5th State of the Nation Report delivered by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, September 1, 2023

Stenographic version. 5th State of the Nation Report

Presented by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador from Campeche, Campeche.

September 1, 2023

PRESIDENT ANDRÉS MANUEL LÓPEZ OBRADOR: Friends, Mexicanas and Mexicanos.

Dear people of Campeche:

It gives me great pleasure to be here with you here in Campeche, a city with a considerable history and culture, like all the towns and cities of our beloved Mexico. That is why I decided to deliver this report from Campeche, because it is one of the cities and states that have contributed the most to national development, especially because for many decades Campeche was the main oil producer and its contribution made it possible to design the national budget. There were years when, out of every peso of the national budget, 40 centavos were obtained from the sale of oil extracted from the sea off Campeche and sold to foreign countries.

However, here, as in other states, we experienced an enigma, the contradiction of being rich states with a poor population. That is why I decided to present this report here in Campeche. And also because there is a historical event that can be summarized, and I leave you with this as a task, in the saying: ‘Toma tu Champotón’.(1)

In the almost five years of my administration, it has been demonstrated that our development model called Mexican Humanism, summarized in the phrase ‘for the good of all, the poor come first’, is effective and works exceptionally well. In this 5th Report to the Nation I will present factual data that proves this.

Perhaps the greatest lesson of the failed neoliberal or neoporfirista (2) model is that the commitment to material progress without justice is politically and socially unviable, and that, in the long run, it is doomed to failure. Its original flaw consists in overlooking the fact that the simple accumulation of wealth, without seeking its equitable distribution, produces inequality and serious social conflicts.

It is false to affirm that if those at the top are doing well, those at the bottom will necessarily also do well. Our alternative model or project is based precisely on the opposite idea, on attending first to the base of the social pyramid, and that is what is generating better family income, well-being, and happiness for the majority of the Mexican people. But it is also what is allowing us to guarantee basic and indispensable conditions for the promotion of national and foreign investment, for economic growth, job creation and, most importantly, governability and maintaining social peace.

In today’s Mexico, there are 22 million workers enrolled in the Mexican Social Security Institute, who receive an average salary of 16,284 pesos (3) per month. This has never been the case before.

When we took office, the minimum wage was 88 pesos (4) a day, now it is 207 pesos (5) a day and on the northern border it is 312 pesos (6) a day. In other words, an increase in real terms of 88 percent, something that has not been seen in the last 40 years.

We are in third place worldwide in terms of the lowest unemployment rate.

Thanks to the labor reform, among other benefits for workers, profit sharing in 2020 was 87 billion pesos (7); in 2021, 183 billion pesos (8); and last year, 214 billion pesos (9).

Since the pandemic, our economy has grown by more than three percent annually.

The peso is the currency that has strengthened the most in the world in relation to the dollar.

Foreign investment is entering the country as never before.

And the remittances sent by our fellow countrymen and women, whom we thank from the bottom of our hearts, fellow migrants, what they send to their families this year will exceed 60 billion dollars, a record figure that greatly relieves 12 million families, especially in the country’s poorest and most marginalized communities.

During the first six months of this year, we have been the main trading partner of the United States.

The Mexican Stock Exchange Index has grown by 27 percent.

Banco de México’s reserves total 203 billion dollars.

The public debt, despite the global crisis due to the pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war, has practically not grown in relation to the gross domestic product. In 2018 we received it at 43.6 percent and today it is at 44 percent, because we simply have not contracted additional credits.

What has been the key to achieving these results?

I will answer immediately and briefly, as you can see that I do not speak rapid fire. The key is not to allow corruption. It seems elementary, simple, but progress with justice in our country depends on it. Nothing has damaged Mexico more than the dishonesty of those in power.

This has been the key success of the transformation government. Unlike before, now there are no fiscal privileges for large corporations and financial companies, which did not pay taxes.

Now we are fighting huachicol (10).

No money is handed over to leaders of organizations or pseudo-leaders of social organizations or of the so-called civil society.

No onerous contracts are awarded to influence peddlers.

Republican austerity is a reality, and it is not just a slogan, a motto. Austerity is not just an administrative matter; it is a question of principle. The budget, which is the people’s money, is not being squandered.

In the Executive Branch there are no very high salaries for government officials, as there used to be, nor multi-million peso pensions for former presidents, nor private medical services, nor special savings funds for officials, nor per diem accounts, nor political tourism abroad.

