The Mexico Institute, AL DÍA: News and Analysis from the Mexico Institute, 4/26/12
Each morning, through the Mexico Portal feature, “¿Qué opinan? Firmas del día”, we will bring you an assortment of op-ed pieces from five major Mexican dailies: Reforma, El Universal, La Jornada, Excelsior and Milenio. Enjoy!
Cada día, por la entrada titulada, “¿Qué opinan? Firmas del día”, vamos a traerles un surtido de artículos de opinión de cinco periódicos populares de México: Reforma, El Universal, La Jornada, Excelsior y Milenio. ¡Que lo disfruten!
- Templo Mayor: Mexico’s Foreign Minister, Patricia Espinosa, met with Ricardo García Cervantes last year to offer him the position of Ambassador of Mexico to Spain. García Cervantes kindly denied this offer arguing that a diplomatic, not a politician, should be nominated for the post; Josefina Vázquez Mota became the first presidential candidate to participate in the debate forum organized by the students of Tec de Monterrey. Enrique Peña Nieto did not accept the invitation because the debate included open-ended questions from the students; Senators approved a reform that will weaken the Comisión Federal de Competencia and thus will make monopolies and duopolies alike very happy; President Calderón said a joke in Houston when stating the on May 5th Mexicans will celebrate their crushing of the French. This brought about many laughs from Mexican attendees, yet might not have been a wise declaration given the already difficult diplomatic situation with France.
- Jorge G. Castañeda, “Una buena y una mala”: On the issue of independent candidacies, the last 10 years have generated both good and bad news, Castañeda contends. The Electoral Tribunal rejected Manuel Clouthier’s desire to register his independent candidacy. His application was denied on the grounds established by Article 218 of the Cofipe, which establish that there can only be candidates nominated by their political parties. Clouthier, on the other hand, argued in favor of the constitutional right to “be voted”, yet the Tribunal argued that “the right to be voted” does not mean to be voted as an independent candidate. The good news is, Castañeda explains, that there occurred an important step in the legislation last week. President Calderón had supported an initiative for political reform that included independent candidacies. The Senate approved part of this reform in 2011, but deputies denied doing so. Finally, freed from the potential danger of having an independent candidate in the 2012 presidential election, the initiative was approved. It will be returned to the Senate for their vote, followed by publication in state legislatures and an official publication in order for the initiative to become fully established.
- Bajo reserva, “Los espectaculares, en la lupa del IFE”: The PRD will demand the IFE to carry out an in-depth investigation of the incurred expenses by the Peña Nieto campaign with the purchase of billboards; Today’s poll results show Josefina Vázquez Mota in a virtual tie with Andrés Manuel López Obrador; Repsol is accusing the Mexican government of blackmail through the actions undertaken by Juan José Suárez Coppel, director of Pemex, and the Secretary of Energy, Jordy Herrera in the recent Repsol YPF case in Argentina; The PRI released a warning against people who ask for economic resources to help the political party, yet without the authorization of any PRI leader.
- Clase Política, “Objeciones al voto por voto”: The IFE has decided that in case the election is too close to call, there will be a vote by vote recount. The Chamber of Deputies approved reforms to the Constitution to increase the authority of Federal Auditors over supervision of the Federal Budget. The Senate has unanimously approved the Law of Victims that obligates the state to provide assistance and protection to those affected by insecurity or by a violation of their human rights.
- Jorge Fernández Menéndez, “Evaluación y corrupción”: Education reform has been another victim of the electoral campaign. Many groups such as the SEP, the SNTE, the PRI, Nueva Alianza and even candidates such as Vázquez Mota and López Obrador agree that an evaluation of teachers and the educational system is necessary. However, almost no one is willing to organize such an evaluation in the middle of the campaign. There has been pressure for an educational evaluation since Elba Esther Gordillo’s Party, Nueva Alianza, abandoned its alliance with the PRI. It should be noted however, that Gordillo’s own alliance with Peña Nieto endures.
- Leo Zuckermann , “Bien, los senadores, por la ley de víctimas”: Zuckermann praises the actions of the Mexican Senate, which approved the General Law of Victims this week. The law, he claims, is proof that the legislators have reacted positively to a very strong demand from the citizenry and citizen’s groups. The new law affirms the State’s obligation in maintaining a registry of all victims of violence in Mexico. The law is one of the many demands presented by the Peace movement headed by Javier Sicilia y Emilio Álvarez.
- Trascendió: The Federal Secretary for the Environment, Juan Rafael Elvira, acted poorly in response to the wilrdfire in Guadalajara’s La Primavera Forest. Alberto López Rosas, former State Attorney of Guerrero, is once again in trouble with the Federal authorities as he is accused of altering the evidence from the Ayotzinapa case. The Senate approved the General Law of Victims and sent the law to the Chamber of Deputies for final approval.