February 24th, 2023


1. Electoral “plan B” approved leading to a series of complaints

Plan B of the electoral reform was approved. Among other aspects, the change in the regulation includes the elimination of the 300 District Executive Boards; the elimination of 84.6 percent of the positions of the Electoral Professional Service; two simultaneous results systems (which, according to experts, does not reduce costs or processes but does reduce transparency and certainty); and the removal of other faculties from the National Electoral Institute.

Given the possibility that the electoral reform will be the most contested in history, the judicial authorities and the district courts are already preparing. The institute itself, local organizations, parties, legislators, dismissed employees, citizens, transparency, and human rights institutions may allege human rights violations.

Forbes: Senado avala ‘plan B’ electoral; oposición dice a Morena: ‘nos vemos en el Zócalo’

El Financiero: Plan B de la Reforma Electoral: ¿Qué implica y que cambios habrá en el INE? 

2. Air Space Law approved; Department of Defense will lead surveillance

The committees of the Communications and Transportation and Legislative Studies units approved the ruling that establishes the Law for the Protection of the Mexican Airspace. Opposition legislators reaffirmed their position that this law gives more authority to the armed forces.

The law aims to prevent illegal operations that threaten national security and creates the Surveillance and Protection System of the Mexican Airspace, led by the Ministry of National Defense (SEDENA). Finally, it will establish the National Center for Surveillance and Protection of the Airspace, which will focus on surveillance, aerial interception, identification, and assistance of aircraft in airspace emergencies, among others. 

www.josecardenas.com: Senado aprueba dictamen de la Ley de Protección del Espacio Aéreo 

3. The former Secretary of Public Security is found guilty of drug trafficking; opposition is vulnerable for presidential elections

The former Secretary of Public Security of Mexico, Genaro García Luna, was found guilty of drug trafficking in the United States. A jury found him guilty of benefiting from millions of dollars from the Sinaloa cartel. The US Department of Justice warned that the former official faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in prison and a maximum of life imprisonment.

Some analysts consider that the Mexican opposition will have to reconfigure itself to have a chance in the next presidential elections. Edgar Ortiz-Arellano, a political analyst for EFE, stressed that the National Action Party (PAN), which García Luna served, is the one that comes out with the greatest damage and negative repercussions, and that the opposition group must change its political strategy to distance itself from former President Calderón.

BBC: García Luna: declaran culpable de narcotráfico al exjefe de la lucha contra las drogas en México

El Financiero: Juicio a Genaro García Luna: ¿Qué tanto afecta a la oposición rumbo a 2024?

4. President ends lithium nationalization process: electric vehicles priority

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador signed a decree to nationalize lithium and hand over all the country’s mineral reserves to the Energy Secretariat (Sener) as a step in his plan to exploit the mineral. The decree declares a reserve zone of 234,855 hectares.

During a working tour in Sonora, the President reaffirmed that his government intends to install a value chain for the manufacture of electric cars where he claims there is the largest mineral deposit in the country and one of the largest in the world. Although initially there would only be public investment, the government has been open to private resources, particularly from its partners beneath the USMCA.

Aristegui Noticias: AMLO firma decreto para nacionalizar el litio

5. Unemployment in Mexico drops to minimum levels in 2022

The unemployment rate in Mexico fell to 3.0 percent in the fourth quarter of 2022, the lowest levels since 2005, when the Inegi records began. The decrease in unemployment occurred after the incorporation of 1.7 million people into productive activity in the year, according to figures from the National Occupation and Employment Survey (ENOE).

Of the three major groups of economic activity in which the most jobs were created during 2022, it was in the tertiary sector with 1.2 million, of which 278,779 were in commerce. In the secondary sector, 414,533 jobs were added, mainly by 260,490 in manufacturing. And in the primary sector 63 thousand 389 new workers were added.

El Financiero: Buenas noticias: desempleo en México desciende a niveles mínimos en 2022