International view behind the eyes of a Regional Claims Manager

The Central Claims Manager, gives us her opinion about the most current issues that are happening nowadays and explains us in what consist her work and the problems she  can face at an international level.

She works in a Security Multinational Company as a Regional Claims Manager and her work consists in providing  technical assistance and training for Claims Managers and staff. She has two partners that help her, give guiadance, rules and establish best claims practices within the Claims offices in France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, UK/Ireland, Cezch Republic, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Hungary, Rumania,  Norway, Germany, USA and Canada. They also are in charge of deciding which claims have to be investigated for avoiding the fraud.

Nowadays she is working in a global project that consist in changing the working method applied in the officies with the aim of reducing costs. This project is focused in the policy of Costumers Centricity, where the clients will be more satisfied.They are also provinding  free assistance  for the costumers applying the  wording friendly policy with the aim of working better and faster  just in changing the way of working and reducing cost.

One example is that the costumers will find easier and more accesible applying the claims from the web page. Another example is making faster the period of paying a claim, if before took  10 days now it only takes 3 days.

The company is linked with Northamerica as the headquarter of their officies is located in USA. They receive the orders and projects from there. Every operation and every mandate comes out frome the Home Office.

To understand better the topical issues occuring in Northamerica, she gives us her perspective, about the missing of the mexican students she thinks that Mexico is a country with a lot of population in the federal district and in the guvernamental organizations that are corrupted. She believes that students have always had the ideas for future changes, the reivindicative voices and that they represent the innovation and that is why they wanted to keep them quiet.

Taking all the mexican corruption to her working ambit, when they have claims in Mexico they always have to question themselves if this claim is true or not. Maybe the document is true but the claim is not because it is very easy to get a death certificate. So they frequently have to ask for a second verification.

Another matter of concern is inmigration “The problem of inmigration that is happening in the US can be extrapolated to any part of the world” she said. Also added that inmigrants usually look for places where they feel confortable at the time of speaking. In US lenguage is not a wall but the proximity of the border in mexico is a facility. She said that “ Stoping this is practically impossible, they have to adopt measuresfor making the country more atractive and, consequently, make mexicans want to stay there and not leave their country”.

She claims that US policy is improvable. When she was asked about how can we improve the US policy she answered that one of the most important aspects that US policy have is to improve the health care service. She said “ It is surprising how a first power as US is able to invest in army and in every single global noble cause and the organization of their health care system is only accesible for that part of the population that have money”. She also thinks that the pension system and everything related with the social security is very poor compared with Europe.

Universities are also a very stressfull problem that the US policy has. “their prices are extremely high”she added. The price of one normal university in the US has nothing to do with the price of one of the best private universities in Europe.

Summarizing the question she said that they have to organize better and redistribute the budget of the social systems.

Finally she was asked about what kind of problems could she find when she face the US burocracy and she answered that they want to control everything and that they are very strict talking about burocracy, sometimes claims formulariesthat are useless and that do nothing apart from driving the costumers crazy. They have to write lots of formularies answering stupid questions. One example of this is when we arrive to the US airport and the questionary that we are somited. Those questions are useless “ if you are asked about commiting a crime, that person is not going to tell you: yes, I´m thinking about putting a bomb in a museum!”.

With this interview, we can se how different our cultures are but it also shows how close and similarwe are between each other after all. She works in a Multinational Company and she travels frequently  and has a specialized view about what is happening nowadays, and this opinion can help her in her dialy work projects.

By: Rita Soriano Marín

Mexico: massive concern of corruption in the case of the disappearances of forty-three students in Iguala

On September 26th 2014, forty-three Mexican students were kidnapped and likely murdered in Iguala, yet this case is still unresolved since only one remain has been identified as belonging to a student.

Around fifty persons including policemen, José Luis Abarca the former mayor of Iguala and his spouse, and members of the local drug cartel Guerreros Unidos have been charged with these kidnappings. Indeed, José Luis Abarca is accused of having ordered to the policemen to attack the students in order to prevent them from disrupting an event to promote his wife’s political ambitions. However, the inefficiency of the investigation has led to weeks of protests across Mexico against corruption and violence and has highlighted Mexico’s need for justice.

