President Calderón announced three cabinet changes to start the second half of his sexenio. All three slots are areas where changes were expected.
Arturo Chávez Chávez was nominated to become Attorney General. (This post requires Senate confirmation.) He replaces Eduardo Medina-Mora who will go to the foreign service. Chávez is a law partner in the firm of Diego Fernández de Cevallos, has been Undersecretary of Government, and—most controversially—was Attorney General in Chihuahua when the scandal of the missing and murdered women in Ciudad Juárez first came to light. Chávez was forced to resign in 1998 after the Human Rights Commission issued a highly critical report of the investigations into the murders.
Juan José Suárez Coppel was named to head Pemex in place of Jesús Reyes Heroles. Suárez Coppel was CFO of Pemex during the Fox government and chief of staff in the Ministry of Finance under Francisco Gil Díaz.
Agriculture Secretary Alberto Cárdenas was replaced by Francisco Javier Mayorga, who held the same position at the close of the Fox administration. (Universal 9/7, Excelsior 9/8)
The Justice Ministry said it will pursue negligent homicide charges against the owners and partners of the ABC day care center in Hermosillo. The death toll in the June 5 fire has reached 48. Attorney General Eduardo Medina Mora said that a PGR investigation determined that the center failed to meet federal and local safety requirements. A total of nine persons are being sought, but no warrants have yet been issued. (Universal 7/2)
Some 20,000 citizens marched in Hermosillo, Sonora to demand accountability for the fire in the ABC Day Care Center. One banner read: “Deaths: 46, Persons arrested: 0, Total Impunity.” Attorney General Eduardo Medina Mora pledged a complete investigation. Daniel Karam, the head of the Social Security Institute, fired four Institute officials in Sonora and ordered four other day care centers operated by the owners of ABC to be closed down. The spouses of two of the owners – both senior officials in the government of PRI Governor Eduardo Bours–resigned their posts. (Reforma 6/9, 6/12, 6/13, 6/14)
El Universal reports that the Government will try to make reducing the flow of arms across the U.S.-Mexico border the central focus of this week’s meeting between Presidents Obama and Calderón. Mexico will also push the issue in the U.N. Security Council, where it holds the rotating chairmanship this month. On Face the Nation, Ambassador Arturo Sarukhan noted that 90% of the arms seized in Mexico came from the U.S. “The key issue right now is how can the United States help to shut down those guns and shut down that bulk cash that is providing the drug syndicates in Mexico with the wherewithal to corrupt, bribe, to kill,” Sarukhan said. Last week, Attorney General Eduardo Medina Mora said that the 52,000 arms seized by the Government in the last two years were more than five times the number seized from FARC guerrillas in Colombia last year. (Universal 4/12, CBS News 4/12)