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)
President Felipe Calderón announced three changes in his cabinet tonight, including the appointment of his fourth Secretary of Government.
Secretary of Government: Fernando Gómez Mont resigned, and will be replaced by José Francisco Blake Mora. Gómez Mont quit the PAN last February in protest of the decision to form electoral alliances with the PRD; his open insubordination to the President ensured his departure sooner or later. He is returning to private law practice. Blake Mora is currently Secretary of Government in Baja California. He is said to be a close friend of Calderón from the days when they were both members of the federal Chamber of Deputies (2000-2003). Blake Mora is largely unknown at the national level. He is being given credit for reducing crime in Baja California through coordinating federal, state, and local police and security initiatives. However, he is also being blamed for the poor PAN performance in the July 4 elections, when the party lost mayoral races in 13 of 16 towns. (One clear loser in the change is Labor Secretary Javier Lozano. He had publicly lobbied for the position in the past few days.)
Head of the Office of the President: Patricia Flores Elizondo, sometimes called Mexico’s unofficial vice president, was ousted. Viewed as fiercely polemical and partisan, she has attracted her share of enemies, both within and without the Government. She recent(ly became vulnerable because of the disclosure that her four sisters and mother were on the government payroll. (Although there are rumors that she will be made an ambassador, the President made no announcement.) She is being replaced by Gerardo Ruiz Mateos, Secretary of Economy, who previously held the same job and has been one of Calderón’s closest advisers during the campaign and over the first three years of his Government.
Secretary of Economy: Bruno Ferrari, the head of ProMéxico, the government’s foreign investment promotion arm, takes over from Ruiz Mateos. Ferrari was previously a senior executive with Seminis Vegetable Seeds and Grupo Pulsar.
(Reforma 7/14, Universal 7/14, Excelsior 7/14)