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Mexican army searches for bodies in flood and landslide-hit La Pintada

Mexican army searches for bodies in flood and landslide-hit La Pintada | Meagan's Geoography 400 | Scoop.it
Sixty-eight people missing in village devastated by storms Manuel and Ingrid as government says 200 could be dead

Via Al Picozzi
Meagan Harpin's insight:

La Pintada was the area of the greatest tragedy in the wake of the two storms Maunel and Ingrid. There rainfall was very similar to that of the of the areas hit hardest in Colorado. We often forget that the US is not the only place that can experience weather and devestation like this. 

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Al Picozzi's curator insight, September 23, 2013 10:09 AM

Seems that the US is not the only place at this time to have disasters from large amounts of rainfall.  The people of this area describe a rainfall that was very similar to the description of the people of the Denver/Bolder area in Colorado.  What makes it worse in this area is the remote area of some of the villages.  Whereas the damage in Colorado was in the cities and the main road, more outliying areas in Mexico were hit hard.  The Mexican Army is trying its best to reach these areas.  On the similar side Acapulco was also hit hard and suffered major flooding from Hurricane Irene and another storm that hit soon after.  Much like Bolder and other Colorado cities it suffered major fllod damages and much like Route 34 in Colorado the highway connecting Acapulco to the rest of Mexico was wiped out.  To underscore this the people are upset with the response of the Mexican government.  With accusations ranging from corruption to downright neglect the people believe the government is at part to blame.  The article states they are going to move the town pictured over to a safer location...I wonder what that move is going to look like....

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What we can learn from Mexico

What we can learn from Mexico | Meagan's Geoography 400 | Scoop.it

Earlier this month, the president told a newspaper the solution to partisanship is politics and more politics.


Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

Most of what we hear coming out of Mexico is from the drug trafficking, violence and murders but behind the scenes Mexico has been quietly developing. We can see here how georaphy is playing a big part in Mexico's development, because they share a boarder with the US they are able to transport products much cheaper over the boarder. One of the most interesting facts in this piece is that Mexico has trade agreements with 44 countries.     

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Amanda Morgan's curator insight, September 29, 2014 2:18 PM

The facts about the "new" Mexico help in reasoning why less people are migrating.  The new Mexico looks hopeful and prosperous but when you read about the affects of the drug wars and violence, we see that there is still room for progress for the country in order to keep their citizens from leaving Mexico.

Alyssa Dorr's curator insight, December 16, 2014 5:17 PM

A few weeks ago, the president told a newspaper the solution to partisanship is politics and more politics. That’s how you work toward the building of agreements. Unfortunately, it wasn't Barack Obama. It was Mexico’s Enrique Pena Nieto. One of the first things Pena Nieto did after assuming office was to announce a pact for Mexico, an ambitious set of reforms to raise taxes, increase competition and take on the teachers’ unions. While the world has gotten used to a torrent of images and news of drug-related violence from Mexico, another side of this country has been quietly developing. What we can learn from Mexico is that they are quite successful.  Mexico’s GDP is expected to grow by nearly 4 percent this year, twice as fast as Brazil or, for that matter, the United States. It is riding a manufacturing boom. Mexico is now the world’s fourth biggest producer of cars, according to the World Trade Atlas. Starting next year, new taxis in New York City will carry a “made in Mexico' label.” Mexico is also the world's top exporter of flat screen TVs. In fact, Mexico exports more manufactured products than all the other countries in Latin America combined. A major factor that comes into play is geography.  Sharing a border with the United States means heavy products are cheaper to transport across than if they were manufactured in, say, Asia. Nieto continues to inform us what we can learn from Mexico.

Kendra King's curator insight, February 2, 8:37 PM

The title of this article was what enticed me as I was hoping to find an actual answer. However, based on this article alone, I don’t actually think there is much the United States can learn from Mexico about politics or economics.

 

This author failed to mention that a difference in political systems could also attribute to the new Mexican leader’s ability to obtain “endorsements from across the spectrum.”  Mexico recently had an election. The new President this article is praising is part of a party that controlled the land for 70+ years until Nieto's predecessor. His predecessor messed up with the cartels so badly that Nieto was elected back into office. Given the amount of support Nieto had going into office, it doesn't seem so challenging to negotiate with opposing parties. Plus, I doubt the opposing parts are as unreasonable as some of the United States members of congress, like the Tea Party.   

 

I also see little to glean from the manufacturing route that Mexico is on at the moment. I will admit that the projected GDP growth of 4% mentioned in the article is impressive. However, thinking that the key to economic growth in the United States is through a similar “manufacturing boom” is just out of touch with the times. As stated in class our wages can’t keep up with the cheaper wages of developing countries (a point the author eluded to in the section discussing “the three main factors at play,” factor number three). Thus, doing what Mexico is doing doesn’t fit the American economy. What the United States might try doing is finding a manufacturing niche that no one has a market on in order to obtain more jobs. Maybe something higher end or medically related would be of benefit to the United States. Even these jobs would end up comprising a small part of the United States economy because the United States is more of a white collar economy. As such, more should be done to protect that sector of our economy from things like outsourcing given its relevance to our modern economy.

