Mexico news daily, Dec.21,2012
Posted by The Generals on December 21, 2012, 9:00 pm
Subject: Mexico News DAILY December 21. 2012 |
Peña Nieto glides along - for now
Development: On its final session on 20 December, Mexico’s senate approved President Enrique Peña Nieto’s new education reform bill, paving the way for its approval early next year.
Significance: The proposal is one of a package of reforms sent down to congress by Peña Nieto upon taking office on 1 December. Its approval would be another important political victory for the new president, who is keen to move fast in his honeymoon period. Yet there is a roadblock ahead in the form of the powerful leader of Mexico’s main teachers’ union, Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de la Educación (SNTE), Elba Esther Gordillo, who is threatening public demonstrations against the reform in January.
The SNTE’s resistance could embolden the social and political opposition to the Peña Nieto government and the return to power of the traditional Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI).
• The senate made only minor modifications to the bill approved in the lower house. These included amending the text of constitutional Article III - on the state’s obligation to provide free basic level education to all- adding the word ‘quality’. The final version was quickly approved in an unprecedented night session. The bill now returns to the lower chamber where it will be voted upon early next year.
• Prior to the senate session, the SNTE held an extraordinary meeting of its national council to come up with a plan of action against the reform. Afterwards Gordillo announced that the union had decided to mount peaceful national mobilisations against the reform, beginning on 5 January. She added that the SNTE would invite other unions to join its demonstrations, noting that some of the proposed changes would violate labour rights, some of them constitutionally enshrined. Gordillo warned that the SNTE would resort to “all legal channels available” to defend the constitutional rights of its members.
• The senate yesterday also approved Peña Nieto’s proposal to expand the remit of the federal institute for public information access (IFAI), in order to improve government transparency and accountability. Meanwhile the chamber of deputies signed off the government’s US$311.5bn 2013 budget, which can now be enacted.
In Brief- Mexico
POLITICS & FOREIGN RELATIONS| Ambassador to Brazil ratified. On 20 December Mexico’s senate ratified President Enrique Peña Nieto’s appointment of Beatriz Paredes Rangel, as the new Mexican ambassador to Brazil. A former president of the ruling Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI) between 2007-2011, Paredes Rangel ran as the PRI’s Mexico City mayoral candidate this year but was defeated by the Partido de la Revolución Democrática (PRD)’s Miguel Angel Mancera. Her new appointment suggests Peña Nieto is rewarding her for her efforts to challenge the PRD in its stronghold. Upon her ratification Paredes Rangel said that she was committed to promoting improved relations with Brazil particularly in the economic sector, so that “Mexico may recover its position as a political and economic leader in Latin America”.
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