Electricity Reform/ Mining Problems with CanadaBy Paloma Duran | Wed, 03/17/2021 - 11:06
Vaccination of older adults to advance in 1,000 municipalities. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced that next week the government will administer the COVID-19 vaccine to the elderly in more than 1,000 municipalities in the country. “It will be in small municipalities, in some of the approximately 2,500 that exist. We are taking care of our population and we will continue to do so.” In addition, López Obrador said that accusations that his government did not know the effects of some COVID-19 vaccines are false. "I call on Mexicans to continue applying the COVID-19 vaccine because it does not harm," he said.
Restoration plan after the 2017-2018 earthquakes. Deputy Minister of Territorial and Agrarian Planning David Cervantes said the government has allocated MX$9 billion (US$44 million) to repair damages from the 2017 and 2018 earthquakes. Together with programs and donations, the funds have helped to carry out 54,451 actions. These actions seek to help the population affected by the earthquakes that especially impacted Mexico City, Oaxaca and Puebla. Cervantes explained that MX$27.88 billion (US$1.4 billion) has been invested in the reconstruction of homes, schools, hospitals, temples and other important buildings. "In what has this more than MX$27 billion been invested? According to the criteria, the program has been applied where there was more serious damage: Oaxaca in the first place, with 17,000 actions, followed by Morelos, Puebla, Chiapas and the State of Mexico," Cervantes said.
Restoration of historic buildings. The National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) has invested MX$5.3 billion (US$256 million) to carry out 1,354 actions for the restoration of buildings with heritage value that were damaged in the 2017 and 2018 earthquakes. In addition, it has trained craftsmen and builders in the affected localities. Minister of Culture Alejandra Frausto announced that the reconstruction of historic buildings affected has advanced by 50.4 percent and that it is expected to be 99 percent complete in 2023, since "another stage of restoration is coming, especially for sculptures and everything that was affected." Oaxaca Gov. Alejandro Murat highlighted that reconstruction of the Juchitan municipal palace is 30 percent complete and emphasized that thanks to the national reconstruction plan, between 2019 and 2020 around 17,551 actions were carried out for the reconstruction of the state, which had 305 municipalities with serious damage. Meanwhile, Head of Government of Mexico City Claudia Sheinbaum said that the damage to the Angel of Independence is superficial and that it will be ready for the 200th anniversary of the commemoration of Mexico’s independence.
Oaxaca governor joins pact. Murat reiterated his commitment to the current government and announced that he is joining the National Pact for Democracy to not intervene in the June elections and remain neutral. "I want to use this platform to reiterate my government's commitment to sign the agreement in favor of democracy. We are very grateful that the current government has not left Oaxaca behind, especially after the 2017 earthquakes," Murat said. In February, López Obrador sent a letter to all governors to join the National Pact for Democracy, in which signatories promise to not support any candidate and have true democratic elections. Currently, 25 governors have announced their willingness to respect the pact.
There could be an energy reform if the Electricity Law is not approved. López Obrador announced his intentions to promote a reform if the new Electricity Law is declared unconstitutional, after two judges stopped its application. "If the judges and magistrates determine that it is unconstitutional and that it cannot proceed, I will send an initiative to reform the Constitution because I cannot support theft or damages to public finances and the popular economy," López Obrador said. In addition, he emphasized that his government is promoting transparency, especially with the privatization policy that has benefited private companies in the generation of electricity. López Obrador explained that he will respect the decision of the judicial power since he respects the autonomy of the powers; however, he will not tolerate corruption.
Mexico to contact the Canadian government due to mining problems. López Obrador said that there are serious problems with mining companies, especially foreign companies, that do not comply with the mandates of the Ministry of Labor and do not take care of their workers and the environment. López Obrador asked Marcelo Ebrard, Minister of Foreign Affairs, to contact the Canadian government and explain the situation, without making it sound as a threat. Nevertheless, he emphasized that, "if the law is not respected, the government can revoke the concession given to the company."
Click HERE for full transcript in Spanish