Citizen Compass: Thorough Energy Reform

PEMEX: putting order in the house

Elio Villaseñor Gómez
Director of the Citizen Initiative for the Promotion of the Culture of Dialogue AC

The debate in public opinion on the energy reform focuses on the discussion on the opening of the sector to national or foreign investors, constitutional reforms or changes in necessary regulatory laws, the correlation of forces in Congress and the possibility of social mobilization . From our perspective as a civil society organization, the first thing that is needed is to put the house in order. That is, to make the necessary changes in PEMEX so that it is a competitive, efficient company oriented towards the development of the country, not only towards government finances or the satisfaction of private interests with oil income through corruption and the maintenance of union dues.

The Energy Reform that the country needs

Aroa de la Fuente
Researcher at FUNDAR Research and Analysis Center

Much could be argued about the real need to open the national oil industry to private capital in order to improve its operation. But beyond that, a reform that is reduced to the implementation of supposed solutions to increase and ensure the production of hydrocarbons in the medium term, will clearly be insufficient to face the current energy challenges that the country is going through.

The first of these challenges is the imminent depletion of conventional fossil energy sources. The second is the fact that the current energy model, centered on the use of hydrocarbons, is the main cause of global warming. Another of the challenges posed by the exploitation of hydrocarbons are the social and environmental impacts that it entails. Any type of oil activity – exploration, production, transportation, storage, refining and petrochemical – involves risks and effects on the population and the environment near the projects.

PEMEX union: opacity and corruption

Arturo Alcalde
Labor Lawyer

The dimension of the existing corruption in the oil union is an enigma, the members of the union lack basic information on union management, there is no accountability or democratic union elections. The gangster forms used by the so-called leaders to keep the workers subjugated are well known. In electoral farces, ballots lacking in secrecy are delivered through means of voter identification. The workers have learned very well that it is a very dangerous adventure to oppose the imposed leaderships. In the oil towns, the patrimonial stories of the union leaders are famous, and they are even part of the regional folklore, beginning with their luxurious residences and the life of waste and excess that they maintain. The adventures of the union are also reflected in Mexican literature; the last reference is the novel by Francisco Pérez Arce Xalostoc. It would be essential for the country to quantify the cost of corruption in PEMEX and the part of the oil revenue that is used to maintain the control and immobility of its workers.