August 21, 2020
1. Federal fiscal pact to be revised
During a meeting between President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and the National Conference of Governors in San Luis Potosí, participants agreed to begin the revision of the fiscal pact. To this end, the standing committee of officials assigned to this task will analyze the Tax Coordination Act with “objectivity, transparency, and dialogue.”
President López proposed greater fiscal and security coordination, the restructuring of state debts through the National Bank of Works and Public Services, agreements to give loans to entities on request, as well as unlimited resources to strengthen the health system, obtain medicines and vaccines.
2. Cofepris to fall under auspices of Undersecretariat for Health Prevention and Promotion
On August 19th, an official agreement was issued for the Federal Commission for the Protection of Health Risks (Cofepris), among others, to fall under the auspices of the Undersecretary for Health Prevention and Promotion, Hugo López-Gatell.
Undersecretary López-Gatell has insisted that with this change, health regulations will be strengthened, as attention will be paid to omissions that have been committed in environmental and health regulations. It should be noted that Cofepris is responsible for the control and monitoring of health-related facilities, control of products and services, control of advertising and the regulation of organs, tissues, and their components.
3. 10 indicators will determine federal COVID-19 “traffic light”
Undersecretary for Health Prevention and Promotion Hugo López-Gatell announced that the COVID-19 federal risk “traffic light” will undergo changes, as 10 indicators will now be considered, compared to four previously. This came about as a result of a consensus between the governors of the federal entities, who presented their proposals given the specific requirments of each entity.
In this new modality of the COVID-19 light, indicators on the intensity of the pandemic will be considered, how high or low the magnitude of the health problem and hospitalization rates, as well as the scope of mortality. This evaluates three dimensions: the occurrence of the epidemic, the response, and the consequences of the epidemic.
4. Economic recovery could take two to 10 years
Bank of Mexico deputy governor, Jonathan Heath, said the Mexican economy “hit the bottom” in May and reported that at the end of 2020 national GDP will register a contraction of -10%. He added that scenarios have been examined to return to economic activity levels observed in 2018, where the most optimistic forecasts consider a recovery of six to 10 years.
Regarding economic activity, Bank of America notes that the reopening of trade activity in the United States is supporting Mexico’s recovery. This is mainly due to car exports and increased remittances. However, due to the government’s response to the pandemic and high interest rates in the country, Bank of America estimates that Mexico’s economic recovery will be weak.
5. Former Pemex director files complaint to the Attorney General’s Office
Emilio Lozoya Austin, former director of state-run Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex), has formally denounced extortion on the part of lawmakers from the National Action Party (PAN) to vote in favor of structural reforms approved during the administration of former President Enrique Peña Nieto.
In this complaint, Lozoya also accuses former President Peña Nieto of multimillion-dollar bribes, purchase of votes in the legislature and illegal political campaign financing; former President Calderón for bribes in the purchase of Ethylene XXI – the first polyethylene plant in the country not run by Pemex – and former President Salinas for influence trafficking to obtain contracts that benefitted his son.
El Universal: Lozoya implica a Salinas, Calderón y Peña Nieto