New US-Mexico Security Cooperation/ Electrical ReformBy Paloma Duran | Tue, 10/05/2021 - 10:58
Intentional homicides are decreasing in Veracruz. Minister of the Navy Rafael Ojeda reported that kidnappings, femicides and intentional homicides in the state of Veracruz have followed a downward trend so far in 2021. Ojeda highlighted that the state ranks 17th nationally in intentional homicides per 100,000 inhabitants and that the municipalities with the highest number of cases are Veracruz, Xalapa, Coatzacoalcos and Cordoba. “In 2020, kidnappings and femicides were complicated crimes but we have worked to reduce their incidence. However, there is still work to be done as the state ranks second nationally in kidnappings and fourth in feminicides."
Recently, the Executive Secretariat of the National Public Security System announced that Veracruz went from 82 cases of intentional homicides in July to 92 in August, for a total of 753 homicides committed from January to August. Meanwhile, in femicides, a total of 50 investigations were opened in the same period of time. In August, the state ranked seventh nationally in crime incidence, with a total of 6,791 crimes committed, after the State of Mexico, Mexico City, Guanajuato, Jalisco, Baja California and Nuevo Leon.
AMLO: PRI has an opportunity with the electricity reform. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said that PRI, an opposition political party, has the opportunity to "redefine itself and (work) for the good of the Mexican people" by supporting his recent electricity reform sent to Congress, which seeks to strengthen the state-owned Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) and cede exclusive control to the state over lithium reserves. "It is a historic opportunity for PRI. Popular interest must be redefined. Forgetting what the Mexicans needed was what led us to defeat, especially when we gave everything to private companies and allowed foreigners to ally themselves with conservatives."
The electricity reform aims to strengthen CFE and modify three articles of the Constitution to prevent prices from rising. Likewise, the reform seeks to deliver more than 50 percent of the country's energy market to CFE, while the rest would go to private industry. According to experts, the proposed amendments spell out a de facto nationalization, which they anticipate will result in higher energy prices and the withdrawal of private investment.
AMLO will meet with the US authorities on security. Minister of Foreign Affairs Marcelo Ebrard announced that López Obrador will have a security meeting next Friday with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas and Attorney General Merrick Garland. “In terms of security, it has taken us 10 months to achieve what the president instructed us to do, which is to leave the assistance strategy behind. López Obrador will present our 10 priorities that seek to reduce homicides and to have greater reciprocity in the control of arms trafficking, legal assistance and extraditions."
López Obrador has repeatedly affirmed his willingness to achieve a new security cooperation between the two nations and remove the Merida Initiative, which was a US$3 billion security cooperation agreement reached during the administration of former President Felipe Calderón. The Merida Initiative has been continually characterized as having a militarized approach to organized crime, which aggravated the security situation in the country and further endangered the lives of Mexicans.
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