Citizens demand to be consulted on reform approval

By Oswalo Mejia

During the last week of January, Mexican actor Daniel Giménez Cacho, known for El Callejón de los Milagros (Midaq Alley) and Arráncame la vida (Tear This Heart Out), led the “Maratónico Festejo,” a festival organized by the artistic movement called “El grito más fuerte” (The Loudest Scream), which seeks to raise public awareness regarding important changes and reforms in the country through cultural and informational events.

The goal of the festival was to collect signatures to petition for a referendum on energy reform. The gathering was held in Plaza de Santo Domingo, in the historic center of Mexico City; musical groups performed and invited attendees to sign petitions available at tables set up around the square.

“The idea is to make the politicians ask us our opinion about the reforms to the law, because the future of the country is involved in those sorts of reforms. said Giménez Cacho in an interview: “Therefore, citizens must participate and, of course, be informed. The law states in Article 35 of the Constitution that if two percent of registered voters petition for a consultation, the chambers are required to ask the IFE to perform such a consultation at the next election, which is in 2015,”

“Now that Peña Nieto’s energy reform has been approved, we are calling on actors, actresses and major media figures to join a campaign to demand that we be asked about this reform. It is not a request made by a group of people; it is a constitutional right for Mexicans,” explained the actor.

“Recently the PRI leader in the Senate, Emilio Gamboa, flatly declared that the PRI and PAN wanted the reform and the PRD didn’t.  But then, where is the opinion of the citizens? What they want does not matter?

I think this is true because this man said that the consultation may not revoke the reform already approved,” he said.

To the question whether it is possible to reverse a reform that has been approved, Giménez Cacho answered: “The law states that such consultation has a revoking power, so there is indeed an opportunity to amend Peña Nieto’s initiative. Regarding whether there is a legal framework to question the law, I think we will meet many obstacles, but in the end, it is a democratic exercise that is performed for the first time, and the intention is to make the politicians and the government listen to us. People distrust politicians, and we think this will help to catch the attention of the social sector that is not politicized. We need the support of Mexicans who have suffered with inefficient reforms that have seriously affected the economy and life in the country.”

The actor said that in 1917 the Constitution was amended, promising that peasants would progress, and the result is a campo full of violence and poverty. “Part of public television was privatized and we have a duopoly; telephone service was privatized and now we have the richest man in the world providing an expensive service; banks were privatized and through a bail-out they were saved, only to be resold, he said “Why, if it didn’t work before, will it work this time?”

The struggle will continue, and we expect those who are interested and in the future of the country will make a great effort because the challenge is huge and fundamental for Mexicans,” he concluded.


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