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Fears for Mexico’s economy grow as the peso nears the 20 to the dollar mark

Mexican peso hits 20-to-the-dollar mark.

Mexican peso hits 20-to-the-dollar mark.

A bank in Mexico City displays the dollar exchange rate on Sept. 22. (Yuri Cortez / AFP/Getty Images)

Patrick J. McDonnell and Cecilia Sanchez

The battered Mexican peso has tumbled to historic new lows in recent days, nearing a psychological barrier of 20 pesos to the U.S. dollar and causing anxiety on the streets, at businesses and in the halls of government.

Among other factors, many point to the recent rise in U.S. presidential polls of Donald Trump, the Republican nominee who has vowed to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and has been widely accused here of Mexico-bashing. 

“There is a very clear relation with the [U.S.] electoral process,” Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto told Radio Formula last week, linking Trump’s improved standings in the polls to the peso’s doldrums.

The Mexican currency plunged to a record low of about 19.90 to the dollar last week and has hovered near 20 to the dollar for days. Exchange houses are already posting signs offering a 20-peso exchange rate, a jarring sight for many here.

Despite official declarations downplaying the devaluation, some analysts are warning that things could get worse and assailing what they call government inaction.

“It appears that the authorities in charge of the politics, economics and finances of the country are flummoxed, paralyzed by the magnitude of the devaluation,” wrote columnist Enrique Galvan Ochoa in Mexico’s La Jornada newspaper.  “And the effects of the phenomenon could extend to the large companies of the private sector, deeply indebted in dollars.”

Peña Nieto, already facing record-low approval ratings, lamented that many Mexicans view a falling peso as “synonymous with a crisis.”

But the president told Radio Formula, “This cannot be associated with an economic crisis.”

He blamed external factors for the current “volatility,” singling out the “enormous uncertainty” of the upcoming U.S. presidential elections and polls showing Trump gaining ground.

Economists cite a number of other causes, including the drop in oil prices since mid-2014, Mexico’s generally sluggish growth and predictions of a U.S. interest rate hike.

Whatever the reasons, the plummeting peso has generated considerable concern. As the president noted, many here inevitably link a decline in the currency’s value in relation to the dollar as an indicator of economic distress — even an impending economic meltdown.

The peso has dropped almost 14% in value against the dollar this year and nearly 50% since September 2014.

“This is worrying because in Mexico, history and experience tell us that very strong economic crises follow when the peso weakens against the dollar,” said Pedro Mendez, 63, a retiree. “Of course the government says not to be concerned. But they rob with open hands!”

It appears that the authorities in charge of the politics, economics and finances of the country are flummoxed. — Enrique Galvan Ochoa, columnist

While inflation officially remains low — beneath the central bank’s 3% annual target—many here complain of fast-rising prices of food and other basic items, stretching already strained family budgets.

“Prices have been rising for months,” said Rosa Maria Tellez, a nurse and mother of three. “Now you go to the supermarket and pay double, or leave with half the products you could have bought a year ago. This business with the dollar will only make it worse. … Everyone raises their prices and says it’s because the dollar increased in value.”

Alberta Torres, 56, who sells food from a street stand, says customers are purchasing less these days, complaining that their salaries are not sufficient.

“The economic situation is worse every day. We don’t have enough money in our pockets,” said Torres. “One has to go in debt and borrow to finish off the month.”

But not everyone here is bemoaning the peso’s decline.

For the multitudes of Mexicans who depend on remittances — dollars sent home by expatriate Mexican citizens residing in the United States and elsewhere — the devaluation has represented something of a windfall. The stronger dollar means they receive more pesos for every buck sent home.

“In the last few months since the dollar increased in value, we are doing a lot better,” said Maria Rosa Beltran, 45, who spoke in front of a Mexico City Western Union outlet, destination of many who regularly collect money wired from the U.S.

Her husband and son are field workers in North Carolina, Beltran explained, and each month they send between $800 and $1,000 to her in Mexico. Some of the extra cash is going into building a new house for her son.

“We are receiving more money in pesos, and I’m very happy,” said Beltran. “My son wants to come back to Mexico and marry and have his children here.”

Also pleased with the higher payout is Georgina Torres, 44, a domestic worker and mother of three whose husband sends about $600 home each month from a job waiting tables in California.

