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The Aguirre Administration Commences

By: David Real | Real Acapulco News - 02 April, 2011

(Chilpancingo, NA 2 April) Yesterday Ángel Heladio Aguirre Rivero was sworn in as the 68th governor in Guerrero’s history. The event occurred in the chamber of the state legislature. Then, moving to the executive offices (called the Government Palace), he addressed the citizens in his first public statement.

The mandate is for four years, six months and 25 days. During this time, Aguirre promised “an inclusive government, pluralist, sensible, with a human face and clean hands, never ungrateful and always respectful of freedom of expression.” The evident tacit commentary on the outgoing regime was not lost on the press or the people assembled to hear him.

Those present included President Calderon’s representative, chief of government Francisco Blake Mora, and the governor of the Federal District, Marcelo Ebrard. Several party luminaries from the PRD, Convergencia and PT were also present, as well as governors from several other states.

“The objective, said Aguirre, is to take Guerrero and its citizens out of its severe poverty.” To accomplish this goal, he said “The new government will direct its actions along four fundamental axes: social development, economic development, job creation and public safety and justice.” The high priority given to social programs should, the governor said, “help us define, widen and guarantee the rights of all persons and social groups in accordance with their needs.”

Governor Aguirre then publicly called his appointed cabinet members to service, starting with Silvia Romero Suárez, Secretary of Education. The governor committed the state to serve the children in the school system and also the more than 200,000 young people in the state who neither work nor study.

Senator Lázaro Mazón was called to be Secretary of Public Health, a difficult position now that several economic scandals involving his department had broken out under the previous administration, including allegations that the governor used a medevac helicopter as his personal transportation, leaving accident victims to fend for themselves. In another instance, apparently $150 million pesos destined for medical supplies disappeared up the chain of command. Aguirre has explicitly said that he will return the helicopter to its appropriate service, and is calling for a full audit of public moneys diverted from medicines to as yet unknown officials.

Alberto López Rosas was confirmed as Attorney General, and was asked to look into the yet inconclusive cases of the political murder of Armando Chavarría and the attack by PRI zealots on Guillermo Sánchez Nava during the campaign. Thirty-seven other unsolved cases of political assassinations await AG López when he reports to his new job. All occurred under the previous administration and all the victims were politicians allied with the PRD. Their cases were apparently shelved by Aguirre’s predecessor. The attorney general is also charged with drafting a new state constitution, to be presented for examination and discussion by June of this year.

In the lengthy address, Aguirre also touched on projects to relieve traffic congestion in Acapulco, especially along the corridor from downtown to the tunnel, and from Icacos to Punta Diamante, where a tunnel has been projected. Other issues were to combat the pollution of the rivers, especially the Huacapa. The Cerrito Rico dam project will continue, as well as the cleanup of the bays of Acapulco and Zihuatanejo.

The governor also took up the defense of the Tianguis Turístico, an Acapulco tradition for 36 years, which the current federal tourism secretary, Gloria Guevara is seeking to commandeer and send on an itinerant trail to other cities. He said he is making a special plea to the President of the Republic to leave the matter where it has been since 1976. Aguirre also referred to agreements with the Federal District, with Cuba and with Telmex to assist in the development of tourism, sport, technology, education and health in Guerrero. These include a resource-sharing program for matters of public safety and security with the DF government, a literacy program from Cuba for the schools, and with Telmex a program for free wireless Internet connectivity in the public parks and plazas, for the benefit of tourists and the general public.

At the end of his speech, Aguirre bade farewell to the crowd, and the music began, first with ballads and then with the festive dance music typical of Guerrero’s Pacific coast.