By RICARDO CASTILLO
UN Approves AMLO’s Proposal
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s (AMLO) proposal to both the Group of 20 (G-20) and the United Nations to avoid financial speculation and promote access by all nations to medical covid-19 related instruments for treatment was approved by 179 UN member nations, Foreign Relations Secretary Marcelo Ebrard announced on Tuesday, April 21.
The proposal was introduced by the Mexican Ambassador to the United Nations Juan Ramón de la Fuente, who carried out its promotion and won the vote.
“It’s the most voted-for resolution introduced by Mexico in the history of our participation at the UN,” Ebrard said.
“We’re very satisfied and proud of it.”
Ebrard also announced that he had tested negative for covid-19 infection.
The test was carried out after he met with Ambassador De la Fuente, who was infected in New York.
Phase 3 of Covid-19 Epidemic
Mexico has now entered into Phase 3 of the covid-19 pandemic, Public Health Undersecretary Hugo López-Gatell announced on Tuesday, April 20.
López-Gatell called on Mexicans to continue practicing the safe social distancing measures begun on March.
He also said that the government’s health systems are capable of carrying out measures of social isolation and proper handling of patients infected by the coronavirus.
“We’re initiating Phase 3 in places where there have been more cases,” he said.
“Had we not acted early, we could be facing a devastation scenario.”
López-Gatell explained that Phase 3 will be implemented in areas where there have been 1,000 or more confirmed cases, as well as in the nation’s central zone (Mexico City and the State of Mexico), where there have been over 4,000 confirmed infections, which he called “an exponential increase,”
Municipalities with low covid-19 transmissions will be asked to keep low levels of activity while maintaining social distancing practices.
Oil Production Cuts
The collapse of international oil prices has forced the state-run oil company Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) to begin planning the shutdown of a recently discovered field, AMLO said Tuesday, April 21, during his early morning press conference.
AMLO did not specify by how much Pemex would be cutting down its output, but all small fields will be shuttered while keeping the mature ones, which are currently producing an average of 800,000 barrels per day, at half their full capacity.
Mexico recently reduced its production by 100,000 in an arrangement with the United States, Saudi Arabia and Russia, but that amount is bound to increase in order for Mexico to have sufficient raw oil for its eight operating refineries.
“Once a field is closed, it takes time, due to oil wells lack of pressure, to reactivate it and start extracting oil again,” the president said.
“Now is the time to close these new fields and keep our basic production for local refineries until the crude prices improve.”
Supreme Court Video Conference
Mexican Supreme Court President Arturo Zaldívar seemed stunned as he announced that “for the first time in its history, Mexico’s Supreme Court is holding a video conference session that is being broadcast live both on television and through digital platforms, which, no doubt, is a cornerstone – a before and after – to impart the law in our country.”
During his first televised mandate, Zaldívar asked from all governors, political parties and politicians to set aside their differences and devote their efforts to protecting people in the light of the covid-19 pandemic.
“The lives of thousands of people are at stake,” he said.
“Also at stake is the capacity of people to bring their daily bread to their homes and satisfy basic needs. This is a moment to put before personal interests those of the nation, and to set the wellbeing of the most vulnerable members of our community before the aspirations of any person or group, no matter how legitimate in may be.”
The governments of both Mexico and the United States agreed to extend for 30 more days — until May 21 — nonessential travel restrictions along their common border, the Mexican Foreign Relations Secretariat (SRE) announced on Twitter on Monday, April 20.
“Restrictions are to continue under the same terms in which they have developed since their implementation on March 21,” the tweet said.
Canada and the United States made a similar announcement on Saturday, April 18.
No Bail for Garcia Luna
Once again, a Brooklyn judge has denied former Mexican Public Security Secretary Genaro Garcia Luna, who served during the administration of Felipe Calderón (2006-2012). the right to meet a bail bond.
García Luna will remain in the local federal jail while his trial for three federal narcotics-related crimes proceeds.
Judge Brian Cogan, who also presided the trial of drug kingpin Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, agreed with the arguments presented by the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office that Garcia Luna is a flight risk, even if he could pay the $2 million required his bond.
Cogan also said that Garcia Luna’s charges as presented by the District Attorney’s Office pose “a solid case.”
García Luna is accused of taking millionaire bribes from Guzmán while in office.
Senate OKs Amnesty Bill
The Mexican Senate approved the government’s proposed Amnesty Bill on Monday, April 20, by a vote of 68 in favor, 14 against and two abstentions.
The bill was passed to AMLO for signing.
The approval by the mouth-covered and sanitary gloves-clad senators was, according to National Regeneration Movement (Morena) Senate Majority Leader Ricardo Monreal, “a humanitarian act” aimed at first-time minor crime offenders, as well as “highly vulnerable” individuals such as those over 60, pregnant women, those with diabetics and minority (indigenous) individuals thrown in jail on questionable charges.
It will not apply to murderers, kidnappers, drug traffickers and other violent types of criminals.
…April 22, 2020