“Now with the extra money I can buy my kids clothes, sneakers, school uniforms — things that I couldn’t purchase for them normally,” said Torres, who also spoke outside the Western Union outlet.

“But we also have to save: We don’t know if this is going to continue or not. My husband says if Trump wins, things will likely get more difficult, and he may have to come back here.”


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mex-cowboysThe Mystic of Traditional Mexican Cowboys

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The prostheses project was started in 1996 by Jackie Jackson, from Enderby, B.C., and in 2008, the cause was adopted by La Penita RV Park residents who are committed to providing this much needed service.

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• You can donate supplies (bras, wigs, prosthetics etc.);

• You can sponsor an event/fundraiser to inform the public about the clinic and its needs;

• You can host a garage sale, sell lemonade or books, or do any other thing you can think of to help raise funds for this year’s clinic;

• You can donate funds directly to the organization.

Once you’ve decided on a way to assist, just visit CancerDeMamaClinic.com and fill out the contact form to let them know what you’d like to help with.

To date, this non-profit clinic has provided over 3000 breast cancer survivors from all over the State of Nayarit, and from as far away as Guadalajara, Jalisco, with bras, prothesis, wigs, hats, love, compassion, hope and encouragement.

In addition to the free services at the clinic, the organization also works with local doctors to coordinate assistance with rent, food and medical care for cancer patients. They also distribute free brochures on self-examination and after-surgery physical therapy (in Spanish) to the medical community throughout the entire state of Nayarit.

To learn more about the non-profit Cancer de Mama organization and how you can help make the 2017 clinic a success, please visit the updated Cancer de Mama Clinic website.

 
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.What you need to know

The following is taken from Mexperience.com

You need Mexico car insurance because it’s required and US /Canadian insurance coverage stops at the Mexican border. Every year Mexico implements stricter laws for uninsured motorists, meaning not having it can cost you money due to damage/loss to your vehicle, fines and more
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http://quote.mexpro.com/quote/?aff_id=9804&agtdst=&office_code=

Mexican Auto insurance You Can Trust if you ever get into an accident in Mexico

Insuring Your Car in Mexico
Although your U.S./Canadian car insurance policy may be comprehensive, and might also extend some limited damage coverage in Mexico, you will still need to purchase policy that is legally valid in Mexico.
U.S. and Canadian auto insurance policies, however comprehensive, hold no legal jurisdiction in Mexico. This means that you must buy separate insurance cover for your car while you’re driving in Mexico if you want to travel with complete peace of mind.

If you are driving your car improperly insured in Mexico and you become involved in an accident it will, at best, cost you a lot of money and, at worst, leave you imprisoned in a Mexican jail house. Presenting a U.S. or Canadian auto insurance policy will be of no use because these documents have no legal or actual force in Mexico, and the companies backing them will not settle any claim arising when you or your car are situated south of the border.
Drivers who are involved in serious accidents in Mexico are usually arrested pending investigation. If you are not properly insured in Mexico and become involved in a serious accident—even if it’s not your fault—these procedures will likely place a great deal of stress and financial burden upon you.
This guide explains how insurance works in Mexico and how to go about buying the additional insurance protection you need to ensure that you, your passengers, and your vehicle are properly insured when driving on Mexican soil and that, in the event of a serious accident, you are properly covered by a legally-valid and adequate insurance policy.
Mexican Auto Insurance
Mexican Law stipulates that only insurance companies which are licensed in Mexico can provide the type of auto insurance coverage that is recognized and accepted by Mexico’s legal system.
A few U.S.-based insurance companies will extend physical damage coverage on cars and RVs while they are situated in Mexico, but they cannot and do not provide Mexican liability insurance. So, although these policies may cover your damage, they will not cover your liability to others in Mexico. This is why a special insurance policy is absolutely necessary to be properly insured in Mexico.
Mexican Insurance Companies
Mexican Law also stipulates that liability insurance must be purchased from a licensed Mexican company, so your auto insurance policy necessarily needs to be issued by one of Mexico’s insurance companies, or through a broker in the U.S./Canada working in conjuction with a Mexican insurance company.
Who’s Insuring You?
Buyers purchasing insurance for their car in Mexico are often times misled by believing that they can rely on the broker, rather than the Mexican Insurance Company, to properly handle any claim that may arise during their stay in Mexico.
The insurance company underwriting your policy is much more important than the Broker that sells you the policy.
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