Friday December 06 2019

Posted by Tomas on December 04, 2018
  • Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador was sworn in on December 1, 2019 after receiving a landslide victory in July
    Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador was sworn in on December 1, 2019 after receiving a landslide victory in July
  • The day long event in the Mexico City Zocalo was weighted toward the indigenous peoples of the country in Zapata like style.
    The day long event in the Mexico City Zocalo was weighted toward the indigenous peoples of the country in Zapata like style.
  • The inaugural event drew record crowds and made the attendance of his northern neighbor's inauguration look like a family picnic.
    The inaugural event drew record crowds and made the attendance of his northern neighbor's inauguration look like a family picnic.

 

On July 1, 2018 the Morena - Party Movimiento Regeneración Nacional and its allied partners, left leaning Partido del Trabajo - Labor Party and right leaning Social Encounter Party - Partido Encuentro Social won a resounding landslide victory. The party not only took the presidency of Mexico for Andres Manual Lopez Obrador, but attained a majority on both houses of Mexico's congress. On December 1, 2019 the new president was sworn in to what he himself has termed "The fourth evolution of the Mexican goverment" Obrador will serve one six year term as president. 

Contrary to the panicked screams of northern right-wing news sources, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador is not a communist. This misconception is more an error on the State side of interpretation, where the difference between a socialist and communist has been blurred by 1950's propaganda and fears in both its definition and results. 

The better way to define the new course of Mexico is the reverse approach to 'trickle down economics" which is often tried and always ends up widening the social gaps, to better call it  "trickle up economics" which is better suited to build the potential of Mexico's enormous and often unskilled work force. National health and education will continue to be focal points of the new administration. 

I watch and listened live to the entire inaugural address of the new president, one much longer than those of us from the north as used to. In the 100 points Obrador hit on in his inaugural address some of the outstanding points included: 

Foremost was a plan to return security to the people of Mexico with consolidating law enforcement and defining the use of Mexican military for law enforcement along with creation of district control of resources. 

Increased focus on education, increasing availability of education to a higher level with grants, University level support for students in fields most benefitting the future of the economy to be determined by a panel of experts. Unfortunately, he also took aim at education reforms, axing teacher evaluations and decreasing the focus on English through the high school level. 

He proposed increased assistance to handicapped and retired persons and increases in training programs for new young entries to the job market. 

Free medical care for all and increased availability for free medications with a continued increase in facilities making healthcare more accessible. 

Increased development of underdeveloped areas in the southern portions of Mexico is another goal. These regions are the least developed and have the greatest saturation of indigenous peoples. 

A slimming down of government, consolidation of departments, a clamp down on facilities spending and end to cronyism and a hard line on corruption. 

A revision of Pemex and expansion of refining facilities to produce more product in-country and reduce fuel costs to the consumer. This ends the unspoken portion of the 1938 oil expropriation, that Mexico would not refine product in Mexico. Currently, the entirety of Mexico's west coast gasoline, fuel oil and diesel production is done in Southern California. 

Of interest to those in the southwestern states was his proposal for development of a 'free trade zone' along the border states which is likely to involve a rollback of the value added tax (IVA) to encourage cross border business. Cross border shopping too a hit when George Bush administration instituted the requirements for a US passport to cross home after a visit to Mexico. At that time less than 25% of Americans held passports. That number has only risen slightly. 

Obrador also tied utility price increases and those to be allotted to Pemex to the rate of inflation and that public support should increase by the same amount. 

Two things not in the address were any mention of clemency for drug lords or reversal of what has become known as "Gasolinazo' or the removal of government subsidies which caused the price of fuels to jump dramatically two years ago. 

The new president expressed desire for a close working relationship with its northern neighbors but expressed that Mexico and migrants will not stand for bullying tactics and the country expects to be treated with the respect of a long standing good neighbor. 

The new president has already made use of public referendums with curbside voting on public works. In an effort to create a true democracy the Mexico City airport expansion product was put to a vote and with very limited turn out was voted down. Two other rail projects were endorsed by voters. Both outcomes were following the desired outcome of the new controlling party. Because of this one has to ask if the populace is really qualified to judge such projects - do they really know the cost of canceling the badly needed airport beyond just stopping construction and the money already spent, but including the law suits that will follow. Regardless, it is a powerful political ploy to paint the opposition to his policies into a corner where they appear to want to override the voice of the voters.   

Of interest was Obrador's use of this same public referendum on himself, stating that halfway through his presidency in 2021 his performance would be evaluated by the voters and he would step aside if not approved. He followed that statement in saying he would not run for reelection. I found this puzzling, as the Mexican presidency is limited to one six year term. 

