Home Feature AMLO’s SAT, now against travelers

AMLO’s SAT, now against travelers

by Yucatan Times
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“Mexican middle-class passengers have to face a harassment policy that even the SAT officials do not agree with”

MEXICO CITY (Times Media Mexico) – In Carlos Loret de Mola’s column for the newspaper “El Universal,” the reporter exposes a new attack by the government of López Obrador against those travelers who enter Mexico.

The journalist exposes that he could see the boredom in the eyes of the Tax Administration Service (SAT) officials in the International Airport of Mexico City. They were sweating, exhausted, with mouths covered, not giving up and angry with the federal government’s new policy to pass through the X-ray scanner all the luggage of all passengers arriving from outside the country.

Since there are not enough staff or machines, the result is an endless line of passengers. Contrary to what one might think, it is not the passengers who complain angrily about the wait. It is the uniformed officials with the SAT logo. “We’re overloaded,” a supervisor told journalist Carlos Loret de Mola.
In both terminals of the airport in the country’s capital, the “Nothing to declare” pass, opened some years ago, was canceled. No one can walk there anymore.

Everyone who lands must line up in the narrow corridor between two X-ray machines, without any healthy distance. A dozen SAT officials have to deal simultaneously with all passengers arriving from anywhere globally: the United States, Central, and South America, Europe. Two ask questions, another two watch that all the bags are put on the belt, two or three more checks the screens, and three or four open the bags. They look exhausted. They don’t stop.

Why did the policy change? Does it have to do with the pandemic? No. Officers do not ask any questions about the coronavirus or inspect luggage for any source of infection. They open their bags and question passengers about whether they are bringing gifts, whether they have made purchases, whether they are bringing in goods that should be taxed.

The lines at Customs at the airport are another reflection of one of President Lopez Obrador’s obsessions, who considers anyone who has done more or less well in life a suspected criminal. Under that optic, if you can afford to travel, then you are committing some crime, and you have to pay. With a rickety economy and falling revenues, it’s good for him to raise fines at Customs.

But against the worker’s dream of executing the rich, the lines for luggage checks are not of “fifis” with Louis Vuitton suitcases trying to hide the shopping. No. They are huge lines of countrymen who are forced to open their tightly packed luggage, untie their boxes, and convince the SAT agents about what they are bringing in from outside for their families. Middle-class passengers who have to face the new harassment policy in which not even the government officials themselves agree or see any sense in it.

Another obsession of the President becomes public policy and generates a useless disaster, as is already the custom of this, practically useless government.

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