October 16, 2020
1. Enforcement begins on Quality Infrastructure Act
On July 1st, 2020, the government passed the Quality Infrastructure Act, which states in Article 3 that it may order the suspension or prohibition of the marketing of goods, products and services, and establish measures aimed at protecting consumers from products that do not comply with Mexican standards of quality.
On October 12th, the Ministry of Economy and the Federal Consumer Attorney’s Office announced that 23 cheeses and two drinkable yogurts would be discontinued because they are advertised as cheeses and contain vegetable fats and milk proteins with caseins without making that information public. Lala, Mondelez, Danone and Fud reported that they are already in discussions with authorities to prove that their products comply with the law.
2. Electoral Tribunal grants registration to two political parties, rejects bid from former president
The Electoral Tribunal of the Judicial Branch ruled in favor of the registration of the Progressive Social Networks Association as a political party, whose leader José Fernando González, is the son-in-law of Elba Esther Gordillo, a former labor union and political leader arrested in 2013 on corruption charges. The ruling was considered unfounded, as the court did not consider arguments from the National Electoral Institute that sought to deny registration to the party.
The justices of the Electoral Tribunal also granted registration to Social Force for Mexico; an association linked to the union leader Pedro Haces. On the other hand, the magistrates denied registration to the organization Democratic Liberty and Responsibility (Mexico Free), headed by former President Felipe Calderón, for having financial contributions from unidentified persons.
El Sol de México: Redes Sociales Progresistas obtienen registro como partido político.
El Universal: Niegan magistrados partido a Calderón.
3. Mexico to chair World Bank and International Monetary Fund Board of Governors
The Ministry of Finance and Public Credit announced that the Secretary of Finance and Public Credit, Arturo Herrera Gutiérrez, was nominated as chairman of the Board of Governors of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund for 2021. The process was approved by the World Bank and will be ratified on November 4th by the Board of Governors of the International Monetary Fund.
The Board of Governors are the highest ranking members of both multilateral financial institutions and is made up of finance ministers or central bank governors from 189 member countries. Arturo Herrera will seek to have both institutions double down on their efforts to support the global economic recovery, give priority attention to low- and middle-income countries highly affected by COVID-19, and help strengthen the international financial system.
4. Former defense secretary arrested by the DEA in California
Salvador Cienfuegos Zepeda, former Mexican defense secretary, was arrested at Los Angeles Int’l Airport, California, at the request of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). The former secretary is being held at the Metropolitan Administrative Security Detention Center.
General Salvador Cienfuegos was a Division General of the Secretariat of National Defense from 2012 to 2018. He holds a Master of Military Administration for Security and National Defense from the College of National Defense and is accused of drug trafficking and money laundering by U.S. authorities.
5. Mexico to have healthy finances despite slow recovery
The International Monetary Fund projects a fiscal balance for Mexico next year following a primary deficit of 2% of GDP by 2020. In the Fiscal Monitor report, the international body estimates that next year’s primary deficit will fall within the acceptable range at a level of 0.2%.
On the other hand, in the 16th Annual Report for Latin America and the Caribbean, experts from the World Bank project that Mexico will experience a -10% contraction in GDP for 2020. However, next year, the outlook for the region is much more positive, considering a GDP uptick of 4%, and 3.7% for Mexico. Along with Brazil, the Mexican economy is expected to figure among the least agile in 2021.