May 15, 2020
1. Federal government presents pandemic reopening plan
The Mexican federal government presented its strategy for social, educational, and economic reopening activities. The plan consists of three stages and a scale system that establishes health measures according to the level of risk. So far in Mexico, there are 42,595 confirmed cases, 10,057 active cases and 4,477 deaths due to Covid-19.
During the first phase, slated to begin on May 18th, 269 municipalities that do not present positive cases of Covid-19 will return to normal activities. The second stage, from May 18th to 31st, will prepare sectors such as the manufacture of transport equipment, construction and mining for the resumption of activities; whereas the third stage, beginning on June 1st, will reopen economies on a regional basis.
2. Employment falls sharply as a result of pandemic
According to figures from the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS), during the month of April 2020, 555,247 formal jobs were lost, representing the largest sum on record.
The biggest job losses have occurred in states that rely heavily on tourism such as Quintana Roo, Baja California and Guerrero. Other sectors where job losses have been recorded include construction and the extractive industry. On the other hand, the National Development Policy Assessment Council (Coneval) warned of the possibility that at least 10.7 million Mexicans could be in working poverty at the end of the second quarter of 2020.
El Financiero: Se perdieron 753 mil empleos en mes y medio
3. Armed forces to continue public security role
This week, the federal executive branch published an agreement in the Official Bulletin ordering the cooperation of the Mexican Armed Forces in an “extraordinary, regulated, audited, subordinated and complementary” manner with the National Guard for public security tasks.
The published agreement foresees participation of the Navy and the Army for period of up to five years. Additionally, this agreement states that the participation of the armed forces must obey human rights and stay in compliance with the new National Law on the Use of Force. The federal government has received criticism from various groups that claim that the agreement continues a failed public safety strategy.
El Economista: Ejército seguirá en tareas de seguridad, por decreto
4. Supreme Court invalidates extension of Baja California governor’s term
Last Monday, the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN) unanimously endorsed the project of Justice Fernando Franco to invalidate the reform passed by the Local Congress of Baja California to extend the term of the current governor of the state, Jaime Bonilla, to five years from two.
The President of the Supreme Court, Arturo Zaldívar, stated that the so-called “Bonilla Act,” as the reform that sought to extend the mandate of the governor of Baja California was known; represents a clear violation of public suffrage, popular sovereignty and human rights. The court’s ruling was recognized by the Senate, the Chamber of Deputies, and various actors in the public sector.
El Economista: Suprema Corte invalida por unanimidad la Ley Bonilla
5. Mexico requests U.S. report on “Operation Fast and Furious”
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, headed by Marcelo Ebrard, this week delivered a diplomatic note to the U.S. Embassy requiring all information on “Operation Fast and Furious,” which introduced heavy-caliber weapons to Mexico.
The diplomatic note asks the United States Government to report on whether high-level Mexican authorities knew and authorized the failed operation, also known as the ATF gunwalking scandal, as well as recalling that the operation’s purview was never approved by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), which allowed the illegal entry of weapons into Mexico to track guns that were eventually used in various episodes of drug-related violence.