The Mexican Senate has bestowed upon the country’s medical professionals the Belisario Domínguez Medal, the highest award bestowed by the legislative body to those who have “exceptionally distinguished themselves for their service to the nation and humanity.”
This is the first time this prestigious award has been granted to such a large class of individuals. Mexico’s community of medical professionals has generally expressed satisfaction with the award. However, the move has also drawn criticism by detractors such as Héctor Romero Fierro who see the award as a cheap move by the government to score political points in lieu of its failure to protect healthcare workers throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Some medical professionals have also announced their displeasure with the rumor that Hugo López-Gatell, the government’s public point man on health matters, would be accepting the prize on behalf of the medical community.
The medal was first awarded in 1954 to honor the memory of Belisario Domínguez, a Mexican senator and doctor who famously denounced the dictatorship of Victoriano Huerta.
Past recipients of the medal have included the famed philosopher Leopoldo Zea (2000) and Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas (2011), former mayor of Mexico City and presidential candidate for the PRD.