Disclaimer: We are not energy industry specialists and have no particular expertise in this field. We’re just taxpayers who have been watching the Pemex train wreck unfold in slow motion for many years.
Update: A counterpoint to this post is now posted here.
On April 13, 2016, Mexico’s Finance Ministry (SHCP) announced a package of cash injections and tax relief measures worth approximately US$4.2 billion for state-run oil and gas monopoly Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex). Officials pointedly emphasized that the infusion did not absolve the enterprise from addressing its inefficiencies and debt obligations. The behemoth company has never been viewed as a lean, agile efficiency machine, so a little extra in its allowance from the federal government might once have been considered routine. This time, though, the move adds fuel to our suspicion that the long-time flagship of national sovereignty may be coming to the end of its life as an oil production company. Continue reading What will become of Pemex?→
On July 12, 2015, headlines blared that Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, Mexico’s most notorious drug trafficking kingpin, had escaped from a high security (insert laugh-track here) prison in the State of Mexico. Anyone who follows Mexico, and many who don’t, already know the details about how he escaped through a kilometer-long tunnel dug under the prison, so we won’t rehash that here. The point is that this is the second time the biggest cartel don in Mexico has been captured in spectacular fashion, incarcerated, and then strolled to freedom after waiting a brief but respectable amount of time to maintain appearances. Continue reading El Chapo escape makes donkey of Peña→
Throughout the first year of Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto’s administration, which began in 2012, he was launching major policy and infrastructure initiatives as if his pants were on fire and he needed colossal government projects to put them out. A little over two years into the administration, however, the feverish pace of advance has hit a significant rough patch and the president has returned to earth with a thump. We recently faced up to the collapse of one of the most ambitious proposed infrastructure projects, the high-speed passenger train to Querétaro. Despite our broken dreams, there really was no reason for us to expect that the Querétaro train would ever be built, as we have a well established track record of projects large and small being abandoned and swept under the rug after being announced to great fanfare. And the most hair-raising of these in recent memory must be the new airport for Mexico City proposed by President Vicente Fox in 2001. Continue reading Will Mexico City really have a new international airport?→