Local Congresses In Mexico Take Advantage Of COVID-19 Pandemic
MEXICO CITY — Many governmental areas have shut down or reduced their activity as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. And in Mexico, some local congresses are taking advantage of the situation to change, approve or reject important laws.
The pandemic still spreads in Mexico, but it hasn’t stopped local congresses to hold private sessions, even online.
Sergio Bárcena is a political science researcher at Mexico City’s Tec de Monterrey University. He said it’s positive that congresses keep working, but it’s also a way for them to dodge public debates or rallies.
“They’re avoiding these kinds of protests that could have happened,” Bárcena said.
Local congresses are ruling in issues such as state budgeting, abortion, women’s rights and education.
“There are congresses that have even approved major debts for their governors, like Jalisco,” said the researcher.
Some issues are also related to the pandemic, like creating laws to sanction those who attack health workers after several reports of doctors and nurses being punched or sprayed with bleach.
“For example, in Coahuila, extended the prison time up to 45 years for anyone who harms health personnel,” said Bárcena.
In Nuevo León, Bárcena said the congress repealed a law that allowed parents to approve or reject sex education to their children. The congress of Guanajuato reppealed a former leagalization of abortion.
“So, they do this right now as they’re avoiding protests,” said Bárcena.
Bárcena said the congress in Arizona’s neighboring state, Sonora, has focused on the next elections, reducing campaigning time and opening more electoral opportunities for women.