Mexican Finance Minister Carlos Urzua abruptly quits.
Mexico’s finance minister, Carlos Urzúa, quit abruptly on Tuesday with a letter of resignation that appeared highly critical of the current administration, and raised questions about the president’s much-vaunted promise to reduce corruption.
He tweeted a copy of the letter — addressed to Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador — which suggested that the current administration’s policymaking was not “based on evidence” or “free of extremism.” “There were a lot of discrepancies in economic matters,” the letter continued to read.
Agradezco la oportunidad de haber podido servir a México. pic.twitter.com/aaa2cIa9uI
— Carlos Urzúa (@CarlosM_Urzua) July 9, 2019
As of now, it is yet to see if Lopez Obrador tries to restore investor confidence or if he is willing to take a much riskier gamble on Mexico’s future now. The left-leaning, anti-establishment President also responded on his Facebook page saying that he had accepted Urzúa’s resignation and proceeded to named undersecretary Arturo Herrera Gutiérrez to fill the role.
Urzúa is not the first to express doubt about the new president’s approach to policy; critics have warned that he might have an authoritarian streak and have even compared him to Venezuela’s former far-left leader Hugo Chavez.
The first year
In his first year in office, he has led the country to renegotiate a free trade agreement with the US and Canada, and to placate the United States over migration by stepping up controls at Mexico’s southern border.
Also, Lopez Obrador vowed to tackle insecurity in a country where more than 70% of reported crimes go unpunished, and 90% of crimes are not reported due to mistrust of authorities, but murder rates across Mexico are still on the rise and have even reached their highest levels on record since 2011 with nearly 3,000 slayings in January alone. In Mexico City alone the murder rate has increased by 100%.
On tackling corruption, the watchdog group Mexicanos Contra la Corrupcion y la Impunidad reports rather than securing the lowest price for public projects, AMLO’s administration has directly awarded more than 70% of the contracts to select companies. To the day, Al Jazeera reports that it’s not clear how or why they were chosen because there was no formal bidding process.
In an economic perspective, investors are wary about Mexico’s economic future. In March, agencies lowered their credit outlook ratings on government debt and Mexico’s state-owned petroleum company, Pemex.
Despite an overwhelming house majority, some key issues seem unchanged. Click here to read more reporting on President Lopez’ first year in Office.