AMLO: Closing of institutes and social programs in suspense: the changes of the Government in 2022

The president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, in his morning conference this Monday.
The president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, in his morning conference this Monday.Mexican Presidency HANDOUT (EFE)

2022 begins with the reconfiguration of the federal Administration with the disappearance of institutes and a dozen social programs in suspense. In the last minutes of December 31, by decree, the president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, ordered the disappearance of the National Institute for Social Development (Indesol). The elimination of the institute, created in 1994 during the PRI government of Carlos Salinas, suspends a dozen social programs aimed at women victims of sexist violence, gender inclusion and in favor of the professionalization of civil associations. While members of the groups have condemned this measure, López Obrador has defended his decision under the argument that it seeks to “avoid waste, superfluous expenses, duplication of functions.”

In the decree that eliminates Indesol, published in the Official Gazette of the Federation, it is detailed that its human, financial and material resources, as well as its files, documentation and bibliographic collections will be transferred to the General Directorate for Well-being and Social Cohesion , within a maximum period of 90 business days. López Obrador assured this Monday in the National Palace that in Mexico there were many institutions that did not help people. “The budget stayed with the Government because there were institutions for everything, they created offices, institutions, trusts, general directors, area directors, department heads, advisers, travel allowances, offices and there was the money supposedly destined for the people,” he declared. .

In contrast, members of civil society have condemned the disappearance of Indesol. Former deputy Martha Tagle has emphasized that Indesol played a relevant role in the professionalization of groups with its training tasks and describes its elimination as the “last blow” that this Government gives to civil organizations. “The only social policy that interests this government are client programs and it is not interested in any intermediation of organized civil society,” he says.

The also activist adds that this decree, under the argument of budget savings, supposes the centralization of social programs by the Government, to the detriment of the autonomous bodies. “It has never been a question of savings, although he handles it as a matter of austerity, it is that López Obrador does not like organizations with a certain autonomy,” he says.

Through its social networks, the association Red Nacional de Refugios, has also regretted the closure of this space: “The NGOs of Mexico receive 2022 with the unfortunate publication of the Decree by which Indesol 1992-2021 disappears. A serious setback in Human Rights and democracy. The sustenance given for their permanence did not matter, once again ignoring putting rights at the center ”, the group wrote on its Twitter account.

Added to the rejection of civil organizations is uncertainty about the possibility that the National Institute of Indigenous Languages ​​(Inali) will suffer the same fate. Last week a project by the Executive was announced for the institution, of a decentralized nature, to disappear and its functions to be absorbed by the National Institute of Indigenous Peoples (INPI). Since the end of last year the institute was required to provide information on its performance with a view to its eventual disappearance, the director of Inali, Juan Gregorio Refugio, has acknowledged in an interview with EL PAÍS: “It is part of the administrative adjustments that the president of the Republic ”, he says.

The director assures that far from the duplication of functions, the operation of the Institute is pertinent given the results they have obtained in the last 15 years: the catalog of indigenous languages, an Atlas of Indigenous Languages, writing standards for more than 17 languages, and 12 more in process, and the generation of public policies in favor of languages ​​and their dissemination in the country. “The Institute carries out activities that no other institution does, we could not be talking about duplicating actions, therefore, its creation, its actions and its continuity are more than justified,” says the director and writer of the Mazatec language. For this year, the Inali has an assigned budget of 71 million pesos.

Rubí Huerta, a Purépecha poet, points out the disappearance of Inali would mean a setback, the loss of a space that was won in favor of indigenous rights in our country more than a decade ago. “As a speaker and researcher of my mother tongue, having known Inali since its inception seems like a serious mistake to me. The contribution made by the Institute has been to make visible, in a country as racist as Mexico, it has been to make visible the linguistic diversity of our Mexico ”, he concludes.

After the controversy generated both by members of collectives, cultural and indigenous groups, the Ministry of Culture has defended the project to merge the institutes under the argument that the community infrastructure that the National Institute of Indigenous Peoples has would allow “a greater scope and impact of the actions of study, institutionalization and safeguarding of the national Indigenous languages ​​”. In the middle of his term, the López Obrador government begins this year with an “administrative reform” that, from the trench of civil associations, poses the threat of fewer resources for decentralized groups and organizations, as well as greater interference by the Executive in the social policy.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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