By RICARDO CASTILLO
AMLO on an Electrical Collision Course
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) clearly sent a “suggestion” to the Chamber of Deputies in regards to their discussions over the increasingly controversial bill regulating the state-owned Federal Electricity Commission (CFE).
“Do not change even an iota of the text” that they had received from him for a fast-track approval during the month of February, AMLO warned.
Immediately, the Mexican International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) responded, demanding that Congress to reject the entire bill because, if it were to be approved as is, it would negatively affect foreign investment, and go against the fundamental principles of AMLO’s much-touted “republican austerity,” while contravening the commitments made by the nation in international treaties, particularly the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
AMLO is now clearly on a collision course with a large number of trade chambers, all of which want things left as they stand in terms of the nation’s electricity grid.
The business chambers believe that AMLO wants to go back to the existing legislation prior to former Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto’s Energy Reform, which opened up Mexico to international clean energy production, giving producers a priority to use – and pay for – their own energy supplies first and, when needed, to use the CFE’s production.
AMLO said that that prevision must be stricken down because he alleged that the Energy Reform was approved through “graft, with vote purchases from deputies and senators over the past two legislations.”
AMLO said that “there is plenty of evidence of that,” but did not offer up any such evidence to support his allegations.
At the Chamber of Deputies, two political parties clearly are shouting on the floor, “Let’s get it done.!” They are the Labor Party (PT) – run and operated by CFE Director Manuel Bartlett Díaz and the president’s very own majority National Regeneration Movement (Morena), which together have sufficient votes to …. get it done.
Even if national, U.S. and international chambers of commerce are screaming, “See you in international court,” let there be no question that on the electricity bill’s approval, the cards have been dealt. And not one iota of text from AMLO’s original draft will be removed.
And according to Morena sources, the proposed bill seems to be both legally and constitutionally sound.
That’s bad news for the bill’s opponents.
Since there are a number of recent cases of imprisoned politicians and businessmen, here’s a quick update on some of their cases:
Federal Judge Jose Artemio Zúñiga declared Wednesday, Feb. 10, that Mexican steel tycoon Alonso Ancira must stay in jail to await his trial on money laundering charges. The decision came after Ancira promised to reimburse $219 million to the state-run Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) oil company after evidence was presented that indicated that the sale of a fertilizer plant had been a fraud. Judge Zúñiga said Ancira will stay at the North Penitentiary in Mexico City under “justified preventive imprisonment” to await the trial, with the embezzlement charge dropped.
Rosario Robles Berlanga, former secretary of the environment and of agriculture, agreed to plead guilty of “omission of duty” after the Attorney General’s Office decided to drop the charges agaomst her if she would cooperate in testifying against the real perpetrators of the Master Fraud. Her case will be back in court on Friday, Feb. 26.
Former Puebla Governor Mario Marín was declared “formally imprisoned” after a Second District Quintana Roo judge in Cancun found bases for allegations of torture against muckraking journalist Lydia Cacho, who doggedly chased after Marin. In 2007, Marin allegedly ordered her kidnapping in Cancun, where she lives, for accusing two Puebla industrialists of child pornography. Best known as the “Precious Governor,” Marin now faces the full wrath of offended journalist Cacho, who during trial will seek, according to her recent statement, “a 20’year sentence “for the not-so-precious governor.”
And on Thursday, Feb. 11, AMLO brought back front and center to the news cycle the case of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) arrest last October of former Mexican Defense Secretary Salvador Cienfuegos Zepeda.
“The decision to release the general was not ours, but made by the U.S. Attorney General’s Office,” AMLO said. “.We did file a diplomatic note of protest on the manner in which he was arrested without any warning, in violation of collaboration agreements between both nations.”
The DEA case, he alleged, “had no evidence (of Cinefuego’s guilt) and did not conduct serious investigation since they fabricated the proceedings.”
Cienfuegos was immediately released on his arrival in Mexico, which has caused continued protests by some of the arresting DEA officers in the case and others.
Tigers Place a Close Second
The Mexican soccer team Universidad de Nuevo León Tigres came out T in a highly honorable second place Thursday, Feb. 11, after losing by a 1-0 score against Germany’s Bayern Munich in the final of the FIFA World Club Championship.
The match was played at the Qatar Foundation Stadium in Rayan, Qatar, the venue of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
The final score shows that it was a very tightly competitive game, with each team playing an extremely different type of soccer. Bayern went on the attack from the beginning, forcing the Tigres tp trench up in a catenaccio Italian style of defensive football, waiting for a chance to counterstrike, which seldom came.
This style of play went on until minute 60, 15 minutes into the second half of the match, when French striker Benjamin Pavard netted the game’s only goal after the ball had rebounded from striker Robert Lewandowsky, who was in an offside position.
The goal was at first voided, but after a video review, was validated since Lewandowsky did not pass the ball to Pavard. It had just bounced off him.
For the Tigres, getting to the FIFA World Cup Championship was a historic feat, being the first Mexican team to make it that far in the tournament.
Even then, the Tigres coach offered up stiff criticism from the always-demanding Mexican soccer press, asking them please not underestimate Mexican soccer, considered “mediocre” by Mexican journalists.
Second place sounds great!
…Feb. 12. 2021