December 24th, 2021
1. Deer Park Refinery sold to Pemex
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador reported that the United States government authorized the Deer Park Refinery’s sale, which was owned by Shell, to Petróleos Mexicanos (PEMEX). The Committee on Foreign Investments of the United States (CFIUS) approved the sale on December 21. The committee asserted that the operation did not pose a risk to United States national security.
Deer Park’s sale to PEMEX will increase the number of refineries that will participate in the Mexican government’s upcoming energy program. Other participants includes the Dos Bocas, Tabasco refinery (under construction) and the coker in Tula, Hidalgo.
El Financiero: EU autoriza venta de Deer Park a Pemex, confirma AMLO.
2. Economic activity rebounds
According to the Timely Indicator of Economic Activity (IOAE), economic activity in Mexico improved slightly in November 2021 by rising 1.2% compared to October. The economic recovery process has been affected by global factors and the Covid-19 Omicron variant. The end of the year illustrated a rebound driven by secondary and tertiary activities.
Economic activity in the manufacturing industrial, mining, and electricity secondary sectors grew by 1.4% in November compared to the previous month. Economists expect the economy to grow between 2.8 and 4 percent in 2022.
3. The Mandate Revocation process continues
The president of the Chamber of Deputies, Sergio Gutiérrez Luna, challenged the National Electoral Institute’s (INE) agreement before the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN). The deputy asked the Supreme Court to prioritize the challenge, given the importance of the matter. He was further endorsed by the Morena Parliamentary Group.
The Recess Commission of the Supreme Court accepted the constitutional argument promoted by the Chamber of Deputies against the INE’s agreement to postpone the mandate revocation process. This argument states that INE violated the citizens’ right to decide the president’s mandate. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador affirmed that citizens could carry out the consultation.
4. Insecurity increased in the last year
Crime increased 10.9% in Mexico in 2021 compared 2020, a year characterized by COVID lockdowns. The National Public Security System (SESNSP) revealed that 1,871,808 crimes took place between January and November. The State of Mexico registered the highest rate (10.6%).
The worst indicator was a 28% increase in sexual assaults and harassment, with more than 63,000 nationwide complaints. Both domestic and violence against women grew by 16% compared to 2020. In the latest national security report, authorities explained that they are working on a comprehensive security plan for nine states.
El Financiero: Incidencia delictiva en México crece 10.9% en 2021.
5. The government’s migration strategy
The Secretary of Foreign Relations, Marcelo Ebrard, revealed that the Mexican Commission for Aid to Refugees (Comar) does not have sufficient resources to process the growing number of asylum applications in the last months of 2021. Mexico registered 123,187 asylum requests, a 300% increase compared to 2020.
The Commission, which is a department of the Ministry of the Interior, will receive USD $48,254 in 2022, according to the budget approved by Congress. However, the reactivation of the “Stay in Mexico” Program returned between 1,500 and 2,000 people a day to Mexico, a third of them Mexicans. The Commission will have to use its resources efficiently during the next few weeks.