CCN MEXICO REPORT

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Issue #
161
 – 
January - February 2023

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Justice Norma Piña - Mexico Supreme Court President

January 12, 2023

The new year brought magnificent news for the Mexican judicial system and for the balance in the division of powers within the Mexican government. As per the powers of the Plenary Session of Mexico’s Supreme Court, the justices elected Justice Norma Piña as their president for the 2023-2026 time period, in accordance with constitutional terms. She is the first woman to hold this high office, which has been received with great approval by both the President of the Republic and by Mexican society as a whole. Additionally, Justice Piña has a career in the Mexican judicial system, which constitutes a distinct element and a sense of professional affection for district judges and circuit magistrates who consider her as someone "from home."

The president of the Supreme Court does not have a formal hierarchy with respect to the other justices. This is technically known as primus interpares, which means first among equals. However, it has plenty of other relevant functions: the Organic Law of the Judiciary of the Federation authorizes her, among other tasks, to represent the Supreme Court. Another relevant power is that when she considers a matter as questionable or important, she may designate a justice as first reviewer to submit a draft judgment to the Court’s Plenary group. From an administrative standpoint, the president manages the Supreme Court of Justice and must submit to the President of the Republic annual budget proposals for expenses of the Federal Judiciary as a whole, as well as managing the budget of the Supreme Court. Additionally, as president Justice Piña presides over the Federal Judicial Council, the entity in charge of the administration, discipline system and judicial careers of the Federal Judiciary.

The professional background and voting record that Justice Norma Piña has issued in her performance appears to ensure that she will safeguard the independence of the federal courts and the autonomy of jurisdictional entities, including the National Supreme Court of Justice over which she now presides. Her appointment is very good news for judges and litigants in Mexico.

Business and Politics Outlook

The Three Amigos

January 11, 2023

It is known as the Three Amigos Summit and is of enormous importance to the strength and integration of North America. At the beginning of 2023, the United States-Canada-Mexico group received a decided boost from the three leaders, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Presidents Joe Biden and Andrés Manuel López Obrador. The three met in Mexico City to discuss issues related to migration, the economy, and regional politics. Before the meetings began, there were signs that promised an adequate climate for discussions, although some signs of tension emerged due to the complexity of trilateral relations. On the one hand, the Mexican president declared verbatim that the time had come to "put an end to that oblivion and disdain towards Latin America." President Biden's visit to Mexico occurs 10 years after President Obama's last visit when he briefly visited the country. However, both Trudeau and Biden, in a sign of good neighborliness, accepted the request made by the Mexican president to land at the recently opened and controversial Felipe Ángeles airport (AIFA). Everything was settling in for the success of the important international summit.

Beyond the careful diplomatic forms, the issues to be discussed are notoriously complex. President Biden did not hesitate to point out the relevance of the security issue for the region. He pointed out emphatically: “If we are safer, we will work better together.” The thorny issue of drug trafficking was also present as Biden recalled, fentanyl trafficking has claimed more than 100,000 lives in the United States. Without mentioning it, the recent arrest in Sinaloa of Arcibaldo Guzmán, the son of the Mexican drug trafficker el Chapo Guzmán extradited and subject to prison in the United States, was present. In a constructive manner, the US president spoke of expanding supply chains, to be more competitive, and of the need to control irregular immigration. For Biden, the issues may be the same, but what is relevant is that the focus, priorities, and internal policy messages between partners are different. In the Mexico-United States bilateral meeting, the Mexican president emphasized speaking not only about the North American region, but also insisted on the importance of generating a program that promotes development in Latin America that curbs migration to the north. The relationship between the two countries must be deepened, Biden said, probably taking up what was proposed by the Mexican president, emphasizing that it was also needed with the Western Hemisphere.

President López Obrador received the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, at the AIFA, who will participate in the X Summit of North American Leaders. López Obrador went ahead to mention that Canada has shown generosity with Mexico by granting temporary work visas for Mexicans, but also stressed that relations between the two countries are "more than good" and that Canadian companies invest in Mexico without obstacles.

At night, the Mexican president offered a dinner to the two leaders, Biden and Trudeau, in which the ties of friendship and cooperation between the three countries were reaffirmed. The results of the Summit will be an incentive for the companies of the three countries to continue working together to strengthen their economies, which will strengthen other equally important developments in the social and cultural aspects.

Business and Politics Outlook