¡Border Boom! Drug Money, EVs, and Cultural Shifts

Inside the drug money scandal, Latino voter shift, EV revolution, and baseball legend Roberto Clemente

What’s New This Week

Good Morning, this week we're covering the political shift among Latino voters, a bombshell report revealing how Mexican drug traffickers may have funneled millions into AMLO’s presidential campaign, the electric vehicle revolution challenging USMCA's automotive dominance, and the cultural fusion redefining the border. We're also delving into the legacy of Roberto Clemente, and the latest developments in US-Mexico relations. From politics to culture, we've got you covered. Let's dive in!

The Quick Courier

  1. Biden's support among working-class Latino and Black voters dips, raising alarms for his 2024 campaign. This decline is attributed to economic concerns and a lack of impactful outreach, which could jeopardize his standing in key battleground states. Read more

  2. Did Drug Traffickers Fund López Obrador’s Presidential Campaign?
    U.S. DEA agents uncovered evidence suggesting that Mexican drug traffickers funneled $2 million into Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s 2006 presidential campaign in exchange for promises of leniency if he won. Read more

  3. Hollywood Stars Invest in Necaxa Soccer Team: Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney have invested in Mexico's Necaxa soccer team, joining other stars like Eva Longoria. Read more

  4. Texas Faces Water Crisis Amid Treaty Dispute with Mexico: Texas lawmakers demand Biden pressure Mexico to fulfill its water treaty obligations, crucial for saving the state's agriculture from severe drought. Read more

  5. Earthquakes Shake Southern California and Mexico Border: A series of earthquakes, including a magnitude 4.8 quake, struck near the U.S.-Mexico border, rattling San Diego and surrounding areas. Residents reported feeling multiple tremors, but no major damage has been reported​. Read more

  6. Aeroméxico Files for U.S. IPO Amid Expansion Plans: Mexican airline Grupo Aeroméxico has filed for a U.S. IPO as part of its recovery from bankruptcy and a $5 billion investment plan. Read more

  7. Dangerous Stem Cell Treatments in Mexico Lead to Drug-Resistant Infections: Several U.S. patients who traveled to Mexico for unapproved stem cell treatments developed highly drug-resistant infections, sparking a public health investigation. Experts warn about the risks of medical tourism and emphasize the need for patients to seek approved treatments. Read more

  8. 11 Chinese Nationals Arrested in Mexico City Nightclub Raid: A raid on a Mexico City nightclub led to the arrest of 11 Chinese nationals involved in illicit activities. The operation was part of a broader crackdown on illegal immigration and crime in the city. Read more

Trade Winds

Electric Shock: China's EV Invasion Challenges USMCA's Automotive Dominance


The electric vehicle (EV) market is experiencing a significant shift, with Chinese manufacturers like BYD, Xpeng, and Nio making inroads in Mexico and Latin America. This surge in competition is putting pressure on the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement's (USMCA) ambitious automotive rules of origin, which aim to promote regional auto production and supply chains.

USMCA's Automotive Rules Under Scrutiny

The USMCA's rules, which took full effect in 2024, require 75% of a vehicle's components to be sourced from North America to qualify for duty-free trade benefits. However, Chinese EVs are frequently cheaper than comparable North American models when imported into Mexico, thanks to China's massive supply chain scale and lower costs. This poses a dilemma for Mexico, as it must choose between facilitating cheaper EV adoption by granting Chinese imports duty-free access or upholding the trade deal's automotive rules and risking lost sales to Chinese competitors.

Tesla's Sales Slowdown and the Rise of Chinese EV Competition

Tesla's recent sales slowdown and production cuts have added to the uncertainty. The EV giant has invested heavily in upgrading its facilities to comply with USMCA's labor and content provisions, but its sales have been impacted by cheaper Chinese rivals gaining market traction. This one-two punch of Chinese competition and Tesla's sales downturn undermines the premises of the USMCA's auto rules, which assumed higher wages and local content would be offset by productivity gains and established automakers would willingly bear higher costs to regionalize production.

Implications for Detroit Automakers

The situation is also problematic for Detroit giants like GM and Ford, which are betting big on EVs. Their electric models compliant with USMCA's rules are already costlier, and if cheaper Chinese rivals continue gaining share through Mexico's market access, it threatens to starve critical revenue streams they're counting on to fund transitions to electric fleets.

Short-Term Challenges and Long-Term Opportunities

In the short term, the rise of Chinese EVs poses significant challenges for USMCA's automotive ambitions. However, proponents argue that the deal will catalyze new battery, semiconductor, and EV supply chains across North America, enhancing the region's competitiveness in the long run. To maintain the deal's integrity, both the U.S. and Mexico may face unpalatable choices ahead, including easing content requirements or doubling down on upholding USMCA rules.


