Every day there are fewer doubts about the autocratic drift that leads Mexico to the abyss, and about the truly disastrous outcome to which the current populist experiment points. In economics, the scenario is increasingly bleak, with unleashed inflation, the exchange rate plummeting, the aborted economic reactivation, and unstoppable capital flight; all wrapped up in a toxic atmosphere of uncertainty and frustration. We must add the crystallization of dangerous impulses to break the constitutional order in the government of President López, which places us on the threshold of dictatorship. I’m not exaggerating. The Presidency of the Republic published this Monday, November 22, 2021 in the Official Gazette of the Federation (DOF) an agreement declaring the implementation of projects and works by the Government of Mexico associated with the public interest and national security. infrastructure of the communications, telecommunications, customs, border, hydraulic, water, environment, tourism, health, railways, railways sectors in all their energy modalities, ports, airports and those that, due to their purpose, characteristics, nature, complexity and magnitude, are considered priority and / or strategic for national development. It instructs the dependencies of the Federal Public Administration to grant provisional permits within 5 days of the application, with a false affirmative at the end of this period. The permits would be valid for 12 months and would allow any work or project to be started.
This is flagrantly in violation of constitutional provisions on environmental matters (Constitutional Articles 4 and 27), economic competition (Constitutional Article 28), transparency (Constitutional Article 6), prior consultation (Constitutional Articles 2 and 133), human rights (Constitutional Article 4) , and commercial treaties. It tramples on the division of powers, and tries to impose itself unduly on the laws emanating from the Congress of the Union.
It is an additional element in the architecture of corruption that President López has built. The Agreement seeks to formalize opacity and avoid accountability; nullifies transparency, public consultation and environmental regulation in all infrastructure projects, now defined as “National Security”. This Agreement is integrated into obvious and unprecedented corrupting components such as: 1) Direct assignments without bidding in most of the contracts, at historical levels. 2) Increased discretionary spending by the presidency with under-exercises and cuts. 3) Monumental waste in clientelistic social programs without adequate operating rules, without monitoring, evaluation or follow-up. 4) Destruction of the national anti-corruption system. 5) Corrupting businesses and contracts to the army. 6) Total opacity in military spending on infrastructure projects.
Clearly, the Agreement in question puts an end to the Environmental Impact Assessment of projects, a basic instrument of environmental policy, as well as the risk assessment, and the technical studies justifying changes in land use. It also means irreversible environmental damage and without mitigation or compensation, and ends up eliminating the real operation of Semarnat. The Agreement cancels the public consultation of projects and the indigenous consultation, as well as the Social Impact Assessment. It is, in reality, a cynical shield of impunity for the pharaonic and absurd projects of President López. With this Agreement, information related to government works, such as those improperly carried out by the army, would be declared confidential, which completely violates the right to public information and transparency, and promotes corruption. The Agreement seeks to legalize the discretionary use of resources and actions of authority, including the actions of the armed forces, to give continuity to the whims of the president. Privileges to the army are also anchored, which adds to or is part of the process of militarization and submission of the armed forces to the political project of the Morena party, as evidenced by recent statements by the Secretary of Defense.
Most seriously, the Agreement implies governing by decree, in a state of exception; it is the prelude to the dictatorship.
Actions of unconstitutionality and / or constitutional controversies must be promoted both in the Chamber of Deputies and in the Senate, as well as by local governments, as well as appeals filed by civil society. It is obvious that this populist-autocratic government can only end sadly or tragically. Let us be prepared.
Civil Engineer and Economist
Politician, liberal environmentalist and Mexican researcher, he has served as a public official and activist in the private sector. He was a candidate of the Nueva Alianza party for President of Mexico in the 2012 elections.