Image credits: Presidencia de la República
News Article

Free Zone Expansion / Defends Public Businesses

By Ricardo Guzman | Mon, 10/26/2020 - 11:02

Free zone program to be expanded. President López Obrador said that the North Free Zone border program will be expanded, especially in the southeast of the country. “This program is unique and they are asking me for its expansion on the southern border,” he said and explained that he has a personal commitment to apply it in Chiapas and also in Chetumal, Quintana Roo. “We are assessing the program and how it should be expanded,” he said. Effective in more than 40 border municipalities in the states of Baja California, Sonora, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo Leon and Tamaulipas, the customs free zone guarantees a minimum wage that is higher than in the rest of Mexico, a reduction in VAT to 8 percent, a reduction in income tax to 20 percent and the homologation of fuel and electricity prices with the US.

Defends public businesses in energy. After the US Congress accused Mexico of contradicting the spirit of the USMCA trade treaty in energy matters, President López Obrador said only public businesses matter to him. “The only businesses that should matter to us are public businesses. We have to defend CFE and PEMEX, not private companies,” he said. The president stated that when NAFTA was signed, the energy chapter was limited to only two paragraphs, compromising the Mexican energy sector. Yesterday, during a visit to a Coahuila CFE plant, López Obrador said his salary was being paid by Mexicans and not by the Spanish energy firm Respol, and that “clean energies are a sophistry.”

Open to private companies. President López Obrador said that energy projects in Mexico are still open to private sector participation but without the abuses that were tolerated in the past. “We are not deceiving anyone. For a long time, we have been saying how important it is to rescue the electricity and oil sectors. If PRI or PAN had won (the last federal election), by the end of this six-year term CFE and PEMEX would no longer exist and everything would be privatized,” he noted and insisted that he will present an initiative to reform the Constitution so the national interest prevails in energy affairs.

Proposal to the UN. President López Obrador said he will present an initiative to the UN to return Mexican archaeological pieces to the country, so “that all the historical heritage can return to its origin as a voluntary act of those who own these pieces. I am proposing (this initiative) because of the attitude of some countries,” he noted. The president referred to the progress of his wife Beatriz Gutiérrez Müller, who recently toured Europe in an effort to return Mayan and Aztec pieces from European museums. López Obrador said the goal is to exhibit those pieces for the people. Among the artifacts is the Codex Fiorenito and Moctezuma’s plume. But López Obrador warned that the “task won’t be easy since the there is a lot of piracy and the countries that have these pieces do not want to return them.”

A warning on electoral fraud. President López Obrador called on the people to denounce any wrongdoing during the 2021 midterm elections and recalled that those who are working as public officers now must resign no later than this week if they want to contend on the Morena ticket. The president warned that no official should use public resources for his personal benefit, as he said was a common fraud in the past. “They cannot do it. If there is evidence, it must be denounced and clarified. Electoral fraud is now a serious crime and they can go to jail,” he warned.



Click HERE for full transcript in Spanish

Ricardo Guzman Ricardo Guzman Editor