By RICARDO CASTILLO
AMLO Reshuffles his Queens
The reshuffling of women in the Mexican presidential cabinet that was announced on Monday, Dec. 7, may not be to the liking of many, but the dice have already rolled and the shots stand.
The problem with the five reappointed women in the cabinet of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) is not their gender – as their nominations would “naturally” be eyed by some in macho Mexico – but the real reason why they were chosen.
Alternatively, as AMLO put it, “these are not gender equity appointments.”
Let us being with still-National Regeneration Movement Deputy Tatiana Clouthier, nominated to run the Economy Secretariat, replacing Graciela Márquez Colín.
Just last Friday. Dec. 4, Clouthier visited her district in Monterrey to hold a press conference.
At that time, she was expected to announce her candidacy for governor of Nuevo León, definitely the wealthiest state in Mexico, but instead she announced a program to register domestic servants as beneficiaries of the National Social Security Institute (IMSS), with employers paying their fees.
Clouthier denied having ambitions to be a candidate for governor, and at the end of the weekend, back in Mexico City, she was virtually the new economy secretary.
She got the post not because she is an economist — which she definitely is not — but because “she’s honest,” AMLO said.
To appoint her to the position, AMLO had to remove leftist economist Márquez Colín from the post, who took office along at the start of his six-year term two years ago.
Márquez Colín will now fill a seat in the governing junta of the National Geography and Statistics Institute (Inegi), with the aim to assume the Inegi presidency once its current head, Julio Santaella, originally appointed by former Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, leaves.
Economist Galia Borja Gómez, who formerly held a job at the Mexican Treasury Secretariat, was appointed for a seat on the five-member board of directors of Mexico’s central bank Banco de México (Banxico), where she joins another AMLO appointee, Gerardo Esquivel.
Another woman, Elvira Concheiro, will replace her at the Treasury.
Finally yet importantly, Navy Ship Captain Ana Laura López Bautista was appointed as head of the Ports and Merchant Marine Administration replacing Rosa Icela Rodríguez Velázquez, who became the new secretary of public protection and security, a post left vacant by Alfonso Durazo, now a candidate hopeful for governor of the state of Sonora.
The Senate must approve the appointments for the above-mentioned posts.
On the issue, ruling party National Regeneration Movement (Morena) Majority Whip Ricardo Monreal said, “I foresee no problem” for their approvals.
At a special meeting at Mexico’s National Palace on Tuesday, Dec. 8, Public Health Undersecretary for Prevention and Health Promotion Hugo López-Gatell Ramírez outlined the steps he, as anti-pandemic organizer for the government, will follow in carrying out the anti-covid 19 vaccination, a literally yearlong process.
López Gatell outlined the schedule – which will begin as soon as vaccines are available, hopefully during December – that will be followed by the government in order of inoculation:
Those are, in order: health workers, persons over age 80, persons from 70 to 79 years old, persons from 60 to 69, persons from 50 to 59, persons from 40 to 49, and finally those under 40 and over 16 years of age.
Though not obligatory, López-Gatell said the objective is to vaccinate the entire Mexican population.
García Luna, Wanted
Mexican Foreign Relations (SRE) Secretary Marcelo Ebrard announced that the Mexican Embassy in Washington had officially requested the extradition of the country’s former public security secretary under President Felipe Calderón, Genaro García Luna.
The request came, Ebrard said, after Mexican Attorney General Alejandro Gertz Manero issued an arrest warrant for García Luna on Nov 27.
García Luna was arrested in Dallas a year ago, and is now under quarantine at the Brooklyn Federal Detention Venter in New York.
Gertz Manero said he issued an arrest warrant for García Luna on the grounds of “illicit enrichment” while he was serving as the nation’s top cop.
García Luna is still in the pre-trial stage in the United States, where the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has charged him with a myriad of drug-trafficking-related crimes.
The extradition request may take years.
García Luna’s next court date in the United States is slated for February.
Outsourcing Talks Stalled
Two weeks ago, the passing of a stiff outsourcing bill protecting workers’ rights was considered at the Chamber of Deputies “a done deal.”
Business leaders, however, have pushed López Obrador hard and he has opted to postpone discussions until a deal is made that is both satisfactory to the administration and business.
AMLO admitted that discussions would linger on next year, although he said that his administration is committed to defending workers’ rights.
“It’s not possible to have thousands of workers laid off every December so as not to recognize their labor rights such as Christmas bonuses, profit sharing and other benefits, and for businesses not to pay social security quotas,” AMLO said.
“These issues affect workers.”
AMLO added that there is no opposition from business leaders to his proposal and what they want is to have personnel outsourcing available to meet the needs of some companies.
“That’s what we’re working on,” he said.
Sports: Checo Wins the Race
A Mexican racecar driver won a central podium positioning after Mexican Sergio “Checo” Pérez won the Sakhir, Bahrain, Formula 1 (F-1) Grand Prix on Sunday, Dec. 6.
Checo is the second Mexican ever to win a F-1 race racing in over 50 years. after Pedro Rodríguez became the nation’s greatest racing star of the 1970s.
“Checo” celebrated his victory waving a Mexican flag.
In what is being touted as “the battle of the feline beasts,” the National Autonomous University of Mexico Pumas and León City “Green Bellies” will play Thursday, Dec. 10, and Sunday, Dec, 13, for the national 2020 championship.
The first match will be in Mexico City and the second in León, both at 8:30 p.m.
Mikel Fed President
Former 2018 candidate for Mexico City mayor and former Mexican Social Security Institute Director Mikel Arreola was surprisingly appointed as the new president of the Mexican Soccer Federation (Femexfut).
The current Femexfut president, Enrique Bonilla, who now moves on to taking care of international representation for the league, made the announcement Monday, Dec. 7.
Arriola, known best as a politician, declared himself now to be “all soccer” and with no political agenda.
…Dec. 9, 2020