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Federal workers protest transfer from CDMX to Mérida

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Employees at the Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources, or Semarnat, are unhappy with one part of the president-elect’s decentralization plan.

It’s the part that transfers them all to Mérida.

In a letter to the incoming president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, union leaders Ignacio Ocampo and Santiago García argued the move would have profound effects on their families and budgets. The document expressed “our strongest and most categorical rejection” of the plan.

Semarnat employs 3,827 workers.

Elsewhere, AMLO’s decentralization moves the National Water Commission (Conagua) to Veracruz and the National Forestry Commission (Conafor) to Durango. Pemex would move to Ciudad del Carmen, where most of Mexico’s oil and gas supply is produced.

Lopez Obrador’s idea to decentralize the government in a sweeping plan to ease Mexico City’s congestion. The Federal District of Mexico City and its surrounding areas currently houses a population of close to 20 million. Public transportation is far from adequate and roads are often gridlocked. Many people spend four hours a day to commute.

Lopez Obrador said that the decentralization plan should help improve the quality of life in the capital as well as providing more equal opportunities for the nation’s regions.

“There are islands of rapid growth in the country, but they are surrounded by areas that have been abandoned,” he said.

He also cited the susceptibility of the capital to earthquakes. About 10,000 people died in the 1985 quake. Two severe tremors last September caused at least 465 deaths, and 180,000 homes were destroyed in the capital and in southern Mexico.

The plan to decentralize is to be executed steadily, in a process that is likely to take almost all of the six years of the upcoming administration.

Five key ministries would remain in Mexico City: Gobernacion, the Interior ministry; the Finance and Foreign ministries; the ministries of Defense (Army and Air Force) and the Navy.

López Obrador has said on several occasions that, as president, he will live and work in the National Palace in the historic center of Mexico City instead of Los Pinos, which is roughly equivalent to the White House in Washington.

Critics claim his presence in the Centro Histórico will make gridlock even worse.

Source: Agencies, Natural Gas Intel

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