By RICARDO CASTILLO
Covid-19 Vaccine Funds Assured
The Mexican government wields, for starters, 20 billion pesos “we have saved because there is no more corruption nor luxuries” to vaccinate every Mexican, said President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) while on tour in Puebla over the weekend.
At the same time, he called upon every Mexican to not be overconfident before the virus “because it has the nation in harm’s way.”
“If we need more money,” AMLO said, “we’ll find it” without having to borrow from foreign sources.
At a hospital in Puebla currently under reconstruction, the president praised his administration, claiming; “it is a fact” that Mexico is recovering, both from the covid-19 health crisis and the economic crisis.
Anti-AMLO Front Takes Avenida Juárez
Hundreds of members of the National Anti-AMLO Front (Frena) on Sunday, Sept. 20, invaded Mexico City’s Avenida Juárez, one of the capital’s main arteries, linking Avenida Paseó de la Reforma with the downtown Centro Histórico.
The group, which, after a confrontation with riot police who blocked their progression to the city’s Zócalo central plaza, set up tents in front of the National Palace of Fine Arts, is threatening to keep the avenue shut for as long as AMLO remains in power.
One of the sit-in protest leaders, Jaime Sandoval, said they were going to keep their previous warning: “We are going to take a place. This is not a sit-in. Let it be clear that this is an occupation. It is our right as citizens. If they do not let us be at the Zocalo, let it be wherever there is space. Mexico is ours and they can’t prohibit us from being here.”
The protestors started out at the Revolution Monument with the intention to march to the Zócalo and settle there, but on being blocked, they decided to set up camp on Avenida Juárez.
Slim Company Fined, Suspended for Fraud
The World Bank (WB) has disqualified for two years the Carlos Slim-owned Spanish construction firm FCC “for defrauding and collusion practices” during its participation in an environmental program called Hydraulic Adequacy and Environmental Recovery of the Bogotá River in Central Colombia.
FCC admitted to the charges dating back to 2010, but made it clear that Slim purchased the company later and was not directly involved in the fraud.
Slim, however, in order to continue bidding for other contracts with the Colombian government, said he is willing to pay the $5.5 million fine imposed by the WB to the Colombian government.
Even then, the WB said that this current agreement may presuppose FCC disqualification to carry out bidding offers on future WB-sponsored projects.
Judges Turn Down Different Suits
Several suits filed by different plaintiffs for different reasons were turned down last week by separate courts in Mexico.
In one case, the “moral damage and slander” suit filed by former National Action Party (PAN) presidential candidate Ricardo Anaya against former Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) Director and current detainee Emilio Lozoya Austin was not exactly turned down, but the judge of the Fifth District on Civilian Issues declared himself “incompetent” and sent Anaya’s lawyers to a lower court. They will file again, the lawyers said.
On another issue, Federal Judge Gabriel Regis López temporarily rejected the habeas corpus demand (amparo) requested by steel manufacturer Alonso Ancira Elizondo, now detained in Spain. Ancira Alonso declared himself a victim of a political persecution on the part of AMLO, who has publicly spoken about his “guilt” despite the fact that he has yet to face trial.
The judge said that, as president, AMLO could emit opinions related to the Altos Hornos de México-Pemex alleged fraud committed by Alonso and Lozoya, as “it is an open money laundering case.” The dictate, legal experts have said, sets up a precedent to warn others who may complain about the opinions the president makes every morning in his press conferences.
Mexicans, Heavy Pop Drinks
Market research and statistics pollster Euromonitor magazine said that Mexican consumers imbibe an average of 1.9 litters a week of sweetened soft drinks.
Not only that, the report said, Mexicans use the soft drinks to wash down an average of 90.7 grams of salty snacks during the same period, which has led to an internal marketing war in Mexico since last month, when Oaxacan authorities banned the sale of snacks and soft drinks to minors, in a trend that is gaining national support.
The trend has junk food manufacturers, who pay billions in television advertising a year, up in arms with a national publicity campaign claiming that what matters now is to make the economy rebound through the increase consumption of all products.
Presidential Plane Lottery Declared Success
The Tuesday, Sept. 15, raffle of 100 prizes worth 20 million pesos each for the benefit of health institution went well, according to organizer National Lottery Director Ernesto Prieto, who said 4,685,900 individual tickets. popularly known as “cachitos” (little pieces). were sold to raise a total of 2.342,800 billion pesos.
The biggest winners were those who made bulk purchases to help the purchase of tickets.
AMLO applauded “the success of the presidential plane raffle, offering special thanks to the businesses that supported the effort.
Intellectuals Rock AMLO’s Boat
A group of 650 individual opponents of AMLO, accused the president of “flooding his hatred into the river” of national sentiment, complaining that “freedom of speech and democracy are under siege in Mexico.”
The group, headed by well-known AMLO-haters historian Enrique Krauze and journalist and editor Hector Aguilar Camín, claimed, “the president utters judgements and sows hatred” through a “permanent speech of stigmatization and defamation.”
As usual, AMLO condemned the fact that these “organic intellectuals “stayed mum in the past while the nation was being sacked by previous administrations because, he alleged, they were cranking the government’s payola to stay mum.
Regarding the document and its 650 signees, AMLO complained that they were pummeling with “heavy verbal attacks.”
He said: “I am the most attacked Mexican president in history, second only to Francisco Madero.” Madero was toppled in a coup on 1912.
“I do not hate,” AMLO said. “I am a pacifist. There is no hatred in me. What there is is intellectual honesty and regarding the money issue, corruption is over.”
No doubt, this bickering is bound to continue for as long as AMLO is president, that is, until Nov. 30, 2024. That is really not a lot of time, since it has been going on since 2006, when AMLO lost his first presidential bid.
…Sept. 21, 2020