A federal judge declared the government’s reform of the income tax law last year that created new corporate fiscal consolidation rules unconstitutional. The judge was acting on suits filed by many of the country’s largest corporations that objected to the change in the Income Tax Law that limited their ability to use tax losses from one subsidiary to offset taxable income from another. Previously, companies had 10 years to use tax losses; last year’s measure reduced this to five. The judge held that the changes violated the constitutional protection against retroactive law. The case now goes to the Supreme Court, which is not expected to take up the case until mid-2011. The judge’s decision does not affect the obligation of the companies to continue paying taxes under the new rules. (Reforma 10/12)
MEXICO CITY—In the latest incident of drug-related violence to hit the country, all 111 million citizens of Mexico were killed Monday during a shoot-out between rival drug cartels.
According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the violence was sparked by a botched drug deal involving an estimated 20 kilograms of marijuana, a dispute that led low-level members of the Sinaloa cartel to open fire on local dealers in Culiacán. Within seconds, the gunfire had spread to Chihuahua, Michoacán, Yucatán, and, minutes later, the other 27 Mexican states, leaving every person in Mexico dead.
“We’re still piecing together details, but it looks as though the incident began as an act of retaliation against Sinaloa by two foot soldiers from the Los Zetas cartel,” DEA administrator Michele Leonhart said. “The Gulf and Tijuana cartels then responded before being ambushed by La Familia Michoacána and Los Negros. At that point, witnesses reported hearing roughly 357 million gunshots, during which time the Mexican populace was caught in the crossfire and killed.”
More, at The Onion.
Héctor Aguilar Camín, writing in today’s Milenio:
I like the country that we have today much more than the country of Independence that I have visited in books. … I like the priest Hidalgo that we’ve invented and that we remember much more than the flesh and blood Hidalgo who sacked Guanajuato.
The costs of the Latin American wars of independence were summed up by Bolívar: “We’ve won independence at the cost of everything else.” Bolívar was right. The best about all of this is that it is in the past, and we don’t have to repeat it. …
The Mexico of 2010 is a better country than its past, despite the current bad mood. Better in relation to what? Better in terms of becoming a country that is ‘civilized’ or ‘developed’ or ‘modern.’ Which is to say, the dream of a prosperous, equitable, democratic nation. Say what you will: we are closer to this today than we were 200 years ago.
The best country that Mexico has been is this one. And the best Mexico that we can have is the one that will follow this one, the one that we hope for going forward.
We have been on holiday most of August. We are now back and will resume posting on a regular basis. Today’s newsletter summarizes the most important policy developments of the past few weeks. What is most notable is what did not happen: no special session of Congress to take up pending legislation and no mobilization of political and social forces to address the growing security challenges.
Today’s victory over France ensures an extended political holiday, as Mexico is now assured of advancing to the second round of the World Cup. And the nation breathes.
Senate president Carlos Navarrete (PRD) predicted that the Senate will pass a political reform package during March, in order to send it to the Chamber of Deputies for its vote before the session ends on April 30th. Navarrete said that with the PRD-PT-Convergencia proposal (submitted last week) and the PRI proposal (expected this week), along with President Calderón’s proposal sent down in December there was plenty of material to begin preparing draft legislation. The PRD political reform proposal consists of 12 major points, including congressional ratification of cabinet officers and recall elections for the President, governors, and mayors, that are in sharp contrast to the President’s proposed reform package (which most analysts believe would strengthen the executive). (Universal 2/20, PRD Senate 2/18)
Mexico celebrated the 199th anniversary of Independence on September 15 and 16 under tight security and without incident. Last year’s celebrations were marred by a grenade attack by the La Familia cartel in the main plaza of Morelia that killed 8 persons. In Mexico City, President Calderón had the Zocalo to himself in giving the Cry of Independence. In the last two years, the PRD staged counter-celebrations in the main square; this year, the PRD moved its event out of the historic center to the Monument to Benito Juárez. (Reforma 9/16)
By a vote of 8-3, the Supreme Court established a commission headed by two circuit court judges to investigate whether there were any violations of constitutionally guaranteed individual rights by public officials in the ABC day care center fire. The six month investigation, which will not determine legal liability, will run parallel to the ongoing criminal and administrative investigations of the fire that killed 49 children. El Universal editorialized, “Against the feeling that few things in Mexico ever really change, the Ministers of the Supreme Court have shown … that there is space for justice in this country….This could open up a new era in the relationship between the judiciary and the governed.” The decision is controversial. Court Minister Sergio Aguirre Anguiano warned that the Court is not an ordinary tribunal that can impose sanctions or provide for reparations. “We ought not to risk the court in exercising the powers of [constitutional] Article 97 and bring new life to the verse of [the Roman poet] Horace: ‘Let the mountains labor with great noise and give birth to a ridiculous mouse,’” Aguirre said. (Reforma 8/6, Universal 8/7)