February 21, 2020
1. Femicides and gender-based violence placed at the center of the national agenda
The murder of a 7-year-old girl in Mexico City has generated a wave of outrage across Mexico. In response, the Chamber of Deputies approved a reform to the Federal Criminal Code that condemns the crime of femicide with a sentence of up to 65 years in prison, five years longer than the current penalty. Feminist groups and organizations have intensified protests nationwide, viewing the federal government’s response as coming up short.
In Mexico, an average of 10 women are killed daily, adding to the total daily average that exceeds 90 homicides.
2. Former President Enrique Peña Nieto under investigation by Mexican Attorney General
According to The Wall Street Journal, former Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, is under investigation by the Attorney General’s Office for his possible involvement in prominent corruption scandals such as the Odebrecht case and the fraudulent purchase and sale of the Agronitrogenados fertilizer plant.
Investigations against former President Enrique Peña Nieto are part of the inquiries surrounding former Pemex director, Emilio Lozoya, who was apprehended in Spain last week and faces charges for operations with resources of illicit provenance, criminal association and bribery. Emilio Lozoya’s likely extradition and confession will be elements that, together with the investigations, will decide whether the former president will be tried, stated the source consulted by WSJ.
Animal Político: Fiscalía investiga a Peña Nieto por caso Lozoya, revela WSJ
3. Foreign Direct Investment grows 4.2%
Preliminary foreign direct investment (FDI) figures published by the Secretary of the Economy revealed that the country raised USD $32.921 billion in 2019, a 4.2% increase over 2018’s figure of USD $31.6 billion.
Despite the uncertainty generated by the renegotiation of the Mexico-U.S.-Canada Treaty (USMCA) and the global economic slowdown, FDI registered its third consecutive year of growth and the second highest figure since 2009.
4. International executives express desire to continue investing in Mexico
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador reported that he held a dinner with Susan Segal, president of Americas Society Council of the Americas, and various executives of companies such as Walmart, Chevron, Cisco, Amazon, Scotiabank, HSBC, Citi, among other prominent multinationals.
President López Obrador reported that during the dinner they exchanged views on the country’s economic and financial situation and seemed optimistic and committed to maintaining investments under the new USMCA trade agreement. The dinner also counted with the attendance of the Secretary of Finance and Public Credit, Arturo Herrera, the Secretary of Economy, Graciela Márquez, and the head of the Office of the Presidency of the Republic, Alfonso Romo.
5. Mexico among the five easiest Latin American countries to evade taxes
According to the financial opacity index, developed by the Tax Justice Network and the Independent Commission for the Reform of International Corporate Tax, Mexico ranks fifth in Latin America regarding the ease of tax evasion under the umbrella of banking secrecy, beaten only by Panama, Venezuela, Guatemala and Brazil.
Although the report signals regional leaders regarding the use of tax data to combat corruption and money laundering, much remains to be done to improve tax collection. Alex Cobham, Executive Director of the Tax Justice Network, recommended regulating banking secrecy globally, thereby promoting fiscal transparency