August 16, 2019
1. Former Social Development Secretary detained for alleged wrongdoing as a public official
A judge ordered former Social Development Secretary Rosario Robles to be held in custody for alleged wrongdoing when she served as public official for failing to take actions to sanction and avoid alleged multi-million dollar diversions of funds during her administration. As long as the process lasts, Robles will be held in Santa Martha Acatitla prison.
Robles’ lawyer submitted a document showing that she informed former presidential candidate José Antonio Meade of anomalies detected by the Mexican Federal Audit Institute, which could potentially lead to an investigation of Meade, having served in the same position as Robles and later as Finance Secretary. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador supported the initiation of the current investigation and described it as “an accomplishment that there is no impunity.”
El Universal: “Rosario Robles avisó a Meade de anomalías”
2. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador submits two bills to Mexican Congress, aiming to eliminate tax breaks and lower public officials’ wages
After submitting a bill attempting to lower the salaries of public officials compared to the Head of Government, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador sent a second bill with same purpose. The earlier attempt was criticized by opposition parties, who pointed out how this measure could damage the autonomy of several government agencies.
Furthermore, the president submitted an additional bill aiming to eliminate “monopolistic practices, and tax breaks and exemptions.” This bill says these tax measures have caused MXN $400.9 billion (USD $20.49 billion) in damage in the treasury over the last two presidential terms.
3. Private sector and governors celebrate the “Oaxaca Agreement” looking to attract over USD $100 billion in investments
The Federal Administration, the private sector and governors of nine states closed the “Oaxaca Agreement” looking to attract investments and create industrial and business infrastructure leading to more job opportunities and economic growth for Mexico’s South-Southeast area.
President López Obrador stressed the need for the private sector to take part in the agreement. The total investment is expected to be over USD $100 billion and will be divided into four main goals: supporting the local economy through small business, the creation of strategic projects, tax incentives for the private sector and encouragement for foreign investments and international trade.
El Sol de México: Prometen en Pacto Oaxaca 100 mil mdd para sureste del país
4. Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office and FBI agree to share information on El Paso shooting; Mexico to seek extradition of suspect
After Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office held a meeting with the FBI in Mexico City, both security institutions agreed to share information about the El Paso shooting where eight Mexicans were killed and a further 14 were injured.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Marcelo Ebrard said the Mexican Government will push for U.S. authorities to designate the shooting as an act of terrorism. In addition, President López Obrador declared he will seek the extradition of the suspect and will demand an “exemplary punishment” as well.
5. Mexico’s Central Bank cuts interbank rate to 8% despite international uncertainty
Banxico, Mexico’s Central Bank, decided to cut the interbank rate by 25 points to 8%. The Central Bank cited slowing inflation, widening slack in the economy, and the recent behavior of the external and domestic yield curves as the main reasons.
The interest rate cuts takes place in a context of economic uncertainty and after U.S. Federal Reserve decided to lower its interest rate, which hasn’t happened since 2008. President López Obrador and Banxico’s Deputy Governors Jonathan Heath and Gerardo Esquivel had called for rate cuts several times before to encourage economic growth.
El Financiero: Banxico recorta tasa de interés por primera vez en 5 años