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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Mexico’s ruling social gathering sweeps mine reform, different payments to legislation

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MEXICO CITY — Mexico’s Senate has authorized a wide-ranging reform of legal guidelines governing the mining trade, together with a requirement that firms pay 5% of income to native communities.

The mining invoice was amongst 18 items of laws, some controversial, that had been handed in a frenzied rush late Friday and early Saturday.

The payments had been authorized with little or no debate, based mostly on votes by solely senators from Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s Morena social gathering and its allies. The opposition occupied the Senate’s regular headquarters to protest a scarcity of debate, so the Morena senators and allies met in another chamber.

The brand new mining legislation reduces the utmost size of concessions from 50 to 30 years, and punishes hypothesis by permitting authorities to cancel concessions if no work is completed on them inside two years.

The mining trade, a lot of it international and in a substantial quantity Canadian, has drawn complaints due to ecological harm, hypothesis and the truth that communities across the mines stay among the many poorest in Mexico.

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Many firms, particularly smaller “minor” firms listed on Canadian exchanges, do exploratory work, estimate the presence of minerals after which do nothing, ready to promote the concession to a bigger participant. Lots of the properties contain gold or silver deposits.

Giant Mexican firms dominate mining for copper and another metals.

The Senate additionally authorized a invoice mandating 10 to fifteen yr jail sentences for individuals who produce the artificial opioid fentanyl in Mexico or who present precursor chemical substances largely imported from China. It makes drug manufacturing a separate crime, along with possession.

Maybe extra controversially, the senators authorized a invoice to switch the nation’s science and expertise fee — which arms out analysis grants and different funding — to incorporate representatives from the Military and Navy on its board.

The brand new framework would additionally explicitly give precedence to researchers at state-run universities over non-public ones.

Below one other invoice, the army would acquire a dominant function in offering safety within the nation’s airspace, and would even be allowed to function a industrial airline. That represents a possible battle, because the military can even be allowed to function civilian airports, and Mexican legislation prohibits and airport operator from additionally working an airline.

López Obrador has vastly expanded the army’s function to every thing from constructing tasks to working firms.

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