Medical Shortage Continues/Mayan Train a National Security IssueBy Paloma Duran | Tue, 07/19/2022 - 12:41
Medical shortage continues. The Director of the Mexican Institute of Social Security (IMSS) Zoe Robledo reported that so far 2,621 specialists have been hired. However, it only represents 18 percent of all available employment positions. “We offered more than 14,000 positions, there were 4,494 doctors who registered and attended appointments. Only 2,621 doctors, representing 18 percent have completed all phases and have been hired.”
López Obrador has been widely criticized for wanting to hire Cuban doctors to work in Mexico´s marginalized areas, so the government announced that it would create employment positions for Mexican doctors. Previously, López Obrador reported that the country had a deficit of 50,000 doctors, a problem exacerbated in rural areas because Mexican medical professionals seek to study and work in larger cities. The president said that sometimes Mexican doctors even refuse to move to rural areas. Meanwhile, medical and professional organizations in Mexico have claimed that López Obrador's initiative discriminates against Mexican doctors because they already compete in an oversaturated job market.
In June, Minister of Health Jorge Alcocer reported that of the 10,920 doctors who registered for the new medical positions offered by the government, 57 percent did not attend their first appointment for the delivery of documents and position assignments.
Iberdrola Case. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said Mexico´s government would take legal action if Iberdrola is proven to have falsified or used corrupt documents to avoid paying a fine. “We are reviewing how a precautionary measure was granted so that Iberdrola does not pay a fine of MX$9.15 billion (US$466.4 million) . If we discover that documents were falsified or extemporaneous documents were used, we will proceed legally.”
Yesterday, López Obrador informed that the government is investigating Iberdrola in which a judge suspended the payment of a fine imposed by the Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE) to Iberdrola Energía Monterrey for selling electric energy to non-authorized companies between 2019 and 2020. The Mexican president criticized the decision to grant the company an amparo and accused it of delivering documents to the judges. Moreover, he warned about the possibility of reporting judges if they acted irregularly.
On May 25, the CRE determined to impose a penalty fee on Iberdrola for allegedly selling electricity to enterprises that did not originally appear as its partners in its “Dulces Nombres” plant in Pesqueria, Nuevo Leon. According to the regulatory commission, the commercialization of electricity to the “simulated” partners was carried out between Jan 2019 and June 2020. The imposed fine represents 56.4 percent of the revenue that the company obtained during the first trimester of the year.
The Mayan Train Considered a National Security Issue. López Obrador reported that a week ago construction works on the Mayan Train were restarted and assured that they will not be stopped by the accusations of opposition groups. In addition, López Obrador stressed that the restart of activities does not violate the order of any judicial authority. “We used another alternative to continue construction. Now the project is considered a matter of national security.”
The overall population continues to resist the construction of the Mayan Train Section 5 South, a key part of one of President López Obrador's flagship infrastructure megaprojects, since it could damage the karst landscapes, harm the integrity of cenotes and cause significant deforestation, as well as destroy archeological and paleontological remains. Following the suspension of the project's construction by a federal judge in May 2022, the National Fund for the Promotion of Tourism (FONATUR) and environmental ministry SEMARNAT published the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), since its absence caused the project's suspension. As part of the attempts to reactivate construction, federal authorities called for a consultation to assess the project's viability. However, civil organizations said the consultation process was found to be lacking substantial information.