SUMMARY – MORNING PRESIDENTIAL PRESS CONFERENCE – MONDAY, DECEMBER 18, 2023

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador expressed his solidarity with the families of the 12 young people murdered in Salvatierra, Guanajuato. He indicated that this was a heinous crime that the government and the Prosecutor’s Office of that state are already investigating. In addition, due to the panorama of violence and homicides in the state, he insisted that prosecutor Carlos Zamarripa, who has been in office for more than 13 years, must be replaced.

The head of the Executive Branch said that the Supreme Court’s (SCJN) decision that the National Guard will under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Security and Citizen Protection as of January 1, 2024, will be complied with. Nevertheless, the President reiterated that a bill will be presented for the National Guard to be part of the Ministry of National Defense (Sedena).

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President López Obrador’s proposal to reform the Judicial Branch will include a provision that current justices may participate as candidates so that the people can decide whether or not they should continue in office. The bill will also define terms of office for judges and justices and will establish the creation of a Tribunal to oversee compliance.

Today, President López Obrador will inaugurate the Santa María dam in Sinaloa. The water will be earmarked for irrigation, urban public use, and has the potential to generate electricity. With the addition of this dam, irrigated land will increase to 743,000 hectares, which will benefit 91,000 users. “In 5 years, the increase in irrigated surface area will be greater than what was accomplished in more than 30 years of the neoliberal period. […] There will be 100,000 hectares throughout the country”, he explained.

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The head of the National Water Commission (Conagua), Germán Martínez, explained that the Santa María dam had a total cost of almost 9.66 billion pesos (US$650.16 million), of which 7.32 billion pesos (US$424 million) were invested in current administration. The construction of the dam generated more than 4,000 jobs and will benefit 2,551 agricultural producers.