The Presidential General Staff has been abolished.

The ostentatious presidential plane and nine other aircraft, as well as five helicopters for supposedly executive use, have already been sold.

In 2018 the Office of the Presidency exercised a budget of 3.60 billion pesos (11), this year we will occupy only 600 million pesos (12), six times less.

Since we took office, we have not bought a single new vehicle for government officials.

In short, we stick to what we have always said: there should be no rich government with a poor people.

Preventing corruption and not squandering the budget have allowed us to save and help, as never before, the poorest and neediest in the country. Currently, 12 million senior citizens receive a bimonthly pension of 4,800 pesos (13), and as of January of next year, the pension for senior citizens will be increased by 25 percent.

In addition, almost 1.28 million people with disabilities benefit from pensions. This program is now applied universally, that is, to everyone in 19 of the country’s states, thanks to the contributions made by the governments of Baja California, Baja California Sur, Campeche, Chiapas, Colima, Mexico City, Guerrero, Michoacán, Nayarit, Oaxaca, Puebla, Quintana Roo, San Luis Potosí, Sinaloa, Sonora, Tamaulipas, Tlaxcala, Veracruz, and Zacatecas.

The budget has been sufficient to provide direct economic support to two million small and medium-scale farmers and 200,000 fishermen.

We are now delivering one million tons of fertilizers free of charge to all small and medium-scale farmers in the country.

We continue to maintain guaranteed prices for corn, beans, wheat, and milk. We are purchasing two million tons of corn from small and medium-scale farmers at fair prices, the largest amount in the state of Sinaloa; 10,000 tons of beans, 24,000 tons of wheat, and 277,000 liters of milk.

We also continue to distribute food and similar products at low prices in Liconsa stores and Liconsa dairies (14) in communities and low-income neighborhoods.

Sembrando Vida is the best reforestation program in the world; there is no other program like it in any other country, not in Russia, China or the United States. It is benefiting 445,463 comuneros, ejidatarios (15), and small landowners who cultivate their plots of land with fruit and timber trees. There are already more than 1.11 million hectares involved in the program, more than one million hectares planted with 1.15 billion trees, with an annual investment of 37 billion pesos (16).

This year we will achieve a record production of slightly more than 300 million tons of food, which guarantees national food self-sufficiency and the progressive reduction of imports of basic food stuffs.

It is a source of pride to be able to affirm that young people previously labeled ‘ninis ‘(17), are now offered the possibility of working for a year as apprentices in workshops, restaurants, stores, businesses, and other productive activities. While they are being trained, they receive the minimum wage, 6,310 pesos (18) per month, plus medical services through the Mexican Social Security Institute.

To date, more than 2.64 million young people have gone through the Jóvenes Construyendo el Futuro program (19). What is most important is that, of these 2.64 million young people, almost 1.64 million have been hired permanently in the workplaces where they were trained or in other companies. That is, 62 percent of those who have been serviced by the program already have a permanent job.

I would like to add that since 2019… This is very important because in order to live in peace there has to be justice and the most deprived sectors of the population have to be attended to, and the youth especially have to be attended to.

Do you know how much has been invested in this program alone since we took office?

One hundred billion pesos (20), that is, 14 times more than all the money allocated to young people in the six previous presidential administrations. During that period, practically nothing was invested, and the only thing they did was to coin that discriminatory and hurtful phrase of calling them ‘ninis’, those who neither study nor work, but these governments did nothing for young people.

We are also granting 12 million scholarships to students from poor families, from preschool to graduate school, with a record annual investment of 84 billion pesos (21).

We have provided a budget directly to parents’ associations for the maintenance of 132,000 public schools under the La Escuela es Nuestra (22) program.

There are 200 universities of the ‘Benito Juarez’ system in operation, located in poverty-stricken regions of 31 states, with 1,393 teachers and 62,775 students.

The preparation of new school textbook contents with a scientific foundation and a humanistic focus was finalized. We have already distributed almost 83.64 million copies of preschool and elementary school textbooks, and almost 41.75 million copies of secondary school textbooks are being delivered.

As we all know, two state governments resorted, because they have that right to do so, to filing a constitutional challenge, and a Supreme Court justice, who also has that power, issued a ruling to prevent young students, girls, boys, from having these textbooks. However, we are awaiting the final decision and also the opinion of teachers and parents in the states of Coahuila and Chihuahua to make a final determination on this unfortunate matter. I am grateful that the majority, 30 out of 32 governors, supported the decision to deliver the free textbooks to students in basic level education.

