By KYLIE MADRY
México Libre Isn’t Free
México Libre, the political organization founded by former Mexican President Felipe Calderón and his wife Margarita Zavala, won’t be recognized as a political party after all, following a ruling by Mexico’s National Electoral Tribunal on Wednesday, Oct. 14.
This isn’t the group’s first roadblock on the way to registering as a legitimate political party in Mexico – they were previously denied registration Sept. 4 by the National Electoral Institute (INE).
The INE’s president councilor, Lorenzo Córdova, said after the September vote that “murky money should be a general reason to deny a registration,” implying that México Libre had received money from unidentified sources.
After Wednesday night’s decision, Zavala tweeted: “All those who are related to the government were given the registration; the only opposition voice, @MexLibre, was denied with absurd criteria. We will continue the fight.”
She also took a swipe at Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) in a video, saying, “The fact that a single man can use the institutions of the state to lynch his opponents and to prevent them from competing in the elections is a blow to the very heart of democracy, and we are not going to give up on our commitment to rescue Mexico.”
In his daily morning press conference on Thursday, Oct. 15, AMLO praised the INE decision and reiterated his allegations that México Libre is a “corrupt” organization.
Getting Feta Up: Profeco Bans Mislabeled Cheeses and Yogurts
On the night of Tuesday, Oct. 13, Mexico’s Economy Secretariat and the Office of the Federal Consumer Protection Agency (Profeco) announced that several of the largest national and international cheese and yogurt producers – including Fud, Nochebuena, Sargento and Philadelphia – would be banned from selling in Mexico, effective immediately, because of misleading product labeling.
Several hours later, the Profeco clarified that only the mislabeled products would be banned, not the brands altogether, until they complied with Mexico’s Official Cheese Standard and Quality Infrastructure Law.
A total of 24 products were affected by the announcement, 22 cheeses and two yogurts.
The Economy Secretariat later stated that most of the mislabeled products fell into one of two categories: They either claimed to be from 100 percent milk, while also containing a milk-based preservative, or they contained less product than advertised.
This is the Mexican government’s latest attempt to regulate food consumption in the country, after the Public Health Secretariat rolled out consumption warnings earlier this month on products with excessive calories, sugar, saturated fats, trans fats and sodium.
A Conspiracy Afoot? AMLO Blames Cancer Med Shortages on Big Pharma
After 38,000 units of cancer medication destined for sick children were supposedly stolen from a Mexico City facility on Sunday, Oct. 4, AMLO on Tuesday, Oct. 13 tried to divert the blame for a long-running shortage of these precious meds to big pharma, claiming that pharmaceutical companies are preventing the country from purchasing the much-needed medications.
“There are signs that they’re blocking us from buying the medications, not just in Mexico but also abroad,” the president said.
“The same Mexican companies make agreements with foreign companies, and they intervene so they don’t follow through with their promises,” the president said in his Tuesday morning press conference.
Not everyone in Mexico was convinced by AMLO’s reasoning, however, and some questioned whether the stolen cancer medication existed in the first place.
“We find it difficult to believe that the medicines were stolen from a maximum-security laboratory,” said Israel Rivas, the father of a young girl with cancer. “All we want is for the medications to be here in time for our children’s treatments.”
Covid Death Toll Stacks Up in Mexican Prisons
According to a report released on Wednesday, Oct. 14, by Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission (CNDH), covid-19 cases have ripped through the nation’s jails and prisons, totaling 2,561 confirmed cases, 236 suspected cases and 232 deaths as of Oct. 13.
Just five facilities are responsible for 73 percent of those cases, the CNDH said, pointing to overpopulation and lack of medical resources as key factors in allowing the disease’s spread to run rampant.
“A constant detected in most of the country’s prisons was that it was not possible to enforce social distancing due to the overpopulation and crowding in some spaces,” the CNDH said in a July report.
The Human Rights Commission also reported three brawls or riots due to security measures, in the State of Mexico (Edomex), Tabasco and Chiapas.
…Oct. 16, 2020