Historic changes to the government structure — and name — of Mexico’s Federal District have been in the works for some time. But on Wednesday Dec. 9, those changes took a major step forward with their approval by the Chamber of Deputies, granting full statehood to what is commonly referred to as DF.
The name Federal District will be history as it will be replaced by Ciudad de México. Another change will be in the governance of the 16 boroughs: a mayor and council will replace the current system of borough chiefs and regidores with mayors and councils.
The reform also gives the new state more autonomy. It will be able to name and remove the chief of police and attorney general, which currently require federal approval.
A new constitution will be drawn up by a constitutional assembly made up of 100 members of the federal Chamber of Deputies. Sixty will be elected, 14 chosen by the Senate, 14 by the Deputies, six designated by the president and six by the city’s mayor.
Political reform of the Federal District was originally approved by the Senate last April. Before it becomes law it will have to be considered once more by the Senate, before making a final trip back to the lower house.
Chamber of Deputies president Daniel Ordóñez described the reform as “historic” for the autonomy it confers regarding public security and justice.
Another deputy described the reform as “democratic and legitimate.”
The members of the Federal District Legislative Assembly acknowledged the advances in autonomy proposed by the political reform, but criticized the process for excluding them.
Assembly members also criticized the way in which the constitutional assembly will be conformed, claiming that instead of “citizenizing it, it will be centralized and politicized.”
“They either consider us political illiterates or they distrust us to be part of the constitutional debate. The social should be accented instead of the governmental,” said assemblyman Fernando Zárate.
Another assemblyman declared that no political reform will last if it isn’t carried out with citizen participation.
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