Electoral Reform / Mexico to Host Venezuela Crisis MeetingBy Paloma Duran | Thu, 08/05/2021 - 11:50
Electoral reform? President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said that an electoral reform should be promoted in Congress because there is a major corruption crisis at INE and the Electoral Tribunal of the Federal Judicial Power (TEPJF), especially after the change in presidency at the TEPJF. López Obrador added that the magistrates and electoral advisers act without respecting the electoral bodies, so without their resignation there cannot be change. “It is a serious situation. A constitutional reform is needed to completely change INE and the Tribunal. The magistrates are full of privileges, they earn two or three times more than me.”
Yesterday, José Luis Vargas Valdés was dismissed as presiding magistrate of the TEPJF. The magistrates explained that Vargas was replaced for failing to comply with various constitutional, legal and regulatory obligations. López Obrador dismissed this action by the TEPJF since the magistrates decided that Reyes Rodríguez would be the new president. Previously, a tweet from Rodríguez's Twitter hoped for the death of López Obrador. Rodríguez said that he did not write the tweet and that his account had been hacked.
Mexico lawsuit against US arms manufacturers, not US government. López Obrador said that a complaint filed by Mexico against US arms manufacturers is not targeted at the US government or its citizens. "This complaint will go ahead; we are complying with the law. It affects us that there is no control over the sale of weapons. Our lawsuit does not go against the amendment that gives Americans the right to have weapons but the way they are manufactured and sold because they reach our country and cause deaths.”
The Mexican government has sued several arms manufacturers in US court for “negligent and illicit trade that contributes to arms trafficking to Mexico and causes direct damage.” According to the lawsuit, between 70 and 90 percent of the weapons recovered at crime scenes in Mexico come from the US. Mexico accused Smith & Wesson, Barrett Firearms, Colt Manufacturing Company, Glock Inc, Sturm, Ruger & Co, Inc and others of knowing that their practices were causing harm to Mexico.
Consultation on revocation of mandate. López Obrador said that he will continue to promote a referendum on the revocation of the presidential mandate even though many people are against it. López Obrador said that the consultation is a necessary democratic exercise. As a result, he called on his opponents to promote the referendum rather than trying to prevent it. "How are they going to ban the consultation if there is already a constitutional reform to carry out the revocation practice. People have to decide if they want me to continue in the presidency."
Since his electoral campaign in 2018, López Obrador has promised a referendum on the revocation of his mandate. In 2019, the Senate approved nine constitutional articles to carry out the consultation, which is scheduled for March 2022. For the consultation to be binding and remove López Obrador from office, 40 percent of the nominal list must vote "yes." If the vote is in favor of the revocation of his mandate, López Obrador would cease his functions within 60 days.
Mexico will host negotiations on Venezuela. López Obrador announced that Mexico will host negotiations between the Venezuelan government and its opponents with the aim of improving the national situation. "Norway proposed that Mexico host these negotiations, and we accepted, because we seek to facilitate dialogue between (the parties)."
Venezuela has been in an economic, political and humanitarian crisis since President Nicolás Maduro took office in 2013. Maduro has been accused by his opponents, the US and the European Union of corruption, human rights violations and electoral fraud in 2018. Maduro has said that the main topic of the negotiations should be the lifting of US sanctions. However, opposition leader Juan Guaidó said the meeting will focus on obtaining guarantees that there will be free and fair elections on Aug. 8.
Click HERE for full transcript in Spanish