By RICARDO CASTILLO
AMLO Joins the Energy Fray
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) joined the mounting energy fray after the Supreme Court admitted a challenge by the Federal Economic Competition Commission (Cofece) against the Energy Secretariat (Sener), stopping the implementation of the Policy for Trustworthiness, Security, Continuity and Quality in the National Electrical System, which was published in the Official Gazette on May 15.
AMLO, upset over the Supreme Court’s decision, said the contracts between the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) and the clean energy — mostly wind and solar — suppliers were “fraudulent” due to the manner by which they were implemented.
First, he said, former Mexican President Carlos Salinas de Gortari opened the CFE to private investment through a secondary law seeking to divest the government-owned electricity company.
“But that was not the end of the grievance,” AMLO said.
“Contracts were signed in a fraudulent way in most cases. They favored private investors and carried out a bidding for the CFE to buy energy from those companies.”
AMLO went on to say: “The contract was handed out to a company and the charge made by the private company was levied, but immediately after this contract was signed, a new contract was subscribed to without bidding at a higher fee. This means that the CFE bought electricity from private suppliers at very high prices, like a subsidy.”
The administration will proceed against those responsible, AMLO said, “because this is a fraud in which there was simulation in the contract delivery and that constituted damage to the Treasury. The suits will be aimed at individual, allegedly guilty companies, one-by-one.”
In addition, AMLO said he wants to convince many journalists “who think or have admitted the companies’ opinion and believe we’re committing an injustice” of the contrary.
“These journalists argued that we were affecting the generating of clean energy and that we wanted to go back to the use of fuel oil,” he said. “That belief in ungrounded.”
AMLO mentioned that another offense against the CFE is that private suppliers are given preference when it comes to loading juice into the grid on the grounds that they do not contaminate. Most of the electricity produced by the CFE, he said, is produced from natural gas.
Supreme Court Judge Luis María Aguilar Morales admitted the Cofece constitutional challenge against Sener on the allegations that the Sener edict curtails free competition.
It remains to seen what will happen, since the move is clearly an attempt by AMLO to dismantle, as much as Sener can, the much-repudiated Energy Reform carried out by former Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, who in AMLO’s view, almost handed over electricity production entirely to private enterprise.
No doubt, about it, the two parties will clash in court.
Corruption and Violence in Guanajuato
Judge Paulina Iraís Medina released all of the 26 alleged members of the Santa Rosa de Lima Cartel on Sunday, June 28, supposedly on grounds that their arrest on Saturday, June 20, by the state judicial police, Army and National Guard was illegal because they lacked warrants.
The release included the cartel’s alleged cashier and payroll accountant María Eva Ortiz, who was caught with 2 million pesos in cash and a kilo of methamphetamine.
After this massive arrest, cartel members went on a destructive rampage through 13 municipalities in Guanajuato surrounding the city of Celaya,
On Monday, June 29, AMLO called the release “a crooked deal” based on “corruption” by the judge, saying that the arrested cartel members were caught red-handed and they should not have been let go.
Guanajuato Governor Diego Sinhué Rodriguez Vallejo blamed the Fiscal General of the Republic (FGR) for not having managed the case.
This led to a retort from AMLO claiming that the governor had lost control of governance in Guanajuato, the most violent state in the republic, to which the governor answered: “the president is trying to politicize the issue.” Wow!
And as a cherry on this corruption stanching cake, released alleged culprit María Eva Ortiz’s defense lawyer was murdered immediately after leaving court, on the road between León and Irapuato.
A not-so-wild guess is that Jalisco New Generation Cartel assassins, sworn enemies of the Santa Rosa de Lima Cartel, carried out the execution.
The U.S. Embassy is warning Americans not to use the road between Celaya and León in Guanajuato.
Judge’s Killer Nabbed
Meanwhile, the Fiscal General of the Republic issued a statement saying that a person by the name of Jaime “T,” best known for his pseudonym of “El Alacrán” (“The Scorpion”), was jailed for the murder of Judge Uriel Villegas Ortiz and his wife, Verónica Barajas. The two were gunned down at their Colima home on June 16.
The Scorpion, the FGR said, is also linked to the kidnapping and murder of National Regeneration Movement (Morena) Federal Deputy Anel Bueno Sánchez.
The arrest of The Scorpion was carried out in Cuauhtémoc, Colima.
Lozoya Accepts Extradition
Former Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) Director Emilio Lozoya Austin on Monday, June 29, agreed to be extradited from Spain to Mexico to face charges of corruption.
FGR head Alejandro Gertz Manero made the announcement on Tuesday, June 30, saying that Lozoya delivered his acceptance in writing to a Spanish judge.
No date for the extradition has yet been set.
Deputies in a Rush
The Mexican Chamber of Deputies met on Tuesday, June 30, in an extraordinary session to vote on the regulations pertaining to the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA.)
For the meeting, all the deputies wore plastic face guards and masks, since, thus far, the covid-19 virus has infected seven of them.
The deputies must deliver all the corresponding regulations for publication on, Wednesday, July 1, in the Official Gazette, the exact day the USMCA goes into effect.
Sports: Pumas Cut Wages
Slowly but surely, as the covid-19 pandemic tears the Mexican economic fabric apart, Mexican Soccer League teams have been announcing their inability to pay players the wages they had originally agreed upon.
This week, it was the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) Pumas who were informed that since the only sponsoring support the team has is from the UNAM, all players will have to sit down to renegotiate their contracts, both as a group and individually ,in order to keep the team financially feasible until the pandemic lockdown is lifted.
…July 1, 2020