EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) – Two Juarez residents who did not receive a single vote in the June 6 election have been appointed to the Mexican congress under a proportional representation law.
They include outgoing Juarez Mayor Armando Cabada and controversial labor attorney Susana Prieto Terrazas, both nominated by the MORENA Party. The Mexican congress includes 300 elected members and 200 appointed by parties according to how many votes they got.
Cabada said he’s proud to have served two terms in office in Juarez and will use that experience to go to bat for growing municipalities throughout Mexico.
“What am I going to do? What a legislator can do as opposed to the promises politicians normally make,” Cabada told KTSM on Thursday, as he presided over the graduation of new police cadets and inaugurated a daycare center for the children of police officers. “We will make laws and safeguard the cities’ money. I will be very attentive so that cities receive a just (budget).”
The Juarez mayor said cities are the front-line of defense for the people when it comes to public safety, streets and services. He said he realizes Mexico has crime problems, so he plans to make sure enough money is spent on law enforcement and hold judges and prosecutors accountable for the “revolving door” at courts and jails that allow criminals to walk or receive short sentences.
“We will support (police officers) with resources and incentives, such as this (daycare for their children) and the citizens with laws that protect them,” Cabada said. “We will also no doubt address the issue of migration and foreign relations.”
Prieto, who was arrested in Tamaulipas last year for allegedly inciting a riot at a Matamoros maquiladora, did not respond to several requests for an interview.
A Tamaulipas judge freed her from jail after 24 days in custody under the promise she would return to Juarez and not leave the state of Chihuahua for two years. But as a member of Congress, she cannot be prosecuted unless her peers vote to take away that immunity. She already reportedly traveled to Mexico City.
“She will be good for the workers in Juarez and in Mexico, if she can stay in office and stay safe,” said El Paso labor activist Guillermo Glenn. “Mexico hasn’t been too kind to labor because their unions are really company unions. Her work will be very important, especially because they want to create maquilas in Southern Mexico.”
In an interview with the Mexico City daily El Economista, Prieto said she will fight for better wages for the workers and to eliminate union monopolies at factories.
“We will never be free of (pro-business) unions like CTM, CROC and CROM if the law doesn’t empower independent unions nor allow them access to union dues,” she told the paper.
The new members of Mexico’s lower house, known as the Chamber of Deputies, take office this week.