Obama praises Mexico’s deepening democracy

From USA Today:  Perhaps this will mean a resurgence of confidence for travelers and retirees….

The trip came as Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto shifts his new administration’s focus to economic and social matters.

“Some Americans only see the Mexico depicted in sensational headlines. … Some Mexicans may think America disrespects Mexico,” Obama told the students and a sprinkling of executives at the National Anthropology Museum.

“I have come to Mexico because it is time to put old mind-sets aside. It’s time to recognize new realities, including the impressive progress in today’s Mexico.”

The president spent a little time cracking jokes about his daughter’s Spanish being better than his, promising actions on items such as immigration and even speaking a little Spanish — ending his speech to students with, “¡Que Díos los bendiga!” or, “May God bless you.”

But mostly Obama spoke of what he considered a changing country — one making more headlines lately for economic optimism and potential political reforms than the drug cartels and organized crime violence that have claimed about 65,000 lives over the past six years.

The trip came as Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto shifts his new administration’s focus to economic and social matters, instead of fixating on security — which analysts say remains a serious issue in many regions of the country.

Some in attendance agreed with Peña Nieto’s new focus, but also expressed misgivings about his character and his Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), which has ruled Mexico for most of the past century.

“He’s all about image,” David Hurtado, 17, said. “He’s like a puppet … with the old PRI people behind him.”

Others were impressed with Peña Nieto for overhauling archaic labor laws, proposing to open up the state-run and often-inefficient oil industry and achieving an education reform — where he went so far as to charge the country’s teachers union boss with corruption.

“I appreciate his willingness to take on hard issues,” said Yait Gittler, 16.

Attendees expressed fewer misgivings about Obama.

“He’s a great speaker,” said student María González, 18. “As a person, a lot of people look up to him as a symbol of progress.”

Some were surprised by those attending Friday’s speech, drawn mainly from private schools — one of which charges almost as much in tuition as the average yearly salary in Mexico and enrolls students brought to classes by bodyguards in bulletproof cars.

“Which youth were being inspired by the speech?” asked Julio Meyer, 18, an American who grew up in Mexico.

Meyer said he found no fault with the speech or its content, but noted the disinterest in the region often shown by American politicians and the public.

“In all three presidential debates, Mexico and Latin America weren’t mentioned,” he said.

For his part, Obama pledged to make Mexico more of a priority and expand on a relationship that in past decades was marked by distance and distrust between leaders and focused on security concerns.

The president promised to promote immigration reform — an important issue for Mexico, which has more than 10% of its population living in the United States. He also pledged action on guns, many of which flow south from the United States and are used to commit violence in Mexico.

Obama spoke of increasing student exchanges, which slowed with the onset of drug violence in some parts of Mexico. The generation of students the president addressed came of age during the worst of that violence and some said it left an impression.

“We were restricted from going to the same places as our parents,” González said. She saw hope, however, for a safer and more prosperous Mexico, adding, “It’s developing. But you can’t see it (happen) one day to another.”

—-

AMPI is the national association of real estate professionals that have, since 1956, gathered under laws and codes of ethics and conduct to create a reliable, trustworthy an efficient real estate environment in Mexico.

AMPI consists of separate autonomous sections all throughout the nation, as well as more than 4,000 associates and affiliates. Each section is independent and has its own board of directors, only surpassed by a national board of directors comprised of twenty associates from all over the republic.

Developed over the years with the input and knowledge of its members, AMPI is much more than just a collection of offices. AMPI has been a solid and recognized institution in Mexico for the past 27 years. It was originally established in 1956 and was consolidated in 1980. AMPI is currently represented in all the principle cities and regions of Mexico stretching from Tijuana to Cancun.

The Riviera Nayarita, Vallarta and Compostela chapters of AMPI are dedicated to promote the best practices in real estate by providing its members with education to reinforce the standards of ethics that give our industry the credibility which our clients deserve.

AMPI is committed to giving our membership access to a multiple listing service that forms the platform from which our industry can expand locally and into other markets while giving our members precise and up to date information that is vital to continuous improvement and growth.