[Translations of two articles from La Jornada of Mexico City for March 18, a day celebrated in Mexico as the anniversary of the expropriation of the country’s petroleum industry in 1938, during the administration of President Lázaro Cárdenas, in office from 1934 to 1940. The resulting state enterprise, Pemex, has supplied the country’s petroleum successfully ever since but in recent years has been the target of privatization attempts by conservatives. Cárdenas is considered the most leftist of the country’s presidents. His son, Cuauhtémoc, also a leftist and also prominent in politics, was at one time head of the government of the Distrito Nacional, ran for president in 1988 and was one of the founders of the Partido Revolucionario Democrático (PRD).]
Cárdenas says Pemex contract “clearly in violation”
[See original here.]
By Alma E. Muñoz
Mexico, DF – On the 73rd anniversary of the expropriation of petroleum declared by Lázaro Cárdenas del Río, his son, Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas Solórzano, spoke of the unconstitutionality of the incentive contracts Petróleos Mexicanos is preparing to award for the exploitation of its Magallanes, Carrizo and Santuario fields.
After the formation of an honor guard at the Monumento a la Revolución, Cárdenas Solórzano indicated in an interview that the contracts are “clearly in violation of the Constitution, of constitutional articles, in the case of petroleum, Article 27, of articles of the Regulatory Law, of the Petróleos Mexicanos Law itself.”
He is confident that when the time comes to sign the services contracts, which are for evaluation, development and production of hydrocarbons, “all the legislators committed to the causes of the nation, the ones in the PRD in particular, should use all the resources available to them to have them nullified.”
–A constitutional crisis?, he was asked.
–Whatever develops, a disputation or whatever they believe will develop from the legal point of view to demand nullification of the incentive contracts.
He declared that this is a topic that neither the party nor progressive forces in the country can brush aside. He referred in particular to legislators who “are in positions to intervene to block this measure, which tends to replace Petróleos Mexicanos in functions that belong solely to the Mexican state.
He stressed that the current administration, “what they have tried to do is hand over petroleum to interests apart from those of the country, and whatever can be done to block that, must be done.”
PRD senators dispute Pemex contracts
[See original here.]
By Alma Muñoz
Mexico, DF – Senator Carlos Sotelo reports that a group of perredista [members of the PRD] legislators headed by Pablo Gómez will submit a legal disputation against incentive contracts for exploiting petroleum.
The legislator indicated in a press conference that the contracts violate the spirit and the letter of the constitution and the regulatory law, which expressly prohibits handing over or giving in exchange contracts to foreign or domestic interests. He charged that the effort involving the contracts reflects the collaborationist spirit of the Felipe Calderón administration and the conservative right.
He indicated that the “left PRD” in the Senate of the republic will call for a series of legal actions and mobilizations to defend Mexico’s petroleum wealth and to avoid violations of national sovereignty.
[The expropriation enjoyed wide support and was celebrated in countless corridos, one of which is available here in MP3 format.]