Saturday, January 13, 2007


Mexico, January 13, 2007

Into the ongoing controversy (think Nedra Pickler) as to whether the Associated Press acts as an organ of the US Government in general and the Republican Party in particular is thrown this tidbit, the AP correspondent in Oaxaca, Rebeca Romero denied she was an agent of the Oaxaca government-- on her website which is supported by ads by the Oaxaca government. Ms. Romero says, in rebuttal that "I have always done my work with grand professionalism" which she has apparently demonstrated by disappearing her website rather than answer the conflict of interest charge. Oaxaca is still under lockdown and big marches are still going on. But my sense is that people on all sides are exhausted and want to see what happens. A Mixtecan community has, however, seceded by creating an autonomous municipality which they are calling San Juan Copala. The price of tortillas continues to skyrocket, supposedly because the US has had a poor corn harvest. Image below from Guadalupe Perea of La Jornada. Permalink unavailable Anti-narcotics operations may be connected with the kidnapping and extortion of about a million dollars from petroleum trade unionists, including the Secretary General of Section 42 of the Oilworkers union (STPRM) Luis Gerardo Pérez Sánchez. Something like 900-1500 troops arrived in Culiacan, Sinaloa for "routine" movements. The Secretary of Security in Guanajuato said there had been "very pwoerful" anti-narcotics operations in Colima, Guanajuato, Jalisco, Nayarit, Aguascalientes and Querétaro.
The price of tortillas continues to skyrocket, supposedly because the US has had a poor corn harvest.

The harvest actually wasn't that bad, considering the drought conditions prevailing over much of the US. And corn farmers had been overproducing for decades to try to use volume to counter high production costs. The recent ethanol boom is temporarily tightening supplies, but once farmers switch more acreage out of soybean production (of which we have too much anyway) that won't be an issue. (Still, corn ethanol isn't a long-term energy solution, but switchgrass just might be.)
The official explanation is ridiculous. In addition to the factors you cite, the price is skyrocketing because federally-subsidized US corn has been driving Mexican farmers off the land and replacing productive acreage with tourist villas. So, if the price rises, there's no local supply to fill the gap.

It's a total flustercuck.
The official explanation is ridiculous.

That's exactly it. The price increase of US corn is only just now starting to make itself felt to US livestock producers; it hasn't had time to impact the Mexican market yet. Somebody is doing some price gouging on the Mexican side of the border.
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