Mexico News Roundup
By RICARDO CASTILLO
Trembling Back to the Workplace
Fearing both the covid-19 contagion and not having money to make ends meet, limited numbers of Mexican auto and construction industries workers reported to work on Monday, June 1.
The Mexican tourism industry is being more cautious and postponing opening until later in the month.
Unions at the auto, construction and mining industries said that most of the companies have complied with safety measures, although a potential coronavirus resurge is not considered out of the question.
Infections may not happen at work, they said, but on the way to work using public transportation.
The restart of construction, according National Construction Auto Transportation Union leader Juan Carlos Velazco Bueno, will move slower since even before the epidemic, the industry was already in a slowdown.
Regarding the auto industry, Reyes Soberanis, secretary general of the Revolutionary Workers Confederation, said that a few employees returned to work two weeks ago in control groups of 50 people each to carry out machinery repairs and pave the path to restart production.
Several mines also established mine control entries with small groups keeping a safe distance from each other.
The good news is, economic recovery is on the way in these sectors, to begin with.
During his Tuesday, June 2, press conference while on tour overseeing the startup of the Tren Maya railroad construction, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) was asked about fearing more contagion after his government authorized a partial return to work for many companies.
“If there is a rebound, we will go back to confinement in order to save lives, which is what matters the most,” he replied.
“But if are careful while returning to normal and everyone respects safe distancing and sanitary measures recommended by health specialists, the hope is that Mexico can to return to normal little-by-little.”
San Miguel de Allende Restarts Ops
The Sand Miguel de Allende (SMA) municipal government reported that out of 544 applications filed as of June 1 by businesses seeking to reopen operations as usual, only 24 met all specifications and were granted the go-ahead.
Of those businesses, two were eateries, namely the El Fogón burger joint and the popular Mexican food restaurant Los Remedios in the historic downtown area of the town.
Out of all the requests to reopen, 389 are still in the waiting list to have inspectors visit the facilities to see if they are up to regulatory standards.
And of those, 189 have already been issued an appointment date and 110 are pending an appointment because their applications were not properly filled out.
Peso Gains Ground
Dollar hoarders who bet on a slumping peso heard some bad news on Tuesday, June 2, as the U.S. dollar fell in value during trading hours to as low as 21.59 pesos per dollar, after closing on Friday, May 29, at 22.23 pesos to the dollar.
The dollar bounced back a little to 22.07 pesos, but the trend is clear that the dollar is losing clout and the peso is regaining in value, at least for now.
Murder in Cuernavaca
The wife of a top Treasury Secretariat official who was murdered on June 21, 2019, along with four other family members in the posh Las Brisas neighborhood of Cuernavaca, was arrested on Monday, June 1, Morelos State Judicial Police Department said.
Also under arrest is the gunman who mowed down the family of a Morelos official as they enjoyed a picnic at their home in the state’s Temixco municipality.
The murdered official, Alfonso Isaac Gamboa Lozano, was suspected of involvement in a fraud in which his department transferred more than 250 million pesos in funds to a bogus company. which in turn awarded the money to the state of Chihuahua’s Institutional Revolutionary Party.
Top government officials from the administration of former Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto were suspected of participating in the illegal transfers made by Gamboa and authorized by former Treasury Secretary Luis Videgaray
However, those suspicions have evaporated since the wife of the deceased, Bethzabe N. and the gunman were arrested.
Among other victims were the Treasury official’s mother.
Celebrating Navy Day is a routine holiday in Mexico, celebrated every June 1.
But Monday, June 1, at the National Palace, where the main celebrations were held, there was an ice-cold faceoff between Navy Secretary José Rafael Ojeda Durán and the Secretary of Communications and Transportation, Javier Jiménez Espriú.
Ojeda and Espriú have been feuding over the past several months over the control of Mexico’s merchant marine office.
In their official Navy Day statements, both seemed to underline the position each held trying to look good to the merchant marine sector.
Ojeda is all for military control of ports, while Jiménez Espriú said that there have been “an ocean of reasons” impeding the development of commercial trade at Mexican ports.
Of course, the communications secretary wants ports under his control because many a private importer resents the traditionally civilian trade being now surveilled by armed marines.
Remittances from Mexican workers living in the United States amounted to $2.861 billion in April, plummeting by 28. 5 percent from the $4.007 billion sent during March, the central Banco de Mexico reported.
The marked decrease is believed to be due to the fact that many Mexicans in the United States have lost their jobs during the pandemic confinement.
Nonetheless, the remittances for the first four months of 2020 amounted to $12.158 billion.
Sports: Mexico in 1970, the Good Ol’ Days
Yes, you have to be over age 50 when in these times of sports drought on television, the best thing to watch are video replays
On, May 31, Mexican broadcasters reran the opening game between Mexico and Russia of the 1970 World Cup, which ended in a scoreless draw.
But for more than nationalistic reasons, the 1970 World Cup was a before and after breakwater on many fronts.
For starters, it was the first soccer tournament to be broadcast worldwide, the first with yellow warning cards to rough and tumble players (one more and you’re out), and the first with player substitutions.
Without a doubt, it was a heavenly panorama of soccer stars led by Pelé (champ for the third time with Brazil), but nowadays legends like Franz Beckenbauer, Thomas Müller, Bobby Moore, Gordon Banks and Teófilo Cubillas dominate the crowd’s attention.
Mexico was also the host venue for the World Cup in 1986 and will host it again in 2026. Woohoo!
And no doubt, for those over 50 only, things were better in the past, particularly soccer, then played with pigskin balls and high-spiked boots.
Those were the days of good soccer, amigos.