Pedro Pardo/AFP/Getty Images

Protesters confronting policemen on November 10th during the demonstrations at the Acapulco airport (Pedro Pardo/AFP/Getty Images)

According to the NGO Transparency International, Mexico is ranked 103 out of 175 countries based on how corrupt its public sector is perceived to be, zero being the highest corrupt country. As we can notice in the case of the missing students of Iguala, the Government is not doing enough to bring answers to the relatives of the victims. Indeed, despite the fact that independent Argentinians experts have highlighted the irregularities of the official investigation, the Attorney General of Mexico has concluded that the students have been first attacked by corrupt policemen and then sold to the drug cartel Guerreros Unidos that has murdered and burned them, but relatives of the victims accused the Government of trying to cover up a “State crime”. They denounce a web of corruption and an attempt to close the case further to the widespread and often violent protests that it has triggered.

NGOs such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have also questioned the official version and denounced the delays of the investigation which has been opened ten days after the students disappeared. José Miguel Vivanco, director of Human Rights Watch’s Americas division, denounced the “degradation in Mexico in areas such as justice, violence, observance of human rights, corruption and impunity”. Erika Guevara Rosas, Americas Director of Amnesty International stated “It is imperative that Mexico’s promises to respect human rights are not just government platitudes behind which a host of abuses can be committed with impunity.”

There is a deep judicial crisis in Mexico since 80 percent of homicides remain unsolved.This impunity has even led some Mexican human rights groups to ask the International Criminal Court to open an investigation into Mexican crimes against humanity. In a country where 40 percent of the federated States do not considerkidnapping as a crime, the violence is widespread. Actually, the International Crisis Group estimates that 47,000 to 70,000 people were killed in Mexico in drug war-related violences between 2006 and 2012 and thousands more have disappeared. Human Rights Watch affirms that state actors such as the army, the Navy and the police are often involved in such crimes.

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Comparison between the cartel-related homicides and all the homicides in Mexico between 2005 and 2012 (Latin America Report n°48 from March 2014 by the International Crisis Group)

In Mexico, it is not unusual that the proponents of the rule of law such as some activists, journalists and incorruptible judges, police officers and politicians become the target of violences which often end in murders.

Is there still hope for the Dominican Republic? Interview with Humberto Vallejo by Judith Esteve

Humberto Vallejo Cunillera, photo taken by Alex Bezdicek Zubeldia.

Humberto Vallejo Cunillera, photo taken by Alex Bezdicek Zubeldia.

Humberto Vallejo is a 22-year-old man who was born in Mexico but who moved, at the age of 13, with his parents and two younger sisters to the Dominican Republic, his mother’s native country.

He has got several poetry blogs. Each blog started with a big change in his writing style, when he felt he had progressed… “It’s curious, but each blog has more or less coincided with each girlfriend I’ve had. That’s why I think that each blog represents a period of my life”. One of them, “El Televisor”, ended up being quite well known by the circle of poets on the island.

When he turned 18, he started thinking about his future and although he was unsure about where he wanted to go or what he wanted to study one idea was clear to him: he wanted to leave the island and go and study abroad. For him, the Dominican Republic has a lot of shortcomings. “Politics, poor management and poverty have sunk the Dominican Republic into a culturally regrettable situation. Indeed few recognizable Dominicans have lived their whole careers on the island”, he said. He ended up jumping to the other side of the ocean and coming to Spain to “La Universidad de Navarra” in Pamplona to take a degree in History and Audiovisual Communication. He’s really passionate about what he is doing. Actually, while studying he is thinking more about art than on being able to be economically self-sufficient in the future. He would like to become a filmmaker although, “no sé cómo ni con qué pretexto” but he knows he will achieve it. He wants to live fully; he wants to become a proper artist. His greatest fear would be look back one day when he is in his 40s and regret every decision he should have taken but did not when he was younger.

We talked about the view people in countries such as Spain have towards Latin American nations like the Dominican Republic or even Mexico. From his viewpoint, it’s true that there is a distorted image of the latter which may be due to any or a combination of the following reasons, namely:

a) The ever-existing feeling of colonization found in both parts, ie, Spain and the Dominican Republic.

b) People’s tendency to exaggerate the more or less well-known precarious situation there is in Latin America.

He went on to say that those could possibly be the reasons why people here in Spain are inclined to think that “if you decide to go and live to the Dominican Republic you will dedicate yourself to collecting coconuts and if you go to Mexico you will be kidnapped by a drug cartel. But reality is very different to that.”

