By RICARDO CASTILLO
Free Covid Vaccines
Attention, expat seniors: Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) announced Tuesday, Jan. 12, that vaccinations against covid will be free for all residents, regardless of nationality.
The top priority groups in Mexico, in terms of urgency, are medical personnel on covid duty, who are first in line for the covid inoculation, followed by all adults 70 years and older.
All foreign residents in Mexico have the right to get the covid vaccines (two, in the case of the Pfizer brand, three weeks apart) at no cost.
The first massive batch of vaccines with 430.000 arrived at the Mexico City International Airport on Tuesday and will be distributed nationwide.
Check with your local Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS) as to the vaccination brigade’s whereabouts.
Mexico City Metro Subway Moves
Three Mexico City metropolitan subway lines were back on track Tuesday, Jan.12, after a transformer at the Metro’s central computer headquarters facility in downtown Mexico City on Saturday, Jan. 9.
Three more lines, 1, 2 and 3, the oldest and largest, will not be restored to service until Jan. 18, city officials said.
The blast was immediately politicized by AMLO administration opposition daily El Universal on Sunday, Jan. 10, which claimed that six billion pesos requested for maintenance from the Mexican Treasury (Hacienda) by the city government had been denied.
Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum said, “I want our adversaries to know it is not true that the city government was refused the money for maintenance. That’s fake news. The city government has the resources for that and a Metro rehabilitation plan. There was no request to Hacienda for funds for the Metro.”
Sheinbaum also said that the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE), which is now in charge of providing new transformers at the headquarters, is not to be blamed for the mishap.
CFE Director Manuel Bartlett, a constant media target for all ills in the nation, was directly blamed for the explosion.
“Those ‘bad guys’ blaming Bartlett, are now claiming he was responsible for the Metro fire,” she joked.
“Next thing we know he will also be blamed for the outage at the Vatican.”
The owners of over 500 Mexico City restaurants ¿ decided to challenge the lockdown orders from the mayor’s office on Monday, Jan. 11, and opened up for business, even under the threat that they would be shuttered by authorities.
“We are not against the authorities, but we are all for survival, and we are broke,” said Fisher’s marketing and restauranteurs spokesman Manolo Ablanedo, who acknowledged that many eateries are still being visited by Management Verification Institute (Invea) agents.
“Let them do their job, and if they close us down, so be it. We sent a newsletter to all the restaurant operators that decided to open up for business to treat the Invea agents well. If they close us down, let them close us down. Ours is a cry of desperation and we can’t hold on anymore.”
As Ablanedo talked to reporters, over two dozen kitchen workers banged on empty pans in front of the Metropolitan Cathedral adjacent to the National Palace at the capital’s Zócalo main square.
“The pandemic has finished us off,” Ablanedo said.
“It killed us because we are customer service-oriented businesses. We’ve tried offering food to go, but that’s not easy. At a place that sells meat, for example, nobody is going to ask for a steak because by the time they put it on the table it is dryer than a huarache sandal. We are registering low sales volumes. We’re selling 10 to 15 percent of a normal day gross, and with that, you can’t even meet payroll. We’re piling up debt month after month.”
The city government is looking into other options to keep the struggling restaurants open without sanctions.
Morena Hopefuls Meet
The 15 precandidates for state governors of the ruling National Regeneration Movement (Morena) political party met Monday, Jan. 11, at party headquarters with the party’s president,
In the six-hour meeting the precandidates outlined the Morena party platform and planned on how campaigns would develop.
“We must respond to the historic moment we are living and offer the people of Mexico the government they deserve, and work in tandem as one team so that we encourage the preference of the public by winning the 15 elections for governor and a majority at the Chamber of Deputies,” Delgado Carrillo told the candidates.
“Only through unity and mobilization will Morena win the 15 governorships.”
Attending the meeting were: Raúl Morón from Michoacán; Rubén Rocha from Sinaloa; Alfonso Durazo from Sonora; Clara Luz Flores from Nuevo León; Layda Sansores from Campeche; David Monreal from Zacatecas; Félix Salgado from Guerrero; Celia Maya from Querétaro; Lorena Cuéllar from Tlaxcala; Indira Vizcaíno from Colima; Miguel Ángel Navarro from Nayarit; Marina Ávila from Baja California; and Victor Castro, Baja California Sur.
Nuevo León Race
Some Mexicans are claiming that National Action Party (PAN) President Marko Cortés is busier criticizing whatever López Obrador does than caring for the selection of candidates for governor.
This, however, is only partially true since, on Monday, Jan. 11, the PAN announced its choice for Nuevo León precandidate, Fernando Larrazabal, who is already licking his chops as he prepares to confront Morena’s Clara Luz Flores in what is expected to be one of the hottest races of the upcoming midterm electoral contests.
And while we are on Marko Cortés, he is also confronting a large crowd of disgruntled women candidates for deputies, breaching the gender parity clause, since he only picked 75 women when he should have chosen 150.
This breach might cause Cortés problems with the National Electoral Institute (INE) board of directors.
Money for PRI and PAN
Entrepreneur turned político Claudio X. González, along with a group of powerful businessmen from Mexico City and Monterrey, allegedly made a commitment to the leaders of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and the PAN, Alejandro Moreno and Marko Cortés, respectively, as well as to Jesús Zambrano of the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD), that in all districts where Morena candidates won in the 2018 election, the one candidate backed by the three parties will get five million pesos for campaign expenditures.
The “It Goes for Mexico” and “Yes for Mexico” alliances between the three parties and the businessmen have opted for establishing hard-hitting negative campaigns against Morena candidates, as well as questioning the López Obrador administration.
…Jan. 13, 2021