By RICARDO CASTILLO
LeBarón Case Falls in Fiscal’s Lap
The Fiscal General of the Republic (FGR) has under its aegis “total control” over information regarding the murder of six children and three women in northern Mexico last Nov. 4, all of them members of the Mormon binational LeBarón family.
Mexican Interior Secretary (SeGob) Olga Sánchez Cordero made the official announcement on Tuesday, Dec. 3, adding “unfortunately, the reality is that the fiscal departments of the states of Sonora and Chihuahua (where the crime took place) do not have either the material or human resources – nor forensic savvy – to take charge of this investigation.”
The LeBarón family met with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMKLO) at National Palace on Monday, Dec. 2, where they received a full report on the progress of the investigation in which, press reports had, three arrests have been made of gang members of a criminal organization known as La Línea, which operates out of Ciudad Juárez. The FBI has participated in those investigations. Clan leader Julian LeBarón said he could not talk about the details discussed with the president AMLO, but said “he gave it to us straight.”
Sánchez Cordero explained that the FGR was given the case for two main reasons: First, she said, because of the dual nationalities of the LeBarón family members, and second, because it involved organized crime organizations. She said that regional crimes are mostly committed by these criminals.
Illegal Outsourcing Ban
A divided Senate on Tuesday, Dec. 3, was the name of the game as the National Regeneration Movement (Morena) majority voted to eliminate what the party considers “illegal outsourcing practices,” the president of the Labor Committee and union leader Napoleón Gómez Urrutia said.
The vote was carried out without the presence of senators belonging to the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), the National Action Party (PAN) and Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD). The bill was sent to the Senate floor for a first reading and Morena hopes that it will be approved prior to Dec. 15, when the Senate goes into Christmas recess.
“To us, there are legal and illegal outsourcing practices, and we have to see how these practices can be applied without evading taxes, while respecting the rights of workers. Are they at the core of fake invoices? These are all grave crimes,” Gómez Urrutia explained.
He said that tax evasion as a result of these practices amounts to 500 trillion pesos at a national level, and that there are about 8 million Mexican workers under this subcontracting scheme.
The approval of this illegal outsourcing ban, Gómez Urrutia said, will not imperil the approval of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
The bill has been highly opposed by the absentee parties, as well as a large number of business organizations who benefit from outsourcing.
Remittances at Record High
Dollar-denominated remittances from Mexican workers in the United States to relatives back home during October increased over 3.6 percent compared to the same period in 2018, reaching a total of $3.125 billion, according to a central bank Banco de México report.
For 2019, overall accumulated remittances have increased by 8.5 percent from January to October, for a whopping total of $30.67 billion, a new historic record, the report said.
Banco de México said that the figures for the entire year of 2019 will be reported the first week of February 2020.
The United States, home to more than 11 million Mexican, is the main source of nearly all of Mexico’s remittances, one of the country’s biggest generators of foreign income.
According to the World Bank, about 2.5 to 3 percent of the nation’s GDP is the result of remittances.
Zero Advances on Education
The latest results of the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) for 2018 reveal that over the past decades, Mexico has shown no significant progress in academic improvement.
PISA is an evaluation program of 15-year-olds in reading, math and science applied by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
According to evaluation results, only 55 percent of Mexican students reached minimum reading and math comprehension standards.
The test has been applied yearly since year 2000, and from the onset, the grades of the Mexican teenagers have been very similar, “without evidence of any significant progress.”
Governor Tells Attack Tale
Coahuila Governor Miguel Ángel Riquelme Solís confirmed the arrest of two suspects after the clash last Saturday, Nov. 30, between members of the Northeast Cartel and local police.
The clash left 22 dead in the township of Villa Unión, just southeast of border city Piedras Negras in the state of Coahuila.
Gov. Riquelme explained that some 60 gang members of the cartel directly opened fire against the municipal building where the local mayor was reading her yearly state of the municipality report.
Of the deceased, the governor said 16 were members of the attacking gang, while four were local policemen and two were civilians.
The attacking gang rode into town in some 17 pickup vehicles, two of which were triggered with 0.50 caliber Barret assault rifles.
The Northeast Cartel, Riquelme said, has been looking to gain control of the municipality of Villa Unión, considered one of the main pathways of smuggling and drug trafficking in the state.
Several thousands of ammunition rounds were confiscated in the joint-repelling of the assault by the local police, the Army and the National Guard.
Sports: Mexican Soccer League Semis
There are four teams still alive in the remainder of the Mexican Soccer League 2019 fall or “aperture” season. The four will meet twice on a home and away games bases.
On Wednesday, Dec. 4, the Monterrey Striped Gang (Los Rayados) will host the first game of the playoffs against Aguascalientes Necaxa at the BBVA Stadium in Monterrey at 9 p.m.
On Thursday, Dec. 5, the Morelia Monarchs (named after the monarch butterflies) will host at Morelos Stadium in Morelia at 8:30 p.m. against the Mexico City team America Eagles.
Over the weekend the teams will be playing the return game the other way around.
On Saturday, Dec. 7, Necaxa will host Monterrey at Aguascalientes and on Sunday, Dec. 8, America Eagles will receive the Morelia Monarchs at Azteca Stadium in Mexico City at 6:30 p.m.
The two winners of a total of 180 minutes of soccer play will meet next week, also in a home and away bases, for the championship title.