50 Austerity Measures

 

President-elect of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador

50 austerity measures that will be applied by Mexico’s new President

Last week, Mexico’s President-elect, Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), published a document that lists 50 austerity measures he feels must be applied in Mexico. He also details how he’ll carry out his plan, and according to him, the money that returns to Mexico’s coffers will fund many of his government’s ambitious goals.

Some of the reforms AMLO proposes will take effect as soon as he assumes office on December 1, 2018. Others will need the approval of Mexico’s Congress and Senate before they can become Law. It should be noted though – AMLO’s political party, MORENA, holds a virtual majority in both houses – so passage and implementation of all 50 points are likely.

My family lives on a peso-based income and we have certainly taken some financial hits because of the corruption and ineptitude of recent Administrations. I have NO sympathy for “the old boys’ club”, and I’m ecstatic that for the next half-dozen years, Mexico will have a markedly different roster in the Congress and Senate.

Many members of Merida’s international community have expressed confusion about AMLO. Immediately following this paragraph, those who read Spanish will find AMLO’s words (in black text) And for those who have less Spanish skills, I follow each of the 50 points with a synopsis (in bold) I know it is a  l-o-n-g  read – but if you keep going – you will gain a better understanding of the changes coming to this country..

“Los 50 puntos que se aplicarán para llevar a cabo medidas de austeridad”

“50 austerity measures that will be applied by AMLO”

  1. Se reformará el Artículo 108 de la Constitución para agregar que el presidente de la República en funciones puede ser juzgado por delitos de violación a las libertades electorales y por delitos de corrupción.

As it stands, Article 108 of Mexico’s Constitution exempts the President from prosecution for violations of electoral liberties and for corruption. This immunity will be stricken, and from now on the President of Mexico will be answerable to the same laws as all other citizens of the country.

  1. Se suspenderán por completo fueros y privilegios para funcionarios     publicos

Government functionaries, including the President will no longer be above the law, nor receive excessive perks and privileges.

  1. Se reformará la ley para considerar delitos graves el tráfico de influencia, la corrupción, la asociación entre funcionarios y particulares para cometer fraudes a la hacienda pública, el robo de combustibles y el fraude electoral en cualquiera de sus modalidades; las penas no permitirán al inculpado la obtención de la libertad bajo fianza.

Laws will be reformed so that – peddling of influence, corruption, tax fraud, siphoning from the gas-ducts and electoral fraud – will all be classified as first degree felonies. While investigations ensue, those accused will not have the right for release on bail. 

  1. La Fiscalía General contará, en los hechos, con absoluta autonomía; no recibirá consigna del presidente de la República y sus prácticas se apegarán al principio del derecho liberal, según el cual, “al margen de la ley nada y por encima de la ley nadie”.

The Prosecutor General will have complete autonomy to prosecute; there will be no interference from the presidential or other governmental organisms. There should be no act outside the law, and no person above it

  1. La Fiscalía Electoral estará encargada de garantizar que las elecciones sean limpias y libres; a evitar la compra del voto, la coacción, la amenaza, el uso del presupuesto público y de bienes para favorecer a partidos o candidatos y castigar cualquier tipo de fraude electoral. Su distintivo será la imparcialidad y su misión la de establecer en México una auténtica democracia.

The Electoral Prosecutor will be charged with providing clean and free elections – without attempts to buy votes, threaten or coerce the public to choose a particular party or candidate – and will punish any form of electoral fraud. The Electoral Prosecutor will be impartial and will establish an authentic democracy in Mexico.

  1. La Fiscalía Anticorrupción será garante para evitar este mal que tanto ha dañado a México y no permitir bajo ninguna consideración, el predominio de la impunidad. El mandato que recibimos del pueblo en las elecciones del 1º de julio de 2018, consistió, básicamente, en confiarnos la apremiante tarea de acabar con la corrupción y la impunidad.

