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How newly arrived migrants in the US contribute to reducing inflation


Highlights: Axios Latino looks at the "tense calm" in Ecuador's battle against violence. Authorities have arrested more than 10,000 people and seized record amounts of cocaine since launching an offensive against criminal groups in January. Experts worry that such anti-violence measures are not sustainable in the long term. Andrés Manuel López Obrador's actions are worrying before the elections in Mexico, according to complaints specialists to Axios Latino. The Mexican president defended that he has a "political right" to expose personal information of those who work in the media.

Also, in the Axios Latino newsletter, behind the "tense calm" in Ecuador after two months of internal conflict, and why López Obrador's actions are worrying before the elections.



Axios Latino is the newsletter that summarizes the key news for Latino communities throughout the hemisphere every Tuesday and Thursday.

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1. The topic to highlight: The "tense calm" in Ecuador's battle against violence

Authorities in Ecuador have arrested more than 10,000 people and seized record amounts of cocaine since launching an offensive against criminal groups in January, but experts consulted by Axios Latino worry that such anti-violence measures are not sustainable in the long term. . 


: Violence in the South American nation, long described as a peaceful "oasis," has skyrocketed in recent years due to criminal gangs that have grown stronger thanks to international ties and income from cocaine trafficking.

This has contributed to more Ecuadorians emigrating, turning local insecurity into a regional issue.

  • After several brazen criminal attacks in early January, the president, Daniel Noboa (who had been in office for just over a month), declared an internal armed conflict and an initially 60-day state of emergency to mobilize more security forces. .

In his own words

: "In the short term we have seen positive consequences of this approach," says Will Freeman, a Latin America researcher at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Freeman points to official data indicating that homicides fell from 27 to 11 a day in late January.

  • "But there are a couple of things that make it not so sustainable and that are a cause for concern," he adds, among them that "the demand for cocaine" abroad is not something that Noboa can have much influence over.

Another major problem

 is that Ecuador's economy is not at its best (very low growth is forecast), and the deployment of security forces is costly.

  • Noboa is trying to solve this financial challenge with a bill to increase taxes, including VAT, which could hit Ecuadorians hard.

    Lawmakers first rejected the proposal, but are now debating a similar new bill.

  • "Many people are willing to [accept] this tax increase, as long as those funds go to the fight against organized crime," says Beatriz García, an analyst in Guayaquil and researcher at the Wilson Center. 

  • "There is a tense calm in the country, because we really don't know what is going to happen in terms of how the criminal gangs are going to react now," he adds, "I think that is the key issue, seeing how Ecuador is going to continue and support the type of measures".


: The security situation is being felt regionally and in the United States, where arrivals at the border with Mexico increased 300% between fiscal years 2022 and 2023.

  • Noboa has sought to strengthen regional alliances, says García.

  • For example, Ecuador signed this month with Bolivia, Peru and Colombia an agreement to create the 24/7 Andean Security Network, to exchange information on the actions of criminal gangs and have a joint database of biometric data on suspects.

  • Ecuador also has a military cooperation agreement with the US, signed in October, for US troops to train their Ecuadorian counterparts.

    The United States also sent equipment such as bulletproof vests and ambulances in January. 

To watch

: Noboa is organizing a referendum with 11 questions for voters, including whether the country should resume extraditions, add more military checkpoints on roads leading to prisons, increase sentences for certain crimes and facilitate seizure of suspects' assets.

  • The referendum is scheduled for April 21. 

  • Note: some families have begun to report in recent weeks that there is exaggerated mistreatment of recently detained people, whose access to medication in prison is allegedly being restricted.

    In mid-April, a judge ordered an investigation into whether this is the case.

2. The consequences of AMLO's actions

The Mexican president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, defended that he has a "political right" to expose personal information of journalists, which illustrates the security problems of those who work in the media and activists in the country in the face of presidential elections, according to complaints specialists to Axios Latino.

Why it matters

: Mexico has long been one of the deadliest countries in which to practice journalism.

  • "Not only is it lethal violence—we have a record of murdered journalists—but it is also intimidation in a country where a journalist is attacked every 16 hours," says Mariana Suárez, protection coordinator in the Mexico and Central America office of the defense group Article 19.

  • "And we have historically documented that, when elections approach, the level of attacks on the press increases considerably," he adds.

  • Suárez indicates that in most cases public officials at all levels are involved, not just criminals.

News boost

: Last week, López Obrador read aloud the cell phone number of a New York Times reporter at his widely publicized morning press conference in which he usually speaks non-stop for hours, sometimes refuting statistics with what he calls "other data."

  • The reporter, Natalie Kitroeff, had written to the presidential office for comment, as is standard practice, before publishing a report that US authorities had investigated people close to López Obrador on suspicion that they met with alleged leaders. of cartels to obtain campaign money in 2018, the year the president was elected.

