95 of 100 commitments fulfilled, says AMLO in its second report to the nation
The foundations for the “Mexico of the future” will have been laid by December 1, President López Obrador said on Tuesday in his second annual report to the nation.
The president delivered a nearly hour-long speech at the National Palace, highlighting his administration’s achievements in fighting corruption, responding to the coronavirus pandemic, delivering social welfare programs, concluding a new trade agreement with the United States and Canada, protecting the environment, building infrastructure projects, reducing crime and improving the justice system.
López Obrador claimed he had fulfilled 95 of the 100 commitments he made on December 1, 2018 – the day he took office – and said his government had implemented a new economic policy that benefits ordinary citizens of Mexico rather than the country’s wealthiest.
Addressing a crowd of around 70, including government officials and business leaders, the president said his government “will not be remembered for its corruption”.
“Our main legacy will be the purification of public life in Mexico and [in this] we are progressing.
Without giving specific details, he claimed that “by prohibiting corruption” the government generated savings of around 560 billion pesos ($25.7 billion).
“At the worst time,” López Obrador said referring to the dual economic and health crises precipitated by the coronavirus pandemic, “we have the best government.”
He pointed out that his administration had implemented a policy of “republican austerity”, saying that “there is no more luxury in government”.
The savings generated were allocated to programs aimed at improving the well-being of the population, he said.
Although Mexico has been one of the countries most affected by the coronavirus, López Obrador praised the government’s response, highlighting in particular the efforts to increase the response capacity of the health system.
Mexico will have a better health system at the end of the pandemic than it had at the start, he said, while touting plans to manufacture a coronavirus vaccine here and then vaccinate everyone for free. the citizens.
After acknowledging that the high prevalence of diet-related chronic diseases contributes to worsening the impact of the pandemic and urging citizens to eat healthy and exercise, the President focused on the economic response of the government to the crisis, which has been widely described as insufficient.
He pointed out that his administration has targeted financial aid to the country’s poorest and most vulnerable rather than big business and banks.
“For the good of all, people are bailed out first,” said López Obrador, explaining that seven out of 10 families receive some kind of financial support from the government. He added that 100% of the indigenous and poorest people in the country are supported by his administration.
It’s a “badge of pride” to help so many people, the president said after brushing off private-sector criticism of his economic response to the pandemic, which offered only small loans to business owners.
Social benefits for the elderly and disabled children are ‘not an expense but an investment, not a handout [but] justice,” said López Obrador, adding that his government guarantees the “right” of young people to education and employment through the granting of scholarships to students and the establishment of an apprenticeship program for young people. youth.
“We will not allow young people to be drawn into crime,” he said. “With them, we are building the future.”
López Obrador also highlighted the support his government provides to farmers and fishermen, including the free delivery of fertilizers and the establishment of guaranteed prices for five agricultural products.
Referring to the government’s broad support for the country’s most vulnerable people, the president said Mexico now serves “as a global example of how to make ‘progress with justice’ a reality.”
He praised migrants for increasing their remittances to family members in Mexico during the current difficult economic times and said crime has not increased during the pandemic.
Economically, the worst impact of the pandemic has passed and a V-shaped recovery is underway, López Obrador said, noting that 93,000 jobs were created in August and the peso and Mexican oil price are rising. are both recently reinforced.
Despite GDP falling nearly 20% in the second quarter, the president said the pandemic had done less damage here than in many other countries. He said most employers were not laying off workers, noting that while 1 million formal sector jobs had been lost, the vast majority had been retained.
López Obrador noted that Mexico had been appointed to the United Nations Security Council for the 2021-22 sitting period, saying his candidacy was strongly supported while failing to mention that there was no opposition in his candidacy to become the new representative of Latin America and the Caribbean. .
Turning to domestic issues, the president reiterated his commitment not to raise gasoline and electricity prices during his six-year term and said his administration was an environmental champion.
He pointed out that the government had not allowed fracking or the planting of genetically modified maize and claimed that he was taking care of the country’s water resources. Not a single new mining concession was granted under his leadership, López Obrador said, despite the previous five governments granting 118 million hectares of land to mining companies.
“This devastating sale is now over,” he said.
López Obrador focused on the benefits that his government’s major infrastructure projects will bring, rather than the environmental concerns that have been raised about them, observing that the construction of a new airport north of Mexico City, a new refinery on the Tabasco coast, the Maya railroad and the Isthmus of Tehuantepec trade corridor will generate 150,000 jobs by the end of the year.
On security, the government is addressing the root causes of crime such as poverty and unemployment and is making a special effort to prevent vulnerable young people from being recruited by criminal gangs, the president said.
Compared to November 2018, the month before he took office, the incidence of most crimes, including kidnapping, femicide, robbery and vehicle theft, has declined, the president said before acknowledging that homicides and extortion had increased.
“Organized crime is no longer in control as before. … There are no more officials like [Genaro] García Luna in government,” he said, referring to former President Felipe Calderón’s security minister who is awaiting trial in the United States for colluding and accepting bribes from the Sinaloa cartel.
López Obrador also said his government had kept its promise to make the country’s judicial institutions fully independent.
The Attorney General’s Office (FGR) and the judiciary now act with “full autonomy”, he said, accusing of having previously taken orders from the incumbent president.
The executive is no longer the ‘power of the powers’, the president said before noting that Attorney General Alejandro Gertz Manero and Supreme Court Chief Justice Arturo Zaldívar declined their invitation to attend today’s speech today.
“In other times, that hasn’t happened,” López Obrador said, adding that the FGR has complete freedom to investigate former presidents and other officials for alleged wrongdoing if it sees fit.
If a majority of people vote for former presidents to be prosecuted in a proposed referendum, the president said he would respect the outcome even if he does not support bringing them to justice himself.
“In a democracy, the people decide,” he said.
Nearing the conclusion of his address, López Obrador made a remark reminiscent of his counterpart’s claims in the United States, saying that no president since revolutionary hero Francisco I. Madero has faced so many attacks.
The president said “conservatives”, a term he frequently uses to describe members of previous governments and his current political opponents, “are angry because there is no more corruption and they have lost the privileges” they once enjoyed.
Undeterred by their opposition, the government is pursuing Mexico’s “fourth transformation” after independence from Spain, the 19th-century liberal reform known as La Reforma and the Mexican Revolution, López Obrador said.
“I will not disappoint the Mexican people,” he proclaimed.
“…The new economic policy based on morality, austerity and development with progress is underway. The commitment to finish laying the foundations of the Mexico of the future by December 1, when we complete two years of government, still stands,” said López Obrador.
“Once the foundations are built, all that remains is to carry out the transformation project and continue to govern with righteousness and love for the people in order to always have their support.”
Mexico Daily News