Photo: Sigmund/Unsplash


Four former national heads of Mexico’s centralist Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) warned over the weekend that voting for leftist President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s (AMLO) controversial electricity reform would constitute a step backwards for Mexico and the possible extinction of the party itself.

“What should it matter if the PRI is in government or in the opposition?” asked Manlio Fabio Beltrones, a former federal deputy, senator and governor of Sonora who led the party from 2015 to 2016,in an interview with the Mexican daily newspaper Reforma

“The PRI should never be against what is happening in the world. It must be seen as a mirror. A step backwards to the past could mean the party’s true extinction. The PRI must bet on the future.”

“If the party supports a reform as radical and as statist as this one, there will be no difference between the PRI and (AMLO’s) National Regeneration Movement (Morena) party,” added Pedro Joaquín Coldwell, former energy secretary, tourism secretary and governor of Quintana Roo, who served as the PRI’s president from 2011 to 2012.

“The PRI would become a satellite party of a new hegemonic party of the 21st century.”

Dulce María Sauri, a former congresswoman and Yucatan governor who led the PRI from 1999 to 2002, agreed.

“The damage that the initiative of President López Obrador would create cannot be repaired … It must be discarded by those who are committed to the future of Mexico,” she said.

“The PRI must continue to defend the environment, public services, public health and the citizenship of Mexico to perceive the benefits of the energy transformation that Mexico is now experiencing in the world, not close the door to its progress,” concluded Enrique Ochoa, PRI president from 2016 to 2018 and a former head of the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) — which AMLO’s bill would grant unprecedented powers and prioritize over private-sector contracts and clean energy.

All four leaders called on PRI legislators to vote against the presidential initiative, which they categorized as “a counter-reform that puts the environment, competitiveness, the quality of services at risk” and that would cause millions of dollars in economic losses for the country.

“The counter-reform that is now being proposed in Congress changes the order of dispatch and puts expensive and polluting energies ahead, displacing clean energies that are the present and future of humanity,” said Ochoa.

“The 2013 energy reform strengthened the CFE. In the years 2016, 2017, 2018 and even 2019, it had profits, it had profits. The year 2020 was the first year that the CFE showed losses. Each time it moves further away from the punctual implementation of the 2013 reform, the CFE is weakened.”

Moreover, Coldwell warned that is the bill were to pass, the expansion and modernizing of the CFE’s electrical infrastructure would require 2 trillion pesos.

“Where is that amount going to come from if we depend solely on public resources?” he said.

“From taking resources away from other areas of the budget? From putting the country in more debt? Raising rates? They need investment from the private sector to complement the deficiencies that exist. of our public budgets.

Up until now, the PRI leadership had remained silent on AMLO’s electricity reform bill.

Leave a Reply