 

 Overall, I think the media’s quick comparisons of other countries falls under the bad category of globalization. A fair amount of people would just use this article to say things like, if Mexico’s leader can do X Y & Z then so should Obama. Yet, many of those people wouldn’t actually think about all the differences or reasons why Obama can’t compromise or revert the economy backwards. Am I saying Obama shouldn’t try more or that I am happy with the lack of compromise by all, no. However, I think it is dangerous for journalist to gloss over the situation since many people will take them as a credible source to cite. Mind you not all journalism is bad though. The Scoop.It article I read this week regarding Walmart is a great example of how investigative journalism can have positive consequences. The major difference being one actually did their homework that cited concrete specifics, while the other made a flimsy analogy.  

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Mass Sacrifice Found Near Aztec Temple

Mass Sacrifice Found Near Aztec Temple | Meagan's Geoography 400 | Scoop.it

Below street level in Mexico City, archaeologists have found a jumble of bones dating to the 1480s.

 

In the 1970s, construction workers unearthed numerous archaeological finds as the subway was being constructed.  The Mexican government decided to clear the several block of old colonial buildings to reveal the Templo Mayor, the ancient Aztec religious center.  Not coincidentally, the Spaniards built their religious center in the same place.  During the colonial era, the indigenous residents who spoke Spanish in Mexico City still referred to this portion of the city as la pirámide.  Today more finds such as this one are continuing to help us piece together the past of this immensely rich, multi-layered place filled with symbolic value. 

 

Tags: Mexico, LatinAmerica, historical, images, National Geographic, colonialism, place and culture.


Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

This is so interesting! When you think about Mexico today we often think only about the drugs and wars and mass poverty that has consumed much of it. To think abou the true history of Meixco from the Aztecs that we are still unearthing today and learning from is amazing. Things like this helps us learn so much more about the past and tie things together. 

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Hector Alonzo's curator insight, October 26, 2014 10:00 PM

While the Aztec' civilization has been gone for a very long time, there are still traces of it resurfacing today. With the uncovering of the bones, it shows that the Aztec temple was very much in the heart of Mexico City has still has more secrets to uncover

Bob Beaven's curator insight, February 5, 2:39 PM

This article shows just how varied the cultural landscape of Mexico is.  Unlike the Native populations in the US, the Aztecs had a large, flourishing civilization that was described by the first conquistadors "to match the glory of any major city in Europe."  When the Spanish eventually conquered the Aztec Civilization, they built right on top of the ruins of the old Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan.  The way that Mexico City is layered right on top of the old Aztec city, means that many human remains and ancient buildings are buried right below the modern city.  This is what makes Mexico City different than any city in the United States or Canada, the cities in these two countries were not built over massive cities that pre-dated them.

Jared Medeiros's curator insight, February 11, 10:07 PM

This seems to be quite a large sacrifice that was discovered. And while it may be just that, it seems more like a mass execution, possibly performed by the Spanish when they battled with the Aztecs and put at the foot near the Aztec temple to send a message that their God could not save them.  If it is a sacrifice, its a pretty large one.

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A quieter drug war in Mexico, but no less deadly

A quieter drug war in Mexico, but no less deadly | Meagan's Geoography 400 | Scoop.it
Months have gone by since the last of the grisly mass killings that have marked the conflict’s darkest moments.

Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

Drug related killings are unbelievably high at 12,000 a year in Mexico. They are avoiding the military and police and keeping the killings quite to the rest of Mexico as well. The police and Military are no longer allowed to parade the suspected drug members in front of cameras anymore either. But just because things are being kept quite doesnt mean they are anyless deadly 

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Danielle Lip's curator insight, February 3, 12:39 PM

The drug wars are deadly and have been around for years, this deadly violence has been around for a while yet just recently the violence has quieted down, not stopped but the mafia's have gone to locations where less attention is drawn to them. To try and stop the drug wars could be very risky for the government, the drug war leaders are walking fine lines with the government, trying to make trade with the United States all about drugs which could cause some controversy. Imagine if there were drug wars in the United States, how would the government handle it?

Louis Mazza's curator insight, February 6, 3:35 PM

Prior to a few months ago the drug cartels in Mexico were running rampant. It was no longer an under the ropes operation like pre-2000. The Cartels were massacring, beheading people and performing great acts of violence such as the slaughter of 72 migrants near the border, or the dumping of 50 human torsos on the highway. The military responded by parading captured cartel members through the streets and calling in more and more back-up troops. Mexico is extremely dangerous when this activity goes on. That has recently all come to a public halt. The perceived danger/violence rate in Mexico has been dropping but at the same time the number of drug related deaths has not. It seems that the cartels have smartened up and understand now that the great acts of violence only brings more pressure onto them. Now the cartel tries to avoid the military as much as possible as the added backup and highway patrol’s give the drug smugglers issues.