La Fiscalía Anticorrupción podrá actuar con absoluta libertad y   castigar a cualquier persona que cometa un delito de esa naturaleza, tratase de quien se trate, incluidos compañeros de lucha, funcionarios, amigos y familiares. Un buen juez, por la casa empieza.

The Anticorruption Prosecutor will be the authority who will see this practice eliminated.  For far too long, the progress of Mexico has been hindered by corruption, and the citizens have been victims of the inequality it sustains. It must stop. On July 1, 2018, the people of Mexico placed their trust in us – and we understand that above all – they want to see an end to the widespread corruption and impunity.

The Anticorruption Prosecutor will have absolute liberty to act and prosecute those who continue these practices, no matter who they may be. This includes coworkers, party members, public functionaries, friends or family. A good judge cleans his own house first.

  1. Todo funcionario deberá presentar su declaración de bienes patrimoniales; así como la de sus familiares cercanos y será publica y transparente en todos los casos.

All those who hold public office, and their families, will be obliged to make a public declaration of their material assets and properties.

  1. El presidente de la República ganará menos de la mitad de lo que recibe el presidente Enrique Peña Nieto, sin ningún tipo de compensaciones.

As President of the Republic, AMLO will earn less than one half of Presidente Enrique Peña Nieto’s salary, and will not receive other compensations.

  1. No se comprarán vehículos nuevos para funcionarios.

    New cars will not be bought for government authorities

  1. No se comprarán sistemas de cómputo en el primer año del

No new computer systems will be purchased in the first year of AMLO’s government

  1. No habrá más de cinco asesores por secretaría.

There will not be more than 5 consultants for each Secretariat

  1. Solo tendrán secretarios particulares los secretarios o equivalentes.

Only the first officers of each Secretariat will have their own assistants.

  1. No habrá bonos ni otras canonjías, el salario será integral, según la Constitución que a la letra dice: “Se considera remuneración o retribución toda percepción en efectivo o en especie, incluyendo dietas, aguinaldos, gratificaciones, premios, recompensas, bonos, estímulos comisiones, compensaciones y cualquier otra, con excepción de los apoyos y los gastos sujetos a comprobación que sean propios del desarrollo del trabajo y los gastos de viaje en actividades oficiales.”

There will be no preferential bonuses or other enticements. According to the Constitution, the salary received by the public sector (monetary or in kind), including allowances, bonuses, stimulus packages, commissions, travel expenses, and compensations of every description will be transparent. Appropriate reimbursement will only be made for work-related expenses.  

  1. Se limitarán los viáticos al mínimo.

Work-related travel will be kept to a minimum.

  1. No habrá partida para gastos médicos privados.

There will be no more private medical benefits for government employees.

  1. No habrá caja de ahorro especial; es decir, dejará de existir la    partida conocida como “seguro de separación individualizada”.

There will be no withholding funds from the budget, to be distributed amongst the employees of government institutions.

  1. No se viajará al extranjero sin autorización del secretario y la partida se reducirá al mínimo.

No travel to foreign countries will be authorized, except by the head official of each Secretariat.

  1. Se cancelarán fideicomisos o cualquier otro mecanismo utilizado   para ocultar fondos públicos y evadir la legalidad y la transparencia.

All trust funds and other mechanisms to withhold public funds for government employees’ personal use will be abolished.

  1. Nadie tendrá guardaespaldas, solo los encargados de la seguridad.

The government will not pay for personal body guards. The contracted security personnel and the army will ensure the safety of government officials and personnel.

  1. Se suprimen todas las estructuras y programas duplicados (oficialías mayores, oficinas de prensa, publicaciones, defensorías jurídicas, compras, contraloría interna y otras) y estas funciones o programas se centralizarán en una sola unidad o coordinación, dependiente de la secretaría relacionada con los asuntos en cuestión. Se reduce toda la estructura de confianza en un 70 por ciento de personal y del gasto de operación.

All duplicated structures and programs will be eliminated and these functions or programs will be centralized and coordinated by the appropriate Secretariat.  The reduction of extra-official infrastructure and personnel will be reduced by 70%.

