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This sentence is the frequent pinnacle of a Mariachi’s passionate singing, especially if tequila is running through his veins. It should also be ORU’s call –whenever necessary- given the political system of the Mexican United States.  The truth is that, despite all its political and social problems, the country’s constitutional system is an example of a balanced territorial power.

The Mexican states are legally free and sovereign. Their powers are irrevocable, which means they are able to act unilaterally, even in opposition to national policies, as long as they don’t interfere with those powers reserved to the Federal State, that do not go beyond defence, foreign policy and the issuance of currency.

The creation of states is not subject to federal laws and those powers not expressly conferred on the Federation are powers of the states. With this division of powers, states even have the power to choose their time zone. Some of the states in the border with the United Stated use his power to tune with their northern neighbours. Others, like Quintana Roo (Cacun), to be in line with their main tourist markets, like Canada or the United States. 

This should not come as a surprise, but it certainly is within a context in which we constantly witness recentralisation processes or in which it is so difficult to promote a real process of distribution of territorial powers. ORU has often defended a new governance, entailing the construction of a decentralised state, giving power for the territory.  Is this something new? Not in México. In México, the federal spirit makes up the country’s DNA since its constitution. 

Just as surprising as seeing the Mexican United States in action was hearing the speech by the Mexican President at the meeting of the National Conference of Governors (CONAGO), which, on 7 July, elected Eruviel Ávila as its chairperson. President Peña Nieto said to the governors that they were important actors and that the good performance of their states was essential for the future of Mexico. He appointed them as a key element for the necessary economic revitalisation of the country and asked for their cooperation in addressing the challenges of improving security in the country. 

Listening to his speech, one is reminded that the president had been governor. Now, all parties are speculating on the names of governors that in 2018 could be presidential candidates.  This is so different from so many countries where the national governments are limiting the capacities and restricting the budgets of regions and intermediate governments!

For all these reasons, we are very pleased to count on the involvement of the Mexican governors at ORU. We were positively surprised by the speech given by President Peña Nieto, but we liked even more when Governor Eruviel Ávila noted the importance of internationalising CONAGO, willingness he had publicly and privately already expressed at the meeting we held the day before in Toluca, capital of the State of México.

Carles Llorens


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