Mexico's historic Oil Reform
could plunge the country in even more poverty and misery,
and protected natural areas would lose that status
June 19, 2014 - Mexico is among the world’s top oil producers, but it’s seen oil production hobbled over the past decade. By this summer, approval of legislation tied to the country’s energy reform could not only change the landscape for Mexico’s energy sector, but it could indeed also change its bio diverse and protected landscapes and even plunge the country in even more poverty and misery.
President Enrique Peña Nieto announced the reform package in August 2013, Congress passed the reform in December, and then a majority of 31 state legislatures approved it. Currently, Congress is debating the secondary legislation, a package of 21 laws that govern the nuts and bolts of how the reform will be implemented. Legislators are set to conclude the debate on June 23 and plan to vote on the reform before the end of the month, though the debate may extend further depending on talks between the three parties. Following the passage of this legislation, the Mexican government will hold its first auctions starting in 2015, when private companies may bid on prospective fields.
As Mexican congressman Javier Treviño recently stated, Mexico’s energy reform is “historic, real, and transformational.” It would indeed be "transformational" as protected natural areas would lose that status if the secondary laws would be approved.
"The Hydrocarbon Law, the Mining Act, the Geothermal Energy Act, the Electricity Industry Act and the Regulatory Bodies Responsible Energy Coordinated contain provisions to eliminatethe protection they currently have as Cabo Pulmo National Parks, Biosphere Reserves as Isla Guadalupe, El Pinacate, Montes Azules and the Lacandon Jungle, and the Wildlife Protection Area Holbox."
and demands that the legislators amend the articles that threaten Mexico's biodiversity and ecosystems.
Mexico’s oil sector is crucial to the country’s economy and is also vital for the United States. Mexico is the third-largest exporter of petroleum to the United States after Canada and Saudi Arabia, representing 10 percent of U.S. imports. Nevertheless, Mexico’s production has declined from 3.4 million barrels per day in 2004 to 2.5 million barrels in 2014.
Considering that at least 250,000 people were evicted due to infrastructure works to host the World Cup, with an explicit objective of expelling the lower classes outside of the centers of the cities that are the headquarters of the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games, it should not come as a surprise that the 'leyes secundarias' (secondary laws) appendix of the new laws contain also potential violations of Fundamental Rights as the government could simply expropriate, withdraw, deprive, cease... call it "steal" land and rights from Mexican citizens and public authorities on behalf of electrical and oil related foreign companies where some Mexican officials are partners as well.