For this and other various and well-founded reasons, I am going to propose a constitutional amendment to cleanse the Judicial Branch of complicities, conflicts of interest, shameful relations, corruption, and the massive waste of resources.

It is indispensable and urgent that judges and justices be elected directly by the people and not appointed by Mexico’s economic and political power elite. Just as mayors and governors are elected, just as city council or state assembly members, federal congressional deputies, senators and the President of the Republic are elected, so should judges and justices.

This is no minor question. The justice system must serve the people, their causes and their mandates, and not, as is the case now, operate under the premise of benefiting groups or political and economic factions, or even at the behest of criminal interests.

Meanwhile, we have helped 907,000 teachers, who have had their employment status regularized. In addition, teachers’ salaries have been increased.

I am going to tell you something. Fortunately, there is economic growth, there are jobs, salaries in general are improving and, as I have already said, there are 22 million workers registered in the Social Security system, 22 million, and the average wage of these 22 million workers, the average salary they receive is more than 16,000 (23) pesos per month, the average. But it turns out that there were teachers earning less than 16,000 pesos per month, so we made the decision that no teacher will earn less than 16,000 pesos per month, that is the minimum. As the economy grows and salaries increase across the board, teachers’ wages must also increase.

The same is true for health-care workers. We are committed to making the right to health a reality. The IMSS-Bienestar plan is already operating in 18 states to guarantee quality care, without distinction, with general practitioners, nurses, specialists, pharmaceuticals, medical studies, and surgeries, all free of charge. We are going to guarantee the right to health to all Mexicans, because health cannot be a privilege, it is a right of all Mexicans, it is a human right that we are going to fulfill.

In 18 states… Because it was a process that took us time to start:

First, because they left the entire health care system in the gutter.

Then, because everything related to health-care had to be cleansed of corruption, because there was a tremendous amount of corruption, especially in the purchase of medicines. Ten distributors –not just laboratories, manufacturers- were left with contracts to sell 100 billion pesos (24) a year to government health institutions, 10 companies had complete, absolute control. It was not possible to buy a drug abroad, the law did not allow it.

So, we had to face all these difficulties and obstacles and now we buy medicines in all the countries of the world where they are available, and that is why we are greatly improving the supply of pharmaceuticals in medical complexes and hospitals.

And, in addition, we are saving money because with the same budget we are able to guarantee all the pharmaceuticals, not only the basic list, but all the medicines needed for Mexicans. That is what is being done.

And some data: in the 18 states where we have already launched operations, the number of nurses, general practitioners, and medical specialists has already increased by 20,086. The situation was so difficult that we did not have the general practitioners the country needed, much less specialists.

We are training specialists. Ten thousand general practitioners were given scholarships or admission to train as specialists, and now there are more than 20,000 who can be trained. And we are also sending general practitioners abroad to be trained as specialists. And we are opening more medical schools, about 150 new medical schools to face the deficit of doctors and specialists.

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I was saying that we were delayed due to the bad situation of the health-care sector, because of corruption, and also as a result of the pandemic. Imagine, for two years we had to dedicate the entire health-care sector… Here I would like to thank the nurses, doctors, and health sector workers. It was terrible what we went through, we cannot forget that, it was very painful.

And we got the health system up and running, no one was left unattended, without a bed.

We obtained more than 200 million doses of vaccines. We were one of the first countries in the world to obtain vaccines, because we had resources available. In six months, we had already vaccinated all the senior citizens in Mexico with one dose.

So, all this took time and that is why we are now aiming to strengthen the public health-care system.

We have already acquired 140,483 pieces of medical equipment.

The supply of medicines that I was telling you about, just in the states where the IMSS-Bienestar program is already in place, supply is, on average, already at 97 percent of what is needed.

I would like to tell you that in two or three more months, we are going to have a pharmacy in Mexico City where all the medicines will be kept, all of them, not one will be missing, all the medicines in the world will be in that pharmacy, so that if there is no pharmaceutical in a health-care facility, in a hospital, they will contact the central pharmacy and the medicine will arrive within 24 hours. We are about to acquire a large warehouse in the State of Mexico that is being refurbished for this purpose.

I would also like to mention that so far we have regularized the employment status of 8,861 workers in the health-care sector and I will fulfill my commitment to regularize the status of all the workers in the health-care sector.

