Mexico News Roundup
By KYLIE MADRY
Domestic, Sexual Violence Continue to Rise
Domestic and sexual violence are on the rise for the 5th straight month in Mexico, according to statistics released by the Executive Secretariat of the National Public Security System (SESNSP) Sunday, Oct. 25.
In September, 20,087 criminal complaints were filed for domestic violence. That’s the second highest month this year, after domestic violence complaints reached a historic high in March, coinciding with coronavirus lockdowns across the country. Reports decreased in April as government offices shuttered.
The same pattern applies to sexual violence complaints in Mexico, with five straight months of increase after a decrease in April. The SESNSP reported a new historic high in “gender-based violence” complaints, “apart from domestic violence,” with a 26.4 percent increase in cases opened from last year.
In the past six years, femicides in Mexico have increased 145 percent, according to the SESNSP’s August report.
Senate Goes on Covid Lockown
The Mexican Senate is taking new measures to fight coronavirus among its own ranks, after Senator Joel Molina Ramírez, a member of the ruling National Regeneration Movement (Morena), died of covid-19 Saturday, Oct. 24. Four days before his death, the senator sat in a 12-hour, in-person session.
Now, according to the decision by the Senate Political Coordination Committee, senators will be required to take covid-19 tests before attending in-person sessions, which have been limited to three days a week. Staffers will not be allowed to attend.
Covid-19 has ripped through Mexico’s legislature, which has almost 400 total cases.
In the lower house, 230 have been infected, including 63 representatives. One of them, Miguel Acundo González, died on Sept. 15.
Tren Maya Construction Goes Off the Rails
Villagers in Maxcanú, Yucatán, a small town about 60 kilometers away from Mérida, stopped construction of the Tren Maya tourist train project on Saturday, Oct. 24.
A resident collective called “Indignación” forced employees of Constructora Barrientos to pause construction on the mega-train project that has become a hallmark of Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s (AMLO) presidency.
The villagers said that the construction threatens at least nine houses and 50 plots of land, for which they have not been compensated.
They said the National Fund for the Promotion of Tourism (Fonatur) cut checks for millions of pesos in May to pay for the land, but that that money is still sitting with the local ejido commissariat.
“We do not want to fight,” one villager said, “but we do not want our heritage to be affected without them taking responsibility.”
National Guard Members Arrested in Death of Protestor
The Mexico National Guard announced that six of its members had been arrested Tuesday, Oct. 27, for the September death of a protestor in Chihuahua.
Farmers clashed with the National Guard in Delicias, Chihuahua, in a conflict over water set to be diverted to the United States.
The woman killed, Yésica Silva, was a 36-year-old mother of three. Her husband, Jaime Torres, was also injured.
According to witnesses, a member of the National Guard shot her in the back and she died on the way to the hospital.
In the days after the confrontation, the head of the National Guard, Luis Rodríguez Bucio, called Silva’s death “an unfortunate accident.”
The National Guard announced the arrests through its Twitter account, saying that “from the beginning, (the National Guard) worked with authorities to find those responsible.”
Mexico’s Economic Recovery Still Not in Sight
Mexico’s economic recovery lost traction in August, coinciding with a loss of domestic demand in the service sector and threats of a second shutdown as the country struggles to get a hold on rising covid-19 cases.
The Global Index of Economic Activity of Mexico (IGAE) increased just 1.1 percent in August, according to the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (Inegi).
The economy took a sharp downturn in April, with the index falling 17.5 percent. The following months showed promise, however, with an increase of 8.9 percent in June and 5.7 percent in July.
“The most worrying thing about the news of the growth of economic activity in August was the very slow advance of just 0.4 percent in (the service sector); it is the group of activities with the biggest impact on our economy,” said Jonathan Heath, deputy director of the Bank of Mexico (Banxico), on his Twitter account.
The agricultural sector showed the most promise, with 5.9 percent annual growth. The industrial sector fell 8.4 percent from last year, worrying some manufacturers.
…Oct. 28, 2020