Friday, April 18, 2008

Mexico Update 2:  Mexican Senate Threatens Mexico City Governor with Removal if Federal District Security is Ignored


Marcelo Ebrard (PRD), Governor of the Federal District

Today in Mexico City the Senate of the Congress of the Union demanded of Mexico City's Federal District Governor Marcelo Ebrard, who is a member of Lopez Obrador's PRD Party, that he do more to ensure that security on the legislative grounds in the suburb of San Lazaro is maintained or they may act under provisions of the Mexican constitution to remove him from office.

To quote a small translated excerpt from an article at the La Crónica de Hoy (Mexico City) website:

". . . Unanimously and amidst applause - only PAN, PRI, and Ecologist Green party members were present -- the Senate approved a motion in which it also requests guarantees from "the federal authority" of order within the facilities of the Senate. In referring to the head of [the Federal District] Government, the Secretary of Directive Desk read several portions of Article 67 of the Statute of Government of the Federal District during the session, that speak to the powers of the Senate to remove the capital governor. . . ."

The PAN Party President of the Directive Desk, Senator Santiago Creel, denounced "the violence that is manifested in the circle imposed [on the legislative grounds] with the object of preventing the Senate from fulfilling its constitutional responsibilities."

Ebrard's office responded saying that the problems are within the Senate and not outside of it, claiming that the Federal District government had guaranteed their safety.

As for my personal comment, it appears to me that today's action on the part of the Mexican Senate represents a warning to the Federal District government that the national government will not permit a repeat of what happened in the summer of 2006, when then Mexico City Federal District Governor and Lopez Obrador supporter Alejandro Encinas provided protection for a PRD-led protest that shut down the center of the city and sustained Lopez Obrador's threats to the national government. Removing Ebrard would be a serious action, and many within the Mexican Left might take it as a "provocation" leading them to call for mass action, but the lines are being drawn nonetheless. This could become very serious, though the recent record of the PRD's opponents shows that patience has been their modus operandi, given that the PRD has suffered according to all indexes of public opinion, and electoral returns, since their 2006 protest.


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