May 24, 2019
1. Mexican Congress approves secondary legislation for National Guard
The National Guard, a public safety force intended to more effectively combat crime and violence in Mexico, had already been approved by Congress, but secondary legislation which would regulate its operation remained pending. Now, the secondary measures received approval from both houses and was sent to the President to be signed into law.
The secondary legislation focuses on the creation of a register of detentions, acceptable use of force, human rights protections as well as its civilian structure.
Amnesty International complained about the opacity of the approval process by the Senate, primarily for not making drafts of the laws public, which prevented human rights defenders, civil society organizations, international human rights organizations and other experts from providing timely opinions on the issue.
2. President López Obrador signs decree to end tax breaks
During the administrations of ex-Presidents Enrique Peña Nieto and Felipe Calderón Hinojosa, tax breaks were given to Mexico’s largest companies. According to Tax Administration Service (SAT) chief Margarita Ríos-Farjat, firms have benefitted from an additional MXN $400 billion (USD $20.96 billion) in revenue, while 58 are listed on the Mexican Stock Exchange.
Earlier this week, President López Obrador addressed the issue signing a decree to end tax breaks, and implementing rule of law for all. Later in the week, national daily Reforma revealed a list of 170 companies currently suing to avoid the publication of their names and the amounts of said tax breaks.
3. United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America reveals development plan for Mexico and Central America
Recently, U.S. President Donald Trump had declared that Mexico does not act sufficiently to halt immigration into the U.S. from southern Mexican states and Central America.
Alicia Bárcena, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America (Cepal) revealed the Plan for Development of Mexico and Central America with the aim of fostering regional development and cooperation on economic, social and immigration and issue.
Among the main points of this strategy include the construction of a 600km pipeline to connect southern Mexico and Central America, a USD $300 million revamping of the electrical grid and a reduction in the costs of money transfers for migrants.
El Financiero: Presentan el plan de Desarrollo para México y Centroamérica
4. Zoé Robledo appointed as Social Security Department director following resignation of Germán Martínez
Germán Martínez submitted his resignation as Director of Mexico’s Department of Social Security (IMSS), blaming the Secretary of Finance for budget cuts at the expense of the Mexican people’s health necessities.
President López Obrador replied by assuring his cabinet is composed of many great professionals and subsequently announcing the appointment of Zoé Robledo – previously the Undersecretary of Interior – as the next director of the department, as well as announcing the creation of the Institute of Health Welfare.
El Economista: Zoé Robledo dirigirá al IMSS
5. Finance Secretary to tax drivers of ride-sharing and food delivery technology
Secretary of Finances and the Tax Administration Service signed a deal with eight ride-hailing and food delivery technology firms to start a taxing scheme withholding the drivers.
This plan is slated for launch in June and an estimated of MXN $168 billion (USD $8.8 billion) will be collected. Additionally, 800,000 drivers will gain healthcare, access to personal and housing credits as a result.
Uber, Cabify, Bolt, Beat, Cornershop, Rappi, SinDelantal and Uber Eats have joined this voluntary initiative. On the other hand, Chinese firm Didi withdrew from participating but would analyze joining a plan like this in the future once it understands the implications for its drivers.
El Heraldo de México: Hacienda va por 168 mmdp de Apps