Photo: Bill Oxford/Unsplash

By KELIN DILLON

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s (AMLO) controversial reform to The country’s electric industry received further roadblocks to its implementation following a second judge’s additional suspensions to the law on Wednesday, March 17, much to the chagrin of López Obrador.

Judge Rodrigo de la Peza López Figueroa ruled in favor of 11 amparos (a legal term in Mexico for a constitutional protection) for private companies that challenged the reform as unduly favoring Mexico’s state-owned Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) over private enterprises, making the freeze on the reform applicable to all participants in the energy sector.

The ruling by De la Peza comes on the heels of suspensions to the reform by another judiciary official, District Judge Juan Pablo Gómez Fierro, on March 11, the day after the approval of the electricity law by Congress. Between the two judges, a total of 30 separate suspensions have been put in place against AMLO’s pet project.

The suspensions reportedly will keep the electric law prior to the reform in place until the two judges decide whether or not to grant definitive suspensions, which would then indefinitely suspend the reform until its constitutionality is addressed at trial.

López Obrador, already vocally unhappy with the hurdles added to his reform and the judges who created them, announced on Wednesday he would consider revising the Mexican Constitution if the suspension is extended indefinitely.

“I am sure the reform is not unconstitutional,” said AMLO. “But if judges, magistrates, ministers determine that, I would send an initiative to reform the Constitution.”

López Obrador’s National Regeneration Movement (Morena) party currently holds a majority in Congress, and with two-thirds of Congress necessary to ratify constitutional changes, AMLO may be poised to follow through on his threats to amend the Mexican Constitution in his favor, particularly if Morena’s numbers are bolstered in Mexico’s upcoming June 2021 midterm elections.

Later in the day, Mexico’s Secretariat of Energy (Sener) announced it would be challenging the first two suspensions to the electric reform given by Gómez Fierro, with the government secretariat reviewing the judge’s decision in a specialized court that will determine if Gómez Fierro’s suspensions were made correctly following the rule of law.

…March 18, 2021

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