The new president has a clear public mandate for the party's policies and with control of both houses of government change should be streamlined. “The government will no longer be a committee at the service of a rapacious minority,” said Obrador. Obrador refers to this ear as the fourth evolution of Mexican government and the public is anxiously looking for change. In his address Obrador warned of over anticipation and that the changes the party platform which won such a landslide may take longer than his six year term to enact. We wish our new president the best of luck in the six year ahead and that the changes proposed will make Mexico a stronger country and raise the standard of living for a wider class of people. 

Here is a translation of the 100 points in the inaugural address of newly installed President Andres Manual Lopez Obrador 

1. All government programs will give preference to indigenous peoples.

2. All Mexicans will be cared for regardless of beliefs, classes, organizations, sex, parties, economic or cultural sectors.

3. The children's rooms of the Sedesol will be maintained and the Cendis promoted by the PT will be regularized.

4. Elementary and secondary students who come from low-income families will receive scholarships.

5. All students of Bachelors, technical schools, vocational and public high schools will receive a scholarship of 800 pesos per month. (Equal to about $40USD/Mo or 9 days of pay at Mexico's minimum wage)

6. 300,000 young people living in poverty who are studying at the university will be entitled to a scholarship of 2,400 pesos per month. (A generous 27 days pay at Mexico's minimum wage or about $120USD)

7. By 2019, 100 public universities will be operating, which 64,000 students will be able to access.

8. Artistic training will be promoted from basic education and support will be given to creators and cultural promoters.

9. Scientific and technological research will be promoted. The Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología will coordinate the National Plan for Innovation.

10 . The educational reform will be canceled; the right to free education at all levels will be established in article 3 of the Constitution.

11. Promote the plan to support the victims of earthquakes with work, housing and public services.

12. Implement a program of urban improvement in marginalized colonies of the northern border.

13. Guarantee medical attention and free medications, and locate medical units in the poorest areas.

14. Lower the salaries of senior officials and increase proportionally those of base workers and unionized workers.

15. The pension will be increased for older adults throughout the country (1,274 pesos per month equal to 14 days of Mexico's minimum wage or about $65USD).

16. Financial support for 1 million people with disabilities.

17. More than 2 million unemployed young people will be hired to work as apprentices in productive activities in the countryside and the city (they will earn 3,600 pesos per month). (A generous promise of almost twice the minimum wage for young people or about $180USD per month)

18. Construction of concrete roads in forgotten municipalities of Oaxaca, Guerrero and other states.

19. Small producers of the field, ejidatarios and comuneros will receive semi-annual financial support for the planting of food.

20. Begin next year a fertilizer delivery program so that the soil is not damaged.

21. Small producers of corn, beans, rice, wheat and milk will be bought at guaranteed prices in warehouses or warehouses of Diconsa and Liconsa.

22. Promote fishing activity to improve the life of coastal and river communities.

23. In the next two years fruit and timber trees will be planted on 1 million hectares.

24. Fusion of Diconsa and Liconsa in a single company for the supply and distribution of food for popular consumption: Segalmex.

25. Credits to the word and without interests will be granted to ejidatarios, comuneros and small owners for the acquisition of heifers, cows and stallions.

26. The artisans, owners of workshops, shops and small businesses will also receive credits without so many formalities.

27. The tax charged to companies for the extraction of the mineral will be transferred to the mining communities.

28. The price of gasoline, gas, diesel and light will not increase, only the inflation component will be applied.

29. The support granted by the government to the people will be delivered directly, without intermediaries, to avoid "moches", corruption and political manipulation.

30. The Welfare Bank will be created so that poor people can collect the help of the government.

31. The increase of the budget to finance welfare programs will be obtained from savings for not allowing corruption and governing with austerity.

32. Taxes will not increase beyond inflation or public debt.

33. Respect for the autonomy of the Bank of Mexico and its policies to avoid inflation or devaluations.

34. There will be no cronyism, nepotism and influence. The payroll and assets of the officials will be transparent, and few trips abroad will be made.

35. No computer systems will be purchased in the first year of government.

36. Only private secretaries of the extended cabinet will have private secretaries.

37. Trusts or any other mechanism used to conceal public funds will be canceled.

38. All duplicate structures and programs will be removed to be centralized into a single unit or coordination.

39. Government advertising spending will be reduced by 50%.

40. Secretaries of State will not be able to live in parties, meals, sports games or travel with contractors or investors linked to the public function.

41. No official may occupy workers at the service of the State at home.

42. No official, without cause of emergency, may order close streets or stop traffic or pass the stops or park in prohibited places.