I was already certain that before the end of my term in office the health-care sector would be one of the best in the world. But now I am even more sure of this because Zoé Robledo, from the Social Security institute, which is in charge of this plan, in addition to the regular IMSS program, which attends to the Institute’s affiliates, the 20 million workers who have to receive medical attention, in addition to Social Security, is also in charge of this IMSS-Bienestar program, which is going to attend to more than 50 million Mexicans. So, we started to work with Zoé on this.

And I am also very grateful to the states, because it is a question of federalizing the health system and it is not easy for a local elected official or state governor to say: ‘No, I am the one who wants to continue managing health-care’, but since we are working together as a team and what matters most to us is the health of the people, many say: ‘Yes’ and that is where we are moving forward.

However, as you know, and as is public knowledge, as if you didn’t know, elections are coming, there are going to be elections in nine states. In addition, the Congress will be renewed, more than half of the municipalities will be renewed, mayors will also be elected, women and men, along with the President of the Republic.

So, nine states are going to have gubernatorial elections, and one of these states is Chiapas. So, Zoé was well positioned in the polls, right, and Chiapas is a state like Campeche, like Chihuahua, like Jalisco, like the 32 states, which deserve all our attention, and I thought it was a given that Zoé was going to go and do his job as a candidate, to see if he would win the opinion poll. So, yes, I was a little worried because, just imagine, changing the leadership of a program like this, which is a priority.

I did not say anything to him because I respect him very much. We are free to do as we chose and we can be useful in everything, and one should be working in what one likes, because here what counts are the convictions. So, I was already thinking about who to put in there. I mean, there are good cadres, many good cadres, but Zoé has turned out to be very good, and is also open to change.

Then, all of a sudden, about a week ago he asked me, he said he urgently wanted to talk to me, and he came and told me: ‘Look, I have already thought it through’. Among other things he told me, apart from his convictions and that he was committed to the project, he also told me: ‘And I am young’, of course, but what he told me was that he was giving up the idea of being a candidate in Chiapas and that he was going to stay and work. So, that is why now I firmly believe that we are going to deliver a good public health system.

It is also important to report that we have put the health of the people above business considerations. We have a permanent campaign against drugs, we have not authorized the sale of vapes, we have not allowed imports of transgenic corn or energy exploitation through fracking. We have not granted any concession to exploit open-pit mines and we protect the environment, as never before.

We have reoriented the objectives of Conacyt (25), which had been placed at the service of large companies, and now gives priority to promoting research for vaccines and medical equipment, seeking options to replace glyphosate and other agrochemicals that are harmful to people’s health. Conacyt is working to determine the damage that transgenic corn can cause to health and is developing new technologies to exploit lithium, which is now the property of the nation.

In cultural matters, we have a new approach that basically consists of attending first to the indigenous communities. That is why plans for justice are being implemented among all the indigenous peoples of the country. We cannot venerate the indigenous people who built the great palaces, the beautiful archeological centers, and despise and not attend to the indigenous people of today, who are the most intimate, the deepest truth of our country. That is why there are these comprehensive plans underway to support the indigenous ethnic groups, the country’s indigenous cultures.

We also continue rescuing and conserving archaeological sites, as well as recovering pieces that have been stolen or transferred abroad, very important artefacts that have been recovered. We are grateful to the governments of other countries that have delivered these artefacts to us:

The government of Italy sends its police, the carabinieri, to auctions and, if the pieces are stolen, they recover them and send them to us.

And the government of the United States has just done the same -and here is the ambassador, and we are grateful for this- with an Olmec artefact from 1,000, 1,500 years B.C., which is already being exhibited in Morelos, very close to the site where it was found. We are continuing with this.

Historical documents, archives, and libraries are also being rescued. The building that will be the headquarters of the important National Agrarian Archive is under construction in downtown Mexico City.  Imagine what is in the nation’s agrarian archive; it is the second most important archive in Mexico and one of the most important in the world.

Publishing efforts continue. The Fondo de Cultura Económica has published and printed more than 15.11 million books.

And I would also like to thank those who organize and implement the ‘Fandangos por la Lectura’ program (26) throughout the country, including my partner and wife Beatriz.

We have declared nature reserves on a total of 132,000 hectares and an additional four million hectares are in the process of being added to the total.

