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Feature 020816 Pazos

Monday, February 8, 2016

Mexico's Reform of its Federal District – Negative and Banal

By Luis Pazos

The recent political reform, which involves creating another Constitution and changing the name to the Federal District (D.F.) to Mexico City, is another example of the ease the political parties have to tamper with the Constitution through pacts or protagonism, with no benefit to the citizenry.  Most federal and state legislators who voted in favor of that reform ignored the problems it will lead to in the future, such as the conflict of laws and leaving the security of the seat of [federal] power in the hands of a municipality or state. 

The Constitution of the United States reserves a territory, Washington D.C., as the seat of federal powers for security and responsibility, with direct authority of the federal government; in Mexico, ignoring these fundamental reasons, a political reform has been approved that only represents a new distribution of power, more bureaucracy, and greater spending at the expense of taxpayers. Just to pay the cost of the pompous "constituent assembly," where presumably a new "progressive" and "left" Constitution will emerge, an initial budget of $100 million pesos [US$5.4 million] will be allocated.

Its promoters say it will fulfill the desire of the majority of the inhabitants of Mexico City to have a Constitution, which is false; what they want is a city with better services, lower taxes, fewer regulations, less fines, more security, and less theft and extortion by its many agencies. They talk about having already registered the new name of "Mexico City," since it is mentioned in the Constitution of [1917]. It appears that the authors of this show did not read Article 44 of the Constitution, which, since 1993, states: "Mexico City is the Federal District seat of the powers of the Union and capital of the United Mexican States…." In the absence of serious and solid arguments, in order to create laws that will bring about conflicts of competence, more regulations and spending they want to sell citizens the tale of rescuing or incorporating a name that already exists. 

So that they will be "free and sovereign," it will perhaps serve only those who govern to siphon off resources and more easily run up debt, as various governors have done.


Luis Pazos (e-mail:, who heads the Free Enterprise Research Center (CISLE) in Mexico City, holds a master's degree in Public Finance and a doctorate in Law from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).  A prolific writer and forethoughtful analyst, Dr. Pazos' commentaries on Mexican economics, finance and politics have appeared in newspapers and magazines throughout the Americas.  As well, he is the author of numerous books.  Edited translation by

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