By RICARDO CASTILLO
The 2020 Census Is On
On Monday, March 3, over 151,000 employees of the National Geography and Statistics Institute (Inegi) took to the task of visiting approximately 45 million homes throughout the nation to conduct the 2020 national population census.
The resulting figures will be used by federal, state and municipal governments for planning and decision-making.
The census is a survey carried out every 10 years, and this time, it will last from March 2 through March 27.
The census takers can be identified by a white cowboy hat that has the logo of the Inegi and its initials.
The questionnaire being asked contains 38 questions on issues such as health services, handicapped people, education, age, sex, relationships, marital status, migration, fecundity, mortality, ethnicity (this year with emphasis on those of Afro descent), religion and economic activities, among other issues.
The questions will only be asked of people 18 years and older.
Pot Legalization Pondered
The Mexican Senate is slated to begin debates on Wednesday, March 4, over a proposal to legalize marijuana consumption, both for medical and recreational use.
Recent polls show that approximately 45 percent of Mexicans are in favor of legalization, while 55 percent are against.
Debates at the Senate committees thus far have been heated regarding the health effects of marijuana on users for medical purposes and — whether it’s pertinent or not — hemp consumption for entertainment.
Backers of legalization claim that legalization will help to pacify violent gangs, control over-plantation, regulate distribution and produce sales profits for Mexico’s tax system.
One of the main promoters of legalization is National Regeneration Movement (Morena) conservative Senator Germán Martínez, who was once president of the National Action Party (PAN.)
No doubt, it’s going to be a smoking topic!
Crowd Annoy AMLO
On Sunday, March 1, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) visited his birthplace, the town of Macuspana in the southeastern state of Tabasco.
He had anticipated a peaceful appearance, delivering a pep speech to his peers and claiming all’s well in the old hometown.
But to his surprise, a rowdy crowd composed mostly of Chontal tribe members began heckling two of his Morena local representatives, Macuspana Mayor Roberto Villalpando and Tabasco Governor Adán Augusto López Hernández.
The protest was over high electricity prices, an issue over which neither official has control, since it is a task of the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE).
Some of the government’s promised benefits have not arrived, hecklers complained.
AMLO smelled local politicking in the air and asked not to mix “cricket chirping” (grilla) and politicking with facts and action.
“To hell with the ambitious politicians, the corrupt ones. This goes for everyone,” he said. “Sometimes because of politicking and cricket chirping it would seem as if we’re doing nothing.”
The president promised that CFE Director Manuel Bartlett would soon visit to discuss a reduction in electricity prices.
“I know elections are coming up and the ambitious are uneasy,” he said.
Mexico Weathers Financial Storm
New HSBC bank director general in Mexico Jorge Arce said in a press conference on Monday, March 2, that Mexico had weathered a “financial storm” during 2019 and come out clean thanks to solid public finances.
Arce said that México had managed to keep the confidence of foreign investors and that the recession contraction “was not acute” during the first year of the AMLO administration.
Arce held the press conference to announce his arrival to the post, replacing Nuno Matos, who moved to London to work for the banking corporation.
Matos headed negotiations for a master loan for the nations oil state-owned oil giant Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex).
Jessica Johanna Oseguera González, daughter of the notorious alleged Jalisco New Generation Cartel leader and fentanyl trafficker Rubén Oseguera Cervantes, aka El Mencho, attended the first hearing of her recently extradited from Mexico brother Rubén Oseguera González (nicknamed el Menchito, or Little Mencho) on Wednesday, Feb. 26, in Washington, D.C.
A few hours later, she was arrested by U.S. Marshalls who served her an arrest warrant for being an active member of her father’s cartel.
Allegedly, she is one of the key financial operatives laundering money both in the United States and Mexico.
Brother and sister are U.S. citizens.
No Bail for Ye Gon
A Mexico City collegiate tribunal denied former Chinese but now Mexican citizen Zhenli Ye Gon bail last week.
Now, Ye Gon will stay indefinitely incarcerated at a high security prison in the State of Mexico (Edoméx).
Ye Gon was extradited from the United States, where he had been living high on the hog in Las Vegas.
While there, high-end casinos considered him a high roller until he was nabbed on substance trafficking charges.
He will now face a new trial on money laundering and drug manufacturing, as well as charges of being a supplier of chemical substances to large criminal organizations.
When he was first arrested in Mexico in 2007, police found $207 million in cash in his Las Lomas mansion.
Lozoya in Madrid
On Sunday, March 1, the Spanish Civil Guard moved former Pemex director Emilio Lozoya Austin from the Alhaurin de la Torre prison to Penitentiary Center Madrid IV, 25 kilometers away from the city, to continue awaiting trial for his extradition to Mexico.
Sports: No Panic Cancellations
Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum announced that there will be no cancellations of sports events in the city due to the presence of the novel coronavirus.
Mexico holds a series of events at different stadia like games of the professional Mexican Soccer League, as well as boxing and wrestling matches.
Sheinbaum said that amateur sports activities will continue at various sports parks the city administrates, such as the Magdalena Michuca set of nearly 30 soccer fields, where thousands of teams compete in different leagues.
She also announced that preparations for the Aug. 30, 2020, Mexico City Marathon were well underway, with thousands of runners already registered.
“In our nation, cancellation measures are not necessary for now since none of the Covid-19 virus infections represent a public threat,” she said.