August 20th, 2021
1. Term revocation law put on standby; INE will issue guidelines
The Governance and Second Legislative Studies commissions of the Senate supported an opinion emitted by the Federal Mandate Revocation Law. With this, it moved on to the Permanent Commission of Congress; however, following two attempts by Morena, the qualified majority was not reached to call for an extraordinary legislative session in which said law could be approved.
The National Electoral Institute (INE) indicated that it has been waiting over 400 days for Congress to issue a regulatory law for the revocation of an elected official’s term, so the General Council of the INE will issue the guidelines to carry out said exercise on August 27th. Lorenzo Córdova, President Counselor of the Institute, clarified that the cost of the process will be “significantly lower” than MXN $9 billion (USD $446 million), a speculative figure that has been mentioned in media.
2. Secretariat of Economy invites business chambers to update statues
The Economy Secretariat invited all business chambers and confederations to update their statutes in accordance with the Law on Business Chambers and their Confederations. The exhort was published days after Enoch Castellanos, President of the National Chamber of the Transformation Industry (Canacintra), asked the Secretariat for an intervention and opinion regarding the statutes of the Confederation of Industrial Chambers (Concamin).
The SE sent a letter to Francisco Cervantes, current President of Concamin, informing him that its statutes go against the Law of Chambers. With the exhortation, the election process must be carried out under the 2019 regulatory framework.
3. Government reveals National Digital Strategy; critics describe it as insufficient
As part of the National Development Plan 2019-2024, the Government released the National Digital Strategy (EDN) 2021-2024, which seeks to promote the social, cultural, and economic development of the country through information and communication technologies. Through tools related to digital government, connectivity, digital inclusion and information security, the EDN seeks to achieve technological sovereignty in the country.
Its lines of action include the deployment of the National Fiber Optic Network with the collaboration of CFE Telecommunications and Internet for All and the development of digital services for priority well-being projects. Critics state that the strategy was too late, failing to explain how technological sovereignty will be achieved, and that it does not have sufficient budget to achieve it.
4. IMCO reports a lack of transparency in institutions
The Mexican Institute of Competitiveness (IMCO) published its Corruption Risk Index, which serves as a tool to identify risks in government purchases. It reports that public purchases without competition prevail in the Secretariat of the Navy (SEMAR) and in the Integral Port Administration of Salina Cruz (API Salina Cruz). In the case of health institutions, 66% of them worsened.
In this context, the Plenary of the Federal Economic Competition Commission (Cofece) fined pharmaceutical companies for MXN $903 million (USD $44 million) for carrying out absolute monopolistic practices in the market for the distribution of medicines to the private market. These bad practices generated, between 2006 and 2016, damages amounting to MXN $ 2.36 billion (USD $117 million) to Mexicans in relation to the purchase of medicines.
El Financiero: Cofece multa a distribuidores de medicamentos con 903.5 mdp por prácticas monopólicas.
5. Union conflict in Silao first to be resolved under USMCA mechanisms
The U.S., Mexico, Canada Agreement (USMCA) included the creation of Facility-Specific Rapid Response Labor Mechanisms as a method of dispute resolution. Thanks to this, Mexican workers at a General Motors plant in Silao, Guanajuato, voted and rejected the current collective bargaining agreement, which was negotiated by one of the largest labor organizations in the country, the Confederation of Mexican Workers (CTM).
This is a historic result since it is the first example where a dispute resolution mechanism stipulated in the USMCA is enforced. The process was observed “at all times” by personnel from the Ministry of Labor, observers from the National Electoral Institute (INE) and the International Labor Organization (ILO).
El País: Las tensiones entre México y Estados Unidos crecen por conflictos sindicales y las diferencias sobre el T-MEC.
El Financiero: Gana el “no” en votación sindical en planta de GM; contrato colectivo se da por terminado.