You choose, we deliver
If you are interested in this story, you might be interested in others from The Journal Gazette. Go to and pick the subjects you care most about. We'll deliver your customized daily news report at 3 a.m. Fort Wayne time, right to your email.


  • Americans detained in North Korea call for US help
    PYONGYANG, North Korea – North Korea gave foreign media access on Monday to three detained Americans who said they have been able to contact their families and – watched by officials as they spoke – called for Washington to send a
  • UN diplomats examine Islamic State alleged crimes
    The U.N.’s top human rights body is being asked to investigate the alleged crimes against civilians committed by the Islamic State group in its rampage across northeastern Syria and northern and western Iraq.
  • Activists: Heavy clashes in Syria’s Golan Heights
    Activists say Syrian rebels are clashing with government troops in the Golan Heights near the border with Israel, where al-Qaida-linked insurgents abducted U.N. peacekeepers last week.

Mexico Senate approves major political reforms

– Mexico’s Senate has passed the most dramatic political reform attempt in decades that would allow re-election of federal legislators, create new election oversight and make the Attorney General’s office independent from the executive.

The Senate approved the overall reform late Tuesday, but continued to debate certain details early Wednesday. The reform measure still has to be approved by the lower House.

With Tuesday’s vote, the Senate will move on to energy reform and attempts to open Mexico’s moribund, state-run oil industry to greater private investment – considered the most critical part of the reform package that President Enrique Pena Nieto is pushing to have passed before the end of this year.

The political reform would still limit presidents to a single, six-year term, but it would relax Mexico’s ironclad ban on the re-election of other officials by allowing them to run for re-election and remain in office for up to 12 years. It also would allow independent candidates to run for public offices.

Allowing re-election of lawmakers and mayors would give party bosses less control over politicians’ futures. Letting independent candidates run would erode the parties’ control over elections, according to supporters. Under the Senate’s proposal, re-elections would be allowed starting in 2018.

The bill also authorizes Mexico’s Federal Electoral Institute, which will change its name to the National Electoral Institute, to name the president and members of each of the 32 states’ electoral institutes. State congresses currently name them.

Most of Mexico’s 32 states are ruled by members of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, and opposition leaders say governors have a lot of influence on local congresses, and therefore the electoral authorities.

Senators also approved giving autonomy to the Attorney General’s office and requiring that the Senate approve the candidate to top prosecutor proposed by the president.

The plan also proposes allowing ng small parties that get at least 3 percent of the vote to qualify for lucrative public funding, up from the current 2 percent.