February 26, 2021
1. Audit reveals irregularities during first year of López Obrador’s administration
The General Executive Report of 2019 Public Accounts, developed by the Superior Audit Office of the Federation (ASF), revealed irregularities of up to MXN $67.5 billion (USD $3.2 billion) in the first year of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s administration. These irregularities were detected in welfare programs, and, notably, the cost of cancelling the New Mexico International Airport (NAIM) project, which exceeded 232% of its original estimated cost.
President López Obrador indicated that he will ask the Chamber of Deputies to investigate the ASF, as he stated that the report presented is false and misleading.
2. Mexican economy reflects damage caused by the health emergency
The Economic Activity Indicator (IOAE), published by the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI), revealed a 4.4% drop in the country’s economic activity during January, as a consequence of the effects caused by the COVID-19 health emergency.
On the other hand, INEGI stated that, during 2020, the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) presented a contraction of 8.5%, the second consecutive annual decrease, after an economic growth figure of -0.1% was recorded in 2019.
El Financiero: Economía registra peor inicio de año desde 2009.
El Financiero: El recuento de los daños: PIB de México se desplomó 8.5% en 2020.
3. SAT presents 2021 tax collection plan with focus on large taxpayers
Raquel Buenrostro, Head of the Tax Administration Service (SAT), presented the 2021 Operations Master Plan, which seeks to increase tax revenue in new sectors of the economy through large taxpayers, as well as using the new powers granted by the 2020 and 2021 miscellaneous fiscal resolutions.
In addition to the eight sectors already audited during 2020: the nutrition, automotive, commerce, energy and hydrocarbons, pharmaceutical, financial (development banking and insurance), mining and steel, beverage and tobacco, and telecommunications sectors will be audited during 2021.
4. Mexico and Argentina strengthen relations with presidential visit
Argentine President Alberto Fernández, made an official visit to Mexico, in which he agreed to strengthen their strategic alliance and create an axis to promote the interests of Latin American countries in order to combat the effects caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and his Argentine counterpart signed a joint declaration in which they committed to increase investments between the two nations and to diversify and intensify bilateral trade. They also reaffirmed their commitment to strengthen relations in order to promote Latin America and achieve universal, fair, equitable and timely access to medications, medical supplies and the COVID-19 vaccine.
5. FGR seeks impeachment of Tamaulipas Governor Javier García Cabeza de Vaca in the middle of election
The Federal Attorney General’s Office (FGR) requested the impeachment of the Tamaulipas Governor Javier García de Vaca, for alleged connections to organized crime, tax fraud and operations with resources of illicit origin. The governor stated that the accusations are unfounded and requested the General Secretariat of the Chamber of Deputies to dismiss the request for the removal of gubernatorial immunity.
For its part, the Association of Governors of the National Action Party (GOAN) pointed out that this accusation is an attempt to polarize the electoral process and asked that governors be respected during the elections. So far, it is expected that members of the Specialized Unit for the Investigation of Operations of Resources of Illicit Origins and Counterfeiting or Alteration of Currency, a branch of the FGR, will appear in the Chamber of Deputies to ratify the request for the governor’s removal of immunity.