1. President Enrique Peña Nieto signed into law the secondary legislation to implement the previously passed constitutional reform in telecommunications. Among the important changes of the reform are: 1) elimination of domestic long distance charges, 2) elimination of some charges for cellular telephone users, 3) increased the regulatory powers of the industries’ regulators with the creation of the Federal Institute of Telecommunications, which may consider a company ‘dominant’ based on the market share that it has in its particular (either broadcasting or telecommunications), 4) creation of two new public TV channels, 5) allow increased foreign investment in broadcasting and telecommunications, and 6) allow the authorities to request private information from telecommunications companies for security purposes.
This reform is not without criticism and debate in the public opinion. Several specialists and legislators from opposing parties have expressed reservations about the potential misuse of private information. Likewise, various voices have expressed that the legal framework does not ensure competition beyond the companies that currently dominate the market. On both of these issues, the courts will likely determine the true extent of the reform.
2. Pope Francis called on the governments of Mexico, the U.S., and Central America to protect the immigrant children who are fleeing from violence in their homelands. The Pope’s words were relayed by envoy Christopher Pierre, who stated that “such a humanitarian emergency requires, as a first measure of urgency, the protection and appropriate housing of these minors. However, these measures will not be enough if they are not accompanied by political information about the dangers of the trip, and above all, the promotion of development in their countries of origin.” He called for a change from an outlook of defensiveness, fear, and marginalization to a culture of welcome.
Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican Secretary of State, also made a statement. He indicated that a big error of modern societies is that they do not recognize the great contributions that immigrants give to society and the economy. Parolin stated that in order to resolve the immigration crisis it is not enough to use security forces and legislative measures. The solution comes from a cultural and social transformation from a culture of obstinacy to one of openness and reception.
3. Mexico’s Senate will vote today on four components of the secondary (implementing) legislation of the energy reform, according to Senator David Penchyna, Chairman of the Energy Committee. Read more from Reforma