Pensioner Numbers Increases/ Problems With Healthy Water ProjectBy Paloma Duran | Wed, 10/27/2021 - 11:33
AMLO to check on Mayan Train progress. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced that as part of his presidential tour beginning in Yucatan he would check in on the progress of the Mayan Train construction. “We leave for Merida tonight. We will take advantage of our trip to take a tour of the entire Peninsula and to supervise the Mayan Train. We will fly 1,500km by helicopter to check the progress.”
López Obrador announced that he will conduct a working tour that will begin in Merida and end in Campeche. In addition to supervising the progress of the Mayan Train, López Obrador will hold meetings with the security cabinet of each state. Authorities have said that the Mayan Train, one of the government's flagship projects, will be ready in 2023. The 60.3km southern section is 22.4 percent complete, while the northern section is undergoing geophysical surveys. Authorities have announced that work on the northern section is expected to begin in 2022.
1.35 million older adults will benefit from the new pension plan. Deputy Minister of Social Welfare Ariadna Montiel Reyes said that with the recent expansion of the age range for older adults to receive a pension, 1.35 million people have been registered. Montiel also said that the government plans to pay the three two-month periods that it owes this new group before the end of the year. “Our registry has increased to 1.35 million additional pensioners. How are we going to pay them? Those belonging to the 1,182 municipalities with the highest poverty rates will receive a payment for the three bimonthlies owed; 361 municipalities will receive two bimonthly and the remaining 317 municipalities that will be incorporated in November will receive one bimonthly. This was planned to give priority to the elderly in the poorest municipalities.”
In August, López Obrador announced the government had reduced the age requirement to receive the Pension for the Wellbeing of the Elderly program, from 67 to 65. In addition, the amount that the elderly will receive was increased to MX$1,550 (US$77.69) per month. López Obrador explained that the objective of the pension program is to contribute to improving their living conditions and access to social protection.
AMLO: UNAM must reform. López Obrador said that the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) must be reformed because it was pandering to the benefit of neoliberalist governments. “We are always going to be respectful. UNAM is a great university. It is very important for its academics and researchers, even with all these problems. However, I think it needs to be reformed to improve it.” López Obrador highlighted that despite its differences, the government will continue to support UNAM and, above all, promote free public education.
On several occasions, López Obrador has accused UNAM of "being full of conservatives." According to the president, UNAM went “right” during the neoliberal period by becoming a defender of these policies and promoting individualist thought, for which it has lost its essence. As a result, López Obrador said there is an urgent need for change in the institution.
Problems with the Healthy Water Project. López Obrador announced that Sen. Gabriel García will oversee the Healthy Water Program for the Lagunera region. Obrador explained that it was necessary to have a representative oversee the project due to the multiple obstacles that have been put in the project’s way to stop its implementation. “García will take over the Healthy Water Program. I thought there would be no problems but our opponents are very tricky. Some told me that there was no problem and that they actually wanted to help, but now we have legal hurdles on their part. That is why we need García.”
Healthy Water is a project that seeks to bring clean water to the municipalities of Lerdo, Gomez Palacio, Tlahualilo and Mapimi in Durango, and to Torreon, Matamoros, Francisco I. Madero, Viesca and San Pedro in Coahuila. A number of groups oppose the project, including Pro Defensa del Nazas, an environmental organization that promoted a legal protection that suspended the program because two of its installations were located within a protected area. In another instance, 150 ejidatarios from La Goma, Durango, have demanded that the extraction point for the project be moved because they believe that it will affect their productivity and dry up the Nazas River.