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Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2013

Peña Nieto, in state-of-nation address, says his reforms, although they face opposition, will bring about a great transformation

Teacher protest complications bring about change in venue, cancellation of trip to Turkey on way to G-20 summit; lower house of Congress passes teacher evaluation bill
In Tijuana, teachers strike Monday, and plan more stop actions Wednesday, Thursday and Friday    

      primer informe pena nietoPresident Enrique Peña Nieto said Monday in a state-of-nation address — moved to the presidential residence Los Pinos because of massive teacher protests — that his reforms will bring about a great transformation that Mexico needs to progress.

      He thanked the Chamber of Deputies for passing on Sunday a bill providing for an evaluation process for teachers — what the teachers were protesting about. The evaluation process bill — which still must be passed by the Senate — is part of the education reform Peña Nieto hopes to carry out, as well as energy and fiscal reforms. He argued that a drop in the growth forecast this year from 3.1% to 1.8% shows the need for passing his reforms. (The education reform passed earlier this year, but accompanying legislation to carry it out is still in process.)
Update, Sept. 4: Senate passes education bill.
       In the process of trying to arrange a new venue, Peña Nieto wound up canceling a visit to Turkey, where he was going to stop on his way to Thursday and Friday's G-20 summit in St. Petersburg, Russia.

       In Tijuana, teachers went on strike against the bill Monday, and planned another labor stoppage Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, El Mexicano reported (PDF).
Update, Sept. 5: Teachers take to Tijuana streets, Frontera (PDF). Teachers say evaluation violates their rights, Frontera (PDF).

Story, Los Angeles Times: "Mexico's Peña Nieto defends arduous reform agenda." It ran on Page A3 in the print edition; on the front page was a story on former President Vicente Fox advocating the legalization of marijuana: "Fox stirs the pot debate in Mexico: The ex-president is an unlikely champion of legalizing marijuana." On Page A4 was a story that former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden had released documents showing U.S. spying on Mexican and Brazilian officials: "New Snowden documents allege U.S. spying on Brazil, Mexico."

         Peña Nieto, as he did in Mexico state, is spending a lot of money on advertising in the media pushing his point of view. Papers have been running full-page ads promoting his energy reforms, and on Wednesday, Sept. 4, a full-page ad ran touting his focus on education in his state-of-the-union address. Ad, El Mexicano (PDF).