July 17, 2020
1. ECLAC forecasts 9% drop in Mexico’s GDP
The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) estimated that Mexico’s Gross Domestic Product will contract by 9% as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, in addition to an uptick in the poverty rate, which is projected to rise to 49.5% from 41.9%. At the moment, Mexico has invested 1.5% of its GDP to address the economic crisis unleashed by the pandemic, placing the country in last place among Latin American countries regarding actions to address the situation.
The Executive Secretary of the agency, Alicia Bárcena, said that Mexico and Brazil will be the two largest economies affected and estimates that there will be a drop of 9.1% at a regional level.
2. Suspicions of corruption over energy reform
With the extradition of Emilio Lozoya, former director of Pemex accused of organized crime, bribery and operations with resources of illicit origin, there is speculation of mass networks of corruption around the Energy Reform approved during the administration of Enrique Peña Nieto, involving deputies and senators from the 62nd Congress that supported these changes to the law.
Various sources have indicated that as part of his negotiation, Lozoya has offered 16 hours of video footage showing that legislators accepted bribes in exchange for approving this reform. Additionally, the tapes also involve politicians who to date remain in positions of power.
3. The Ministry of the Interior releases the National Registry of Missing and Unaccounted-for Persons
The Ministry of the Interior reported that there are currently 73,234 missing persons in the country, a figure that has been accumulating since 1964 to date. Olga Sánchez Cordero, head of the unit, said the registry will be useful in generating public policies in a matter that treats victims and their families with respect and dignity.
The event addressed the Ayotzinapa case (the disappearance of 43 students), given that Tomás Zerón, former director of the Criminal Investigation Agency and in charge of the case, is currently a fugitive accused of serious irregularities and violations of prerogatives in the case that made access to justice difficult for the victims.
4. Republican austerity measure increases government cuts
Before the republican austerity policy of the current administration, several budget cuts have been registered throughout different government agencies, reflected in a decrease of expenses in materials and supplies (-30.9%), subsidies and transfers (-28.5%), resources to the states (-23.2%) and services for personnel (-1.7%). This adjustment was due to the fact that tax and oil revenues were MXN $120.5 billion (USD $5.36 billion) lower than what was budgeted.
This week a new cut was presented, this time for the National Institute of Women, which will have its budget cut by $150 million (USD $6.67 million) – or 75% of its budget.
5. Disappearance of e-Mexico would disconnect 12 million people
In view of the possible disappearance of e-Mexico, it is estimated that around 12 million Mexicans would be left without Internet service, mainly those in rural areas being affected, which would further accentuate the digital divide in the country.
Moreover, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced in his last quarterly report that, by 2022, the “Internet for All” program will connect a large part of the country’s urban localities.