  1. Se reduce toda la estructura de trabajadores, empleados de confianza, en un 70 por ciento.

The number of public service employees and extra-official workers will be reduced by 70%, and the same percentage of savings will be had.

22. Se bajan los sueldos de los altos funcionarios públicos a la mitad de quienes ganan más de un millón de pesos anuales, de manera progresiva; pero lo ahorrado debe significar el 50 por ciento del gasto actual.

High ranking officials who earn more than one million pesos a year will progressively see their salaries cut in half. This saving will signify a 50% reduction of the current budget.

  1. Nadie podrá utilizar aviones o helicópteros privados. Se venderá la flotilla de aviones y helicópteros. Solo quedarán los destinados a la seguridad, la protección civil y los que se ocupen para enfermos.

No one will have use of private planes and helicopters. The fleet will be sold, except those necessary for national security purposes, national emergency response, and for medical transfers.

  1. Se cancelarán las pensiones a los expresidentes de la República.

The pensions given to ex-presidents will be cancelled.

  1. No se utilizarán vehículos y otros bienes públicos para asuntos particulares.

Government issued vehicles will not be lent for personal use.

  1. No podrá contratarse a familiares.

Family members of government officials will not be eligible for hire in other government positions

  1. Los trabajadores de confianza laborarán de lunes a sábado y, cuando menos, 8 horas diarias.

Personnel in extra-official positions, within the Secreariats, will work Monday to Saturday for at least 8 hours a day.

  1.  No se puede asistir al trabajo en estado de ebriedad, ni tomar en las oficinas públicas.

No one is permitted to  arrive at their government work place in an inebriated   state, nor drink alcohol on the job.

  1. Se reducirá en 50 por ciento el gasto de publicidad del gobierno.

The government’s publicity budget will be reduced by 50%.

  1. Los funcionarios de Hacienda, Comunicaciones, de Energía y de otras dependencias, no podrán convivir en fiestas, comidas, juegos deportivos o viajar con contratistas, grandes contribuyentes, proveedores o inversionistas vinculados a la función pública.

The employees of the Secretariats of Communications, Energy Taxation, and other Secretariats in a position to extend favours cannot fraternize – at parties, at sporting events, or travel – with persons who are service providers or investors, or who have an interest in winning contracts with relevant Secretariats.

  1. Ningún funcionario público podrá ocupar en su domicilio a trabajadores al servicio del Estado, si no lo tiene permitido o no cuenta con autorización para ello.

No government employees may ask other subordinate employees to work in their home or other properties, without authorization to request this service.

  1. Ningún funcionario, sin causa de emergencia, podrá ordenar cerrar calles, detener el tráfico o pasarse los altos o estacionarse en lugares prohibidos.

No government employees may ask for streets to be closed, park in restricted areas, or drive through red stop lights, except in the case of national emergency.

  1. No se comprará ninguna mercancía que exista en los almacenes públicos en cantidad suficiente.

No unnecessary purchases will be authorized, if and when the items in question can be found in government storage facilities. 

  1. No se remodelarán oficinas, ni se comprará mobiliario de lujo.

No government offices will be remodelled; nor will luxurious furnishings be bought for government offices.

  1. Sólo tendrán apoyo de choferes los secretarios y subsecretarios.

Only the highest ranking and second-highest ranking officials of a Secretariat will be assigned a chauffeur.

  1. Los policías y militares de las distintas corporaciones no estarán al servicio de funcionarios o particulares sin plena justificación.

The police and military personnel will not be used by government officials without authorization.

  1. El Estado Mayor Presidencial se incorporará por completo a la Secretaría de la Defensa y se ocupará de tareas de protección de espacios públicos, instalaciones estratégicas y de la seguridad de los mexicanos.

The Presidential Guard will be reincorporated into the Secretariat of Defense and will be assigned to cover the protection of public places and events.

  1.  La residencia oficial de Los Pinos pasará a formar parte del Bosque de Chapultepec y se convertirá en un espacio para el arte y la cultura.