Brian Wilk's curator insight, March 28, 2:45 PM

Looks like President Enrique Nieto has shifted tactics in Mexico's fight against the drug trade. When he won election from Felipe Calderon he changed the way he portrayed his country. No more would he parade alleged drug dealers and overlords before they went to trial. This would only infuriate the drug lords and they sought revenge by seeking out police to either kill, or bribe, further deteriorating the uneasy truce between the government and the drug trade. By keeping this off the news and promoting Mexico's other needs such as trade, education reform, and reduction of poverty.

The mass killings have been kept mostly out of the spotlight and the body count is still the same, but Nieto can now fight this fight largely out of the public's eye. The drug related killings have moved to the northern territories away from cameras and the public. This should afford him opportunity to focus on this problem and keep the public from thinking Armageddon is around the corner.

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How Wal-Mart Used Payoffs to Get Its Way in Mexico

How Wal-Mart Used Payoffs to Get Its Way in Mexico | Meagan's Geoography 400 | Scoop.it
Wal-Mart de Mexico was an aggressive and creative corrupter, offering large payoffs to get what the law otherwise prohibited, an examination by The New York Times found.

Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

Walmart bribed Mexico officals $52,000 to have the zoning maps redrawn before it was published in the newspapers. So when it was published it showed the allowed area drawen in for the building of the new walmart. The building created uproar from the people. They were upset from the congested traffic and created months of hunger strikes and sit ins that made Mexican media. 

 

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James Hobson's curator insight, September 23, 2014 1:17 PM

(Mexico topic 9)

It is troubling to discover how bribery still continues to promote special interests at the expense of others and their own interests. Though other articles I have commented on discuss the improving economy and politics of Mexico, this one clearly shows an area that needs much more attention.

   Despite this, all of the fuss (though justifiable) may be slightly over-exaggerated in my opinion. Just look at the photo above: the WalMart is at least somewhat set back from the pyramids, BUT the smoke and smog from other industries fills the air right up to and all around the pyramids themselves. I think this is just as much, if not more, of an injustice to the cultural site. While one can choose whether or not to enter a store, it is impossible not to breathe in the polluted air and have one's view limited while visiting such a place.

   Lastly, although bribery is certainly something I deeply frown upon, perhaps it is slightly less "wrong" than it would be in other countries like the US. Since Mexico's government and its departments have a reputation (at least from what I've heard) of being corrupted, perhaps the only way to build a store is to offer a bribe. It would be interesting to see if this was the case with other store locations throughout Mexico.

Kendra King's curator insight, February 2, 8:50 PM

Clearly it is horrible what Walmart did, but what about everyone else in this scenario? Walmart was able to damage public history and jeopardize the traffic safety of Mexico because they figured out the going price for those concepts was: a couple mayors, some INAH official, and an Urban Operations official (see article for in-depth explanations of how each was bought off). All of whom bypassed their duty to the public. See I am not surprised by the corporation’s actions. The corporation is acting for its own self-interest like many corporations have historically done. In fact, compared to the East India Company of 1800 (which had its own standing army) this is tame (see below article). I would prefer companies not to operate as such, however a company will act in such a manner so long as it is permitted. Deterring such actions falls on the fault of the officials who were so easily bought off.

 

Yet, whose job is it to police a corporation? At one point, the article mentioned that when the Mexican investigation found nothing wrong with Walmart they, “chided protesters for failing to present any specific proof.” I’m sorry, but it isn’t the protesters job to go out and find proof. That is the job of an investigator, whom I might add didn’t do a good job given the evidence the New York Times was able to amass. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) for Mexico, they probably aren’t that apt at forensic banking because they are a largely agrarian society who only relatively recently is being introduced to the corporate world. Looks like there is a whole new specialty that Mexico will need to learn soon due to globalization. I say Mexico needs to learn this also because it is mainly their job to monitor their people. I understand that this is an American company so on some level they will have to monitor their people. However, majority of the people involved in this were in Mexico. Thus, Mexico will need to deal with their side of justice and also start developing environmentally usefully laws under the new corporate rule (i.e. ones that protect historical artifacts even when the “proper” licenses have been secured.)

 

I am not looking to just pick on Mexico’s corporation problems either because we all know the United States has their fair share of corporate issues. In fact, I think it is safe to say that Walmart could have bought off people in the United States too. Think of all the tainted deals that occurred in the subprime mortgage crisis. We aren’t even sure because no one actually went after them! At least in the case of Walmart there is an investigation going on again. It will be interesting to see what the end result is though. Most times, it isn’t near what a company should get. In the United States some are literally able to get away with murder. Just look at GM's latest court dealings. I hope Mexico can do a better job than the United States when it comes to handling corporate investigations in the future.  

 

* http://www.economist.com/node/21541753

Bob Beaven's curator insight, February 5, 2:32 PM

This article shows the "forced globalization" of Mexico.  I thought it was interesting how Walmart de Mexico would use such cutthroat means to build a "intermediate sized store".  Yet the Walmart officials in Mexico realized that being not too far from a major tourist attraction would help business.  There were many groups who tried to stop it from happening, but they could not stop the store from being built.  This article shows how corporate Globalization is ruthless, and it doesn't care about disobeying laws.  This article also shows that if a company is big enough, it can, in effect do whatever it pleases.  In the United States on the other hand, this type of bribery could never have happened.