Friday, December 1, 2023

As new governors take office, so begin accusations against their predecessors

Six new governors have accused their predecessors of leaving their states in financial ruin, a common occurrence following any election.

The governors of Chihuahua, Zacatecas, Nayarit, Sonora, Campeche and San Luis Potosí expressed discontent with the economic situations they inherited.

María Eugenia Campos, National Action Party (PAN) governor in Chihuahua, said that Javier Corral, who also represented the PAN, bequeathed her an 11-billion-peso (US $536.3 million) debt owed to government suppliers.

“Corral’s government lived on short term loans and when it couldn’t go into more debt it started to survive on credit,” she said. “We plan to begin paying suppliers [but] there are so many of them.”

Campos, who took office on September 8, recently applied for an 800-million-peso loan to start paying off debts, the newspaper Reforma reported.

Ex-governor of Chihuahua Javier Corral, left, and incoming governor María Eugenia Campos, right.
Ex-governor of Chihuahua Javier Corral, left, and incoming governor María Eugenia Campos, right.

David Monreal, the new Morena party governor in Zacatecas, accused his Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) predecessor Alejandro Tello of leaving the state’s coffers empty. There won’t be funds to pay teachers until December at the earliest and there is no money to undertake highway projects or provide support for the agricultural sector, he said.

“Our debts easily exceed our income. The finances of the municipalities are in tatters, our state is dying,” Monreal said.

The new governor went to the offices of the federal Interior Ministry on Monday to seek federal support to pay teachers’ salaries and pensions this year and next.

Miguel Ángel Navarro, Morena governor in Nayarit, also petitioned the federal government for help, asking that it cover the salaries of health workers so the state can pay a 3.45-billion-peso debt owed to the Nayarit Autonomous University and 9 billion pesos in debts payable to the Mexican Social Security Institute, the federal tax agency SAT and the National Workers Housing Fund.

“Nayarit wants to wake up and get ahead,” he said after urging Morena party federal senators to “lend a hand.”

Navarro succeeded PAN governor Antonio Echeverría on September 19.

Nayarit's new governor, Miguel Ángel Navarro, had to ask the federal government for help to cover health worker's salaries at the start of his term in office.
Nayarit’s new governor, Miguel Ángel Navarro, asked the federal government for help covering health worker’s salaries shortly after he took office.

In Sonora, Morena Governor Alfonso Durazo said he inherited a 23-billion-peso (US $1.1 billion) debt from his PRI predecessor, Claudia Pavlovich, while Layda Sansores, who took the top job in Campeche for Morena two weeks ago, said she was left with a 700-million-peso tax debt.

Carlos Aysa González preceded Sansores as governor of Campeche after replacing Alejandro Moreno, national president of the PRI, in mid-2019.

In San Luis Potosí, Green party Governor Ricardo Gallardo said he received a 16-billion-peso debt from the PRI’s Juan Manuel Carreras. “They said our state debt was 4.7 billion pesos but that was just the tip [of the iceberg],” he said.

The inheritance of difficult financial situations is not limited to new governors. Abelina López Rodríguez, who becomes mayor of Acapulco on Thursday, will inherit a “financial crisis” from Adela Román Ocampo, Reforma reported.

One challenge López will face is finding 203 million pesos needed to pay salaries and benefits to municipal employees. The incoming mayor said Wednesday that officials in Román’s government failed to tell her the whereabouts of the money.

Both López and Román won power in the resort city as representatives of the Morena party, founded by President López Obrador.

With reports from Reforma 

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