By RICARDO CASTILLO
There are reports of complaints from all over Mexico that throngs of “influential” persons want to use their jobs in government to be the first in line to get access to the much-desired anti-covid vaccines.
In Nogales, Sonora, on the border with Arizona, the Social Security for Government Employees (ISSSTE) officials pointed a finger at the former director of Hospital Clínica “A,” Héctor Conrado Ramírez Ortiz, for “demanding” to get the vaccine first. He warned injecting brigadiers he was a “priority” health worker, which he is not.
The only priority workers are doctors and nurses specializing in covid patients.
Ramírez Ortiz received the vaccine, nonetheless.
Unlike in the Nogales case, many other people who have tried to abuse their work positions to get the vaccine first have been fired from the jobs, as was a doctor in Villahermosa, Tabasco.
Tabasco Governor Adán Augosto López Hernández personally notified doctor Corzo Ríos that he had abused the immunization protocol because he was the clinic director.
Also in Villahermosa, another hospital manager, Maria Elvia Fernández, was relieved from her position for the same reason.
Reports of similar behavior abound.
In Acapulco, for instance, the administrative director of the ISSSTE and several officials used their positions to demand the vaccine, and received the shots. They were fired.
“We will not allow influential behavior (influyentismo) in this institution and it will not happen again,” the ISSSTE said in a press release.
“We will proceed against health officials who do not respect the guidelines.”
In Mexicali, ISSSTE Hospital Director Pedro Vidales Miranda was fired by Baja California Governor Jaime Bonilla. who went so far as to publish the doctor’s photo in the local press for violating the requisites to receive the vaccine.
The publication of the physician’s photo was a warning to all federal employees that all lawbreakers who try to access the vaccine illegally “will receive equal treatment,” Bonilla said.
Sabotage at the Metro?
Mexico City police are investigating whether the Jan. 9 fire at the city’s subway line control center was due to a transformer explosion or caused by “a deliberate act,” meaning sabotage.
The possibility that the fire at the Delicias Street substation in downtown Mexico City, which left six subway lines without electricity, was intentional has been the subject of several press inquiries.
Authorities claim that the investigation is secret and that, at this point in time, they can’t say yes or no on the issue.
Mexico City criminalist agents are working at the charred facility, which has led reporters to suspect there may have been foul play in igniting the fire that led to a general subway blackout.
On a related issue, subway authorities announced they had started functionality testing in the main Line 1 of the Metro, and expect service will be reinitiated by Monday, Jan. 25.
High Interest Rates
Beware of credit cards issued by stores, said Banco de Mexico (Banxico) Assistant Governor and economist Jonathan Heath on his Twitter account.
“While Banxico has lowered the interest rate for interbank funding by 400 points to place it at 4.25 percent, Palacio de Hierro charges 59.88 percent in its credit card,” he wrote. “55.88 percent? Seriously?”
Heath, however, did not mention the rest of the stores jawing loan shark bites against their customers.
Here’s a brief list of other stores gnawing at your budget through credit cards:
Aurrera, 75.1 percent; Walmart, 74.5 percent; Soriana, 74.51 percent; Sam’s Club, 63.2 percent; Costco, 53.95 percent; and Liverpool, 11.5 percent.
Bank credit cards aren’t doing too badly in Mexico, either, with Citibanamex credit at 56.18 percent annually, while BBVA Bancomer charges 67.13 percent a year, on average.
One year ago, according to Banxico, Bancomer was charging 35.3 percent.
Under these circumstances, happiness is not owing money.
On a related issue, banks such as BBVA Bancomer are offering insurance against theft and assault while carrying out a withdrawal at an ATM. A coverage of 840 pesos a year cover user for as much as twenty thousand pesos if robbed under assault conditions near an automatic cashier.
The Mexican peso has shown stability during the first two weeks and a half of January, 2021.
In fact, it has gained ground against the U.S. dollar
On Friday, Jan. 15, it closed at 19.77 per dollar, lower by nearly 18 centavos from the last day of December 2020, when it closed at 19.95.
…Jan. 18, 2021