Mexico News Roundup
By RICARDO CASTILLO
Little Parties on the Skid
The Mexican Senate, presided over by Mónica Fernández of the National Action Party (PAN), dissolved the partisan representation of the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) and the Social Encounter Party (PES) for not meeting the minimum of five senators to be counted as a party.
The PRD, led by former Mexico City Mayor Miguel Ángel Mancera pleaded to be allowed to continue representing the PRD.
The party, once a mighty force, had its numbers dwindle in the Senate down to just three last September, but the Political Coordination Junta (Jucopo) of the Senate allowed it to continue to be recognized so that it could receive operational funds from the National Electoral Institute (INE).
The same was true in the case of the PES.
There was a protest against the Senate ruling filed by the PRD’s three senators, but Fernández said the dissolution will proceed since it is mandated by Senate inner-governance regulations.
The PES, which is led by Senator Sasil de León, presented no protest since its members will now move to the majority National Regeneration Movement (Morena), a party they have been backing all along.
Lilly Tellez’s Betrayal
Former TV Azteca announcer and program host and current senator for Sonora Lilly Téllez decided to join the National Action Party (PAN) on Wednesday, June 3, an evident act of treason to Morena, which took her to the Senate seat.
Téllez entered in disagreement with the Morena majority over the pro-abortion general vote at Morena, with which she disagreed.
On April 14, Téllez dropped out of Morena and became an independent until now, that the ailing minority PAN most willingly brought her under its wing.
But just to show how Mexican political gossip works, she was immediately rumored to be the future PAN candidate for governor in Sonora, where there will be elections in 2021.
Apparently, the other Sonora senator, Sylvana Beltrones, daughter of Manlio Fabio Beltrones, the still-powerful leader of the PRI in Sonora, will back her up in order to defeat the imminent Morena candidate and now-Secretary of Security and Citizens Protection Alfonso Durazo.
Again, this is all hearsay, but the abovementioned politicians are not unlikely future candidates for Sonora governor.
Due to the covid-19 pandemic, the election date in the states of Coahuila and Hidalgo has been postponed by the National Electoral Institute (INE), possibly until next year.
The original date for the elections was to be Sunday, June 7.
There’s still a chance, however, that election in these two states could be held in September, when the so-called “electoral period” for the 2021 midterm elections begins, but INE Councilor Dania Ravel said that the pandemic is so grave that it has created “an extraordinary situation.”
In Coahuila, the election will be to renew the state’s Chamber of Deputies, while in Hidalgo is to change mayors in the state’s 84 municipalities.
SeGob and Conago Meet
Earlier this week, Mexico’s 32 governors of the National Governors’ Conference (Conago) and Interior Secretary (SeGob) Olga Sánchez Cordero agreed on several basics to program the so-called “sanitary traffic lights” regarding the timing and methods to clear the way for a return to the ¿ new normalcy.
The four-hour long discussion on Tuesday, June 2, was an exercise in full-power struggling both for the governors and the federal government representatives (Cordero was flanked by undersecretaries), but in the end, the divers points of view came to a feasible middle ground.
The discussion-debate over how to govern the nation was full of partisan and futuristic electoral hopes (some of the governors are already openly vying to replace AMLO in 2024).
However, eventually, there was agreement on the procedures that will be followed.
The governors demanded respect, leading criteria and lots of money to enforce the country’s economic reactivation.
CFE under Fire
In a rare move of political unity, leaders representing the different parties in the Senate ordered the government liaison Permanent Committee to request the government-operated light and power Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) to stop shutting off service to people who can’t pay their bills.
Labor Party representatives called the financial situation of many a Mexican critical, noting that pandemic-provoked work stoppage have caused vast unemployment.
Thus far, the CFE has not responded.
No Fiscal Terrorism
On Tuesday, June 2, the head of the Tax Administration System (SAT), Raquel Buenrostro, was summoned by the Finance Committee of the Chamber of Deputies to explain how she managed to extract in upfront cash nearly 17 billion pesos in back taxes from the normally tightfisted market chain Walmart and the Coca-Cola bottler Femsa enterprise.
“Are we witnessing an act of fiscal terrorism?” asked one deputy, meaning had she threatened the companies.
“It’s not fiscal terrorism, because we did not threaten anybody and the businessmen did not feel threatened.,” she said.
“When you explain to the president of the Board of Directors – not the CEO, but the president of the Board of Directors, because he’s the one representing shareholders and is a shareholder himself — the reasons why we are asking for back taxes, they immediately respond, ‘you’re right, I’m going to pay’.”
Buenrostro said she had negotiated with the CEOs and representing lawyers for eight months before dealing with the presidents of the Board of Directors.
“We settled the score in 40 minutes,” she said.
And she added: “that’s not fiscal terrorism but convincing reasons.”
Blow against Jalisco Cartel
The Fiscal General of the Republic earlier this week made public the freezing by the Treasury Secretariat’s Financial Intelligence Unit (UIF) of 1,939 bank accounts managed by “financial operators” of the murderous New Generation Jalisco Cartel (CJNG).
The accounts were in the names of front companies and name lenders whose purpose was to launder money.
The account freezings were due to a dual operation carried out by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the Mexican Fiscal General through a program called Python, which in Mexico had the follow-up moniker of Blue Agave.
Also participating in the United States was the Office for Foreign Assets, which oversees banking accounts.
The Jalisco Cartel is operated by Mexico’s most-wanted culprit, Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes, aka El Mencho, and its financial operations are carried out by the brothers of El Mencho’s wife, integrated into a different gang named Los Cuinis, or the Piggies.
There were no reports of arrests.
Cruise Ships to Return in August
The president of the Cruise Lines International Association, Kelly Craighead, said Wednesday, June 3, that most of the ships now docked in Mexico will be cruising again come next August, after a most bitter experience for the industry provoked by the covid-19 pandemic.
Craighead was hosted by the president of the World Travel and Tourism Council, Gloria Guevara, during her weekly taskforce meeting.
…June 5, 2020