Three Kings Day — a homely celebration throughout Mexico on January 6 — was a special event for many government workers and their families, who received gifts valued at more than 130.3 million pesos (US $6 million) during a year in which austerity measures have been touted at all three levels of government.
Days after Mexicans reeled over fuel price hikes of as much as 20%, the Attorney General’s office spent 2.6 million pesos leasing an amusement park for its employees, and an additional 155,000 pesos for travel to Cancún.
At the Social Security Institute, IMSS, 51.8 million pesos was spent on gifts for its unionized workers’ children. Those funds were proportionally divvied up among the union’s locals throughout the country.
Similarly, the Defense Secretariat (Sedena) spent 25.3 million pesos for parties for the children of military personnel.
The Secretariat of the Navy (Semar) not only bought 20 million pesos’ worth of toys for its marines’ children, but spent 4.5 million on undisclosed events held on January 6.
Conagua, the National Water Commission, celebrated the children of unionized workers with gifts and a special event costing 179 million pesos.
The Federal Police spent a total of 15.6 million pesos on bonuses for its workers and an unspecified event.
For its part, the National Electoral Institute, INE, gave its workers 250-peso food coupons and their children a 1.5-million-peso party.
The National Human Rights Commission gave 596 of its workers 1,100 pesos’ worth of food coupons for each 12-year-old child, amounting to over 655,000 pesos.
A similar benefit was granted to workers at the Labor Secretariat, which disbursed 212,338 pesos to that end.
At the Finance Secretariat a 470,960-peso contract was signed with the Atayde Hermanos circus for a special performance for the children of unionized workers.
Many of the benefits and bonuses are part of collective agreements signed between the government agencies and the various unions.
Source: El Universal (sp)