Mexico News Roundup
By RICARDO CASTILLO
Don’t Whine Later!
The programmed meeting of the Permanent Committee of the Mexican Congress to discuss the revamping of the administration’s Expenditures Bill has been postponed for at least two weeks due to the expanding coronavirus pandemic.
Chamber of Deputies Majority Leader Mario Delgado Carrillo said that he had talked over the phone with Senate President Mónica Fernández Balboa to let her know that the postponement had been requested by Health Prevention and Promotion Undersecretary Hugo López Gatell as several government officials attending public gatherings had been infected by the covid-19 syndrome.
This period, López-Gatell warned, covers the predicted peak of the pandemic in Mexico.
The suspension, nonetheless, has been demanded by several minority opposition parties which they refuse to even discuss the changes in the new bill made by Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO).
Specifically, National Action Party (PAN) President Marko Cortés has announced that PAN deputies and senators will boycott the meeting.
This threat forced National Regeneration Movement (Morena) leader Mario Delgado Carrillo to say that his party will carry out the changes, if necessary, without taking other political parties into consideration.
The bill in question would allow the president to unilaterally redistribute monies from the national budget without having to get the approval of Congress, which critics say would negate the separation of political powers.
If Morena proceeds in this manner, Deputy Delgado Carrillo warned, “just don’t come whining around later saying that the president imposed his changes in the budget,” since AMLO has a majority in both houses of Congress to get the bill approved.
Meanwhile, AMLO’s opponents are calling his bill “unconstitutional,” while the president wants it discussed to prevent his will from being called “an imposition.”
Duarte Gets Green Light
The Permanent Committee of Congress ratified the appointment of Horacio Duarte Olivarez as the new head of the Customs Service Administration.
Voting in favor were 29 Morena legislators with support from other parties. Six National Action Party solons voted against.
Duarte Olivares replaces reinstated Senator Ricardo Ahued at the post.
His mandate from AMLO will be to do his best to wipe out corruption out of Mexico’s 49 customs offices, which thus far in this administration has been mission impossible.
Duarte was sworn in by Senate President Fernández Balboa.
Inegi: The Crisis Is Here
The National Institute for Geography and Statistics (Inegi) published a report stating that the Mexican economy had fallen by 2.4 percent of its gross domestic product in March, in what is the steepest drop since 2009, when the economy finished the year with a minus 6.2 percent figure.
Meantime international ratings companies are issuing diverse figures for the 2020 outcome of the Mexican economy, with Credit Suisse claiming a whopping 9.6 decrease, while several others put the fall at around 6 percent.
J.P. Morgan said that Mexico will suffer an 8.4 percent fall in the economy. while Goldman Sachs predicted that it’ll drop by 5.6 percent.
Maquiladoras Back to Work
The Baja California state government has authorized the reopening of 35 maquiladoras (in-bond assembly plants) as of Monday, May 4, in the city of Mexicali.
Baja California Governor Jaime Bonilla yielded to pressure from plants management, although there was protest by different organizations as to the wisdom of opening up the industries right in the midst of the pandemic, which has hit Tijuana the harshest in the state.
Protesters are claiming that in the U.S. side, three of the six Border Customs Protection ports of entry are closed at night, which may impair the fluid mobility of export operations.
Mayors Discuss Isthmus Project
Federal authorities headed by Director General of the Inter-Oceanic Corridor of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec Rafael Marín Mollinedo and Oaxaca Governor Alejandro Murat held a video conference on Friday, May 1, with the municipal mayors of the tristate corridor to smooth development operations of the isthmus train project.
Marín Mollinedo told the 11 mayors attending the meeting that many of them are not fully looking after community demands, which sometimes imperil the integrity of the entire project, which was launched on March 21 with the remodeling of the current rail tracks.
“If the people show their discontent with the project, this work is not going to be carried out,” Marín Mollinedo warned.
“That’s why your participation is so important, because you must have the support of the local leaders, who are making valid claims that you must address.”
Pemex 2019 Report
Mexico’s state-run oil company Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) said that it had sent a memo to the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) notifying it that the 2019 financial report, due to be filed on May 19, would be postponed “until new notice” given the logistics and personnel mobility complications brought about by the covid-19 virus.
Pemex is a participant in SEC as a debtor and has claimed that the 2019 studies are carried out, but there are still some loose ends inside the company that it has not been able to resolve.
Three top Mexican politicians have reported that they have tested positive for covid-19 infections.
They are Public Function Secretary Eréndira Sandoval, Institutional Revolutionary Party Senator and former Interior Secretary Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong and Federal Consumer Protection Director Ricardo Sheffield.
All three are receiving treatment at home.
Tabasco Governor Adán Augusto López also reported that he had been infected by covid-19 but has now overcome the disease.
Sports: Olympics Suspension
Mexican Olympic Committee President Carlos Padilla Becerra spoke about the suspension of the 2021 Oympiad in Tokyo after Organizing Committee President Joshiro Mori mention that the 2021 games could face suspension.
“From my point of view, is it premature to call a suspension when we are still a year and a half away and to assume that humanity will not be able to control this pandemic,” Padilla Becerra said.
” As far as I’m concerned, the games will go on as planned.”
Padilla said the alleged suspension announcement came from “a rehashed Mori interview,” and that both the Tokyo and International organizing committees are working on holding the games.
“Financial support from all of the partcipants is there,” Padilla Becerra said.