Demonstration in Mexico City marking the Fourth Presidential Report (@Centro PRODH)
On 1 September, thousands of people demonstrated in the streets of Mexico City to express their disagreement in response to the delivery of the Fourth Report of the Government. The march was led by relatives of the 43 student teachers who are missing from the Normal Rural School, Ayotzinapa, Guerrero since 2014. It is noteworthy that in mid-August, a survey published by the newspaper Reforma showed that support for the government of Peña Nieto stood at only 23%, the lowest a Mexican president has had in the last two decades.
In the days before the report, several media criticized the performance of the current administration, questioning, among other things, the increase in violence, political scandals, human rights violations and poor economic results.
The Secretary of the Interior, Osorio Chong, gave the document to the Mexican Congress, where he stressed that the relationship between the executive and legislative branches has shown effective dialogue towards establishing agreements, which allowed the approval of “the reforms that Mexico demanded.” He stated that “the transformation is already underway” and that it is time to move from a project with vision for the future to a better reality in the present. However, speaking to media, legislators from both the National Action Party (PAN) and the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) questioned the lack of results.
For his part, President Enrique Peña Nieto held a meeting with about 300 young people (under 35) at the National Palace, which was broadcast via streaming through YouTube and Facebook Live, to talk about the report.
The event began with a recorded message in which the president said the goal of this new format was “change from monologue to dialogue.” Peña Nieto gave details on the content of the report, noting among other things, lower prices for Internet and cellular services; the creation of two million formal jobs (“four times the jobs generated in the same period in the previous six years”), and the fact that Mexico is one of the countries that receives most tourists and attracts most investment. However, while employment figures are intended to show that things are going well for this government, beyond the national unemployment rate (3.9% in June 2016) there is another concept called “rate of critical employment conditions” (RCEC). THE RCEC measures the percentage of the working population working less than 35 hours and as a result receives a monthly income lower than the minimum wage. At national level, according to the government report, about 14.5% of the employed population, i.e. 7.7 million Mexicans, is in that condition. In 2015, the rate was 12.2% of the employed population, some 6.2 million people. In 2014, it was 11.4%, some 5.7 million workers. That is to say, one and half million Mexicans joined these deteriorating conditions of employment and salary from 2015 to date in 2016. Two million when compared with 2014. In some states the rate is above 20% and even 30%, as in Chiapas.
Peña Nieto was questioned about the visit of US presidential candidate, Donald Trump, (he said that “it allowed (the Republican candidate) to realize the relevance of Mexico for the USA”); on accusations of plagiarism of his law thesis (he said it was a “methodological error”); and increasing the price of gasoline (on which he assured that “he never promised gasoline wasn’t going to go up”).
On cases of human rights violations, such as Nochixtlán (Oaxaca) and Tanhuato (Michoacan), he argued that there is a commitment to the clarification of events from the investigations of the Attorney General’s Office (PGR). He stressed that there has been progress to create better conditions regarding human rights and that cases of violations involving the armed forces and the federal public security institutions have decreased.
Finally, on the topic of teachers, he reiterated that education reform aims to improve the quality of education in the country for young people to have more opportunities and tools for their future. He insisted that dialogue could be resumed until the right to education of children and young people of Oaxaca and Chiapas is guaranteed.
For more information in Spanish:
Reporte sobre ‘México Próspero’ confirma golpe a los más desprotegidos (Zocalo Saltillo, 2 de septiembre de 2016)
Peña Nieto sostiene que México avanza en materia de DH (La Jornada, 1ero de septiembre de 2016)
Peña ha logrado grandes cambios pese a resistencias, defiende Osorio Chong (Revista Proceso, 1ero de septiembre de 2016)
Palabras del presidente Enrique Peña Nieto, previo al encuentro con jóvenes en Palacio Nacional con motivo de su 4o Informe de Gobierno (Radio Formula, 1ero de septiembre de 2016)
Nadie puede decir que plagié mi tesis, responde Peña a jóvenes por su Cuarto Informe (Animal Político, 1ero de septiembre de 2016)
Osorio Chong entrega el Cuarto Informe de Peña y pide a legisladores analizarlo sin ideologías de por medio (Animal Político, 1 de septiembre de 2016)
4to. Informe de Gobierno: más muertos, menos dinero y muchos escándalos (Aristegui Noticias, 31 de agosto de 2016)
Para descargar el cuarto informe de gobierno (@gob.mx)
For more information from SIPAZ :
Nacional: Múltiples críticas a la presentación del Tercer Informe de Gobierno de Peña Nieto
(8 de septiembre de 2015)