By RICARDO CASTILLO
“Iron Lady” Named Tax Collector
Raquel Buenrostro Sánchez was appointed as Mexico’s new Tributary Administration Service (SAT) director on Thursday, Dec. 18, by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO). She replaces Margarita Ríos-Farjat, now the 11th member of the Supreme Court of the Nation.
Buenrostro (whose last name literally means Good Face) was promoted to the position from the post of major official at the Treasury Secretariat. The major official (oficial mayor, in Spanish) is a post of procurement for government purchases.
The new SAT director, known for her honesty, is a mathematician graduated from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). She also holds a master’s degree in economics from the prestigious Colegio de México.
Buenrostro served under AMLO when he was Mexico City mayor (2000-2005) as the Fiscal (tax) Policy director, a post where she was dubbed the Iron Lady”Iron Lady” because of her dogged persecution of tax evaders, who definitely are not showing a “buen rostro.”
Enter Elba Esther Gordillo Stage Left, Again
Former Education Workers Union leader Elba Esther Gordillo launched her new web site on Wednesday, Dec. 18, announcing to her usual followers of faithful teachers that they will soon be on the political trail once again.
Gordillo, who spent nearly six year in jail imprisoned by former Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, announced that she’s about to meet all the requirements to have her new political party, Progressive Social Networks, on line again. Previously, she founded the National Alliance Party (Panal), which went under for lack of votes in the 2018 presidential election.
Gordillo’s “Christmas message” was directly aimed at teachers, to whom she said: “Very soon we’ll have to be ready to successfully confront the great changes our educational system and our organization require. I am fully on the side of the men and women of Mexico.”
About a week ago, Gordillo was also in the news when it became public knowledge that she had just sold her $6 million mansion in La Jolla, California.
Gordillo was the head of the Education Workers Union from 1989 through 2013. Her return to that post was both announced and expected.
Mexico’s state-owned oil company Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) issued a 5 billion peso (about $264 million) stock certificate as part of its 2019 refinancing program, sources near the operation said this week.
The certificate, which closed Thursday, Dec. 19, was issued to refinance interests on yet another certificate worth over 18 billion pesos. Pemex, which has a total debt of over $111 billion, announced that it has paid during 2019 $1.9 billion in interests of pervious stock certificates.
Pemex, according to data from Refinitiv Eikon financial enterprise, had not issued debt paying certificates since 2016.
Beating a Dead Horse
It was no mild response that AMLO offered to Senator María Soledad Luévano Cantú (Morena, Zacatecas), who proposed an amendment to the Law of Religious Associations and Public Cults stated in Article 1 of the Mexican Constitution.
Essentially, Luévano Cantú wanted to eliminate the separation of Church and State.
“As far as I’m concerned”, AMLO said, “this is a topic that must not even be touched. I say this with a lot of respect for the senator, who has the right to propose. But I also consider this issue has been solved for more than a century and a half when the separation of Church and State was defined.”
AMLO was referring to the 1857 Constitution, which did just that.
Luévano proposed a change to Article 1, which may still be discussed or not on the Senate floor. But with AMLo’s statement, the bill is dead upon arrival, if it arrives at all.
Migration Figures Down
Statistics from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Bureau (CBP) show that, as of the end of November 2019, the flow of migrants coming mostly from Central America and heading to the United States to seek asylum dropped by 70 percent as compared to last May, when U.S. President Donald Trump threatened Mexico with a 25 percent tariff on all exports if it did not do something to stop the flow.
Mexico successfully stationed 27,000 officers from the newly integrated National Guard to both the southern and the northern borders. At the time, CBP reported, 144,115 were arrested in one month. By October the number was down to 45,117 arrests.
On a related topic, the Mexican Committee to Help Refugees (Comar) reported that during August 2019, 48,254 persons from all over the world have requested asylum in Mexico, which represents a 3.3 percent increase over the previous year.
Sports:FIFA Clubs Championship
Playing in Doha, Mexican soccer team Monterrey lost to British champion Liverpool 2-1 in a semifinals game, part of the FIFA Clubs World Championship, held in Qatar as a preview to the 2020 World Cup.
The defeat, however, does not constitute the end of performance for the Mexican league champions because they are now slated to go for third place against Saudi Arabia champion Al Hilal FC.
Liverpool will play Brazil’s Flamingo for the championship.
The Monterrey match is slated for the morning of Saturday, Dec. 21, Mexico City time.
It will be aired on open television.