May 3, 2019
1. President López Obrador leads ceremony initiating construction of the Santa Lucía Airport
President López Obrador led a ceremony kicking off preliminary studies and initial works for the construction of the new airport at the Santa Lucía military base. The President also assured that the total cost of the project won’t exceed the original budget of MXN $100 billion (USD $5.26 billion).
The Secretary of National Defense (SEDENA), tasked with the execution of the project, stated that construction can only begin once the environmental impact studies are obtained by end of June or early July.
2. Federal government sends National Development Plan to House of Representatives for approval
For the first time in Mexico’s history, the federal government sent the five-year National Development Plan (PND) to the Mexican House of Representatives by means of the Secretariat of the Interior.
The PND concentrates on three general points: justice and rule of law, welfare and economic development. Also included are three transversal axes that touch on gender equality and inclusion, tackling corruption and improved governance as well as sustainable development. The authors of the document claim the plan will boost the country’s productive capacity over the next 20 years.
El Financiero: La Cámara de Diputados recibe Plan Nacional de Desarrollo
3. OECD: Mexican economy will slow down in 2019 but will recover over the next year
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) published a report stating that the Mexican economy will slow down in 2019, but will recover over the next year.
According to the report, “growth will strengthen moderately in the medium-term. Investment will recover as a result of planned infrastructure projects in addition to institutions conducive to private investment.” The OECD also forecasted that economic growth in Mexico would jump from 1.6% in 2019 to 2% in 2020.
4. Mexican House of Representatives approves austerity bill
The Mexican House of Representatives approved the Republican Austerity bill, which aims to cut government costs in several ways: by regulating public trusts and making them more transparent, terminating life insurance, excessive medical expenses and individualized care, as well as prohibiting any public official from earning more that the President.
Additionally, the money saved from these cuts will be allocated to priority programs backed by the federal government.
These measures stem from President López Obrador’s campaign promises to reduce expenses and excessive luxuries leveraged by officials with taxpayer money.
5. Mexican Senate rejects education bill
Although the House of Representatives passed an education reform package – which would carry out education modernization and continuous training programs for teachers, as well strengthen normal schools and other higher education institutions that provide teacher training – the initiative has been rejected by the Senate after having received initial approval from 95 of Mexico’s 128 senators.
In the final vote, the education bill was backed by 81 senators – one vote short of approval. President López Obrador reacted calmly in his morning press conference the next day and stated that the bill could wait until the next legislative session, which begins September 1st. Meanwhile the education bill will be sent back to the House of Representatives.