Home Headlines López Obrador reveals the salaries of the 11 officials who earn more than him

López Obrador reveals the salaries of the 11 officials who earn more than him

by Yucatan Times
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The President is once again attacking the autonomous agencies but ends up making accusations against public servants who are part of his administration, such as the heads of the Attorney General’s Office, the Bank of Mexico, and Inegi.

(El País).- There were at least 11 officials whom López Obrador accused of earning more than he did. This was revealed in the report Who’s Who in Salaries (Quién es quién en los salarios), requested by the president himself last week and released at the press conference this Monday.

In Mexico, no public servant can earn a higher salary than the president, according to what is stipulated in the Republican Austerity Law, which came into force at the end of 2019 and was promoted by the Executive. The report is part of the crusade against what López Obrador has described as a “golden bureaucracy” and involves a new clash with autonomous bodies, such as the National Electoral Institute (INE).

But it has also ended up affecting officials who were appointed by this Administration to occupy those positions, such as Alejandro Gertz Manero, head of the Attorney General’s Office (FGR); Victoria Rodríguez Ceja, president of the Bank of Mexico (Banxico), and Graciela Márquez, head of the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (Inegi).

The main ones singled out are the top officials of the Judiciary, according to the report. The counselors of the Federal Judiciary and the president of the Federal Electoral Tribunal earn 286,600 pesos, about $14,000, more than double the 136,500 pesos López Obrador receives each month. Slightly lower are the 284,500 pesos received by Supreme Court Chief Justice Arturo Zaldívar. The presiding magistrate of the Administrative Justice Tribunal earns just over 141,000 pesos.

Rodríguez Ceja, who left the position of Undersecretary of Expenditure at the Ministry of Finance last December to become president of Banxico, earns 248,500 pesos. According to Who’s Who in salaries, the head of the central bank filed an injunction to be able to have that remuneration. Other officials who filed an injunction to the remuneration law were the president counselor of INE, Lorenzo Córdova, with an approved salary of 240,500 pesos; the head of the Federal Commission for Economic Competition (Cofece, 206,400 pesos); the president of the Federal Telecommunications Institute (IFT, 197,700 pesos), and Márquez (149,700 pesos), at the head of Inegi since January 1 of this year. In the cases of the IFT and the Cofece, the incumbents occupy the position by substitution or vacancy, they have not been formally appointed. Blanca Lilia Ibarra, president commissioner of the National Transparency Institute (INAI), earns 151,300 pesos and Gertz Manero, 146,600 pesos.

Ricardo Sheffield, head of the Federal Consumer Protection Agency (Profeco), was in charge of gathering and presenting the information. Sheffield has a weekly section in the presidential conference to expose service stations that offer gasoline and fuels at higher prices than the rest, and has been in the limelight lately for following up on the costs of basic products in the midst of the inflation that the country is facing this year, above 8%.

“We are going to do a review of salaries here,” the president said last Monday. “We are going to invite Ricardo Sheffield to help us see who is who in salaries. I’ll take care of it, won’t I?”, said the president. Despite the fact that a priori he has nothing to do with this issue, Sheffield delivered the report on “who are the most overpaid”, in his words. The format chosen is a hybrid between the comparison of gas stations and the Who’s Who in Lies, a section that the Government uses to respond and compete with its critics, only now it stirs up the discussion of public salaries with the escalation of prices as a backdrop.

President López Obrador’s new dart is aimed at two targets: the alleged violations to the Constitution due to what he called “extremely high salaries” and his chronic distrust of the autonomous agencies which, he said, “were created during the neoliberal period” to defend “vested interests”. He explained this last week. This is not the first time that the president has targeted INE’s remunerations, a recurring argument when the Institute claims it does not have enough budget to organize consultations promoted by the president such as the referendum on the recall last April.

In an appearance in November 2021, Córdova was questioned by members of Morena, the majority party in Congress, for his salary and for not abiding by the so-called “republican austerity”. The president of the electoral arbiter replied that it was the legislators themselves who approved that some officials be exempt from the new law: “This House is the one who authorized it”. The exceptions are included in the transitory articles of a 2009 reform decree and allow to maintain the salary they had before the law went into effect the ministers of the Supreme Court, the magistrates of the Electoral Tribunal, different members of the Judicial Power and the counselors of the INE. The Public Servants Remuneration Law ratifies this exception also on a transitory basis, as published in May of last year.

Despite this, the López Obrador Administration has maintained that it is “immoral” to burden the public treasury with high salaries and that it is an example of waste and corruption. On the other hand, austerity has been criticized for bordering on “precariousness” in some agencies, from computer equipment and basic office supplies to the impact on salaries and the performance of tasks. The current minimum wage is just over 172 pesos per day as of this year and 260 pesos per day in the border area with the United States. Amid the struggle to reform the electoral authority, reaffirm the power of the presidential figure and dilute the cost of the Federal Public Administration, the Executive is once again resorting to symbols.

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