The rise of Chinese EVs is providing an unexpected early stress test of USMCA's revamped rules for anchoring automotive production in North America in the new electric age of mobility. As the EV market continues to evolve, it remains to be seen how the U.S. and Mexico will navigate these challenges and opportunities to ensure a resilient and sustainable trade relationship.

Power Move

Chemicals, Cartels, and Geopolitics: Unraveling China's Influence on Mexico's Drug Trade

China Main Supplier of Precursor Chemicals for Fentanyl

The Chemical Connection:

China's dominance as the primary supplier of precursor chemicals for fentanyl and amphetamines produced in Mexico has raised red flags over its economic leverage. This chemical lifeline enables Mexican drug cartels to manufacture and distribute deadly drugs, fueling the opioid crisis and other addiction woes in the United States.

Geopolitical Tensions:

The U.S. seeks law enforcement cooperation from Mexico and China to combat drug trafficking, but geopolitical tensions have hampered efforts. China subordinates law enforcement to its strategic rivalry with the U.S., making cooperation a casualty of their great power competition.

The Economic Squeeze:

China's economic influence on Mexico's drug trade is a double-edged sword. While it provides a vital supply chain for drug cartels, it also gives China significant leverage over Mexico's economy. This raises concerns about China's growing economic presence in Latin America and its potential to undermine regional stability.

Our Take:

To effectively combat drug trafficking, the U.S. must navigate the complex geopolitical landscape and find creative solutions to overcome China's reluctance to cooperate. This might involve diplomatic efforts to isolate China's economic interests from law enforcement cooperation or exploring alternative supply chain disruptions. Mexico, too, must balance its economic ties with China against its security concerns and U.S. relations.

The Investment Takeaway:

As the drug trade continues to pose significant security risks, investors must consider the geopolitical dynamics at play. China's economic influence on Mexico's drug trade is a reminder that economic leverage can have far-reaching consequences. Investors should prioritize partnerships that prioritize security, transparency, and cooperation to mitigate these risks.

The Playing Field

The Legacy of Roberto Clemente: A Trailblazer On and Off the Field

Roberto Clemente

Roberto Clemente was more than just a baseball player. He was a symbol of hope, a beacon of pride, and a shining example of humanity. As we reflect on his life and legacy, we are reminded of the profound impact he had on the world of sports and beyond.

Early Life and Career:

Born in Puerto Rico in 1934, Clemente grew up in a humble household with a passion for baseball. He began his professional career at 18 and quickly rose through the ranks, becoming one of the first Latino players in Major League Baseball.

Achievements and Accolades:

Clemente's impressive career spanned 18 seasons, earning him numerous accolades, including:

  • 4 Gold Glove Awards

  • 12 All-Star Game appearances

  • 3,000 hits club member

  • National Baseball Hall of Fame inductee (1973)

Humanitarian Work:

Clemente's dedication to helping others was just as impressive as his athletic achievements. He worked tirelessly to support causes in his native Puerto Rico and beyond, including:

  • Building schools and hospitals

  • Providing aid to natural disaster victims

  • Supporting Latino youth baseball programs


Roberto Clemente's legacy extends far beyond his impressive stats and awards. He paved the way for future generations of Latino athletes, broke down cultural barriers, and inspired countless individuals with his selflessness and compassion.


As we celebrate the life and legacy of Roberto Clemente, we honor not only his remarkable achievements but also his unwavering commitment to making a positive impact on the world. He remains an icon, a role model, and a shining example of the power of sports to transform lives and communities.


Let us remember Roberto Clemente's wisdom: "If you have a chance to make a difference, make it." His life was a testament to the enduring power of sports, compassion, and humanity. ¡Viva Clemente!

The Border Buzz

Bites Without Borders: The Rise of Fusion Cuisine

U.S.-Mexico Fusion Cuisine

Food lovers rejoice! Our taste buds are in for a treat as we explore the exciting world of U.S.-Mexico fusion cuisine. This culinary trend isn't new – Tex-Mex has been around for decades. But recently, chefs are taking things to a whole new level, creating innovative dishes that celebrate the vibrant flavors of both cultures.

Think beyond the classic taco. Imagine Baja fish tacos with chipotle crema or a juicy mole poblano burger with melty Oaxaca cheese. Fusion creations like chorizo and cornbread stuffing or smoky chipotle mac and cheese are taking kitchens by storm. Food trucks are also at the forefront of this movement, offering unique and delicious options like kimchi quesadillas or Korean BBQ burritos.

This culinary exchange is more than just a delicious trend. Food is a powerful bridge between cultures, bringing people together through shared experiences. As we savor these innovative dishes, we celebrate the rich tapestry woven by the United States and Mexico. So, next time you're craving something new, seek out a fusion restaurant or food truck. Your taste buds will thank you, and you might just discover a new favorite dish!

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