February 24, 2016

The Federal District Disappears, Mexico City is Born

Originally, Mexico adopted a system similar to the U.S. in order to establish a territory that would function as a host to the federal government.  In the U.S., this district is Washington, D.C., and, in Mexico, it is the Federal District or Distrito Federal (D.F.).  The difference is that in Mexico the capital was founded in the place where politics, culture, religion and the economy of the country were historically located.  The focus of the discussion in Mexico was that residents of the Federal District did not enjoy the same rights as residents of the 31 states in the country. Residents of the Federal District could not elect a governor, have a state congress or elect mayors, among other political privileges.  After much discussion, the Mexican Constitution was amended to provide that the Federal District would disappear and be replaced by Mexico City, with the latter becoming the 32nd state of Mexico. This amendment to the Constitution provides for 16 political subdivisions (delegaciones) that will elect mayors, and 10 local council board members, who will attend the administrative matters pertaining to their respective subdivisions. The Constitution of Mexico City is currently being drafted.  The Head of Government of Mexico City designated a 28 member commission that will prepare a draft of this constitution. The draft will be reviewed by constituents, including 60 representatives elected by popular vote under the principle of proportional representation; 14 senators elected by two-thirds of the representatives of the Senate of the Republic; 14 federal deputies appointed pursuant to the vote of two-thirds of the representatives of the Chamber of Deputies (federal); 6 deputies appointed by the President of the Republic and 6 deputies appointed by the Head of State of the Federal District.  It is expected that this process will cause the political temperature to rise in the new Mexico City that replaces the Federal District, which soon will only be a memory.