La Migra – The Senate Judiciary Committee passed the so-called Gang-of-Eight’s immigration reform bill 13-5, which includes a path to citizenship. After surviving a flurry of amendments intended to water the bill down, the bill now goes to the Senate floor where Republican Senators face the choice of angering their base or further alienating Hispanic voters. An immigration bill is also expected to be introduced to the House of Representatives in June.
Negocios – Nestle has opened a 130 million dollar expansion of its instant coffee factory in Toluca, boosting its capacity by 30 percent. The new factory includes a biomass boiler that will allow the plant to produce 60 percent of its electricity needs by burning used coffee grounds. Buried at the end of that link is some disturbing news about falling productivity and a fungus from Central America threatening Mexico’s coffee production.
Michoacan – Mexico’s federal government has sent soldiers into western Michoacan to help towns dominated by the cartel known as the Knights Templar. Many towns have set up their own vigilante groups to fight the cartel. Though we didn’t see any overt signs of the cartels while we were in Michoacan, the difficulty in finding open restaurants and the numerous deserted sandy beaches along Highway 200 were clues.