Image credits: Gobierno de México
News Article

Fake COVID-19 vaccines? / New Savings with Prison Contracts

By Paloma Duran | Thu, 04/22/2021 - 10:30

Leaders Summit on Climate. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador began his morning conference by broadcasting the Leaders Summit on Climate Change, hosted by US President Joe Biden and US Vice President Kamala Harris. During the Summit, Biden thanked the 40 world leaders who are participating and said that "facing climate change is not only preserving the planet, but providing a better future for all. A greater generation of jobs and opportunities that can benefit everyone."

López Obrador added that "the practice of exporting crude and buying gasoline will end soon." In addition, López Obrador asked Biden to finance the expansion of Mexico’s “Sowing Life” program to Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, which seeks to reduce migration.

Prison facilities will be converted to government facilities. Minister of Security and Citizen Protection Rosa Icela Rodríguez announced that with the new prison agreement, the facilities will be incorporated as national legacies when the contracts are concluded. Icela stressed that there are criminal proceedings regarding contracts with private prisons granted during the government of Felipe Calderón. "A criminal process has been opened to determine the responsibility of the public servants who have damaged our patrimony," said Icela.

New savings due to new agreements with private prisons. López Obrador explained that an agreement with eight private prisons means the government will reduce its payment by 15 percent. The previous agreement called for a MX$16 billion (US$318 million) payment per year. Now, the government will save between MX$2.3 billion (US$45.8 million) and MX$2.5 billion (US$49.79 million) annually, which will allow the construction of 400 National Guard barracks in four years. "What we are going to save by not paying what is agreed in the prison contracts will allow us to finance almost 100 barracks in one year and 400 barracks in four years."

New outsourcing reforms have been approved. López Obrador applauded the approval of the outsourcing reforms in Congress. "Outsourcing is over. It was an agreement that we reached with representatives of the labor and business sectors." With 118 votes in favor and two abstentions, the Senate approved the new outsourcing regulation that modifies eight laws and prohibits illegal outsourcing. With the new reform, companies will no longer be able to subcontract workers for permanent jobs. That will only be allowed for specialized or temporary tasks.

There will be no layoffs of health workers after the pandemic. López Obrador said that medical personnel, especially those hired to help with the pandemic, will not be fired after the health emergency is over. López Obrador stressed that a list is being drawn up with health sector workers to ensure that they keep their jobs. "There is an instruction that workers will not be fired. They are not going to be fired because workers are needed."

Does Mexico have a problem with fake COVID-19 vaccines? Regarding accusations that fake COVID-19 vaccines are being sold, López Obrador said that “the government has not received complaints about fake vaccines. There have only been a few isolated cases." Pfizer told ABC News that the sale of fake versions of its COVID-19 vaccine has been identified in Mexico and Poland. Investigations carried out by the pharmaceutical company and local authorities detected around 80 people in Mexico who received a fake vaccine for the price of US$1,000 per dose.

Click HERE for full transcript in Spanish

The data used in this article was sourced from:  
Gobierno de México, Milenio, El Universal
Photo by:   Gobierno de México
Paloma Duran Paloma Duran Junior Journalist and Industry Analyst