News From the Border

Providing the news from a different front but from a war that we must win as well! I recognize the poverty and desperate conditions that many Latinos live in. We, as the USA, have a responsibility to do as much as we can to reach out to aid and assist spiritually with the Gospel and naturally with training, technology and resources. But poverty gives no one the right to break the laws of another sovereign nation.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Mexico oil reform stalls as leftist lawmakers barricade Congress

By E. Eduardo Castillo
ASSOCIATED PRESS
4:13 p.m. April 14, 2008

MEXICO CITY – Leftist lawmakers erected makeshift barricades Monday around the podium in Mexico's lower house of Congress, where they have been camped out for more than five days to protest the president's oil reform proposal.

They piled heavy chairs around the speaker's platform, while their colleagues in the Senate began fasting to demand that Congress schedule a 4-month national debate on the energy bill backed by President Felipe Calderón. They have not said what such a debate would entail.

Seeking to end the takeover, senators with Calderón's National Action Party, or PAN, and the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, offered later Monday to compromise and debate the issue for 50 days.

“The uninterrupted 50-day term is broad enough for everyone to be heard,” said PRI Sen. Manlio Fabio Beltrones. The Democratic Revolution Party, or PRD, which is leading the protests, did not immediately respond.

The coordinator for the PAN in the Senate, Santiago Creel, said it was unlikely Congress would be able to approve the bill by April 30, when the legislative session ends.

Oil production in Mexico, one of the top suppliers to the United States, is declining, and reform advocates say state oil company Petroleos Mexicanos, or Pemex, needs outside resources to explore for reserves. The bill would allow Pemex to partner with private companies for exploration and refining.

Opponents claim the bill would lead toward selling off parts of Pemex and threaten national sovereignty.

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