The actual fact is that the Dominican Republic ranks 105 out of 192 countries according to the Global competitiveness 2012/2013 report. This report measures the capacity of a country to use its resources, politics and institutions to ensure welfare and progress for its citizens.

This is reflected by the fact that out of a population of 9,500,000, 40,4% were living under the poverty threshold in 2011 which pushed 140,000 people to emigrate from the Dominican Republic between 2009 and 2013.

Besides, he honestly thinks that Latin America is synonymous with “miscegenation and inequality”. And although people within the Dominican Republic are aware of the situation, they decide to accept that things are and have always been that way; both the highest echelons of society as well as the lowest.

The Dominican Republic is a country that shouts out, “God, Homeland and Freedom”, as its covering letter. However, as far as Humberto is concerned, things are not quite like that. He supports that the “God” part still remains, meaning that the Dominican Republic is a very religious country. “Unlike European countries, new generations aren’t losing their faith. Of the 80 people that were in my class, 77 had their confirmation, myself being one of the three who didn’t.” Nevertheless, the “Homeland” part is totally different. He believes that, given the opportunity, every Dominican would switch their passport for a European Union or a US one. And the “freedom” part is a question of money and power; if you’ve got them, you can be free, as in so many other places.

Right now the president of the Dominican Republic is Danilo Medina. His government is an extension of the former president, Leonel Fernández’s mandate. He dedicated his government to grand construction projects, buying votes and promoting political corruption. Today the vice president of the country is his wife. But the main opposition is currently led by a former president under whose rule the biggest banking fraud in the history of the Dominican Republic took place.

When I asked him about his feeling towards all the promises the president has made, there was no hint of optimism. “The outlook is truly devastating; prosperity and social inclusion have not developed at all and in fact, they are getting worse. The quality of life is worse than it was when I first came to the island”. Nowadays the Dominican Republic has become a geographically strategic point for exporting drugs to Europe and poverty along with crime have increased. In fact today, Santo Domingo (the capital of the Dominican Republic) is militarized.

All these reasons show “the ugly truth”. Humberto has got two younger sisters, Vanessa (19) and Natalia (15), and the reality is that if they remain in the Dominican Republic they will not have the same opportunities as him due to the fact that the Dominican Republic does not provide its citizens with the same opportunities as a country like Spain does. When I asked him if he would switch the Dominican Republic for Spain he stated: “Sadly, yes.” And he added, “I am mad about life here in Spain. I love it”.

Judith Esteve Gúrpide.

Carlos Fuentes

The excelent crop of Latin American literature of the second half of the twentieth century can be summarized in a few names: the Colombian Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Mario Vargas Llosa, the Argentine Jorge Luis Borges and Julio Cortázar, the Cuban writer Alejo Carpentier, the Chilean Jose Donoso , the Mexican Octavio Paz and Carlos Fuentes … There are more writers worthy of inclusion in the roll of honor, of course, but could not miss any of the above. Carlos Fuentes, who died on May 15, 2012 at age 83 in Mexico City, his pulse was fashioned to put into it. Novelist, essayist, playwright, screenwriter, professor at the finest American and European universities, Fuentes knew his work reflect the spirit of Mexico, forged in the mixing and network complexities that entails. But not just that, at all times, Fuentes was a champion of freedom, both in terms of imagination and creative talent that permeates his works, including in relation to social engagement.

The literary career of Carlos Fuentes started about sixty years ago, in 1954 with the publication of his first book, On masked, which already reflected his attention to national identity. Reflects a concern that would find later, to varying degrees and in different genres, adding titles to your bibliography highlights: La región más transparente (1959), Terra Nostra (1975), Cristóbal Nonato (1987), Gringo viejo (1985)  and, of course, La muerte de Artemio Cruz (1962), undoubtedly one of his most celebrated books and read.

Son of diplomats, diplomat himself, sources did not give up a political profile, associatedin their day to left currents. In all circumstances led to correction. And always made generous use of their knowledge, they also lavished on the public stage displaying a gift for oratory and expressive grace able to dazzle any audience.

