López Obrador announces the creation of the "Institute to Return the Stolen People" | International

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The morning conferences of Andrés Manuel López Obrador, have become a market of questions and answers, a trench against its detractors and a diagnostic room on the security crisis, the shortage of gasoline or the conflict for the approval of its educational reform. All topics go through the so-called "morning" and all the issues-the confusing, absurd and necessary-pass every day through the microphone of the president of Mexico.

On Tuesday, after addressing the legalization of marijuana, the discovery of 222 clandestine graves during his government and challenge to the rating agency Moody's for the cost of the construction of the Dos Bocas refinery, the president has had time to announce the creation of the "Institute to Return to the People the Stolen", a channel to transform resources confiscated by corruption and delinquency in budget for social programs. The calculation of López Obrador is to obtain this year at least 1,200 million pesos (just over 60 million dollars) in goods and seizures. Without preamble, without revealing the source of the estimate, without detailing how it will work, without follow-up questions on how it will be inserted into the structure of the Federal Public Administration.

"We are defining how we are going to repay the money, in some cases it will be directly to the parent societies of the schools, for maintenance, for the construction of sports units, for ambulances, for roads, everything that can be done with this support, "said López Obrador. Reactions to the announcement have oscillated among those who applaud the decision to restore the looting perpetrated by corrupt officials and who believe it is an occurrence and a mockery, starting with the name. There are two extremes that dominate the public debate: it is the triumph of the president or is the first glimpse of an authoritarian threat. Without half measures.

"Automobiles, ranches, residences, cash, everything will be returned to the people," said López Obrador, who arrived at the Mexican government after overwhelmingly defeating the elections of last July with the promise of eradicate corruption and establish a regime change, the so-called Fourth Transformation. In the president's speech, the fight against corruption is not only a political banner, but the source of resources that will finance this transformation. Since the campaign, if there were doubts about the origin and sufficiency of the money to carry out his Government project, the answer was unequivocal. "I argue that the problem of Mexico is not the lack of budget, but corruption," the president repeated in the "morning" of this Wednesday.

The government's argument is to be more transparent about what happens and who benefits from the confiscations. The counter-argument of its detractors is that the "Institute for Returning People to the Stolen" already exists – the Service of Administration and Disposal of Assets, which depends on the Ministry of Finance – and that an announcement of this nature is populist in the destiny of the resources and because the combat corruption has not translated into tangible results: arrests of corrupt politicians, judgments of high-profile personalities, advances in the Odebrecht plot in Mexico.

In the middle of the intersection of attacks and insults between both extremes is the void. The information vacuum. The normative framework, the owner, the strategy of the new "institute" has not been revealed. Not even the headquarters or the letterheads of the new institution. After the announcement, meetings with the country's business sector continued, plus questions about the work of naming tens of thousands of disappeared, the renegotiation of debt, austerity policies and tax exemptions. Nothing that another "morning" has not seen before.

(tagsToTranslate) lópez obrador (t) announce (t) creation (t) institute to return (t) town (t) stolen (t) president (t) Mexican (t) wait (t) obtain (t) year (t) ) 1,200 million pesos (t) good (t) confiscate (t) delinquency (t) seize (t) corruption

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