Aftermath of Natural Disasters/Migrants in MexicoBy Sofía Hanna | Thu, 09/09/2021 - 10:19
Natural disasters. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador thanked the authorities and public servants who have helped the population during floods in Tabasco and after a major earthquake on Tuesday. He added that in previous governments, providers and organizations benefited from natural disasters since they diverted resources destined for the victims. "There were organizations that did their thing. Now, the procedure begins with a census that is carried out the house by house and details the number of affected homes and crops. Based on the census, decisions are made to provide support. We did it in Chiapas, Tabasco, Puebla, and Hidalgo," López Obrador said.
Laura Velazquez, the national coordinator of Civil Protection, commented that the defunct Natural Disaster Fund (Fonden) is unnecessary since the government is united to help in these situations. "We are committed, we do not need any Fonden, no trust, we are committed to saving lives. Thanks to the people of Mexico, the states, the governors, the ministers and federal public servants for supporting us in these actions.”
Militarization of Mexico. López Obrador dismissed accusations that he is militarizing Mexico. "They say that we are militarizing Mexico. It is necessary to know what the Armed Forces' mission is because much is unknown about what they do for the benefit of the people, both the Navy and the Army. They are two fundamental institutions for the people of Mexico and many things are unknown." López Obrador said that the Armed Forces have helped like no other institution and his government is only taking advantage of them. He reiterated his support for these organizations, saying that soldiers "are uniformed citizens."
Oil contracts. López Obrador said that the contracts for the drilling and extraction of oil delivered as a result of the Energy Reform had not yielded results but, although these could be canceled, the government will not do so because it could generate unnecessary problems. "All those contracts that were delivered have not yielded good results. They were delivered, like 110, to extract oil concessions; they were deceptive in saying that foreign investment was going to come in abundance. They could even be canceled, but we won't do it because it would make a fuss and it is unnecessary because we are solving the production problem," he said.
Treatment of migrants. López Obrador assured that the human rights of migrants in southern Mexico are being respected. He did not, however, rule out that there are "exceptions" in the treatment of migrants, such as the case of two elements of the National Migration Institute (INM) who kicked Haitian citizens about two weeks ago. "There is a disinformation campaign highly encouraged by our adversaries but it is not the rule. There may be exceptions, such as what was seen in the images with Haitian citizens who were unfairly mistreated by two migration workers. There is not a single complaint about military personnel, and I want to make this absolutely clear, that they have not handed migrants over to (criminal elements). That does not exist. That possibly happened before but now there is a separation, it is part of the change," he said.
Economic package 2022. López Obrador commented that the budget was delivered to Congress yesterday by the Ministry of Finance. "The document that was delivered is very professional, realistic and it allows us to have the income to finance work programs, it does not increase the debt, there is no increase in taxes ... It is a good budget. (Finance Minister) Rogelio Ramírez de la O is an expert, a good economist, and I am happy and satisfied with the proposal that was made."
Click HERE for full transcript in Spanish