We have also promoted sports, supporting our athletes with scholarships, creating schools, and building sports facilities. So far, we have completed work on 292 basketball and volleyball courts, 10 boxing gyms, 163 soccer fields, 67 baseball fields, 24 athletic tracks, and 11 swimming pools.

Neighborhoods and towns have been improved with the construction and repair of almost 3.20 million homes and apartments, as well as parks, markets, seawalls, and other urban work projects in municipalities in the north, center and south of the country. We are 95 percent on target in the rehabilitation of 62,971 homes, health-care centers, schools, buildings, and temples affected by the 2017 and 2018 earthquakes, with an investment of almost 15.83 billion pesos (27).

The former Los Pinos Official Presidential Residence has been joined to Chapultepec Forest, which now, with the land donated by the Ministry of National Defense, extends to the old town of Santa Fe, founded by Vasco de Quiroga. In this extensive area of 800 hectares there is enough space for the enjoyment of nature, the recreation of history, culture, art, and for practicing various sports.

We are doing the same with the rescue of land and the emblematic Texcoco Lake.

Some 11,548 communities can now connect to the world wide web through the Internet for Wellbeing program and there is total coverage. This includes all companies, especially private businesses, all operators, 118 million inhabitants already receive this service and can now connect to the Internet.

We are installing fiber optic cable and erecting 12,600 antennas throughout the country to achieve our goal of making the Internet available to 94 percent of Mexicans by March of next year.

We have never stopped supporting victims of floods, landslides, fires or any other natural phenomenon or disaster. Here I would like to acknowledge the support we have always received both from Plan DN-III of the Ministry of National Defense and Plan Marina of the Ministry of the Navy.

I would also like to thank many workers, especially the electrical workers. Do you know that they are among the best in the world? They deal with a hurricane, and we have to keep that in mind, and in two, three, at most five days, service is restored.

It would not be possible -this is a major lesson- to rescue Mexico without the workers, be they electricians, oil workers, doctors, teachers, workers in general. That is why we always admire and respect them.

The policy of zero corruption and republican austerity has enabled us to carry out many work projects without resorting to contracting debt or the so-called public-private partnerships, which allow private businesses, but at the expense of the treasury. Now, without these operations, 53 rural roads involving a combined total of 1,752 kilometers and 416 artisan roads with an extension of 4,175 kilometers, built with the hands of women and men from the communities and towns of deep Mexico, have been completed or are in the process of being built.

We have built and are about to complete these roads without charging the users, which used to be the case, and we are about to finish toll-free highways totaling 1,044 kilometers.

Since last year, we have inaugurated the magnificent ‘Felipe Ángeles’ airport, we have rehabilitated the Chetumal and Tuxtla Gutiérrez airports, we are permanently maintaining the ‘Benito Juárez’ airport in Mexico City. In addition, we are building the new International Airport in Tulum, Quintana Roo, which will bear the name of ‘Felipe Carrillo Puerto’, and we are about to start operating this beautiful airport by the end of this year.

We will also inaugurate the Maya Train in December. As you already know, there are 20 stations and 14 stops. The train line will connect towns, transport passengers and national and foreign tourists quickly and safely through five states in the southeast. These passengers will be able to visit a mystical and beautiful region of beaches, tropical rain forest, flora, native fauna and majestic cities of ancient Mexico, both pre-Hispanic and this beautiful colonial city of Campeche.

Today, this 1,554-kilometer long work project is the most important one being built worldwide. Its importance not only resides in its civil and railway engineering aspects, but also with its economic, ecological, touristic, and cultural dimension.

Here I would like to thank the companies that are working on the construction of the Maya Train because they have fulfilled their commitment, they are doing a very good quality job, and it is a source of pride that Mexico’s civil engineering is once again on display, as it was in the past.

We are also rehabilitating the railroad lines from Palenque to Coatzacoalcos, from this port, that is from Coatzacoalcos, to Salina Cruz, and from Ixtepec to Ciudad Hidalgo, Chiapas, on the border with Guatemala.

The ports of Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz; Salina Cruz, Oaxaca; Puerto Chiapas, and the port of Guaymas, Sonora, are being modernized.

Five industrial parks of 300 hectares each have already been put up for bidding in the isthmus and five more will be auctioned in November, with fiscal benefits and guaranteed water, electricity, and gas supply for the installation of companies and job creation.

It is a source of pride to be able to say that passenger trains will return to Mexico, because it is these trains, plus those of Jalisco, whose governor is here; and the new train in Nuevo Leon.

