Category Archives: Parties

PRI blocks calls for investigation of killings of women in Mexico State during Peña Nieto government

A report released by the Mexico State Justice Ministry on the 922 killings of women that took place between January 2005 and August 2010 essentially blamed the victims.  The report attributed the killings to: “Risks that some women place themselves in: consuming drugs, alcohol, or inhalants; working in bars where they mix with clients; going out alone at late hours; … becoming romantically involved with partners whom they don’t know well; being involved with multiple partners at the same time; belonging to youth gangs; belonging to criminal gangs or having relationships with gang members.”

The state PRI blocked calls for an investigation into the killings, which was condemned by both federal Secretary of Government Fernando Blake and the PRD. PRD Senator Claudia Corichi said, “Would undertaking investigations to unmask the assassins be such a dent in the armor of [Governor] Peña Nieto? What a shame that [the PRI] hides behind the argument that this is a politicized issue.” (Reforma 1/13)

Chamber of Deputies Ready to Approve Expenditure Law

On today’s legal deadline, the Chamber of Deputies appears set to approve the expenditure law for 2011.  The Finance Commission unanimously approved the expenditure proposal at 2am. The President’s request for increases for the security agencies, including the funds to create the unified police forces, were approved. The principal cause of delay in approving the expenditure package had been negotiations to allocate funds for highway construction between the different states. (Excelsior 11/15)

Congress fails to act on IFE nominees

The Chamber of Deputies recessed for the long holiday weekend without electing three new board members for the Federal Electoral Institute (IFE), by the legal deadline of October 30th. According to press reports, the PAN and PRI leadership had agreed to give two of the vacancies to PRI-approved nominees and one to a PAN-approved nominee, freezing out the PRD.  The supposed deal was attacked not only by the PRD but also by a number of Deputies in both the PAN and PRI.  (Such a deal in 2003 contributed to the IFE’s loss of credibility as an impartial arbiter in the wake of the 2006 presidential election.)  The vote is now scheduled for Wednesday, after Congress returns from the Day of the Dead holiday.  The three IFE board members to be elected to 9-year terms will be selected from a list of 17 candidates already approved as meeting the legal requirements for the position. (Reforma 10/29)

Chamber of Deputies approves Revenue Law

As expected, the Chamber of Deputies voted to approve the Revenue Law leaving the value added tax rate unchanged at 16%, by a vote of 354-81-4.  The PRD, PT and Converagencia voted against, as did a handful of dissident PRIistas. The Chamber voted a Ps. 7 per pack increase in the cigarette tax, and a 25% tax on energy drinks. At the same time, the Chamber increased the estimated growth rate of the economy and price of oil, and the target deficit (to 0.5% of GDP), which will increase the total revenue pie by Ps. 60 billion pesos. The package now goes to the Senate for final approval.(Universal 10/20)

 

PAN-PRD alliance in Mexico State moves forward; AMLO threatens to break with PRD

The PAN and PRD leaderships in Mexico State each approved a policy of alliances with the other to dethrone the PRI in next year’s gubernatorial election. However, Andrés Manuel López Obrador attacked the prospective alliance in meetings across the state. AMLO said, “If an alliance between the PAN and PRD is imposed from above … we will build our own alliance from below, of militants of the PRD, PT and Covergencia” and leave the PRD as “an empty shell.”  (Reforma 9/27, 10/10, Universal 10/3)

More Michoacán politicians released from custody

A judge ordered freed five persons who had been arrested in the Government’s highest profile operation against political corruption linked to drug trafficking. Of the 35 who had been arrested in the May 2009 sweep in Michoacán, 34 have now been freed by judicial order. Maria Luisa Calderón, the President’s sister and a potential PAN candidate for governor of Michoacán, said the judicial orders were the result of “pressures” against the judges and in no way an exoneration of those freed. Columnist Ricardo Alemán commented, “The michoacanazo [as the operation was called] is nothing more than a chain of events that show the citizens’ lack of confidence in the entire process for imparting justice. … Like it or not, it’s a collective mess, shameful for everyone.” (Universal 9/29, 10/6, Excelsior 9/30)

Poll: Wide range in gubernatorial approval

A poll carried out by El Universal of the approval ratings of the governors of each state showed the wide range of opinion across the nation. The four most popular governors (led by Ortega Bernés of Campeche—86% approval vs 14% disapproval) and the least popular (Ulises Ruíz of Oaxaca—22% vs 77%) were all from the PRI.  Three of the least popular were from the PAN (Ortiz in Tlaxcala, Osuna in Baja California, and Adame in Morelos). In the six states where there was change of party in the gubernatorial elections last July, all but one were states where the balance of public opinion was strongly negative. (PRI states are shown in green, PAN blue, and PRD orange.) The most common failings of governors were not fighting crime and not knowing how to govern. (Universal 9/23)

Congress continues sparring over value added tax rate

The PRI in Congress continues to press for a reduction in the value added tax rate from 16% to 15%. The PRI delegation in the Chamber is seeking to offset the loss of revenue by raising the estimated growth of the economy in 2011, increasing the forecast price of oil, and also allowing for a larger deficit. Senator Rubén Camarillo of the PAN said the tax reduction was merely an electoral ploy. Meanwhile, the PAN noted that a 12% VAT tax rate was viable if all the current exemptions (except for a limited basket of basic foods and medicines) and special regimes were eliminated. In its weekly bulletin, the Ministry of Finance warned that a cut in taxes in the current environment could put public finances at risk, leading to excessive indebtedness or cuts in vital investment spending. (Reforma 9/27, Excelsior 9/22, Hacienda 9/27)

Fox predicts PRI victory in 2012

In an interview, former President Vicente Fox predicted that the PRI would win the 2012 presidential elections. “All the indicators and all the data point that way,” he said.  The comments ignited a furious response from PAN party leaders. PAN Senate leader José González Morfín said that Fox was “disconnected” from party matters and he needed to better understand what was happening inside the party. (Universal 9/25, 9/26)

Fugitive Deputy-elect sneaks through security cordon, takes oath, gets immunity

Julio César Godoy Toscano, the brother of Michoacán Governor Leonel Godoy and a fugitive from federal drug charges since June 2009, gave the slip to Federal Police. He avoided a security cordon around the Chamber of Deputies, hid for 2 days in an office in the Chamber, and took the oath of office as a Deputy, effectively giving him immunity from arrest and a public platform for contesting the charges. Julio Cesár Godoy was one of the most prominent figures accused by the Justice Ministry of involvement with La Familia Michoacana when they arrested a large number of political figures in June 2009, just prior to the mid-term elections.  Godoy immediately went into hiding, and was easily elected to Congress for the PRD, despite the charges and inability to campaign. Most of the other public figures arrested in Michoacán have since been released, when the government was unable to substantiate the charges against them, feeding suspicions that the highly-publicized operation was politically motivated. (Universal 9/24, Excelsior 9/24)