Eyeing 2012, Calderon shakes up cabinet

Politico, 7/15/2010

Mexican Minister of the Interior Fernando Gomez Mont, who oversaw the crackdown on some of the country’s most notorious drug cartels, resigned Wednesday, and other key appointments are shifting roles, with businessman Bruno Ferrari replacing Gerardo Ruiz Mateos as economy minister and Mateos replacing Patricia Flores Elizondo as the president’s chief of staff.

Calderon will name former Baja, California Secretary of Government Jose Francisco Blake Mora as Mont’s replacement. The outgoing secretary made a name for himself by helping to implement Calderon’s tough-talk reforms, such as mobilizing armed forces against drug cartels and establishing greater transparency at the judicial level during the last three years.

As Interior Minister he will be the administration’s spokesperson for its anti-cartel policies and the primary enforcer in the country’s war on drugs.

“Blake comes into this having some real experience in Baja at a time when the cartels were very strong and violent,” Olson said. “His knowledge, his experience there, is crucial.”

Read more…


Calderon will adjust Cabinet, message at 6:30 pm (in Spanish)

El Universal, 7/15/2010

President Felipe Calderon will, today at 6:30 pm, announce changes to his governing team.

He will make at least three changes to the inner circle of his team, with substitutions for the secretaries of Government (Interior), Fernando Gómez Mont; of Economy, Gerardo Ruiz Mateos; and of the office of the Presidency of the Republic, Patricia Flores Elizondo.

Unofficially, it is said that José Francisco Blake, Secretary of the Interior of  Baja California will go to the Secretariat of the Interior; Bruno Ferrari, head of ProMéxico, to Economía; and Gerardo Ruiz Mateos will leave Economy to return to the Office of the Presidency.

The departure of Gómez Mont was preceded by intense conflict over his opposition to the PAN-PRD alliances in state elections and his move away from being politically active within PAN party politics for the same reason.

Read more…

Read more on the subject:  New York Times, Wall Street Journal, BBC

Secretary of the Interior signs security agreement for the elections (in Spanish)

El Universal, 7/1/2010

The Secretary of the Interior (Segob) brought together state governments in order to increase coordination to minimize the possibility that violent criminals threaten the life or liberty of citizens while they vote next Sunday.

During the signing of the Protocol for Public Security Coordination during the Electoral Period, Secretary Fernando Gómez Mont recognized that it is a difficult moment for the country, emphasizing that it is important to present a united front and “work together above any political differences.”

“We must be commited to work together, coordinate and communicate among institutions in order to close spaces so that there are not opportunities for the violent to threaten the most sacred thing we have, not just life, but also liberty to participate in the formation of the public powers,” said Gómez Mont.

Read more…

Editorial: Useful fools? (in Spanish)

Nuevo Excelsior, 6/28/2010, Jorge Fernández Menéndez

In a politically incorrect and poorly posed declaration, the Mexican Secretary of the Interior Fernando Gómez Mont stated that human rights institutions must avoid being “useful fools” (“tontos útiles”) of criminal organizations in their fight against the Mexican State …

I’m not sure of Gómez Mont’s intentions, and although the declaration was badly planted out of context and may have been politically incorrect and disliked, his statement has an important aspect of truth. Of the national and state human rights commissions, there are all kinds: good, bad, and ugly. And among the independent human rights organizations, some hold undoubtable legitimacy while others are created by criminals as an instrument in their fight against the forces of security.

Read more…

Secretary of Government and State of Chihuahua Clash on Penal System (in Spanish)

Reforma, 4/26/2010

The new penal system of Chihuahua, which includes oral trials, has the Secretary of Government at odds with the three branches of the state’s government.

In a message published on Monday, Governor José Reyes Baeza, Rodolfo Acosta Muñoz, president of the supreme court of Chihuahua, and Héctor Arcelus Pérez, head of the state congress, disputed the statements made by the Secretary of Government, Fernando Gómez Mont, which described the penal system as on of the factors that threatened the rule of law (“desgobierno”) in the state.

“It is absurd to attribute to a conception of justice, any conception,  governability or ingovernability.  The origin of violence is multifaceted,” says the message directed to President Felipe Calderon.

Read more…

Executive to send initiative limiting military’s jurisdiction (in Spanish)

El Universal, 4/21/2010

The federal executive branch will send an initiative to the Senate that would limit military jurisdiction before the conclusion of this session.

The senators involved in the negotiation of the National Security Law are waiting for the document in order to move forward in the design of norms to regulate the participation of the military on the streets.

A PAN legislative leader, Gustavo Madero, said that the Secretary of the Interior, Fernando Gómez Mont, will present an initiative to reform the code of military justice.

During the recent Senate security committee hearing, noted Madero, Gómez Mont announced that the initiative will have as its central objective a reform of military jurisdiction “be in line with the decision of the International Court of Human Rights.  In the sense that the military could be tried in civil courts when a crime is committed as they perform police work.”

Read more…

Words of Napolitano, unacceptable: Gómez Mont (In Spanish)

El Universal, 3/18/2010

The Secretary of the Interior, Fernando Gómez Mont, condemned the declarations made on Tuesday by the Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, who stated that the decision to deploy the military in Juarez “has not helped” contain the wave of violence that has slammed the city.

At the press conference, Gómez Mont expressed that one should understand  the context in which the remarks were made by the Secretary of Homeland Security before declaring a “holy war,” but even so, he said: “They are rejected by this secretary.”

Read more…