Governor Alfredo del Mazo (28) is here. We are about to inaugurate the train line, the first stage of the Toluca-Mexico City Train Line. It has already been named, it has already been baptized. Because there is the Las Cruces hill, where Hidalgo made a historic decision because he had Mexico City to seize, he had many soldiers, many people. It was almost the consummation of independence, but he was a humanist and thought there were going to be many dead and he did not make the decision, and that is why the consummation of independence was extended over time.

Hidalgo was not spared since he was shot by a firing squad shortly thereafter in Chihuahua and was beheaded. And since he had proposed the abolition of slavery, Hidalgo’s head was exhibited for 10 years in the main square of Guanajuato as an example.

In memory of this rebellious priest, who is the father of our country, the Toluca-Mexico City Train will be called ‘El Insurgente’.

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We have already halted the 15 consecutive years of decline in the oil industry. At the end of 2018, only 1.70 million barrels per day were being extracted and, had that trend continued, we would have been importing crude oil. Now we produce 1.90 million barrels per day; we managed to rescue oil industry activity in terms of crude production.

The six refineries we inherited have been repaired and have received maintenance with an investment of 70 billion pesos (290). As a result, their production has increased from 38 to 60 percent of installed capacity.

The Deer Park refinery, which we purchased in Houston, has been paid for and processes 340,000 barrels per day.

Today, the new Dos Bocas refinery is going to start producing oil products. That’s right, isn’t it, Rocío? And by the end of the year this refinery will be producing an average of 290,000 barrels of gasoline per day.

In addition, the Tula coker plant will be completed in December and the Salina Cruz plant in July of next year. Right, Guadalupe? Both with an investment of 6.50 billion dollars and with a capacity to convert fuel oil into 160,000 barrels per day of higher quality and less polluting fuels and gasoline.

In 2018 we imported 900,000 barrels per day of gasoline, 900,000 barrels per day we purchased in 2018 on average, which corresponded to 80 percent of national consumption when we took office. By the end of this year we are going to be importing only 250,000 barrels per day, which represents 20 percent of national consumption.

The plan is that next year we will not buy gasoline or diesel abroad, and that all crude oil will be processed here to provide added value to our raw material, maintaining low fuel prices for the benefit of consumers. We have kept our word, as the price of gasoline, diesel, gas, and electricity has not increased, taxes have not increased, and no new taxes have been created.

I would also like to report -I am finishing, right?- I would also like to report that the expansion program of the Federal Electricity Commission includes the construction of 12 combined cycle plants. Two new combined cycle plants are being built in the Yucatan Peninsula and we are going to inaugurate them next year. Right, Licenciado Bartlett?

We have already inaugurated the first stage of a solar power plant and are in the process of modernizing 20 hydroelectric plants that are replacing turbines and equipment, with an investment of 9.50 billion dollars.

In addition, we purchased 13 electric power generation plants from the Spanish company Iberdrola for six billion dollars, thus carrying out a new nationalization of the electric power industry.

This will allow us to ensure that next year the Federal Electricity Commission, a public company that the previous authorities were bent on destroying, will be left with an electricity generation capacity corresponding to 60 percent of total national consumption, guaranteeing this service to all Mexican households, without this meaning an increase in real terms in electricity rates.

Here I would like to add that, in response to the request made to us by Governor Layda Sansores San Roman (30) … Stand up, you stand up. Because of the request made to us by Governor Layda, the Campeche power plant will be modernized with gas plants and a low rate will be applied to consumers, as occurs in other states in the country with very hot weather.

In the area of public security, our strategy of addressing the causes of violence is working well, applying the principle that peace is the fruit of justice. Federal crimes have been reduced by 24 percent, homicides by 17 percent, robberies by 26 percent, femicides by 29 percent, vehicle theft by 44 percent, and kidnappings by 80 percent.

The National Guard, this new institution that has just marked its fourth anniversary, now has 128,000 well-trained, disciplined, and dedicated members focused on guaranteeing peace and public safety, always under the guidance of the Ministry of National Defense.

I would like to thank Minister General Sandoval and Admiral Ojeda for their support. The Ministry of  Defense and the Ministry of the Navy have given us tremendous support, not only in questions of public security, but also in civil protection, customs control, monitoring ports, airports, Pemex facilities, in the construction of 2,564 branches of the Banco del Bienestar (31), in building hospitals, in the distribution and application of vaccines, in delivering textbooks, in the construction of 320 barracks, in the construction of aqueducts, canals, and an irrigation network in Nayarit.

