Mexico News Roundup
By RICARDO CASTILLO
Alfaro’s Political Ambitions Squelched
Up until last week, Jalisco Governor Enrique Alfaro had been looking a lot like a 2024 presidential hopeful. But then all hell broke loose on his would-be candidacy.
It all started with the arrest and apparent murder of a 30-year-old construction worker named Giovanni López at the hands of municipal police in Ixltahuacán de los Membrillos, very close to the gringo retiree hub Ajijic, near Lake Chapala.
The story really started on April 19, when Alfaro published an executive order in the Jalisco government official gazette making it an obligation for everyone to wear a face cover. The edict was clear, there would be zero tolerance against wrongdoers.
On May 4, Chapala municipal police brutally beat up the director of the local preparatory school, Ramón Álvarez, for failing to comply. And on May 5, at nearby Ixtlahuacán, police arrested López and when his relatives went to bail him out, all they got back was his corpse. He died inside the jail.
The alleged murder went viral as Giovanni’s brother videoed the moment of his arrest and several policemen taking him to jail. Whatever happened inside the jail will probably be cleared up on Monday, June 8, when three policemen arrested for López’s death will be presented before a judge.
On Thursday, June 4, hundreds of people in Guadalajara marched in protest for what they called “the senseless murder” of Giovanni. The protest broke into a riot, with people attacking the governor’s palace and adjacent office buildings. The story might have ended there, but it didn’t.
The next morning, Alfaro accused Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) of being the man who pulled the strings behind the riot. AMLO, on Saturday, June 6, responded: “I have political and ideological differences with the Jalisco governor, but as president, I do not interfere in the internal affairs of states. If Alfaro has evidence of what he is accusing me of, let him show proof.”
Alfaro back down on his accusation of the president, calling him “a man with good intentions,” and changed his accusation of responsibility to members of AMLO’s National Regeneration Movement (Morena). Again, AMLO retorted: “I don’t run a party. I have nothing to do with that. I run the nation.”
Morena President Alfonso Ramírez Cuellar then made a statement, saying: “This is the desperate position of a governor who, each day, has less support from the inhabitants of Jalisco. First, he attributed the deeds (the protests) to the president, and then he rectified his charges, pointing at our party and its leaders. But he must now come up with the answer to two questions: Who killed Giovanni López and under what circumstances? And prove his claims.”
For sure, Alfaro, out of nowhere, is up to his knees in political mud.
And on a separate story involving AMLO and Morena President Ramírez Cuellar, the latter contradicted AMLO’s stalwart republican austerity creed, which involves not borrowing money and charging it to the public debt.
Ramírez Cuéllar said: “We urgently have to resort to a line of financing, I think we have no choice. The government is doing even the impossible to not resort to seeking financing. But I think more than a few have reached the conclusion that if we continue on this path, we are going to finish off all the saving in federal funds and we may even resort to oil coverages.”
AMLO did not like hearing what Ramírez Cuellar said and even scolded the Morena president.
“He doesn’t understand the problem of borrowing money from international funding institutions,” AMLO said.
“His salary is assured, unlike what is happening now to millions of Mexicans. It is time for the government to tighten its belt, and not for the people to do it.”
Unfortunately for AMLO, Ramírez Cuellar is not alone in claiming that Mexico must borrow in order to stay financially afloat.
2021 Elections Budget
The National Electoral Institute (INE) began integrating the 2021 elections budget last week, for which INE councilors pleaded to act both rationally and responsibly.
Councilor Ciro Murayama, president of the budget committee, said that the INE will need a budget according to the size of the elections. T
In 2021, there will be elections for 500 seats at the Chamber of Deputies, 15 for governor, 30 for state assemblies and 1,900 municipal mayors and city councils.
The total posts at stake will be 21,368, with a total of around 94 million expected voters. There will be 161,000 electoral booths and the INE will have to hire over 50,000 electoral supervisors and trainers.
Booth officials are volunteers who live in the booth district.
Car Production Starts Up Again
All of Mexico’s car assembly plants began operating at the end of May, except for Volkswagen and Audi in the city of Puebla, where the state government still has restrictions regarding regulations banning close distance among workers in factories. VW and Audi, however, are expected to begin operations again on June 15.
According to the Mexican Auto Industry Association (AMIA), all other automotive factories managed to produce 22,119 small vehicles in May, significantly more than in April, which was labeled by the AMIA as “the worst month ever,” when plants managed to assemble only 3,722 cars.
Reinforcing Border Watch
Mexican Foreign Relations Undersecretary Ricardo Mejía Berdeja headed a video conference with U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP), in which they two sides agreed to increase surveillance at border crossings Piedras Negras-Eagle Pass and Ciudad Acuña-Del Rio in the state of Coahuila and Ojinaga-Presidio in Chihuahua, all along the Texas border.
The increased watch is to interdict drugs and weapons contraband as well as to detect so-called “narco tunnels” jointly.
The objective of the video conferences is to bring up new ideas and the creation of temporary task forces.
CBP was represented by Commissioner Robert E. Pérez and Mexico City Embassy attaché Robert Goss, among other officials.
Peso Gains Again
The Mexican peso closed the week ending on Friday, June 5 valued at 21.62 per U.S. dollar, according to the central Banco de Mexico, representing earnings of 26 centavos from Thursday, June 4, when the peso was quoted at 21.88, a gain equivalent to 1.19 percent.
The peso moved upwards from the previous Friday, when it closed at 22.22, showing over the week a gain of 2.7 percent.
Bolsa Perks Up
The Mexican Stock Exchange closed last week with slight earnings in line with Wall Street and most of the world’s stock markets in reaction to the sound unemployment figures in the United States, as well as an increase in oil prices and the promise of a large stock of coronavirus vaccines by the end of the year.
The reference index closed with a gain of 2.84 percent, up to 38,948.08 points from 36,122.73 the week before.
Sports: Boxing Match
Mexico Boxing Commissioner Ciro Nucci is investigating a boxing card carried out on Saturday, May 30, in the city of Tacámbaro, Michoacán.
In a program organized by middleweight Carlos “King” Molina, he fought in the main event, knocking out Michie Muñoz in the ninth round.
The event, originally slated for Patzcuaro, was held behind closed doors, with very few people attending. The full card included four more bouts.
The boxing program was broadcast on Facebook with a $5 charge to gain access.
Commissioner Nucci said that all the participating boxers are registered with the Boxing Commission and that currently he is not authorizing any boxing programs in Mexico City.
In fact, one that had been announced for June 20 was cancelled on orders from Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum, who is keeping a tight watch on all public events.
“King” Molina will be summoned to face Nucci and will have to explain how the boxing card took place.
…June 8, 2020