Mexico News Roundup
By RICARDO CASTILLO
Sener Presents Blueprint for CFE and Pemex
The Mexican Energy Secretariat (Sener) made public a blueprint of a plan to diminish the use of renewable energy from producers in order to strengthen the battered finances of the state-owned Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) and oil company Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex).
With this still-unapproved document, the Sener said it hopes to “recover state rectory” of both companies “the use of nationally owned energy resources, which implies a reduction of CFE debt, as well as the use of clean energy.”
The plan also is aimed at using Pemex-produced fuel for electricity generation through smoke emission reduction technology and fully used existing amortized infrastructure with reasonably prices policies both profitable for Pemex and the CFE, according to supply needs.”
API Pressures U.S. Government
The American Petroleum Institute (API) sent a letter to US State Secretary Mike Pompeo, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, U.S. Energy Secretary Dan Brouillete and Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer demanding they hold a meeting with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) because his administration is implementing policies that U.S. energy investors consider discriminatory.
The API claims many of its more than 400 member companies are concerned over recent moves preventing them from participating in energy investments that are part of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the incoming United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) and were opened under the Energy Reform negotiated during the past Enrique Peña Nieto administration.
Most of the API members participate in oil-related activities and those related to natural gas.
U.S. investors have complained that they are confronting increasing difficulties to obtain permits for new or renamed filling stations, in outsourcing fuel storage facilities, importing fuel to Mexico and setting up terminals for liquids and LP gas.
The addressed U.S. secretaries have not yet made a move to meet with AMLO.
Welcoming in the New Normal
Mexico City “welcomed” the new normalcy on Monday, June 15, but not quite as Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum had planned under a slow back-to-business program.
For more than eight hours, taxi drivers, artisans, public app transportation service drivers (UBER), street merchants and cops from different corporations took over the downtown streets creating a massive traffic jam the likes of which had not been seen since the lockdown went into effect on March 15.
Taxi drivers demanding to be part of the 125,000 peso loans the government announced for small business so that they could make payments on their vehicle credits clogged Juárez Avenue and the Central Lázaro Cárdenas Avenue, while in southern Mexico City, policemen demanded better wages and security in their jobs.
To Mexico City residents, there was nothing new in this normalcy. It was just like in old pre-covid-19 days, specifically, a traffic mess.
IMF Says Spend, Spend, Spend!
International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva called upon nations to continue pumping cash into their economies to counteract the crisis provoked by the covid-19 lockdown and not to “take a premature path into austerity.”
“My message is: Spend, spend, spend, please! Spend as much as possible,” Georgieva said during a virtual forum organized by Globsec, Bruegel and the Montaigne Institute.
“And keep in mind that we cannot survive without growth or effort.”
The message was clear to AMLO, who again repeated that the nation would not borrow money and will spend only what it must, without borrowing from the IMF.
AMLO said that Mexico will stay the course of a “republican austerity program.”
The IMF is slated to publish its global growth forecast on June 24.
AMLO-Trudeau Phone Chat
AMLO said he held a phone conversation with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for about half an hour on Monday, June 15.
The topics that AMLO said they touched upon were the incoming USMCA – with their possible meeting in Washington – on July 1, as well as the state of 300 Mexican workers infected with covid-19 in Canada, of whom two have passed away.
There are currently 10,000 Mexicans with working permits in Canada.
Trudeau told AMLO that Canada, over the next few days, will issue a recognition of Mexico’s excellent foreign policy and relations.
Cuban Doctors in the Middle
The 585 Cuban doctors that were invited by Mexico City authorities under a $6 million program with Cuba’s Health Ministry are now stranded in the middle of a political fray.
At the Mexican Chamber of Deputies, the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) rejected the hiring of the doctors, claiming preference should be given to Mexican physicians.
“This Malinchista attitude relegates and offends doctors and medical personnel trained in our nation’s universities,” the PRI deputies claimed. (Malinchista is an offensive word to label anti-Mexican Mexicans.)
The Mexican Public Health Secretariat said that the hiring of the Cuban doctors was carried out by the autonomous Mexico City Health Secretariat government, and had nothing to do with federal hiring.
The Cubans arrived in mid-May and Mexico City Health Secretary Olivia López explained that the visiting doctors are doing an excellent job “not just in direct attention o patients, but also in advising, doing field work and conducting epidemiology studies.”
The group, López added, includes biomedical engineers and epidemiologists.
“The agreement is slated to end on July 31, but there is a chance of an extension of their stay,” she said.
Regarding the PRI deputies protest, the Mexican Health Secretariat announced that the country’s hospitals currently have a deficit of 6,600 doctors and 23,000 nurses.
Sports: Live Boxing Returns to TVAzteca
For years, TVAzteca has broadcast fresh boxing bouts – either live or delayed – on Saturday nights at 11 p.m.
More recently, with no live boxing available, it has rebroadcast “classics” of yesteryear. keeping a good audience rating.
Fans, however, have made it known that while they like watching replays, there is nothing like new bouts.
Their wish was granted and this coming Saturday, June 20, TVAzteca along with Zanfer Promotions, will be staging a card of live boxing bouts at the television station’s studios in south Mexico City.
The official card — the first in three months — will be held under the medical protocol of the World Boxing Council, with heavy sanitation surveillance. At most, there will be 40 people allowed in the studio, the majority related with the event’s production.
There will be no live audience. but the judges will be from the Mexican Boxing Commission, and they will watch the several bouts far from the professionally clad ring.
The main event will be a non-title, 10-rounder between two well-known Mexican super bantamweight boxers, Emanuel “The Cowboy” Navarrete (World Boxing Organization champion) and Uriel “Yuca” López.
…June 17, 2020