They have helped quite us a bit, both the Navy and the Ministry of Defense, in cleaning the beaches. In the case of Quintana Roo, the Ministry of the Navy has helped us to clean the beaches of Sargasso. This is a project that we very much appreciate because tourism is a very important activity for Quintana Roo and for all of Mexico, and the beaches continue to be beautiful and clean.

We also receive help from the Ministry of the Navy in dredging rivers.

They are helping us, both the Navy and the Ministry of Defense, in the creation of ecological parks, in the construction of hotels, docks, in laying railroad tracks for the Maya Train and for the Isthmus and Southeastern Railroad, as well as in the upcoming operation of the airline, which is quite a development, as Mexicana de Aviación will be flying again in November.

In short, instead of militarizing the country, as our opponents claim, we are showing that the marines and soldiers are uniformed citizens, exemplary public servants, loyal workers and patriots.

The same can be said for the members, women and men, of the cabinet of all the institutions of the government, which have to do with the Executive Branch. They are thousands of women and men who help me in the complex, but rewarding, humanist task of governing for the benefit of the people.

I would also like to take this opportunity to express that, unlike what occurred during the neoliberal or neoporfirista governments, the people are no longer repressed, massacres are not ordered. Sometimes you might not like that I say this, but these things should not be repeated, brute force should never again be used to deal with social problems. Now the people are not repressed, massacres are not ordered, there is no torture, no one is disappeared, the violation of human rights is not tolerated, and there is no narco-State.

Friends:

In this 5th State of the Nation Report, and 13 months before the end of my term in office, I can demonstrate that with a dignified and hardworking people and an honest and austere government, it is possible to live together in a better, fairer, freer, more fraternal, and more egalitarian society.

Furthermore, we have reaffirmed our main hypothesis that corruption was the main cause of economic and social inequality, I have always said so. In the social sciences it is taught that inequality is produced because the bourgeois, the owner of the means of production keeps the profits, the surplus value, exploiting the worker, the proletarian, that is the essence of the explanation of the accumulation of wealth; but that does not apply at all in our country because here, unfortunately, inequality arose because corruption prevailed for a long time. We have to learn that lesson well. Corruption is not a pandemic, it is a plague and we need to put an end to it, to eradicate it, because the well-being, tranquility, and peace of our country and our people depend on it. That is what we are demonstrating.

In addition, we have also considered it important that our dream has become a reality. Together and from the bottom on up we have managed to reduce poverty and inequality. Poverty and inequality have been reduced, something that had not happened in Mexico for decades.

Both the information released by Inegi (32) and Coneval (33) coincide in indicating that from 2018 to 2022 the reduction in poverty rates was 5.6 percentage points, decreasing from 41.9 to 36.3, that was the reduction in poverty. This means that, despite the downturn in the economy due to the pandemic and despite the Russia-Ukraine war, which produced economic and financial instability in the world, especially inflation, the public policies of our government managed to lift five million people out of poverty. But, in addition, in the four years, from 2018 to 2022, income inequality between the richest and poorest households was reduced from 18X to 15X.

Now, if we compare income inequality per person between 2010, when Calderón was in office, and 2022, it has been reduced from 36X to 17X, i.e., it has been cut by half.

In addition, I would like to emphasize that, even though from 2018 to 2022 poverty and inequality were reduced, in practically all the country’s states, the most benefited have been the southern and southeastern states:

Chiapas, for example, ranked first in the country in terms of poverty reduction, with a 10.6 percent decrease; in Tabasco poverty was reduced by 9.9 percent, in Hidalgo by 8.9 percent, in Veracruz by 8.5 percent, in Guerrero by 7.5 percent, in Oaxaca poverty was reduced by 5.9 percent, in Yucatan by 5.2 percent, in Puebla by 4 percent, in Campeche by 3.9 percent, and in Quintana Roo by 3.2 percent.

In addition to other factors such as wage increases and the growth in remittances, in these states with greater poverty levels, living and working conditions were also consciously improved because they also received more resources from the budget through the Well-Being programs, and at the same time they have been the most benefited by public investment. National public investment increased from 500 billion pesos (34) in 2018 to one trillion pesos (35) in this current year of 2023, that is, double what was invested in 2018.