  • The ProPublica media also published a report in January about a similar investigation by US authorities, but regarding López Obrador's presidential campaign in 2006.

  • The president assures that both reports are slander.

Mexican law

 specifies that authorities are obliged to protect personal data and act so that others cannot infringe on people's private information.

  • When criticized for sharing Kitroeff's cell phone number (given that cell phones are not public information), López Obrador said on Friday that "above the transparency law is the moral authority, the political authority."

    He also stated that reporting on risks for journalists in Mexico only "is an association linked to vested interest groups."

Yes, but

: When Claudia Sheinbaum, the presidential candidate of López Obrador's party, and one of the president's sons said this weekend that they received threatening messages after their cell phone numbers were leaked, the president said that the disclosure of those phones was "shameful."

It is unknown who released the numbers.

Up close

: In January, data such as personal addresses and other sensitive information of more than 300 journalists who had shared that information with the Mexican presidency to request press credentials were also leaked.

  • The AMLO Government admitted that the data was taken from presidential servers, and argued that the leak was only to try to make the president look bad, without talking about the possible effects on journalists.

  • "Today we have no clarity as to what the investigations are about or what is going to be done about it so that a leak like this does not occur again," highlights Suárez.  

3. Immigrants

 in the US, to the rescue of the labor market

Immigrants are joining the workforce at higher levels than the historical average in the United States, helping employers who were struggling to fill jobs;

promoting the creation of new jobs as entrepreneurs;

and contributing to reducing inflation, according to an analysis.

General overview

: People born outside the United States make up almost 19% of workers in the country, compared to 17.3% four years ago, when Joe Biden arrived at the White House.

  • An analysis by the Congressional Budget Office concluded that the increase in immigration could contribute to 1.7 million more workers by the end of the year.

  • These newcomers could thus help the US economy grow by $7 trillion by 2034, according to the report.

  • Many economists (including Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell) argue that immigration helps with inflation issues.

    "It has unquestionably helped stem it," Betsey Stevenson, an economist at the University of Michigan, told Axios reporters Hans Nichols and Stef W. Kight.

Up Close

: More than three million immigrants who have arrived at the border since the Biden presidency began remain in the United States, many as asylum seekers with the legal right to work while their cases are resolved.

  • There are a million more who arrived through temporary parole


    that benefit immigrants from certain countries and that also include a work permit.

Between the lines

: Although these data seem favorable for the US economy, it seems unlikely that Biden will talk about the issue while campaigning towards the November presidential elections, due to the social perception that there is a security crisis on the border.

Campaign advisors who spoke with Axios reporters confirmed that it will not be an issue to highlight.

  • Former President Donald Trump, probable candidate of the Republican Party for the White House, is talking about the issue: he has said without providing evidence that the arrival of migrants causes salaries to fall and therefore affects workers born in the United States.

The fact:

Average hourly wages are rising above inflation;

The increase has been notable for lower-wage workers, according to data from the Atlanta Federal Reserve.

4. Summary of key news in Latin America and the Caribbean

1. Various Brazilian Government offices

 that are no longer in use will be converted into public housing, as announced this week by the president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

  • He said a report had found 3,700 vacant buildings and land not used for this program.

  • The number of homeless Brazilians has doubled in the last decade to around 227,000 in 2023, according to the latest official data.

Illustration: Natalie Peeples/Axios

2. Chile and Venezuela have a diplomatic dispute

over the disappearance of a former Venezuelan lieutenant who lived in Santiago apparently as a political exile.

  • Ronald Ojeda Moreno, 32, was charged in January

    by Caracas of being part of an alleged conspiracy for an alleged assassination attempt on Venezuelan leader Nicolás Maduro.

  • Last week, Ojeda was taken from his home by men wearing fake Chilean police uniforms that were later found discarded.

    Chile is investigating it as a kidnapping. 

5. Driving dreams

Daniela Parra went from taking apart toy cars as a child to making a living fixing Porsche brand vehicles.


: Parra, 20, is the only woman in Latin America employed as an automotive technical assistant for Porsche, according to the automobile company itself.

  • He works in Bogotá and is also studying his degree in mechanical engineering.

  • "You can't limit yourself by what they say," Parra told Telemundo about having received ridicule from some former acquaintances who questioned her ability to be a mechanic.

    "Sometimes when they distrust you the most is when you work the hardest to prove that it's not true," she added.

Thanks for reading us!

We return on Thursday.

And thanks to Carlos Cunha, Bruno García Gallo and Laurin-Whitney Gottbrath for helping review and edit.

If you want to share your experiences with us or send us suggestions and comments, send an email to


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