Carrie Kahn

In Mexico, where less than 5% of the population has received a COVID-19 vaccine dose, the rich and well-connected have found a faster way to get their hands on one: travel north.

Some Mexicans with family ties or dual citizenship in the United States, or who just can afford the airfare, are heading to the U.S. to get vaccinated faster than the many months of waiting for one back home.

U.S. tourists aren't welcome in most countries around the world because of the high number of coronavirus cases surging in the United States. But at least one country is keeping its borders open: Mexico. And many Americans, keen to escape the cold or lockdowns, are flocking to its stunning beaches.

On a recent weekend in Cabo San Lucas, one of Mexico's top tourist destinations, Sharlea Watkins and her friends downed beers at a restaurant overlooking the city's marina.

The U.S. Department of Justice is seeking to drop charges against a former Mexican defense secretary, the highest-ranking Mexican official ever arrested for alleged drug trafficking, so that he "may be investigated and, if appropriate, charged, under Mexican law."

Mexico's president says he's not ready to send felicitaciones to President-elect Joe Biden, saying he wants to wait for U.S. authorities to certify Biden formally as the victor.

"We cannot meddle in the politics of other countries. ... We have to be respectful," President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said Monday at his regular morning news conference.

Democratic lawmakers are demanding more information from the Trump administration about an incident in January in which U.S. agents working in Guatemala rounded up U.S.-bound Honduran migrants and transported them back to the Guatemala-Honduras border.

In yet another Trump-era break with longstanding tradition, it now seems all but certain that the Inter-American Development Bank will be led by a non-Latin American citizen. Mauricio Claver-Carone, a Cuban-American who is President Trump's top adviser on Latin America at the National Security Council and his nominee to head the bank, is the sole candidate for the job.

Cuba's communist leaders appear to be ready to make good on long promised reforms to the island's state-controlled economy, which has been in a tailspin since the coronavirus lockdown began in March.

Even before the pandemic, the economy was in recession, suffering from reduced Venezuelan subsidies and escalating Trump administration sanctions. Then in March, Cuba banned all air and sea travel to the island, cutting off tourism — a major source of hard currency for the government.

At first glance, a video circulating on Mexican social media this month appears to show a boisterous unit of security forces. For more than two minutes, the camera pans across a line of masked men in combat fatigues, stretching down a rural road. Some stand beside armored vehicles painted in camouflage colors, firing military-grade weapons into the air. Others peer out of makeshift turrets atop the vehicles.

Near downtown Mexico City, Cristian Corte sells tacos and gorditas at a makeshift stand outside a metro stop. He pulls down his thin paper mask, anxious to vent his anger about the Mexican president's upcoming trip to Washington, D.C.

"I want him to tell Trump to stop stepping all over us and to treat everyone as equals," says Corte.

On Friday, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador appeared to be talking to Mexicans like Corte, skeptical of his visit on Wednesday and Thursday to the White House.

Mexico's government has announced a nationwide lifting of coronavirus social distancing measures — with the exception of areas marked as red zones. Making the announcement virtually meaningless, a government map shows nearly the entire country marked in red.

Pages