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El American exclusively interviewed Gonzalo Monroy, an expert consultant in energy matters and one of the protagonists in the debate surrounding the reform initiatives presented by the President of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) to capture and subdue the electricity market.
Monroy explains that initially, it seemed that the government would approve these reforms since last year. However, the discussion of the 2022 budget got in the way, which forced the debate to be postponed. It is currently being experienced both in the media and in the Legislative Branch itself, through open parliament forums, which turned into a grotesque spectacle, where both officials and “youtubers” and “influencers” paraded, who had nothing to do with it.
The prospects of the electricity market reform
Regarding the possible scenarios regarding the fate of the Obrador initiative, Gonzalo points out that “behind the scenes” a negotiation has been started to agree with the opposition bloc on a less radical version of the reform. This would allow President López Obrador a “partial victory”. In order to define these agreements, the deputies have postponed time and again the moment to vote on the reform’s ruling, something that now could happen in August.
Monroy pointed out that, from his perspective, “if it does not come out in this ordinary period, this initiative… is totally dead”, and the initiative “as it was presented is also totally dead”. In other words, in order to get the ruling through and avoid embarrassing President López Obrador, the ruling party will have to negotiate a mere symbolic reform with the opponents.
What could this political negotiation space within the reform be? Giving the Mexican government a monopoly on the exploitation of lithium, which would imply a mere political signal with no real impact, considering that, as Gonzalo Monroy states, Mexico has neither the money nor the technology necessary to exploit the lithium deposits.
The role of the United States
Regarding the position of the Biden administration, he points out that, beyond a “slip” by Ambassador Ken Salazar, American officials have been very clear that they are concerned about the Obrador initiative, although they will not directly pressure López Obrador; on the contrary, they will opt for an approach of supporting American companies, which will defend their rights both in Mexico and in international spaces to compete under equal circumstances within the Mexican market.
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Gerardo Garibay Camarena, is a doctor of law, writer and political analyst with experience in the public and private sectors. His new book is "How to Play Chess Without Craps: A Guide to Reading Politics and Understanding Politicians" // Gerardo Garibay Camarena es doctor en derecho, escritor y analista político con experiencia en el sector público y privado. Su nuevo libro es “Cómo jugar al ajedrez Sin dados: Una guía para leer la política y entender a los políticos”