Last week, the Governors of 9 states demanded the immediate resignation of the Undersecretary of Health, Hugo López-Gatell, since they accuse him of failing at containing the COVID-19 pandemic, so they asked to substitute him with an expert in the field, with knowledge and understanding in the issues of the health crisis. This demand occurred after a meeting that the Governors had with the Ministry of Health’s legal team, in which the proposal to punish with administrative and criminal sanctions if the Institution’s provisions are not met, was suggested.
The Governors who criticized the Undersecretary’s strategy and who initially signed the document (except for Javier Corral, who distanced himself form it), are part of the so-called Federalist Alliance, and are the same ones who have asked the Federal Government to review the tax pact, as they seek more resources for their entities. Their criticisms would be welcomed if they were accompanied by self-criticism, because not everyone has done a god job managing the pandemic.
For example, at the beginning of the pandemic, the Governor of Aguascalientes, Martín Orozco Sandoval denied medical care to COVID-19 patients from out of the state, asked the entire population to come out so they could catch the disease and end it faster, and he also authorized the opening of clubs and bars, despite being high risk activities. Anyway, we will have to be more attentive to what happens in the state, since the people from the Pabellón de Arteaga, decided to celebrate a birthday party in which more than 800 people attended, and did not comply with the sanitary measures.
The differences between the Governors and the Undersecretary should not translate into an immediate demand for his resignation. Coordination and dialogue must be prioritized in order to find a solution, since the lack of collaboration and commitment translates into mistakes and, in the end, the most affected are the citizens. During these difficult times we need everyone’s commitment because coordination translates into good results.
A few weeks ago, President López Obrador visited Guanajuato with the commitment of bringing security and peace to the state, as well as to work in coordination to reduce violence in the entity. Contrary to popular belief, today we see that the efforts paid off, with José Antonio Yépez, known as “El Marro” capture.
The situation calls for us to leave behind politicking practices and the temptation to take electoral advantage from certain topics. When there is coordination between local and Federal Governments, things work. Faced with a threat to the security, such as criminal groups, and even with the issue of coronavirus, there is no government that can overcome it alone. So, we hope that the Governors will leave the confrontations behind and prioritize the common good.
* Arturo Ávila Anaya, IBN/B Analitycs President and National Security Expert by Harvard (NIS).