October 2, 2020
1. New product labelling policy begins on October 1st
The first phase of the new frontal labelling of processed food and beverages came into force on October 1st, in a bid to reduce alarming overweight and obesity figures in Mexico. This labelling was proposed in the amendments to Official Mexican Standard NOM-051 published on March 27, 2020 in the Official Journal of the Federation.
The Business Coordinating Council estimates that the cost of implementing this new labelling is MXN $6 billion (USD $276.4 million). Javier Zúñiga, legal coordinator of El Poder del Consumidor, estimates that there are about 30 protections against this labelling. Companies such as Coca-Cola Femsa, Ferrero Rocher, Unilever, among others will appeal to remove the labels that indicate excess calories, sodium, trans and saturated fats, and sugars.
2. Supreme Court of Justice gives green light to popular consultation for prosecution of former presidents
The Supreme Court of Justice declared constitutional the request for a consultation submitted by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador to ask citizens whether to investigate and, where appropriate, punish the last five presidents of Mexico for crimes committed before, during and after their administration.
With six votes in favor and five against, justices voted the following way: in favor of the measure were Ministers Arturo Zaldívar, Margarita Ríos-Farjat, Yasmín Esquivel, Alberto Pérez, Alfredo Gutiérrez and Juan Luis González. On the other hand, ministers Luis María Aguilar, Jorge Mario Pardo, José Fernando Franco, Javier Laynez and Norma Piña voted against. Former presidents Carlos Salinas, Ernesto Zedillo, Vicente Fox, Felipe Calderón and Enrique Peña could be investigated.
3. 109 public trusts to disappear
On Wednesday, September 30th, the opinion eliminating 109 trusts was generally adopted in the Budget Committee of the Chamber of Deputies. However, deputies of the Citizen Movement, The National Action Party, the Democratic Revolutionary Party and the Institutional Revolutionary Party left the session due to the proposal that the Ministry of Finance should receive MXN $97 billion (USD $4.47 billion) from the Health Fund for Welfare.
Due to the departure of the legislators, a recess was decreed, and the plenary session will discuss the critiques leveled against the measure in the Committee on Budget. Mario Delgado, Morena coordinator in the Chamber of Deputies, stated that the proposal to eliminate trusts responds to an austerity strategy in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with corruption in some cases.
4. President López Obrador proposes changes to the Retirement Savings Systems Act
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador sent a bill to reform the pension system to the Chamber of Deputies. The president cited that Mexico ranks 31st of 43 pension systems, implying costs above the international average according to the International Organization of Pension Supervisors (IOPS).
As a result, the proposal seeks to regulate the commissions charged by Afores, the Mexican pension system, by adding a paragraph to Article 37 of the Retirement Savings Systems Act in order to subject the commissions charged by Afores to a maximum amount, the result of the arithmetic average of the commissions applicable in the United States, Colombia and Chile.
5. New strategy for COVID-19 care presented
Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced a renewal in the health strategy to address the pandemic caused by the new SARS-CoV-2. This renewal occurs seven months after the onset of the pandemic in Mexico and will focus on giving greater domiciliary care to people with the disease caused by the new coronavirus.
Home visits will be made to detect positive cases, provide direct care, or support with transfer to a hospital. In addition, hospital care will be improved, and care will be expanded to COVID-19 patients in private institutions. It was detailed that these policies were successfully implemented in Mexico City, so the federal government seeks to replicate this success at a national level.