I would also like to clarify that the fact that poverty and inequality have decreased does not mean that those at the top have done badly. Indeed, businessmen, including bankers, have also obtained reasonable, lawful profits. And this is also important to know, most companies and all banks have done very well, in some cases they have obtained record high profits.

Therefore, I would also like to confirm what we have been saying: up with those at the bottom, which does not necessarily mean down with those at the top, but rather down with privileges.

And also, why the development of the southeast? Because it was just and necessary. The southeast had been neglected for a long time. It was an unbalanced growth, the north grew at annual rates of four percent, the center at two percent per year, and the southeast at zero, and for decades many states were below zero, that is, there was negative growth. So, what are we doing? — allocating more public investment to the south-southeast, balancing the scales.

We want those who live in the north to do well; they deserve it. We want those who live in the center of the country to do well; and we also want justice and for those who live in the south and southeast Mexico to do well.

In the time remaining before the end of our term in office, we will continue with the same strategy: attending to everyone, respecting everyone, but giving preference to the poorest and neediest, because we must internalize well what our motto means, the principle that, for the good of all, for the good of all, the poor come first.

We will continue advancing towards the inspiring ideals of democracy, true democracy, justice, equality, liberty, fraternity, and sovereignty.

No corruption, no extravagances, no, zero, authoritarianism, no classism, no racism, no discrimination.

Democracy yes, oligarchy no; honesty yes, corruption no; justice and fraternity yes, poverty and inequality no.

Long live Campeche!

CHORUS OF VOICES: Viva!

PRESIDENT ANDRÉS MANUEL LÓPEZ OBRADOR: Long live Mexico!

CHORUS OF VOICES: Viva!

PRESIDENT ANDRÉS MANUEL LÓPEZ OBRADOR: Long live Mexico!

CHORUS OF VOICES: Viva!

PRESIDENT ANDRÉS MANUEL LÓPEZ OBRADOR: Long live Mexico!

CHORUS OF VOICES: Viva!

Mexico City, September 1, 2023

Translated by Pedro Gellert F.

TRANSLATOR’S NOTES:

  1. “Toma tu Champotón – A local expression, referring to the battle of Champotón in Campeche, in which the Spanish invaders were defeated, and today is the greatest emblematic expression of the resistance mounted by the Indigenous peoples. The expression evokes the lesson of dignity and respect.
  2. Neo-porfirista model refers to the Porfiriato, the period of Porfirio Díaz’s presidency of Mexico (1876–80; 1884–1911), an era of dictatorial rule.
  3. 16,284 pesos = US$952.74
  4. 88 pesos = US$5.14
  5. 207 pesos = US$12.11
  6. 312 pesos = US$18.25
  7. 87 pesos = US$5.09
  8. 183 pesos = US$10.07
  9. 214 pesos = US$12,52}
  10. Huachicol refers to massive fuel theft from pipelines and refineries
  11. 3.6 billion pesos = US$210 million
  12. 600 million pesos = US$35.10 million
  13. 4,800 pesos = US$280.83
  14. Liconsa – state company that distributes milk at subsidized prices
  1. Comuneros and ejidatarios are peasant farmers who work socially and collectively owned and administered land.
  2. 37 billion pesos = US$2.16 billion
  3. Ninis – young people who neither work or are enrolled in school
  4. 6,310 pesos = US$369.18
  5. Jovenes Construyendo el Futuro – A government social program aimed at disadvantaged youth
  6. 100 billion pesos = US$5.85 billion
  7. 84 billion pesos = US$4.91 billion
  8. La Escuela es Nuestra – Program that promotes parent and community participation in running public schools with the aim of improving the installations and education.
  9. 16,000 pesos = US$93
  10. 100 billion pesos = US$5.85 billion
  11. Conacyt –  National Council of Science and Technology
  12. Fandangos por la Lectura – Cultural events in which there are readings, workshops, and music. The aim is to promote cultural awareness and participation.
  13. 15.83 billion pesos = US$920 million
  14. Alfredo del Mazo – Governor of the State of Mexico
  15. 70 billion pesos = US$4.09 billion
  16. Layda Sansores – Governor of Campeche
  17. Banco de Bienestar – government bank that disburses cash transfers from Well-Being programs directly to their recipients, eliminating intermediaries.
  18. INEGI – National Statistics Institute
  19. Conceval –  National Council for the Evaluation of Social Development Policy
  20. 500 billion pesos = US$29.25 billion pesos
  21. 1 trillion pesos = US$58.50 billion