“Los Pinos”, the official presidential residence will be sold, and will be converted into a space for  Arts & Culture in the Chapultepec Forest.

  1. Desaparecerán las partidas para vestuario o cualquier gasto de protocolo y ceremonial dedicado al Presidente, a sus colaboradores cercanos y a familiares.

The President’s clothing allowance and money for ceremonial protocol, as well as those of his family and advisors will be suspended.  

  1. Se cancelará toda labor de espionaje o intervención telefónica que afecte el derecho a la privacidad de las personas; el sistema de inteligencia del gobierno estará sólo dedicado a la prevención de delitos y al combate a la delincuencia.

All Espionage and listening in on private conversations will stop. Intelligence operations will fall to the Secretariat of Defence. The government’s system of intelligence will only be used for crime prevention and combating delinquency

41     Se cuidarán los bienes de la oficina a disposición de servidores públicos para proteger el patrimonio colectivo.

Government offices and the contents therein will be cared for; they are part of the Nation’s patrimony.

42.    Se evitarán gastos de oficinas innecesarios y se ahorrará energía eléctrica, agua, servicios telefónicos, de internet, gasolinas y otros insumos pagados por el erario.

Government office expenditures will be cut back. Unnecessary use of energy, water, telephones and internet will be identified and eliminated.

  1. Se tratará con amabilidad a los ciudadanos en las oficinas públicas y en cualquier lugar, aceptando con humildad que ellos son, los ciudadanos, los mandantes de los servidores públicos.

Citizens will be treated pleasantly by the personnel in public offices. The personnel will accept with humility that they are in their positions so as to serve the public

  1. Las compras del gobierno se harán de manera consolidada; mediante convocatoria, con observación ciudadana y de la oficina de transparencia de la ONU.

The Government’s purchases will be made with the approval of the citizens, with their observance, and with the transparency of the United Nations.

  1. Los contratos de obra de Gobierno se llevarán a cabo mediante licitación pública con la participación de ciudadanos y de observadores de la ONU.

Government contracts will be awarded to the applicant who makes the most favourable offer. The postings will be supervised by the citizens and overseen by the United Nations

  1. No habrá partidas en el presupuesto a disposición de diputados y senadores, se acabará la vergonzosa práctica de los sobornos o de los llamados “moches”.

There will not be any special allotments from the budget for Deputies and Senators. The shameful practice of bribes and favours will stop once and for all.

  1. Ningún funcionario público podrá recibir regalos cuyo valor exceda de cinco mil pesos.

No public official will have the right to accept gifts that are valued at more than 5,000 pesos.

  1. No se autorizará la contratación de despachos para elaborar proyectos de ley, planes de desarrollo o cualquier tipo de análisis y recomendaciones que puedan hacerse con el trabajo y la capacidad profesional de los servidores públicos.

If enough capable professionals are working in the government sector, outside “experts” will not be contracted and authorized to analyze and design programs for development of the country. 

  1. En las relaciones comerciales o financieras con empresas internacionales se dará preferencia a las empresas originarias de países cuyos gobiernos se caractericen por su honestidad y castiguen y no toleren las prácticas de sobornos o de corrupción.

In our country’s dealings with foreign financial and commercial entities, we will give preferences to those who are known for their honesty; we will not tolerate corruption by taking bribes.

50.    Se revisarán los contratos suscritos con empresas nacionales o extranjeras que se hayan otorgado mediante el influyentismo, la corrupción, y que causen daño a la Hacienda Pública. En caso de anomalías que afecten el interés nacional se acudirá al Congreso de la Unión, a tribunales nacionales e internacionales; es decir, siempre nos conduciremos por la vía legal, no actuaremos de manera arbitraria, ni habrá confiscación o expropiación de bienes.

