Mexico City – The Energy Committee of the Mexican “Cámara de Diputados” (equivalent to the U.S. House of Representatives), voted to approve the resolution put forth by President Andres Manual Lopez Obrador to set Standard Time as the official time for the country.
The resolution would eliminate the seasonal change each spring to Daylight Savings Time for most of the country and would maintain the same time, all year round.
Support for the resolution to eliminate Daylight Savings Time came from many sectors, including:
- Parents seeking to avoid send small children to school in the dark
- Mental Health professionals citing studies of increased stress during periods of time changes
- Medical studies demonstrating patterns of sleep depravation related to the time changes
- Studies by CFE showing negligible energy savings from time change
- Public polls showing a majority of country in favor of maintaining Standard Time
The resolution as approved by the Energy Committee includes stipulations to exempt the northern Municipalities along the border from the measure in the states of Baja California, Sonora, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo Leon and Tamaulipas.
In Baja California, the resolution would exempt the Municipalities of Tijuana, Tecate, Mexicali, Playas de Rosarito and Ensenada but notably left out the new Municipalities of San Quintin and San Felipe.
Baja California State Representative Armando Reyes Ledesma noticed the omission in the approved version of the measure that left the Committee and proposed that a correction be made before it goes to debate and a vote by the full body of the Federal Diputados.
Reyes Ledesma said he will ask that the measure exempt the entire state of Baja California to allow the region to keep in close sync with its northern neighbor for reasons of commerce and tourism.
If approved by the Cámara de Diputados, the measure would be sent to the Senate Committee for Constitutional Review and if approved there, would move on to the full Senate for debate and a final vote, requiring a 2/3 majority to pass.
This latest measure comes at a time where the Mexican President Lopez Obrador has been making several political moves that in effect, have created some distance in certain areas regarding its relations with Mexico’s neighbor to the north.
For the past several decades, Mexican administrations have made generally good efforts to cooperate with their U.S. counterparts in terms of cross border policies on trade and economic development, cartels / drug control and regional security.
Lopez Obrador has not followed that precedent and has been viewed by many to be increasingly antagonistic to the U.S., quite notably in terms of foreign policy where he has demonstrated a willingness to cozy up to Venezuela and Cuba while changing course on fighting the cartels, publicly declaring a new “abrazos no balazos” (hugs not bullets) policy.
In April of this year Lopez Obrador disbanded a highly trained anti-narcotics unit that for the last quarter of a century had worked hand-in-hand with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to tackle organized crime and drug trafficking, seen as a major blow to the bilateral security cooperation that first started back in the late 1990’s.
Some political observers now view this latest measure by the Mexican president to abolish Daylight Savings Time in Mexico as just another example of that antagonistic attitude, pushing the measure forward after the U.S. Senate had passed “the Sunshine Protection Act” making Daylight Savings Time permanent all year round, beginning next year in 2023.
What to Expect?
Beginning next spring, most of the U.S. southern border states will join the rest of the country (with the exception of Arizona), switching to Daylight Savings Time on a permanent basis.
If the Mexican resolution passes with the correction by Reyes Ledesma, expect for Mexico’s northern border areas to change to Daylight Savings Time as well, although exactly on what date and which Municipalities will be included is still up in the air; much could still change with the measure being debated now in Mexico City.
A few have even observed that the Mexican Senate could propose for the northern border areas of Mexico to switch permanently to Daylight Savings Time to better coordinate with the U.S. southern states.
Or maybe not, this is Mexico after all…