Blackout controversy / Minimum wage increasesBy Paloma Duran | Thu, 12/31/2020 - 10:35
Report on national security. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said his main concern, besides the COVID-19 pandemic, is violence. "My objective is to show an honest report of the progress that has been made. We still have several challenges, but this year we achieved very significant advances." Minister of Security and Citizen Protection (SSPC) Rosa Icela Rodriguez emphasized that "the coordination of efforts has been the key to achieve a decrease in crimes. Addressing the causes of violence, the structural origin of crime and criminal acts are our priority."
Homicides decreased 0.4 percent. Deputy Minister of Public Security Ricardo Mejía said that in 2020, intentional homicides decreased 0.4 percent compared to 2019. "We thought November was the lowest month in terms of homicides; however, we saw another decrease in December. These records show us that we will be closing 2020 with fewer homicides than in 2019." However, Mejía said that several challenges remain, such as the increase of 0.3 percent in feminicides.
Decrease in drug production. Minister of National Defense Luis Cresencio Sandoval said this year the destruction of marijuana fields increased 0.2 percent compared to 2019. Meanwhile, the destruction of opium poppies grew 2 percent in the same period. Cresencio Sandoval said these operations caused a decrease in the production and demand for these drugs. However, he added that there has been an increase in synthetic drugs, such as fentanyl and methamphetamines.
Minimum wage increase. President López Obrador said that in 2021 the minimum wage will increase 15 percent and that during his government it has increased around 45 percent. “When we arrived in 2018, the minimum wage was MX$88 (US$4.43) and starting tomorrow it will increase to MX$141 (US$7.1),” the president said. López Obrador assured that this increase has not affected annual inflation and that the government has tried to maintain stable prices. However, he said that next year, there will be an increase in the price of cigarettes, sugary drinks and gasoline due to inflationary adjustments. “Despite this increase in fuel prices, gasoline will continue to be cheaper than when we arrived in 2018," the president said.
Blackout controversy. López Obrador said that the controversy over the blackout across several states earlier in the week and the document that allegedly warned about the fire that caused the blackout is being used as "political electoral" weapon. "There is a complaint from the Tamaulipas government against CFE that will be investigated; however, this governor has several differences with us and he can use this blackout for his own benefit," the president said. This week, CFE presented a document that reported a fire in Tamaulipas, which allegedly caused the blackout on Monday. However, Head of Civil Protection of Tamaulipas Pedro Granados said that the signature on the document is false and that it doesn’t have official stamps. As a result, the Tamaulipas government will file a lawsuit against CFE for falsifying documents and the signature of a state official.
Favoritism with vaccines. López Obrador indicated that there are several cases of people who received the COVID-19 vaccine out of turn. The president emphasized that these cases are being investigated. "In all these cases, we are going to find out the truth. We won’t tolerate abuses or favoritism; we have to wait for our turn," López Obrador said.
Abortion in Mexico. López Obrador was questioned about abortion in Mexico, after Argentina’s Congress this week legalized abortions up to the 14th week of pregnancy. “In Mexico, everyone is heard and considered without distinction. If abortion is considered necessary and important, there are ways of demanding it. This is not a matter of the powers or the churches, it is a matter for women,” the president said.
Click HERE for full transcript in Spanish