By RICARDO CASTILLO
AMLO, Biden in Virtual Meet
On Monday, March 1, U.S. President Joe Biden is slated to hold a virtual conference with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO). This will be the second virtual gathering both presidents have, the last one having been on Jan. 22.
According to White House sources, the two are expected to discuss a range of bilateral issues, including migration, the covid-19 pandemic and economic cooperation.
One of the top issues on the agenda for López Obrador will be a request for Biden to establish a provisional workers scheme similar to the Bracero program that functioned from 1942 to 1963, in which Mexican workers, particularly farmhands, were allowed to enter temporarily to work in farms in the United States, and a request to legalize undocumented Mexicans already residing in the United States.
A second request AMLO is expected to make of his U.S. counterpart will be the for the United States to share covid19 vaccines with Mexico on loan, to be paid back once manufacturing labs supply Mexico with vaccines, which have been entering the country on a haphazard basis.
AMLO announced that he would discuss these themes to deal with Biden during a tour in the northern state of Zacatecas, which has a large population already living in the United States.
As an advance goodwill gesture, Biden asked U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agents to not conduct arrests of Mexican illegal workers seeking vaccinations.
This will be Biden’s second summit meeting, since last week he met, also virtually, with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the third link in the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
Salgado, Out but Alive
The majority National Regeneration Movement (Morena) political party’s Honesty and Justice Committee ordered a new poll in the southern coastal state of Guerrero to select a candidate for governor, omitting the already-approved Senator-on-leave Félix Salgado Macedonio, aka “El Toro” (The Bull).
The committee, that after a long discussion on Salgado, who has been accused by several women of sexual assault, on Friday, Feb. 27, issued two statements.
The first statement said that Salgado’s candidacy was being recalled for a new poll to be carried out next weekend.
The second statement said that the at least five different accusations of rape by several women against Salgado were “unfair and unfounded,” hence, he preserves his political rights within the party, including the right to register again.
Salgado, a close friend and ally of AMLO – he led all three of AMLO’s candidacies for president in his home state, all of which AMLO won – upon hearing the committee’s decision to preserve his political rights, celebrated claiming, “there is (going to be) Toro for a while.”
Morena President Mario Salgado said he will announce the party’s Guerrero gubernatorial candidate proceedings as soon as possible, as election campaigning is due to kick off the first week of April.
Rosario and FGR Deadlocked
Former Mexican Environment and Agriculture Secretary Rosario Robles will remain in jail as the Attorney General’s Office (FGR) refused to grant her an abbreviated trial for as long as the monies (approximately 7 billion pesos) allegedly embezzled from public funding while Robles was secretary are not returned.
The alleged theft has been labeled by the Mexican press as the “Master Fraud.”
Robles stands accused of “omission of official duties” for not denouncing the money movements, allegedly carried out by top officials during her administration of the two secretariats.
For over a year, Robles declared herself not guilty of the charges, but in January, she said that she would agree to file a guilty plea if allowed to stand trial under house arrest.
The Attorney General’s Office refused to bargain unless the missing money is returned.
Also, Robles has refused to testify against her superiors, namely then-Treasury Secretaries Luis Videgaray and Jose Antonio Meade, who are not expected to be summoned as witnesses.
Robles defense attorneys said they would make a new proposal to the Attorney General’s Office during her next appearance in court on March 26.
Lawyers for the Attorney General’s Office delivered six large cardboard boxes to the Mexican Chamber of Deputies’ Instructing Section on Thursday, Feb. 25,
The boxes contained files of their case against Tamaulipas State Governor Francisco Javier Garcia Cabeza de Vaca.
The governor stands accused of participating in organized crime activities, operations with resources from illegal precedence and equated tax fraud.
Garcia Cabeza de Vaca has denied the allegations, saying that they were trumped up against him for political reasons. He is a staunch member of the conservative opposition National Action Party (PAN).
As of Saturday, Feb. 27, the Instructing Section has three days to notify the governor of the accusations levied against him. The investigating deputies have 60 days to study the entire content of the boxes.
When finished, the Instructing Section will make public on whether the governor will be divested of legal immunity and if it will proceed to take García Cabeza de Vaca to trial.
Mexico City Vaccinations
Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum announced that as of Saturday, Feb. 27, 158,907 senior residents, 60 years and over, had received the first dose of the anti-covid19 vaccine.
The amount represents, she said, 9.7 percent of the senior population in the city.
They all received the Russian Sputnik V vaccine, she said.
Mexico City is progressing with its covid-19 vaccine administration with an orderly process based on alphabetical order within precincts that focuses on medical personnel with less bureaucratic red tape.
…March 1, 2021