Monday, November 13, 2006
Calderón is Making Positive Plans for Mexico
By Barnard R. Thompson
In less than three weeks, on December 1, 2006, Felipe
Calderón Hinojosa will take office as President of the United Mexican States. An
office won democratically and rightfully, for a six-year term, following a contentious and hard fought campaign.
Yet Calderón’s main adversary, Andrés Manuel
López Obrador, has refused to accept his defeat. And with this false claim to
victory, coupled with a seemed mixture of psychosis and delusions of grandeur, last September López Obrador led his flock
to a convention to anoint him “legitimate president” of Mexico — this by a show of hands.
The López Obrador installation puppetry is scheduled
for November 20, and he has vowed thereafter not only to work for the good of the people of Mexico, but also to wage a “permanent
battle” against Felipe Calderón and his future government.
To this add his toadies in the Party of the Democratic
Revolution, and the newly formed Broad Progressive Front, for they too have announced November 20 to December 1 plans to do
whatever possible to degrade and interfere with the inauguration of Mexico’s real president.
But Calderón is the one acting presidential, and
to his credit he has not taken the bait, nor been flustered or distracted, by the less manly antics and declarations of his
campaign adversary and wannabe nemesis.
In fact, Calderón and his team are hard at work on
plans for Mexico’s future.
Over and above Calderón’s travels and talks
with national and foreign leaders, he has put together a solid transition team that is working together with proven performers
in the Vicente Fox administration on future and ongoing programs and projects. As
well, work towards the many goals — that are part of those on Calderón’s “100 priority actions” list
— has been set to officially begin during the president’s first 100 days in office.
In the area of economic competitiveness and job creation,
among other things handpicked team members have been drafting plans and mechanisms to reduce bureaucratic spending. To do so the entire administrative structure of the federal government is being reviewed, along with governmental
programs, so that reductions can be made whenever and wherever possible.
A new project scheduled to go into effect on January
1, 2007, is the National Jobs First Program. This will be linked to the Temporary
Employment Program, a nationwide system that will establish committees in all of Mexico’s 31 states and the Federal
District that will work to stimulate infrastructure projects and funding, and thus create jobs.
Some of the specific projects that are being advanced,
not just to created jobs but too based on need, include highway projects. Actually
more than a dozen expressway and major road works are being specifically identified, as is the new Anzaldúas-Reynosa International
Bridge. Furthermore, the work groups are involved with establishing finance needs
and bid preparations.
Economic feasibility, technical and environmental
studies are underway regarding urban rail systems in the State of Mexico that would interconnect with existing services.
As well, an important infrastructure area of need
that is being addressed is the construction of wastewater treatment plants.
Regarding water works, continuation and new projects
are destined to fulfill needs over the next 20 years in León; Guadalajara; the Altos (highlands) of Jalisco; San Luis Potosí;
Mexico’s hospital services fall short of patient
needs in many areas, so the Calderón plan calls for follow-up on the construction of certain already approved facilities,
and the preparation of bids for others, totaling seven. These hospitals are to
be located in the states of México, Guerrero, Chihuahua, Tamaulipas, Coahuila, Querétaro, and Sinaloa.
One area of longtime concern is Mexico’s energy
sector, in particular Petróleos Mexicanos (PEMEX) and the Federal Electricity Commission.
So to make the needed administrative and supervisory adjustments, independent audit committees are being formed that
will guarantee accountability and transparency.
An antitrust type system is being readied in order
to do away with regulatory barriers regarding the use of nationwide public telecommunication networks, this so as to authorize
access to all qualifying television, Internet and data transmission service providers.
Another proposal is to help young entrepreneurs to
gain access to business and markets. In coordination with colleges, universities
and trade schools, special emphasis is to be given to those seeking applicable opportunities in Mexico’s southern and
The list goes on.
And they are all laudable plans and goals that should
be given a fair chance, and not distorted, ruined nor stopped by self-interested pretenders and tormentors.
Barnard Thompson, a consultant with nearly 50 years
of experience in Latin America, is also editor of MexiData.info. He can be reached
via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.