Mexico has named a new ambassador to the United States, Esteban Moctezuma. Ambassador Moctezuma has previously held high level positions in the Mexican federal government, served in the Senate, and has worked in the private sector. His appointment as ambassador sends a signal that the relationship is a priority for Mexico.
The bilateral relationship is undoubtedly important and complex for both neighbors. It is comprised of numerous factors, including a long historical background, a shared border, citizens of one country living in the other, high volumes of investments, trade, financial, technological and academic flows, cultural relations, and tourism, among others.
Joe Biden’s arrival at the White House gives both countries the opportunity to re-launch new paths which favor project initiatives with a cooperative tone. It will not be an easy task; it will require mutual understandings and concessions and a constructive spirit to reduce bilateral tension and disagreements. There are also several current issues affecting the relationship, such as immigration issues, including both Mexican and Central American immigrants who come to the United States by travelling across Mexico in their attempt to reach the United States, and energy issues, which require Mexico to have a new tone of cooperation and respect to the commitments on matters of private, domestic and foreign investment in the sector. The importance of this cooperation was evident in the crisis caused by the winter storm that so seriously affected Texas and the northern states of Mexico. This highlighted the health issues that exist as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on both the health of each country’s inhabitants and their economies. One can only hope that the U.S. and Mexican presidents find the opportunity to establish a personal relationship and see each other face to face, as millions of Americans and Mexicans do on a daily basis.
June is approaching and Mexico will have the largest election in its history on the first Sunday of June. The figures do not lie: the election involves the election of 20,868 positions in every Mexican state; the renewal of the Chamber of Deputies which means the election of 300 deputies with a relative majority and 200 with proportional representation; and elections in local councils and congresses and fifteen state governorships. The elections of the governments of Chihuahua, Nuevo León and Baja California, as well as the states of Baja California Sur, Campeche, Colima, Guerrero, Michoacán, Nayarit, Querétaro, San Luis Potosí, Sinaloa, Sonora, Tlaxcala and Zacatecas, stand out because they are of special interest for Texas.
The election that is of the greatest national interest is the complete turnover of the Chamber of Deputies. The outcome of the decisions and the political, economic, and social agenda of the second triennium of the government of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador will depend largely on the result. Its importance lies in the fact that MORENA, the president’s party, having a majority in the Senate, plans to maintain hegemony in the Chamber of Deputies to carry out its Fourth Transformation program, which has generated wide controversy and disqualification of opposing political groups.
Anxieties are so high regarding this election that both opposition parties, such as the party currently in power and related parties, have made all sorts of maneuvers to obtain citizens’ votes. Some parties have proposed to nominate personalities with no connection to political, legislative, or administrative affairs, but who are widely known to the public. Such include candidates with careers in entertainment, sports and recreational activities, such as the popular singer Paquita la del Barrio, who has confessed that she has no idea what her responsibility will be if she is elected deputy, the comedian Quico, known for being a companion of the famous Chespirito, who hopes to be the next governor of Querétaro, soccer players Fofo Bautista, Jorge Campos and Adolfo Ríos, the singer Vicente Fernández Jr., Miss Mexico Lupita Jones, and wrestlers Blue Demon, Darkness, and Carístico, who have stated that if elected they will not remove their masks to continue to preserve their personal identity, which in fact would be a violation of the law. This election, among other matters, such as the controversial candidacy of Senator Félix Salgado Macedonio for the governorship of Guerrero, the same who is accused of various crimes, will make Mexico's political thermometer rise to unsuspected temperatures in June 2021.
On December 31, 2020 the Mexican government published a decree in the Official Journal of the Federation detailing the actions to be carried out by Federal Public Administration agencies and entities to gradually replace the use, acquisition, distribution, promotion and importation of glyphosate and the agrochemicals used as an active ingredient in Mexico, with sustainable and culturally appropriate alternatives which allow for adequate production that is safe for human health, the biocultural health of the country and the environment (the “Decree”). Such Decree sets forth a transition period to achieve the total replacement of glyphosate, which period began on January 1, 2021 and will end on January 31, 2024.
To reduce the impact of the gradual substitution of the use and importation of glyphosate in commercial agriculture, the Ministries of Agriculture and Rural Development (SADER) and of the Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) will be in charge of promoting and implementing sustainable and culturally appropriate alternatives to the use of glyphosate. The National Council of Science and Technology (CONACYT) will be in charge of coordinating, promoting and supporting the scientific research, technological developments and innovations, which allow it to sustain and propose alternatives to glyphosate, by issuing annual recommendations to the competent authorities to allow them to set, where appropriate, the amount of glyphosate they will authorize for importation.
No later than the first half of 2023 the SEMARNAT, SADER and CONACYT are required to issue the relevant reforms of applicable laws to avoid the use of glyphosate as an active substance in agrochemicals and genetically modified corn in Mexico. This is especially the case with respect to genetically modified corn, so that in accordance with applicable regulations biosafety authorities will revoke and refrain from granting permits for use of genetically modified corn seeds, as well as authorizations for the use of genetically modified corn grain, until such have been fully replaced, which should occur no later than January 31, 2024.
Please contact our firm if you have any questions as to the gradual reduction of the use of glyphosate and genetically modified corn in Mexico.