By RICARDO CASTILLO
2020 Budget Brings Belt Tightening
The National Electoral Institute (INE) issued a statement on Friday, Nov. 21, complaining that the recent budget cuts on its yearly budget allowance “could force the INE into a risk zone because what this is about is organizing an election (specifically the 2021 midterm one) to allow for the recreation of democracy to issue voting identification credentials to 16 millions Mexicans.”
In a tour through the southern state of Guerrero, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) retorted: “We can no longer allow resources to be spent, for instance, in 300,000-peso monthly wages (about $15,000) for the INE councilors. We have to put an end to waste. What did they use to tell the people of Mexico? That they had to tighten their belts. Now, it is the government that has to tighten its belt, the INE included!”
The fact is that the INE is getting a few million more pesos in 2020 than what it got in 2019, but it is not getting all that it had asked for, 17.671 billion pesos. The institute will have a budget reduction of 1.071 billion pesos, ending up with 16.6 billion pesos.
In a later statement, INE President Lorenzo Córdova withdrew his warning about an election at risk, claiming that the elections in 2020 and the big ones in 2021 “are not at risk.”
It’s just politics!
No More One-Use Plastic Bags
As of Jan. 1, the Environment Secretariat of Mexico City (CDMX) will ban the use of plastic bags for packing merchandise in all supermarkets. The regulatory system to impose the ban on plastic packaging will be announced this week.
CDMX Environment Secretary Marina Robles that the objective of Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum’s administration is to have the city become a zero plastics garbage location.
Robles said that this change will not imply a major investment or the shuttering of plastics companies because the city has met with the producers of plastic bags and discussed a wide range of alternatives they can use with easily available biodegradable materials that are not plastics.
Given a lot of noisy but unwarranted gossip about an alleged military rebellion against AMLO, two top brass Army and Navy officials swore their allegiance to the president for the second time last week.
During the Revolution Day parade on Wednesday, Nov. 20, National Defense Secretary General Luis Cresencio Sandoval González, the keynote speaker at the parade, said that there was no reason for this type of hearsay and rumors, as the Army would pay no heed for one simple reason: “We have a democratically elected president, and that’s the way we want it.”
On Navy Day, Saturday, Nov. 23, Naval Secretary (Semar) José Rafael Ojeda Durán repeated – the marine way – pretty much the same “absolute loyalty” to President López Obrador, “under any circumstances at sea, in the air and on land.”
Campa Salazar and Martínez Verdugo Added to Circle of the Illustrious
The remains of two former members of Mexico’s Communist Party, Valentín Campa and Arnoldo Martínez Verdugo, will in the near future be transferred from regular graveyards to the Circle of Illustrious Men in the Dolores Cemetery in Chapultepec Park.
President López Obrador issued an executive decree ordering the inhumation and relocation of the remains to the cemetery’s Rotunda of Hombres Ilustres. The ceremony will be organized by the Interior Secretariat (SeGob.)
Campa Salazar was a noteworthy (though back then. notoriously communist) railroad workers leader. He was jailed as a political prisoner 12 times to accumulate a total of nearly 14 years in prison. He passed away in 1999.
Martinez Verdugo, who died in 2013, was both a labor leader and a historian, who, in addition to seeking to impose communism in Mexico, was one of the founding members of the current left-wing political movement, now in power. He participated in the establishment of the first law to allow minority political groups to have a representation, even with a majority party in power, which has allowed modern Mexico to be a nation with diverse ideologies competing for the popular vote.
Sports: Federer Packs Bullring
It was astounding to see how such a bullring as huge as the Monumental Plaza in Mexico City could be handily converted into a tennis court with a comfy seating for 42,517 ticket-paying tennis fans.
And it served perfectly to host what was billed as the Greatest Match, an exhibition game between top-notch player Roger Federer and upcoming star Alexander Zverev.
It came as no surprise for most observers that Federer won the three-set match 3-6, 6-4 and 6-2.