An Eye on Mexico

Antonio O. Garza (Ambassador to Mexico, 2002-2009)

Cross-posted from Ambassador Garza’s April 2016 newsletter.

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This past month, Mexico’s civil society groups handed the Senate president a new piece of anti-corruption legislation—the Ley3de3. The citizen led legislation looks to force public officials to disclose tax information and possible conflicts of interest, and increases the punishment for acts of corruption. After a widespread media campaign, the bill received 291,467 signatures (more than double the 120,000 signatures necessary to get it onto the legislative table), representing a new path for the country’s civil society to influence the anti-corruption agenda. You can read more about the Ley3de3 in my recent Dallas Morning News op-ed and the other ways that Mexicans are taking the fight against corruption into their own hands.

There have also been steps forward for Mexico’s energy reform. This past week, the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) held its first long-term electricity tender with ultimately eleven companies (out of sixty-nine bidders) winning clean energy certificates and electricity contracts. The government’s goal is to have clean energy contracts producing 5 percent of the country’s electricity in the next two years. Meanwhile on the oil and gas side, the reform is also continuing apace, despite Moody’s downgrade of Pemex’s credit rating (along with Mexico’s general outlook) this past week due to its precarious financials. The next tender will be for deep-water exploration and production and is scheduled for the first week in December.

I also wanted to pass along three recent news items that I’ve found particularly interesting. Given all the discussion surrounding Latinos and immigration in our presidential primaries, many have been wondering what it will mean for the Latino vote. In this piece for NBC News, Suzanne Gamboa lays out the Latino voter landscape and provides a great context for how to think about these issues. While for people who like electoral intrigue, technology, and Latin America, you will most certainly find this Bloomberg article to be fascinating. And finally, the release of the Panama Papers exposes some of the political elite’s hidden billions. Check out the power players here, including the contractor involved in Mexico’s Casa Blanca scandal.

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