Mexico City is “back on track,” Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum said on Tuesday, declaring that government corruption is a thing of the past, although she acknowledged that her nine-month old administration still has a lot of work to do to improve security.
Presenting her first annual report to the Mexico City Congress, Sheinbaum asserted that she has established a new form of governance in the capital, one in which the payment of kickbacks and illegal commissions and the awarding of contracts to shell companies is no longer tolerated.
All public contracts that have been awarded by the government have been assessed by the United Nations Office for Project Services, the mayor said, claiming that her administration has generated savings of 25 billion pesos (US $1.3 billion) by eliminating corruption.
The money saved will be invested in infrastructure projects, including improvements to water and transportation services, Sheinbaum said.
She also said that her government is working to stamp out corruption in the construction sector, which resulted in the all too common violation of building regulations such as those that limit the height of new apartment complexes in certain areas of the capital.
During the first quarter of the year, authorities detected irregularities in 48 projects approved by the former Mexico City government, Sheinbaum said.
“. . . To date, [developers] have decided to correct their projects to comply with the regulations in 29 cases, which should be applauded. As the president says, nothing nor nobody is above the law,” she said.
The Morena party mayor said her government has discontinued 16 social programs that were used as facades for corruption and has put an end to the manipulation of crime statistics that occurred during the previous administration.
Sheinbaum said the previous government left a cifra negra – literally a black figure – in its crime data because thousands of serious offenses committed in 2018 went unreported in official numbers.
“But it’s necessary to mention that from December 2018 to August of the present year, intentional homicides decreased 34%, malicious injuries with firearms fell 45% and vehicle theft decreased 27%,” she said. “In August of 2018, the daily homicide average was 3.55, in 2019 it’s 3.16.”
Nevertheless, the mayor said she is not satisfied with the security improvements made thus far, stating that “a lot more” needs to be done.
“We work on the issue of security every day and we’ll continue to do so because our commitment is to leave Mexico City as a safe capital. We’re sensitive to what citizens are living through and that’s why we’re dedicated to making this metropolis an even safer city,” Sheinbaum said.
During her presentation to Mexico City lawmakers and other officials, the mayor also outlined initiatives her administration has implemented to strengthen the economy and create jobs.
Sheinbaum said the government is providing additional support to small and medium-sized businesses, stimulating tourism by offering a wide array of cultural activities and helping to strengthen the green, or environmentally conscious, economy.
She also said her administration is carrying out a range of projects to improve Mexico City’s hospitals, educational institutions, parks and roads without raising taxes in real terms.
Source: El Universal (sp)