This Wednesday afternoon, the Federal Secretary of Culture, Alejandra Frausto Guerrero, appeared before the United Commissions for Culture and Cinematography and Radio and Television of the Chamber of Deputies as part of the gloss of the third Government Report of the Presidency of the Republic.
The session lasted for more than three hours and consisted of exchanges between the members of the commissions and the head of Culture.
The official emphasized the work for the defense of the heritage illegally extracted from the country, an effort that so far has achieved the recovery of 5,744 pieces. He highlighted the recent adherence to the Unidroit Agreement and reiterated that work continues to create a specialized body for the protection and guardianship of heritage, although without specifying deadlines.
He also remarked that Mexico has been confirmed by UNESCO as the venue next year for the World Conference on Cultural Policies, Mondiacult, which will bring together 190 ministers of culture.
He also confirmed that the agency works hand in hand with the SAT and the IMSS “to recognize that part of the formalization of the cultural sector represents the possibility that cultural agents have social security.”
He also made reference to the priority programs of the Presidency of the Republic. For example, he mentioned that in the Mayan Train there is a historical investment of 1,500 million pesos for the improvement of the archaeological zones in the line. The same happens, he said, in the case of the Felipe Ángeles International Airport, which “will become the most important research center and museum in the world in paleontological matters, the Mammoth Museum, with an investment of more than 300 million pesos per part. of Sedena ”.
Chapultepec, mixed opinions
Fausto Guerrero stressed that the decentralization of culture is one of the primary actions of his management. The Chapultepec project, he pointed out, is above all an act of social justice: “it has been said that it is only for Mexico City and this is false. Chapultepec is the recipient and at the same time the detonator of actions and cultural benefits for the entire country (…) the benefits have impacted the entire Republic, enabling a decentralization of public spending. It is a forceful action to redistribute cultural wealth ”.
However, this point was one of the most questioned by some legislators.
PAN deputy Paulina Agudo Romero said: “the Chapultepec project is being carried out by the federal government to support the current administration of the head of government of Mexico City,” and added that “this work with electoral overtones will continue to take away resources to original projects, festivals, increase in scholarships, equipment and rehabilitation of cultural spaces in the country ”.
For her part, the deputy Gabriela Sodi Miranda, of the PRD, declared that the Chapultepec Project has allocated just over 3.8 million pesos for fiscal year 2022, that if they are withdrawn from the total of Branch 48 (of 15,028 million pesos), there are some 11.4 million pesos, which, he said, places the budget below that assigned in the last ten years.
In response, Frausto Guerrero assured that the budget for culture “stopped its decline when this government entered and has been increasing year after year.”
However, María Leticia Chávez, from Movimiento Ciudadano, mentioned that allocating 25% of the Ramo 48 budget to Chapultepec will have a negative impact on small communities, “since there are more than 2,000 houses of culture and cultural centers distributed in 1,152 municipalities. that historically they have not had the necessary resources for their equipment and rehabilitation ”.
And Frausto replied: “it catches my attention and I fully agree with the theme of the houses of culture.” He recalled that the houses of culture were separated from INBAL in the 90s. “They were the first window a community had (towards culture). Generations were formed there and that dignity was lost (…) we are analyzing what can be done in that case, for us it is a matter to be addressed as a priority ”.
Another issue that was emphasized during the appearance was the abandonment from dependence on the obligation to promote reading, according to the deputy Sodi Miranda:
“It seems to us completely wrong that the Ministry of Culture leaves the policy of promoting the reading of the Mexican State in the hands of the Economic Culture Fund, of which we do not ignore the importance, but its role within the institutional design of the Mexican State is not the diffuser ”.
The official took the floor again to guarantee that, on the contrary, public libraries, one of the largest infrastructure sectors in the country, have become that first window for development. From there, he said, reading is promoted and yes, in coordination with the FCE.
Finally, he thanked the legislators “who join the defense of these collective rights that the cultures of Mexico have”, this in the case of popular artists who see their designs plagiarized by trademarks, an initiative that had the express support of the benches.