Is There a New Mexico City?

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The Mayor Miguel Ángel Mancera had successful with his project of the Political Reform of Mexico City.

Mexico City is not anymore the Federal District, now is just Mexico City, but its territory is still being the Mexican Republic’s capital.

Soon, the “chilangos”, “capitalinos” or “defeños” will have a Constitution that is going to change the organization of their city.

After 20 years, the Union Congress approved the Political Reform which, in 1996, had its first step when Ernesto Zedillo was president and modified the Article 122 of the Mexican Constitution.

That change, in 1997, allowed that the Mexico City’s habitants could vote for their Mayor, municipality governors and members of the local legislative assembly.

However, the Mexican President still had the faculties to approve the Police chief and the Attorney General, besides to the legislative assembly that couldn’t approve constitutional reforms and the city’s budget had to be approved by the federal Congress.

In 2001, 2003, 2004, 2006 and 2009 many projects of the political reform, from all parties, were thrown into the legislative garbage.

In 2010 new projects were discussed in the local legislative assembly, because the Mayor Marcelo Ebrard wanted to get this political change for the city, but he couldn’t create agreements between all political actors. The reform did not depend on the local political situation; the agreements had to be on a federal level.

In 2012, Miguel Angel Mancera promised the reform. But unlike Mr. Ebrard, Mr. Mancera could make political agreements, mostly with the PRI party with majority in the Union Congress.

For now, just the name of Mexico City changed in the Constitution. But there are more steps to finish. They are following:

  1. To define a Constituent Assembly with 100 members that will be selected as following: 60 by popular election; 14 from the Senate; 14 from federal deputies; 6 appointed by the President, and 6 appointed by the Mexico City’s Mayor. The Assembly has to start its work on the 15th of September, 2016.
  2. Create a local Constitution. The Mexico City’s Mayor has to send the proposal to the Constituent Assembly.

Those steps have the 31st of January, 2017 as the deadline.

That means that the real changes are not going to be done soon, even the demonym. This point has been used as a joke by social network users, because they are worried about the new demonym for the “chilangos”, “capitalinos” and “defeños”. But that is the less worrying issue. The following are the most important changes.

POLITICAL REFORM OF MEXICO CITY

NOW AFTER
– The Mayor cannot designate the Police Chief and the Attorney General. – The Mayor will designate the Police Chief and the Attorney General.
– There is a Legislative Assembly. – There will be a local Congress with the same rights and duties of the other states of the Republic.
– There are 16 Delegations. – There will be 16 Town Halls.
– There is no Council. – There will be a Council conformed of minimum of 10 and maximum of 15 members.
– The federal Congress approves the budget. – The budget will have to be approved by the local Congress; and the Councils will have to approve the budget in the Town Halls.
– The Union Congress has to approve the limit of the public debt. – The local Congress will be able to approve the public debt.
– Sometimes the federal Congress assigns extra budget for the city, because they are the Powers of the Union. – The city has to receive extra budget, because there are the Powers of the Union.
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The President Enrique Peña Nieto promulgated reform.

How will they do that?

The Constitution of Mexico City will be the essential component, because it will establish the rules for the local government and administration.

Of course, there are other issues, as new public expenses and the payments to the Councils. Even, there is a discussion if Mexico City will have more Town Halls or Boroughs, not just 16.

The most important changes will not happen until 2017 and 2018, during the local and federal elections.

What is the importance of Mexico City?

The territory is the capital of the Mexican Republic, which means that there are the Powers of the Union settled. In addition to that:

  • Mexico City is the biggest of the country.
  • It has the best life expectancy of the country, 76 years.
  • The Gross Domestic Product represents between 16 and 17 percent of the whole country.
  • The city captures the largest share of foreign investment, more than 22 percent.
  • It has the best percentage of average degree of education, 10.5 years.
  • It has the top in academic infrastructure and investigation; investment in science, technology and innovation; scientific and innovative productivity and information technologies and communications.

So, there are more things important for Mexico City and its citizens than their demonym. But I’m sure that we will never leave to be “chilangos”.

Important: the next link is a chronology of the Political Reform of Mexico City.

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