Thursday, June 13, 2024

National Palace events cost over 2 million pesos

The federal government’s austerity drive didn’t stop it from spending 2.2 million pesos on two events at the National Palace attended by special guests.

In response to a freedom of information request submitted by the newspaper El Universal, President López Obrador’s office revealed that the cost of a soirée on September 27 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the consummation of Mexican independence and a dinner for attendees of a Latin American political summit earlier the same month was just over 2.2 million pesos (US $107,000).

Around 200 guests, including ambassadors, federal officials, prominent businesspeople and religious leaders, attended the former event, which was hosted by López Obrador. The welcome dinner for the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States summit, held September 18, was attended by the region’s leaders and other officials.

El Universal reported that the September 27 event was held in the National Palace’s central garden and that a range of typical, and mouthwatering, Mexican antojitos (snacks, or literally “little cravings”) and beverages were on offer. Among them: tacos al pastor, tamales, tlacoyos, tostadas, pambazos, horchata and agua de jamaica (a hibiscus flavored beverage).

The venue was elaborately decorated with papel picado (colorful tissue paper with intricately cut designs) and more than 50 tables were adorned with Mexican motifs. A children’s marimba group from Tabasco, López Obrador’s home state, entertained the guests.

News of the government’s 2.2-million-peso outlay on the two events attracted criticism from some social media users who opined that it was incongruent with the government’s so-called republican austerity push. But at least one Twitter user concluded that the cost wasn’t so excessive.

“Do you truly think that the highest ranking public officials are going to eat 10-peso tacos like us? Besides, … there were waiters, cooks and chefs, and … [given] the number of guests that attended, I don’t think it’s a ridiculous outlay,” wrote Twitter user @superboton74.

With reports from El Universal 

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