Tension between companies due to the amparo reform and the endorsement of the hydrocarbon law

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The private sector in Mexico is once again going through a moment of concern and tension in the face of legislative changes. First, Congress approved a reform that prevents the general paralysis of laws and acts declared unconstitutional in amparo proceedings, a resource that companies commonly resort to to avoid an interruption of their operations while a process is carried out. Later, the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN) endorsed the Hydrocarbons Law that allows parastatals to enter and operate facilities of private competitors. One of the judges in the vote described this figure as an “indirect expropriation.” “This is a moment of transcendental decisions that will impact any investment made in the future in Mexico,” says Julia González, energy partner at the González Calvillo firm in Mexico City. While the Government promotes the “Mexican moment” from the Ministry of Economy to attract foreign investments that want to leave China, these laws generate uncertainty in part of the private sector. This is also what representatives of global companies in the country say. “Mexico is experiencing an unbeatable moment to attract productive investments as a result of the relocation of international production chains,” said more than 60 global companies that operate in Mexico as part of the Executive Council group. of Global Enterprises (CEEG). Last year closed with record numbers of direct foreign investment inflows into the country. «In this context, reforms like this are detrimental to the objective of providing optimal conditions for attracting new investments and establishing new companies in the country, since the legal structures that allow them to defend themselves against acts that could be considered violating are weakened. of their rights.” In their statement, the 60 companies represented by CEEG, including AT&T, Pepsico, General Motors, Siemens, among others, said they were “concerned” about the Amparos Law. “Its effects are detrimental to any citizen's access to legal mechanisms that allow them to defend themselves against possible violations of their human rights or against any unconstitutional act,” says the CEEG statement. This reform has not been published in the Official Gazette of the Federation, so it has not yet come into effect. Some opposition legislators have said that they will turn to the CSJN to reverse it. For its part, the energy sector entered a new stage of uncertainty after the SCJN endorsed a reform passed in 2021 that allows the State to indefinitely suspend permits private companies and state companies, the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) and Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) to supplant their operations. ”At any moment CFE and Pemex can arrive and they will be able to operate your facilities,” explains González, “that figure is the one that seemed critical to me and the same (court minister, Javier) Lainez said in yesterday's session that to He said that was an indirect expropriation. Of all the modifications, that is the one that surprises me that the Court has not declared unconstitutional.” “That is what seems most serious to me and if I were an investor, that would be what would worry me the most about all of this.” , warned González. The fragility of the Rule of Law was the most talked about topic of conversation during the Banking Convention that recently brought together some 1,500 executives from the sector with officials from the Government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador. Under this administration, controversial confrontations have been carried out with private companies, including the forced takeover of a section of Grupo México's railroad tracks, owned by billionaire Germán Larrea; the expropriation of a hydrogen plant owned by the French company Air Liquide and for the benefit of Pemex; and the threat to the mirena Vulcan in the Yucatan peninsula that it will declare the area in which it operates as “protected natural heritage” to force them to stop their operations. “Global Companies respectfully call on the Federal Executive so that, in the exercise of «the CEEG statement says. “Mexico needs a solid and effective justice system that provides its citizens with instruments to guarantee their rights. This reform goes in the opposite direction of that,” he concludes. Subscribe to the EL PAÍS México newsletter and the WhatsApp channel and receive all the key information on current events in this country.

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