Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador called for a “pause” in relations with Spain, in a speech that explicitly invoked the legacy of colonialism going back to the Conquest. But the speech was aimed principally at Spanish oil company Repsol, which had been favored during the presidential term of Felipe Calderón. Specifically, López Obrador questioned the granting of gas contracts in the Burgos Basin, in Mexico’s northeast. He charged that Repsol operated the fields less productively than the state company Pemex had. “In the end, less gas was extracted than Pemex extracted” before the contracts, he charged. Repsol is meanwhile under investigation by Spanish prosecutors on charges of graft related to the company’s efforts to fend off a take-over bid by Pemex. (Photo via Digital Journal)
World oil prices remain depressed despite an uptick this month, driven by the Venezuela crisis and fear of US-China trade war. Yet this month also saw Zimbabwe explode into angry protests over fuel prices. The unrest was sparked when the government doubled prices, in an effort to crack down on “rampant” illegal trading. Simultaneously, long lines at gas stations are reported across Mexico—again due to a crackdown on illegal petrol trafficking. Despite all the talk in recent years about how low oil prices are now permanent (mirrored, of course, in the similar talk 10 years ago about how high prices were permanent), the crises in Zimbabwe and Mexico may be harbingers of a coming global shock. (Photo via Amnesty International)
Turkey’s TRT World runs a report recalling the Chontal Maya blockades of the Pemex oil installations in Mexico’s southern state of Tabasco in 1996, to protest the pollution of their lands and waters. This is a struggle that is still being waged today by the Chontal of Tabasco, but back in 1996 the figurehead of the movement was Andrés Manuel López Obrador (known as AMLO)—now Mexico’s left-populist president-elect. The report asks if AMLO as president will remain true to the indigenous struggle that first put him on Mexico’s political map. In a segment exploring this question, TRT World speaks with Melissa Ortiz Massó of the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre and CounterVortex editor Bill Weinberg.
Several states across Mexico have been shaken by days of angry protests in response to a jump in the price of gasoline sparked by a new deregulation policy.
Police fired on striking teachers blocking a road through Mexico's southern Oaxaca state, leaving six dead—a significant escalation in the battle over a proposed education reform.
The US Department of Commerce agreed to allow limited crude oil trading with Mexico, easing a ban on crude exports that has been in place for 40 years.
For the first time in nearly 80 years, Mexico opened its oil industry to foreign investors, offering 14 offshore exploration blocs—but only two sold, and not to industry majors.
Mexico's ruling coalition kept its slim majority in elections marred by violence and assassination of candidates. Striking teachers attempted to disrupt the vote, calling it a farce.
In an open acknowledgement that it cannot secure its pipeline system from plunder by criminal gangs, Mexico will no longer pump refined gasoline and diesel through the network.
Obama's five-year plan for offshore drilling opens up the Southeast coast and grandfathers Arctic leases—but the industry is still griping because it would keep ANWR off limits.
As the Mexican government pushes to get more private contractors for its oil company, Reuters reveals that 8% of the current contracts have serious problems.