43. No merchandise that exists in public stores will be purchased in sufficient quantity.

44. No offices will be remodeled or luxury furniture purchased.

45. Only secretaries and undersecretaries will have drivers.

46. Except for full justification, the police and military will not be at the service of officials or individuals.

47. Games for costumes or any protocol and ceremonial expenses dedicated to the president, collaborators and relatives will be eliminated.

48. The assets of the offices will be taken care of by public servants to protect the collective heritage.

49. Unnecessary expenses abroad will be avoided. The only government offices will be embassies and consulates.

50. Citizens will be treated politely in public offices and anywhere.

51. Government purchases will be made in a consolidated manner through a call and with citizen and UN observation.

52. Government works contracts will be carried out with the participation of citizens and UN observers.

53. The hiring of offices to prepare bills, development plans or any type of analysis or recommendations will not be authorized.

54. The government will be decentralized and the secretariats will be in different states.

55. No one will be allowed to violate the Constitution and laws, and there will be no impunity, privileges or privileges.

56. Article 108 will be reformed to judge the president for any crime he commits.

57. Corruption, fuel theft, illegal carrying of weapons, falsification of invoices, electoral fraud, the purchase of votes and the use of a budget to favor candidates and parties will be serious crimes.

58. There will be no items in the budget available to deputies or senators.

59. No official may receive gifts whose value exceeds 5,000 pesos.

60. Regarding international companies, preference will be given to those originating in countries whose governments are characterized by their honesty.

61. The doors of Los Pinos will be open to the public.

62. The Presidential General Staff will be part of the Sedena; the Cisen will disappear.

63. The presidential plane and the entire fleet of aircraft and helicopters will be on sale.

64. The former presidents will no longer receive a pension nor will they have civil servants or military officials at their service.

65. There will be no public highway inspectors to supervise commercial, business or service establishments.

66. Do not be against those who invest or create jobs and are committed to the development of Mexico.

67. Tourism will be encouraged to boost development and create jobs; will initiate a program of urban improvement in the marginalized colonies of five tourist centers.

68. The Mayan Train will be built to connect the states of Chiapas, Tabasco, Campeche, Yucatan and Quintana Roo.

69. An economic and commercial corridor will be created in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, a railroad for containers, the highway will be expanded, the ports will be rehabilitated, and assembly and manufacturing plants will be installed.

70. Increased public investment to urgently produce more oil, gas and electricity.

71. The six existing refineries will be rehabilitated and the construction of a new one in Tabasco will begin.

72. The dismantling plan of the Federal Electricity Commission will be stopped.

73. Promote the development of renewable alternative energy sources: wind, solar, geothermal and tidal.

74. The introduction and use of transgenic seeds will not be allowed.

75. Methods of extracting raw materials that affect nature and deplete water sources will not be used.

76. Water will not be privatized.

77. There will be universal coverage in telecommunications and the country will be connected to the Internet using the infrastructure of the CFE.

78. In three years, the saturation problem of the current CDMX airport will be solved.

79. From January 1, a free zone will be created in the 3,180 kilometers of border with the United States.

80. The minimum wage will never be set below inflation.

81. Article 35 of the Constitution will be amended to remove all obstacles and locks in the organization of citizen consultations.

82. On the first Sunday of July 2021, there will be a consultation to ask the Mexicans if he continues in the presidency or not.

83. Will be five days a week in municipalities and states of the country solving problems and evaluating the progress of development and welfare programs.

84. Every day, from 6:00 in the morning, he will lead the meeting of the security cabinet in the NationalPalace.

85. A National Guard will be created, with the approval of the people and the Congress.

86. There will be 266 public security coordinators throughout the country.

87. The president will never give the order that the army or the navy massacre the people.

88. Amnesty to release political prisoners or victims of reprisals by caciques, officials or rulers of the old authoritarian regime.

89. The disappearance of Ayotzinapa's youth will be thoroughly investigated; the truth will be known and those responsible will be punished.

90. Freedom of expression will be respected; the government will never apply censorship to journalists or media.

91. The Attorney General's Office will have absolute autonomy.

92. Respectful relations with the Legislative and Judicial Power; the Executive will cease to be the power of the powers.

93. Implement the Civil Protection Plan for cases of floods, fires, earthquakes and other disasters.

94. Foreign policy will be based on diplomatic caution and the principles of self-determination of peoples.

95. The relationship with the US will be one of respect, mutual benefit and good neighborliness.

96. The 50 consulates in the US are going to become defenders of migrants.

97. Making progress happen with justice and love for the family, for our neighbor, for nature, for our country and for humanity.

98. The free expression of ideas and religious beliefs and freedom of the press will be guaranteed.

99. Convene teachers, anthropologists, psychologists, sociologists, philosophers and professionals from other disciplines for the preparation of a Moral Constitution.

100. Reading in general and particularly history, civics and ethics will be promoted.

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