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News Article

New Head of the Legal Department / Dispute over USMCA

By Paloma Duran | Thu, 09/02/2021 - 11:02

2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador celebrated the Mexican delegation’s 15 medals at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, of which five are gold, eight bronze and one silver. “Juan Pablo Cervantes has just won the bronze medal in the 100m. I think we will continue to win more medals. Our athletes must know that all Mexicans are proud of them and their achievements.”

The 15 medals won by the Mexican delegation, made up of 60 athletes, places the country in 20th place after Italy. Mexico has won medals in swimming, individual disc throwing and weightlifting, among other sports.

Head of the Legal Department of the Presidency of the Republic resigns. López Obrador confirmed the resignation of the head of the Legal Department of the Presidency of the Republic Julio Scherer Ibarra, saying that Scherer resigned to work as a lawyer. “I want to announce that Scherer has decided to leave his position. Julio is like my brother and he has helped us a lot because he has been part of this transformation process. He was in charge of preparing the constitutional reform initiatives to adapt the legal framework to our project to transform the country. We will miss him." López Obrador announced that María Estela Ríos González is the new Head of the Legal Department of the Presidency of the Republic and said "she is a professional with principles, ideals, honesty and has all the experience for her new position."

The Legal Department reviews and validates the decrees, agreements and other instruments submitted for the consideration of the president, as well as his initiatives presented to Congress.  During his tenure, Scherer ensured that López Obrador's initiatives were consistent with the Constitution. Among his achievements were raising the reform of social programs to constitutional rank and making corruption a serious crime.

Violation of the human rights of migrants. López Obrador said that migrants must stay in shelters in the south of the country, since crossing other states increases their vulnerability and puts them at risk of having their human rights violated. López Obrador said he will send a letter to US President Joe Biden to urgently address this issue. "People do not leave their villages for pleasure, they do not abandon their families for pleasure, they do it out of necessity. We will continue to press the US to act and give people more options."

On Aug. 28, a migrant caravan of about 600 people from Guatemala was violently blocked by members of the National Guard and agents of the National Migration Institute, preventing them from entering Huehuetan, Chiapas. The UN has demanded that the Mexican authorities respect the human rights of migrants and carry out an investigation of the officials, protocols and orders that lead the authorities to act against the law. The Mexican authorities have condemned these actions and assured that it is a priority to guarantee respect for the human rights of migrants, in addition to reducing the causes for migration.

Mexico's dispute over UMSCA rules could lead to an international panel. López Obrador said his government does not want to appeal to an international panel on the USMCA’s ​​rules of origin in the automotive sector. López Obrador said that the Mexican government is first trying to reach an agreement through the ministries of economy and foreign relations before requesting the panel option. “We do not want to have an international panel. It is an option for when there is this type of controversy but I do not think we will have to do it.”

On Aug. 20, Mexico asked the US trade authorities for consultations on discrepancies in the interpretation of rules of origin for the automotive sector in the USMCA. According to the treaty, both countries have 75 days to resolve the problem through an agreement; however, if this is not achieved, Mexico could request that an international panel resolve the problem.

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