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Zaldívar under investigation, legal reforms approved, voter registrations from abroad rejected, IMF lowers 2024 growth forecast

Lauren TerMaat

Investigation opened into former Chief Justice Arturo Zaldívar; INE finds inconsistencies in voter registration for 40,000 Mexicans living abroad; IMF lowers growth forecast for Mexico's economy in 2024; Senate approves reforms to the Amnesty Law and the Writ of Amparo. (Week of 04/12/2024 - 04/18/2024)

Week of 04/12/2024 - 04/18/2024

INE rejects voter registration for 40,000 Mexicans living abroad, sparking debate

On Sunday (04/14), the National Electoral Institute (INE) announced that 39,724 voter registrations from Mexicans living abroad had been rejected due to irregularities with the applications, sparking debate and criticism of the electoral management organization. 

The INE explained that the large number of applications for voter registration had been rejected primarily because there were missing signatures or inconsistencies in the documents provided, especially related to addresses. The 39,724 rejected applications, which came predominantly from Mexican citizens who live in the United States, account for about 18% of all voter registrations from abroad (226,661). 

Those whose applications had been rejected expressed their outrage via social media early this week, but the INE assured that these individuals will be able to vote in the June 02 elections if they contact the organization to clarify their registration. 

Following Sunday’s announcement, each of the three leading presidential candidates have criticized the INE for an inefficient and complicated system of voter registration, particularly for Mexican citizens living abroad. Claudia Sheinbaum, the presidential candidate for MORENA, called the process “torturous.” 

Read our recent article to learn more about the voting process for Mexicans living abroad. 

Former Supreme Court Chief Justice Arturo Zaldívar under investigation

Last Friday (04/12), the Supreme Court (SCJN) opened a formal investigation into former Chief Justice Arturo Zaldívar, following an anonymous complaint alleging that during his time on the Court he and his team pressured judges to rule a certain way in cases where the government of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador had political interests.

Zaldívar stepped down from his position on the Court in November 2023 to join the political campaign of Claudia Sheinbaum, the presidential candidate for the MORENA party. He has qualified this investigation as a politically-motivated attack from the current Chief Justice Norma Piña and noted that an investigation into a former Supreme Court Justice has never happened in the history of Mexico. 

In response to the opening of the investigation, Zaldívar and his political allies within the MORENA party announced on Wednesday (04/17) that they will seek impeachment proceedings against Chief Justice Norma Piña for allegedly using the Supreme Court for political purposes and interfering in the electoral process. 

Senate approves legal reforms

On Wednesday (04/17), the Senate approved reforms to the Writ of Amparo (Ley de amparo) and to the Amnesty Law (Ley de amnistía), two key legal procedures in Mexican jurisprudence. 

The Writ of Amparo is a unique element of the Mexican legal system. In short, it is a judicial mechanism for parties to challenge acts or omissions by authorities (government officials, courts, etc.) that violate the human rights protected in the Mexican Constitution. For a more detailed explanation in English of the Writ of Amparo, read this chapter. 

The approved reform to the Writ of Amparo emphasizes a respect for the separation of powers and the constitutionality of the law, which in practice will prohibit judges from interfering with reforms and projects from the executive and legislative branches. 

Experts point to examples of projects under AMLO’s administration, such as the Tren Maya, that have been halted at certain points by the judiciary due to lawsuits from environmental groups and other citizen groups brought to the court under the Writ of Amparo. Restrictions and halting of projects of other branches under the Writ of Amparo will now no longer be legal. 

Also approved by the Senate on Wednesday (04/17) was a reform to the Amnesty Law which allows the executive branch to directly pardon an individual for any crime committed (including drug trafficking, femicide, kidnapping, and other serious crimes with which Mexico struggles) without the typical proceedings. 

The opponents of the approved reform worry that it gives the President too much power and takes focus away from the victims of such crimes, and those who voted in favor of the reform argue that, with this reform, the President will be able to pardon certain individuals in order to obtain important, verifiable information to determine the truth in unsolved cases of human rights violations, such as the Ayotzinapa Case


IMF lowers 2024 growth forecast for Mexico

On Tuesday (04/16), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced that the organization had lowered the economic growth rate prediction for Mexico in 2024 due to economic performance in the first months of 2024 that was weaker than expected. 

According to the report published by the IMF, the 2024 expected economic growth rate for Mexico was lowered from 2.7% to 2.4% because of the economic deceleration in the last few months of 2023 and the first few months of 2024, particularly with a contraction in the manufacturing sector. 

The IMF also decreased the prediction for Mexico’s 2025 economic growth rate, which is predicted to be significantly lower than the 2024 growth rate. Predicted economic growth in 2025, which fell from 1.5% to 1.4%, will likely be lower than 2024 due to an expected tightening of fiscal policy with less government spending. 

In response to the IMF report, Finance Secretary Rogelio Ramírez de la O emphasized that both growth rates are still positive, and Mexico’s economic growth in the coming years will be strengthened by the phenomenon of nearshoring, the government’s recent work to modernize infrastructure, and Mexico’s “dynamic” labor market. 

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