Sources literary work, its social, its international, also his sympathy, made him a globally recognized figure and, of course, worthy of countless awards. To his credit include theNational Book Award in Mexico (1984), the Cervantes Prize (1987), the Prince ofAsturias Prize for Literature (1994) and the y el Rómulo Gallegos (1977) among many others. In only Nobel in Literature, for which candidate sounded like repeatedly escaped their grasp. But its merits, as you know many readers, spread across the world who mourn his death.

Diana Cerviño
Paula Zapata
Celia García
Antonio Crespo

Mexico, in his best moment for investing



During the XIX Congress of the Mexican Foreign Trade,  which took place yesterday, the National Action Party candidate, and the only woman on the presidential elections, Josefina Vazquez Mota, proclaimed the country moves into one of the best times to invest becouse of their economic Stability. She used the event to launch a message that appealed to the agreements, saying the country needs reconciliation.

Were’re looking for freedom, for a Mexico without corruption, without impunity, and of course, a Mexico of peace, trust; any proposal from my competitors will be considered  because it is time for the Mexico of reconciliation, of unity, of trust”

In the forum, Vazquez said that, i case of winning the election next 1 July, she will improve the relations with United States and also with Canada.

Former Secretary of State said that her government will be in favor of structural reforms toraise productivity of national firms and to invest more to improve channels of communication. The National Party Action candidate reiterated his stance of forming the militarized national police to fight organized crime, reduce the number of seats in the upper House, as well as being in favor of the re-election of mayors. After that, Vazquez focused his speech on the economy.

Is time to open competition in strategic sectors of Mexico, is essential to complement Pemex public investment to private investment and time to make Pemex a modern enterprise, competitive, of world class.”

Vazquez also remarked that in her presidency, she would focus on five goals and not in twenty objectives, which would be impossible to reach and when she was asked about his stance against the unions, Vazquez Mota said she is in favor of freedom of organization of workers and always will be on the side of their organizations. She also stated that as she won’t agree with organized crime, nor will to “corrupt chiefdoms” that must come to an end and only be in the history book


Antonio Crespo

Diana Cerviño

Celia García

Paula Zapata


The first Spanish American country that Rajoy visits is Mexico

The Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, started last Tuesday an official visit to Mexico.
The Prime minister asked for help (to Felipe Calderón) to respond the aggression of the Argentine government’s decision to nationalize YPF, a subsidiary of Repsol. Calderón has already ruled on the issue and he has called it as “regrettable” (this expropriation of the oil).
Although the visit to Mexico of Mariano Rajoy was scheduled before the issue with Argentina, Rajoy wanted also to take advantage of it trying to get support from the government of Calderón before the government of Cristina Fernandez (Argentina) did it.
Mexico currently holds the presidency of the G-20, the main forum for economic debate which groups industrialized countries and emerging powers and Argentina takes part of it. The nationalization of YPF also indirectly affect to Mexico because the public company of “Petróleos Mexicanos” has about 10% of Repsol.
Apart from the issue of the expropriation of the YPF in Argentina, it’s important to say that the Spanish and the Mexican government have a very strong relationship.

During this visit to Mexico (His first official trip to a country of Latin American) the head of the Spanish government also expressed its solidarity with the victims of terrorism and violence in Mexico.
“I don’t want to conclude this speech without referring the challenge of both nations: Spain and Mexico (like many others), I mean: The hard challenge of the end of all violence. Because of that, I would like to wish to the Mexican population on my behalf and on behalf of the government of Spain, all the Spain’s solidarity with victims of terrorism and violence as well as I also have to recognize the strong struggle that the president Calderón is doing to ensure that Mexico is a free and peaceful country. Always we will be with him in this battle” said Rajoy.
Rajoy also said to the President Calderón that Mexico and Spain are friendly nations that must ratify the ties that bind them.
On the other hand, the Mexican president spoke about the “difficult situation” that Spain is going through.
He said that all Mexico trust in his leadership to bring up that sister-nation, also he recognizes Rajoy as a statesman who has dedicated his life to strengthen the democracy as well as the Spanish institutions.
“We recognize the Spanish American vocation that inspires him and we appreciate that Mexico is the first country that he visits as president,” Calderón said.
To conclude, we can notice the harmony in the relationship between Spain and Mexico.

Drug war

The drug war goes on and the violence continues. People in the affected countries are losing any hope, are suffering from desperation, anguish and fear.

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