By RICARDO CASTILLO
Gradual Business Reopenings Begin
Ever so trepidly and not without fear that it might not be the right move to make, Mexico City and 16 Mexican states will begin gradual reopening for business as of Monday, June 16, after a harrowing 90-day lockdown that began on March 15.
City and state authorities have warned that if there is a resulting spike in the covid-19 pandemic, they will again implement a lockdown.
The gauge to measure the pandemic will be hospital bed occupancy by infected patients.
The traffic light in the pandemic has four colors: red, orange, yellow and green.
The states moving in the traffic light from red to orange are Aguascalientes, Baja California Sur, Campeche, Chihuahua (except for the Juárez-El Paso border), Coahuila, Durango, Guanajuato, Jalisco, Michoacán, Nuevo León, Quintana Roo, San Luis Potosí, Tabasco, Tamaulipas, Yucatán and Zacatecas.
The first trial balloon will last a week, from June 15 to June 21.
In Mexico City, where the pandemic hit the hardest, Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum said that should there be an increase in infected persons, the lockdown will be reinstated for a week.
Most likely, all states on the orange street light will follow suit, but with each governor adapting to circumstances of the local spread.
López Gatell to Join the WHO
Mexico covid-19 czar Hugo López-Gatell was invited by the World Health Organization (WHO) to be part of its panel on International Sanitary Regulations.
López-Gatell announced his acceptance of the honorary invitation, “not as a personal recognition but as a recognition of the government of Mexico for its installed capacity” to deal with the pandemic.
U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Christopher Landau, along with Mexico’s Foreign Relations and Public Education Secretaries, Marcelo Ebrard and Esteban Moctezuma, respectively, recognized that the lesson from the covid-19 experience is that the two nations must work in tandem in the creation of previously established coordinated institutions.
Landau said that this will bring more certainty when facing an emergency and will protect the health, the economies and the supply chains already established between the two nations.
The threesome held a virtual meeting agreeing, “This is a lesson learned.”
On a related issue, Landau has announced there will be no July 4 celebration this year at his residence this year, as has been customary in the past.
Instead, Landau will issue a U.S. Independence Day speech that will be sent to the media and place don social networks.
Union Lawyer Moved Again
Tamaulipas union lawyer Susana Prieto Terrazas, who was arrested in Matamoros and arraigned in Nuevo Laredo, has to see her trial now at the Executions and Sanctions Detention Center in state capital Ciudad Victoria.
On Saturday, June 13, several protest marches were staged in Matamoros, Nuevo Laredo, Victoria, Mexico City and even in Oaxaca – among several other cities – by union sympathizers.
The protesters claimed Prieto Tarrazas is a political prisoner of Tamaulipas Governor Francisco García Cabeza de Vaca, who ordered Prieto Terrazas’ prison transfer in fear of mass demonstrations by maquiladora industry workers at Texas border cities.
Demonstrators alleged that he had trumped up charges against the labor union lawyer, since she was a legal counselor for several unions that went on strike in Matamoros in 2019.
This affair may turn out to be the first test case for the labor chapter of the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which is slated to go into effect on July 1.
Anti-AMLOers Cruise Again
Members of the newly founded National AntI-AMLO Front (Frena), who are demanding that Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) resign now from the post to which he was elected by a landslide majority in 2018, again staged car caravan demonstrations in some 100 cities on Saturday, June 13.
The two largest cruising Frena caravans were held in the cities of Chihuahua and Monterrey, while there was small caravans in others – at best 50 cars reported in Oaxaca, for instance – with larger demonstrations in cities like Mazatlán, Culiacán, Torreón and Saltillo.
The concept of conducting the protests via automobiles — which automatically excludes the participation of poorer Mexicans who do not own cars — has been criticized by some as elitist, but Frena organizers explained that it is to avoid social contact that could lead to the further spread of covid-19 in the midst of the pandemic.
By some accounts, the turnout for Saturday’s nationwide Frena protest was far less enthusiastic and large as the first Frena protests, two week earlier.
The Frena movement, however, is slowly growing.
April Was the Cruelest Month
Mexican Treasury Secretary Arturo Herrera said in a radio interview that April was perhaps the worst month ever in terms of the plummeting of the national Gross Domestic Product, with preliminary figures showing that it dropped by as much as 17 percent, with industrial activity falling by 30 percent.
“We have partial information that makes us believe that the most difficult month was April, with a drop of 17 percent, which may be a little less in May and June,” Herrera said.
Sports: Kick Ball
The next Mexican Soccer League season is officially slated to kick off on July 24 and run through Dec.12, Mexican Soccer Federation president Enrique Bonilla announced.
He also said that the world soccer body FIFA has announced that the World’s Clubs Championship is to be held from Dec. 24 through 26.
Mexico still does not have a team to participate in it.
Players belonging to the 18 teams that make up the league were given a couple of weeks off and will start training on July 1.
The league is to be played before a live audience.