Existing government contracts with national and international businesses will be revised. If anormalities are discovered, the case will be brought before Congress. The government will not behave arbitrarily. There will not be confiscations or expropriations

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30 thoughts on “50 Austerity Measures

  1. Absolutely incredible Joanna! These declarations are all doable because they come from the President. How exciting to witness such a remarkable shift…its rather like the earth has moved…xo

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  2. Joanna-Thank you for a comprehensive report on the incoming national Administration. I am awed & amazed with the comprehensive reform to be instituted by the new government. I confess that I am doubtful that these lofty goals can be accomplished. However, it’s the first administration which is seriously attempting a major change in the “accepted” way of doing business. Good for them!

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    1. It is true Jane. In Mexico we are used to constant disappointment in our government. It is hard to believe that true change is possible… BUT this time feels different. There is hope because the victory of AMLO was so sweeping. All but the entrenched political class voted for him… people of all socoeconomic groups feel they participated in this election, and their will has been served. I dare say we are witnessing a historic moment.

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    1. Hello Alice… yes this will be the difficult part. Often times, plans sound good but when people are “inconvenienced” by the realities that change involves, it is not always so popular. However, I firmly believe that the citizens of Mexico understand the need for sweeping reform and they will support AMLO.

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    1. I feel hope for the first time in decades. Since 2000 there has been some alternance of power, but the same political elite retained position. They had lost all sense of perspective and served their own interests, not those of the public. This election was so different and I pray the new government will be able to withstand the temptation and stay on course…

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  3. WOW!!! As they say “A new broom sweeps clean”. It will be very interesting to see how AMLO will implement these changes. Also, does he have the absolute power to make such sweeping reforms within the government?

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    1. Yes Sharron, our new president is sweeping with a new broom… And yes, he does have the authority to order the implementation of many these changes. Some of them though will require passage into law by the Congress and Senate. However, as I mentioned his party MORENA has virtual majority in both houses, so passage is likely.

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  4. Good intentions with a long road ahead and most of it up hill. Thanks for all the information and your work puting this together. It appears there is much to change over the next six years. Perhaps you should forward this to the US Congress. Who knows, they might get the message….Sorry, just wishfull thinking.

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    1. IT has been suggested I pass the synopsis along… we’ll see. Yes, there is a lot of work ahead but I think Mexican people are so ready for this change. They feel their votes elected AMLO and they will support him.

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      1. Just thought I would let you know, I emailed this two 50 friends in the USA. Perhaps they will spread it around to add strenth to the predicted “Blue Wave” in the mid-term elections there. People there have forgotten what a democracy is like.

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  5. Thanks for taking the time to post this very informational article. I have seen much change in Mexico since I first came in 1974 and look forward to seeing a true and honest democracy in the near future!

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  6. As its closest northern neighbor sinks into despair, Mexico becomes the beam of hope for western civilization. I only hope AMLO has faithful bodyguards. You need to send your detailed translation to international English language news outlets.

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    1. We won’t even contemplate the “faithfulness” of the bodyguards… I trust that at last the Universe has given us hope… it would be too cruel to snatch it away. One other English-language blog reposted my article… I will maybe send it out to a few more. Thanks for your comment

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  7. Crossing my fingers that even half of these changes come about! Some of them will be tough, but not impossible, to enforce.

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    1. We are of like mind… and cautiously optomistic. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if these later years of our lives in Mexico could be spent amongst people who are as happy as the ones we knew when we first came here!

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  8. Wow! I’d love to see similar reforms in the U.S. I will forward to my Senators and Congresswoman. Thanks for the lovely translation, Joanna!

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  9. Wow wow wow (50 times wow). Simple and perfect measures. Why/how did the bar (here, there, and everywhere) ever get so lowered that we became expected to compromise on honesty and integrity? To lose hope in our governments? Thanks thanks thanks (50 times thanks) for the awesome translations. Have shared this with friends and family, Joanna. Feeling hopeful, and will do the hard work required, for these changes in our lives, indeed!

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    1. Thank you Harold. I am also feeling very hopeful. Many worry that this will be too much, too fast, but really when a change occurs it usually happens this way… Of course this one has ben building up for a long time…

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