-attack/

Newsline: Grenade attack at US Consulate in Mexico may have been cartel hit

Law enforcement authorities from both the United States and Mexico are investigating a grenade explosion targeting the U.S. Consulate in Guadalajara, Mexico, on Friday evening. It is believed two grenades were thrown, with one exploding on consular grounds around 7.30 Friday evening. In a statement released Saturday, consular officials said they “were aware of a security incident that took place at the U.S. Consulate General” on Friday evening. “The consulate was closed at the time and there were no injuries,” the statement continued. “U.S. and Mexican authorities are investigating. We will provide further information (including about consular operations) as it becomes available.” While the investigation continues and there have been no culprits yet identified, the attack comes just a week after several videos were posted online showcasing an interrogation of a cartel “sicario”– otherwise known as a hitman — allegedly working for the dominant cartel in the area, Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG). He claimed he had orders to attack U.S. embassies or consulates from its leader, Rubén Oseguera González, also known as “El Menchito.”

https://www.foxnews.com/world/grenade-attack-at-us-consulate-in-mexico-may-have-been-cartel-hit

Newsline: 22 years in prison for US diplomat shooting

A 33-year-old Chino Hills man was sentenced Nov. 7 to 22 years in prison after pleading guilty to a Jan. 6, 2017 non-fatal shooting of a U.S. diplomat in Guadalajara, Mexico, the U.S. Department of Justice announced. Zia Zafar, a former medical student, pleaded guilty to one count of attempted murder of an internationally protected person and a count of discharging a firearm during a crime of violence, officials announced. “Zia Zafar targeted a U.S. government employee and surveilled him before shooting him in the chest at close range,” said assistant Attorney General Brian Benczkowski. “The Department of Justice does everything in its power to prosecute anyone who targets U.S. officials at home or abroad.” Prosecutors said the vice consul was targeted and shot because he represented the United States. Mr. Zafar, who at the time of the shooting was in medical school and living in Guadalajara, was armed with a gun and wore a wig and sunglasses to disguise his appearance. He waited in a parking garage for the vice consul, who worked at the U.S. Consulate in the city, prosecutors said. Mr. Zafar followed the victim as he walked towards his vehicle.

http://www.championnewspapers.com/news/article_21e52af0-e9e6-11e8-8a3b-8b94de0b4cd9.html