July 23, 2021
1. U.S. legislators demand end to energy reform, claiming violation of USMCA
Legislators from the Democratic and Republican parties wrote a letter addressed to U.S. President Joe Biden making a call to pressure the Mexican government into reversing its energy reform. Regarding the reforms to the Electricity Industry Law, the legislators pointed out that they eliminate competition in the Mexican energy sector, impacting U.S. investments negatively.
The members of both parties stated that, with these changes, Mexico violates the agreement by favoring the state-run Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) over foreign companies. They added that the measures will increase emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) by 20% and sulfur dioxide (SO2) by 150%.
Energía a Debate: Legisladores de EEUU piden a Biden frenar reformas de AMLO.
2. Mexico was Pegasus’ largest consumer
The Financial Intelligence Unit (UIF) revealed the names of the public agencies that transferred resources to vendors of the controversial Israeli spy software, Pegasus, to the Attorney General’s Office during the administration of the fomer president Enrique Peña Nieto. An investigation indicates that Mexico was Pegasus’ largest global client, spying on more than 15,000 individuals.
Given this, Amnesty International called for the creation of legislation on cyber surveillance. Among the list of former officials implicated in the scandal include: Salvador Cienfuegos, former head of National Defense; Luis Videgaray, former Treasury chief; Javier Duarte, former governor of Veracruz, among others.
Animal Político: Videgaray, Cienfuegos, Duarte: Los nombres detrás de los pagos a la red de espionaje con Pegasus y Pegasus habría espiado a más de 50 mil personas en el mundo, 15 mil de ellos en México.
3. Minister of Economy visits U.S. to discuss USMCA, economic prospects increase
Economy Minister Tatiana Clouthier made a working visit to Washington from July 21st to 23rd to meet with U.S. authorities, organizations, and business leaders to discuss implementation of the U.S., Mexico, and Canada Agreement (USMCA). Clouthier discussed trade concerns on agricultural, automotive and supply chain issues.
Within the framework of the visit, the Mexican Institute of Finance Executives (IMEF) indicated that a change in the government narrative regarding private investment could trigger economic recovery to the tune of 5.9% by 2022. Likewise, BBVA raised its GDP forecast to 6.3% for Mexico’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for 2021 because of better prospects for exports, consumption, and investment. On the other hand, the Bank of Mexico (Banxico) reported that the holding of government securities by foreign investors presents an outflow of 21.2% compared to its maximum in February 2020. This has fallen due to greater aversion to risk on Mexico.
El Financiero: Clouthier irá a Washington para hablar sobre la interpretación de las reglas de origen del sector automotriz y Medidas fiscales y cambio de narrativa podrían impulsar al PIB hasta 5.9% en 2022: IMEF.
Forbes: BBVA eleva a 6.3% pronóstico del crecimiento del PIB de México para 2021.
El Economista: Inversionistas foráneos salen de valores del gobierno Mexicano.
4. Amid electoral irregularities, digital influencers could face regulation
The National Electoral Institute (INE) fined the governor-elect of Nuevo León, Samuel García, MXN $448,955 (USD $22,447) for the media publicity provided by his wife, influencer Mariana Rodríguez, without having reported it to the authorities. The INE argued that Mariana Rodríguez has had business activity since 2018, so she put her advertising services to the service of Samuel García’s campaign. In addition, to these reasons, Movimiento Ciudadano, the political party of the governor-elect, will be fined MXN $55 million (USD $2.7 million).
Similarly, the General Council of the INE indicated that the Green Ecologist Party (PVEM) paid MXN $20 million (USD $1 million) to influencers to create advertising for them. The INE seeks to impose a fine of MXN $40 million (USD $2 million) and deny the PVEM the use of advertising on radio and television. Against this backdrop, Senator Ricardo Monreal presented an initiative that seeks to prohibit and sanction influencers who seek to influence the decision of citizens when voting. With this, a possible trend towards the regulation of digital channel management is expected in Mexico.
El Financiero: INE multa a Samuel García y MC por aportaciones indebidas a Mariana Rodríguez.
El Universal: PVEM pagó 20 millones de pesos a influencers, calcula INE; propone multa por 40 mdp y Ricardo Monreal presenta reforma para prohibir y sancionar influencers en veda electoral.
5. Veracruz legislature approves decriminalization of abortion
Veracruz became the fourth state to decriminalize abortion in Mexico, following in the footsteps of Mexico City, Oaxaca, and Hidalgo. The law considers the legal interruption of pregnancy during the first 12 weeks of gestation, guaranteeing the freedom of women, girls, and adolescents. With 25 votes in favor, three against and one abstention, Congress approved the decree’s text for publication and enaction.
The National Commission to Prevent and Eradicate Violence against Women (Conavim) recognized the work of Veracruz legislators for approving said decriminalization.