March 10th, 2023


1. U.S. calls for consultation on GM corn, Canada likely to join in

The United States Trade Representative, Katherine Tai, announced that her government has requested to initiate technical consultations to resolve the ban imposed by the Mexican government on transgenic corn which forbids it to be used for human consumption. Tai mentioned the ban has no scientific basis and affects trade between both nations. The Mexican Ministry of Economy stated that it will take this opportunity to prove that the measure is consistent with the provisions of the T-MEC, while President López Obrador stated that if there is no agreement, the dispute resolution panel will be used. 

It is rumored that the Canadian government will also request a consultation along the same lines. Although the corn issue is not important in the trade relationship with Canada,  it’s important for other genetically modified grains, such as canola, of which is the world’s leading producer and exporter.

El País: Estados Unidos escala la disputa con México por el maíz transgénico.
El Economista: AMLO advierte sobre panel si no hay acuerdo con EU sobre maíz transgénico.
El Financiero: Canadá ‘le hace segunda’ a EU; solicita consultas por decreto de maíz transgénico en México.

2. U.S. rules out classifying Mexican cartels as terrorists 

The White House and the Pentagon, separately, ruled out the possibility of classifying Mexican cartels, especially the Sinaloa and Jalisco Cartels, as terrorist organizations. The announcement came after several Republican legislators made a request to the U.S. government, fueled by the kidnapping of four U.S. citizens, two of whom died, allegedly by mistake and at the hands of the Gulf Cartel, who offered an apology for the incident. 

U.S. authorities pointed out that labeling Mexican cartels as international terrorists would not give the government any extra power to combat them and would damage relations with the Mexican government. Meanwhile, President López Obrador described the Republican proposal as an act of propaganda ahead of U.S. primaries and reminded that, according to information from the United States, there is no infiltration of drug trafficking in his government.

Excélsior: EU descarta utilizar a militares contra narcos; Pentágono: se dañaría la relación con México.
Forbes: AMLO reprueba propuesta en EU de utilizar a su ejército para combatir el narco.

3. More than 90 thousand women commemorate Women’s Day in Mexico 

With slogans such as “Justice!”, “We want us alive!” or “Friend, sister, if he hits you, he doesn’t love you!”, nearly 90 thousand women marched to commemorate Women’s Day, according to figures from Mexico City authorities, although protests were also held in the country’s main cities. This takes place as reports indicate that least 10 women are murdered every day and 95% of the cases go unpunished, and 45% of Mexican women have suffered some type of aggression or sexual harassment throughout their lives. It is estimated that Mexican female employees earn between 13% and 27% less than Mexican men for performing the same tasks. 

At the institutional level, President López Obrador stated that the fourth transformation is already feminist, so the slogan that “the fourth transformation must be feminist or it will not be” is unnecessary. The Congress of the Union, for its part, held solemn sessions and approved rulings on gender issues, while in the Judiciary, the president of the Supreme Court called for listening to women and improving their access to justice.

El País: 8M: Día de la Mujer en México | Así le hemos contado las movilizaciones al grito de “¡Justicia!”, “¡vivas nos queremos!”
La Jornada: El feminismo ya es una realidad; ahora consolidar la 4T del país: AMLO.

4. Action plan presented to address water shortage in the Valley of Mexico

The National Water Commission, the Government of Mexico City and the State of Mexico presented the “Strategy for the low water situation 2023”, which includes the rehabilitation of wells, improvement of supply sources, equitable distribution of water, support through pipes and a campaign to save water consumption, in order to guarantee the water supply to the citizens. This is due to a low levels of the Cutzamala System dams, the main supplier of water to the Valley of Mexico, and in view of the low rainfall forecast, that expects Mexico City to receive 24% less water.
In addition to these measures, it was reported that the agencies will meet daily to report on the progress of the plan, and will also meet with “large consumers”, such as industry, to establish commitments to provide water for human consumption without affecting their production.

Radio Fórmula: Presenta Conagua, CDMX y Edomex plan para combatir temporada de sequía.
Expansión: Advierte Sheinbaum sequía prolongada y reducción de agua en el Valle de México.

5. While Sheibaum leads polls ahead of 2024, MC won’t participate in gubernatorial elections this year

Movimiento Ciudadano, one of the seven national political parties, decided not to contest the local elections in the two governorships that are being disputed, which they described as a “farce”, since there is supposedly a pact between Morena and the Institutional Revolutionary Party to govern Coahuila and the State of Mexico, respectively. This sets a precedent regarding the role that the political body will play in the 2024 elections, since it preferred not to participate rather than join one of the two electoral groups that have been formed: Morena, PT and PVEM vs. PAN, PRI and PRD. According to national polls, Morena increased its lead for the presidential elections by approximately 3 points. Within this party, the advantage of Claudia Sheinbaum, Head of Government of Mexico City, grew over her collegue Marcelo Ebrard, Secretary of Foreign Affairs, so that there are now 6 points of difference between both virtual pre-candidates.

Forbes: Movimiento Ciudadano no participará en elecciones de Edomex y Coahuila; ‘son una farsa’.
El Financiero: Morena ‘tiene esperanza’ rumbo 2024: Aventaja a oposición en febrero, según Encuesta EF.