By RICARDO CASTILLO
AMLO’s Washington Itinerary
Here are a few things we know about Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s (AMLO) scheduled visit to the White House on Wednesday, July 8.
Previously to his meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump, the Mexican head of state will visit two monuments: a statue of Benito Juárez and the Abraham Lincoln Monument.
Later, AMLO will meet for a one-on-one conversation with t Trump to discuss the newly enacted United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA.)
“I insist,” he said Tuesday, July 7, in the daily National Palace press conference, “that the main subject of the visit is the trade agreement that went into effect the first of July. There are many subjects on the bilateral agenda, all of which are related to the agreement.”
AMLO said that the reactivation of the global economy matters a lot to Mexico, adding “we are going to express our satisfaction (to Trump) because relations between the governments of Mexico and the United States have been carried out in terms of respect. There is a very good relationship with the United States, a relationship of cooperation and friendship, but, again, the basic discussions will be regarding the agreement.”
AMLO’s afternoon will be spent at the White House discussing different issues of the changing trade relations between the two countries.
The White House has organized a dinner for the two presidents, as well as prominent Mexican and American businessmen.
Among the Mexican attendees will be Bernardo González of Televisa, Ricardo Salinas Pliego of TVAzteca, Carlos Hank González of Banorte and Daniel Chávez of Grupo Vidanta. It is expected that in this dinner AMLO will publicly guarantee respect to foreign investment laws in Mexico.
In his Tuesday press conference, President AMLO announced he had taken the coronavirus test-testing negative.
Cannabis Study Result
The Mexican Senate thinktank Belisario Domínguez Institute delivered a final study outlining legislation to approve both the recreational and medicinal use of marijuana in Mexico.
The study stated that legislation should aim at “the construction of public policies, not just for health purposes, but also to foster farming development through the production, marketing and seed acquisition for sowing and harvesting.”
For recreational use, the report said that legislations should comply with health protection as well as the free development of the user.
Legislation should also bring to an end restrictions applied since the “prohibitionist policy” of 1948, the report said, which has recently been challenged by several individual suits.
Discussions on the matter have yet to move to the floor.
Given the mounting contagion of coronavirus in Monterrey, Nuevo León Health Secretary Manuel de la O Cavazos announced on Tuesday, July 7, that the city is running out of space to store the dead.
“We need more capacity to store the corpses of people dying from this disease,” De la O Cavazos said, adding that the Nuevo León state government is considering buying freezer containers as a temporary solution.
The idea, originally launched in May, is that a good place to put the freezer containers would be in the downtown Monterrey Macroplaza to make people aware of the grave risk of the covid-19 contagion.
“We urgently need a place to preserve the corpses of people dying of this disease,” De la O said.
Will the Nuevo León health secretary actually resort to using the Macroplaza, where all state government offices are located, as a temporary graveyard? Eerie!!!
Manuel Bartlett’s Son Sanctioned
An issue that has been in the Mexican news for several weeks now is the controversial sale of over 20 covid-19 ventilators by Cyber Robotics Solutions to the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS).
The company, owned by León Bartlett, son of the Federal Electricity Commission Director Manuel Bartlett Díaz, has been suspended as a government supplier for 27 months for selling the faulty ventilators at an exorbitant price.
The anti-corruption watchdog Secretariat of the Public Function said that the IMSS, in addition to not bothering to hold a public bidding before awarding Bartlett the purchase contract, paid a price of the ventilators that was much higher than the cost of comparable equipment in the international market purchased by the Foreign Relations Secretariat.
Four IMSS officials have been suspended pending investigation and Bartlett was ordered to return the money and get his allegedly faulty ventilators back.
Daddy kept mum.
Gulf of Mexico Tourism Development
Representatives of the Florida Ports Council (FPC) and Mexico’s Ports and Merchant Marine Coordinator held a meeting to revise and identify areas of joint business opportunities to improve the flow of international trade along shared coastline Gulf of Mexico ports.
CPF Chair Doug Wheele pointed to the underdevelopment of the area compared to the rest of the common border, noting that there are “substantial opportunities for the growth of bilateral maritime trade.”
Mexican Ports and Merchant Marine Administrator Héctor López Gutiérrez said he was all for the creation of new “maritime roads and the opening up of a favorable outlook for intermodal supply chains,” as well as the increasing of trade with Florida Gulf ports.
The meeting was held due to the new rules and opportunities for trade presented by the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
García Harfuch Released from Hospital
Mexico City Police Chief Omar García Harfuch was released from hospital o Monday, July 6, after surviving an assassination attempt on June 26.
The shielded vehicle he was travelling in on Avenida Reforma in Mexico City received 441 bullets of different calibers. His driver and bodyguard were killed in the attack, as well as a woman who was driving by.
García Harfuch suffered three bullet wounds and underwent two surgeries to remove bullets and grenade shrapnel.
…July 8, 2020