August 13th, 2021
1. Economy and migration, conversation topics between President López Obrador and Kamala Harris
President López Obrador held a call with the U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris in which they discussed issues such as immigration and the complete opening of the northern border to reactivate the economy. The U.S. pledged to donate 8.5 million COVID-19 vaccines to Mexico. After the call, it was announced that the Mexican government will invite President Joe Biden to visit the country in November.
The Foreign Affairs Secretary Marcelo Ebrard led a working meeting in Mexico with U.S. officials, including Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan. The delegations agreed to manage migration flows, to maintain the dialogue in security and in economic matters.
2. IMF grants line credit to Mexico to promote economic recovery
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved the allocation of Special Drawing Rights (SDR), equivalent to USD $650 billion to its member countries, which will be used to shore up global liquidity and assist economic recovery from the crisis caused by COVID-19. In the case of Mexico, a line will be granted at low rates for USD $12 billion. President López Obrador indicated that the resources will be used for the advance payment of the debt.
The money will go directly to the Bank of Mexico (Banxico); however, the administration seeks that the SDR do not stay there, as the country’s reserves “have already grown a lot and have very little performance.” The president explained that his government will not apply the IMF’s recommendations, since they use other models of economic reactivation and fiscal stimuli. In this regard, the Banxico Deputy Governor Gerardo Esquivel, indicated that SDR are not a currency, so they cannot be used to pay debt.
3. Industrial sectors have yet to reach pre-pandemic levels
The National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI) reported that Mexican economic reactivation continues to be pressured by external and internal factors, thus reflecting on the registered activity levels of different industries. During June 2021, all industrial subsectors (manufacturing, construction, mining, electricity, gas, and water) showed significant drops. Although there has been recovery compared to 2020, pre-pandemic levels have not yet been reached.
The industrial sector registered a slowdown of its post-pandemic recovery for the third straight month. The production and export of automobiles assembled in Mexico fell by more than 20% due to some company’s suspension of operations because of the global semiconductor shortage. Contrarily, the growing arrival of tourists from the U.S. to Mexico, without any type of restriction, allowed USD $1.9 million in foreign currencies to be collected during June.
El Economista: Actividad industrial suma tres meses estancada y Divisas turísticas rebasaron en junio nivel previo a la pandemia.
El Financiero: “Frenón” para la industria automotriz de México por falta de chips; cae más de 20%.
4. Education is considered an essential activity for the return to face-to-face classes
Hugo López-Gatell, Health Undersecretary, indicated that the educational sector will be considered an essential activity so that it is not subject to the restrictions of the epidemiological traffic light. After this, the Education Secretary, Delfina Gómez, revealed that the return to face-to-face classes will be on August 30. The announcement comes days after the register of the highest number of COVID-19 infections in the capital of the country; there is also a discrepancy between federal and local government provisions on the epidemiological traffic light in Mexico City.
The Secretary thanked the National Union of Education Workers (SNTE) for supporting this decision and will promote a national health protocol consisting of 10 items, such as the use of face masks and health filters. In this regard, Nashieli Ramírez Hernández, President of the Human Rights Commission of Mexico City, indicated that 70% of girls, boys, and teenagers do want to return to face-to-face classes, but fear being infected.
La Jornada: Menores quieren regresar a clases, pero temen enfermarse por COVID.
Excélsior: Ajustarán semáforo epidemiológico para que el sector educativo sea actividad esencial.
El Sol de México: Estos son los 10 puntos del protocolo de regreso a clases.
5. Protection will be provided to journalists due to drug trafficking threats
The Jalisco Nueva Generación Cartel (CJNG) threatened Mexican journalists. In a video broadcasted through social networks, various media belonging to Grupo Multimedios were threatened on behalf of the cartel leader, Nemesio Rubén Oseguera Cervantes, “El Mencho”, for their coverage in the state of Michoacán, specifically tied to journalist Azucena Uresti. Faced with this scenario, Joe Simon, Executive Director of the Committee to Protect Journalists, warned about the importance of creating networks to protect journalists who publish sensitive information.
President López Obrador assured that Uresti and all Mexicans will be protected. He reported that communication has already been established with the journalist to offer her protection; he condemned the threats against him and expressed his solidarity. Jesús Ramírez, spokesman for the Presidency, affirmed that the government will take measures to protect all threatened journalists and media.
El País: El Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generación amenaza a los medios de comunicación por su cobertura sobre Michoacán.
Animal Político: Tras amenazas, AMLO garantiza protección a la periodista Azucena Uresti.
La Silla Rota: Como caso Uresti, urge protección a periodistas de vanguardia, alerta CPJ.