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.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Mexico protests snag government's oil reform plans

By Catherine Bremer

REUTERS

10:07 a.m. April 15, 2008

MEXICO CITY – Mexican leftists have stormed Congress and taken to the streets in a campaign that could force President Felipe Calderón to dilute his plans to allow foreign companies a bigger role in the oil industry.

Calderón had hoped to rush through a law this month to boost private investment in the oil sector to help Mexico seek new crude reserves in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

He has the backing of some opposition members in the divided Congress but a backlash of left-wing protests has now delayed a vote until after this month.

Even Calderón's conservative National Action Party, or PAN, admits the bill, which makes it easier for state oil firm Pemex to ally with private firms in the search for oil, will not be voted on before Congress breaks for the summer April 30.

Leftist lawmakers from the Party of the Democratic Revolution, or PRD, have seized the podiums of both houses of Congress and are even sleeping there to prevent a quick debate and vote on the bill.

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Mexican lawmakers shift sessions to alternate location as protests block chambers

By Mark Stevenson

ASSOCIATED PRESS

1:12 p.m. April 15, 2008

MEXICO CITY – Both houses of Mexico's Congress had to find new homes on Tuesday, avoiding a clash with left-leaning legislators who blockaded their chambers to hold off the president's energy reform bill.

Senate leader Santiago Creel said it was the first time in recent history that the body had been forced to hold sessions away from its ornate chambers. The last time the lower house abandoned its halls was in 1989, because of a fire.

Lawmakers from the leftist Democratic Revolution Party seized the podiums of both houses on Thursday and set up a round-the-clock protest of President Felipe Calderón's proposal to ease limits on private involvement in oil exploration and production.

The protesters say that will lead to selling off part of Mexico's state oil company and they demand a national debate on the bill before it is considered by Congress.

The Senate held a brief, largely symbolic session in a cramped auditorium just down the street from the Senate building. Creel said the move preserved the dignity of the Senate and “averted the risk of violence in the congressional chambers.”

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