By RICARDO CASTILLO
Ebrard and Sullivan Talk Migration
A new era in Mexican-U.S. diplomatic relations began Wednesday, Jan. 6, with a video conference between Foreign Relations Secretary (SRE) Marcelo Ebrard Casaubón and President-elect Joe Biden’s National Security spokesman, Jake Sullivan.
Both agreed that the most important issue in a new bilateral agenda is to collaborate in order to have a safe and orderly — as well as humane — migration from Central America to the United States through Mexico.
Their conversation, according to a press release issued by the SRE, was a follow-up on a phone call between Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and Biden on Dec. 19, when the two men verbally outlines a binational cooperation program.
Both agreed that the most important issue was a plan for regional development for the Central America Northern Triangle (El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras) in tandem with programs already in progress as established by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean.
This was considered as the first formal step for a transition by the United States for bilateral relation from the Donald Trump administration to the Biden administration.
López-Gatell Stays Put
In answer to a barrage of press articles demanding the resignation of Mexico’s anti-covid czar Hugo López-Gatell, AMLO came to the defense of the also public health undersecretary by reading aloud at a press conference the physician’s entire professional CV.
López-Gatell was under attack for most of the duration of 2020 because the pandemic has created havoc in the nation.
But it seems López-Gatell’s biggest sin in the eyes of the public was daring to take a few days off at Zipolite Beach in Oaxaca during the Christmas break.
He’s been mercilessly pummeled for it in the press, with throngs of columnists demanding his resignation.
AMLO adamantly defended López-Gatell.
“It’s been blow after blow, it seems unfair,” AMLO said.
“Hear me well and let this be heard from near and far: We consider him an extraordinary public servant.”
On Thursday, Jan. 7, López-Gatell travelled to Argentina to check out the performance of the Russian covid vaccine, Sputnik 5.
AMLO said that during his six-year term, there will be no politicizing of the coronavirus pandemic
The president also announced that Mexico will begin administering injecting 3 million doses of the Canadian-Chinese vaccine CanSino later this month.
Regardless of the plummeting of Mexico’s economy by at least 8 percent during 2020, inflation in Mexico has remained low, closing the year at 3.15 percent, according to the National Index of Consumer Prices issued Thursday, Jan. 7, by the National Institute of Geography and Statistics (Inegi).
Inflation during December was 0.38 percent, the lowest in the year, during which the trend was for an average increase of 0.55 percent.
Dos Bocas Keeps Moving
The controversial construction of the Dos Bocas refinery in the southern Mexican state of Tabasco continues regardless of the heavy criticism it continues to get from AMLO administration opponents.
Mexican Energy Secretary Rocío Nahle filed a report showing the progress of the initial works, which include setting the foundation for an independent electricity plant and digging a solid base for planned steel plants.
She also relayed a bit of news, announcing that outsourcing company Van Oord has said that the final ground conditioning works are on now in their final stages.
Moctezuma Says Adios
Mexican Public Education Secretary (SEP) Esteban Moctezuma Barragán formalized his resignation from that post on Thursday, Jan. 7.
He will soon assume the head-of-mission position at Mexico’s embassy in Washington.
At the SEP, Barragán will be replaced by Delfina Gómez, an elementary school teacher and an avowed politician, who insiders tell Pulse News Mexico has already begun announcing policies changes to some of the secretariat’s programs, including to the style and content now being aired in television classrooms by the SEP.
Moctezuma still has to be ratified by the Mexican Senate, and accepted by the Biden administration as Mexico’s new diplomatic envoy.
He will stay on as the SEP secretary, he said, “until the day before I travel to Washington as ambassador.”
The transition at the SEP, however, is already underway.
Mexico’s Trade Surplus
The U.S. Census Bureau reported this week that Mexico registered a $102.761 billion trade surplus with the United States from January to November 2020.
This means that Mexico sells a lot more to the United States than it buys from it.
The news is great for Mexico since it signifies that exports to the United States are the engine hauling the battered economy on to safer grounds.
Mexico exported a total of $295.805 billion during the abovementioned period.
With the announcement by National Regeneration Movement (Morena) President Mario Delgado Thursday, Jan. 7, that the party’s candidate for governor in the northern state of Chihuahua is Juan Carlos Loera de la Rosa, the stage for Mexico’s largest state in size is on.
The current governing National Action Party (PAN) will post professional politico Gustavo Madero as its “invincible” candidate.
Morena’s Delgado said that Loera was the winner of a popularity poll carried out by the party, which is its way of selecting candidates.
Loera was a federal deputy for Chihuahua and the AMLO government’s representative in the state, and he is a staunch defender of López Obrador’s Fourth Transformation programs.
The race looks like it will be a hot one.
…Jan. 8, 2021