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Mexico-US meetings on migration, activist kidnapped, AMLO’s austerity plan, Mexico files request with ICC

Lauren TerMaat

President López Obrador announces plan to eliminate certain autonomous agencies, Mexican delegation meets with US counterparts to discuss migration, activist Lorenza Cano kidnapped from her home, Mexico and Chile file joint request with the ICC to investigate possible genocide in Gaza. (Week of 01/14/2024 - 01/20/2024)

Week of 01/14/2024 - 01/20/2024

AMLO to cut back on autonomous agencies 

In his morning press conferences this week, President López Obrador outlined his plan to generate funds for his proposed reform package by eliminating at least 10 autonomous agencies. He specifically highlight the pension reform plan. 

AMLO announced that the Federal Institute for Telecommunications (IFT), the National Institute for Transparency, Access to Information, and the Protection of Personal Data (INAI), and the Federal Commission for Economic Competitiveness (Cofece), among other organizations, would be eliminated if the president’s reform package, which will be presented on February 5, is approved.  

According to the President, these agencies were created by previous administrations to “legalize corruption” and do not serve the people, but rather serve special interests. While he plans for these agencies to be eliminated, AMLO assured that all workers affected by these closings will be transfered to other government Secretariats. The president believes the responsibilities of the elminated agencies can be successfully takes over by remaining agencies. 

Mexican delegation in the US for meetings on migration  

On Friday, a Mexican delegation led by Foreign Minister Alicia Bárcena engaged in a high-level discussion with US officials in Washington to discuss finding solutions to the high levels of migration at the US-Mexico border. This meeting followed a similar meeting to discuss migration that was held in Mexico City in December.  

Bárcena emphasized that Mexico is committed to dealing with the structural causes of migration and recognized that other countries in the Americas must be included in the conversation as irregular migration affects more than just Mexico and the United States. Citing the 33 million Americans who visited Mexico as tourists last year, Bárcena praised the deep relationship between the two countries and expressed Mexico’s intention of working closely with the US to address migration issues.  

Activist Lorenza Cano kidnapped from her home 

On Monday night, 55-year-old activist Lorenza Cano was kidnapped from her home in Salamanca, Guanajuanto, by a group of armed men who killed her husband and son in the attack.  

Lorenza Cano is an active member of the organization “Salamanca United Searching for the Disappeared”, a group of individuals who dedicate themselves to searching for those who have been kidnapped and are presumed dead but whose whereabouts remain unknown, often refered to as “disappeared”. Cano has been dedicated to searching for her disappeared brother, José Cano Flores, since 2018.  

The leader of similar group called “The Mothers of Salamanca Searching for the Disappeared”, Ceci Patricia Flores Armenta, called for Cano’s release by her kidnappers. She highlighted the power of a mother’s love as the force that drives many of these women to continue to search for their loved ones despite the associated danger. Flores Armenta emphasized that the only goal of those searching is to find their loved ones.  

Mexico and Chile file request with ICC to investigate possible genocide in Gaza 

On Thursday, Mexico and Chile filed a joint request with the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague to investigate possible acts of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity in the conflict in Gaza.  

This request does not take a stand with either side in the conflict, but petitions the ICC to investigate all possible crimes that may have been committed by either Israel or Hamas. Delegations from Mexico and Chile have expressed concern with the rising occurrence and scale of violence in the region, and point to this escalating violence as the reason for filing their request with the ICC. In a statement, the Secretariat of Foreign Affairs (SRE) of Mexico reiterated the country’s commitment to international justice.  

The SRE also announced that Mexico has been closely following South Africa’s recent presentation of a case accusing Israel of acts of genocide with the International Court of Justice. The Israeli Embassy in Mexico has expressed disappointment with this announcement and maintains that their country has “a legitimate right to self-defense in accordance with international law”.  

About the Author

Lauren TerMaat

Lauren TerMaat

Staff Assistant Intern, Mexico Institute
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Mexico Institute

The Mexico Institute seeks to improve understanding, communication, and cooperation between Mexico and the United States by promoting original research, encouraging public discussion, and proposing policy options for enhancing the bilateral relationship. A binational Advisory Board, chaired by Luis Téllez and Earl Anthony Wayne, oversees the work of the Mexico Institute.   Read more