Chetumal, Q.R. — Mara Lezama released her first government report since becoming Quintana Roo Governor. On Monday from Chetumal, the Governor highlighted the reduction of social inequality and historical tourism growth during her first year as governor.
The event was held in front of the Fuente del Pescador in Chetumal where Lezama highlighted the social programs launched with the objective of reducing social inequalities based on measures adopted to increase and control the budget.
Mara Lezama highlighted that Quintana Roo has had the best semester in the history of the tourism industry, commenting on the public projects carried out by the federal government of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.
She also announced new projects that will be carried out, several of which will also be through federation agencies.
The governor also stated that a historic investment has been made in public security, but she did not provide figures, only a new citizen security policy. She said that she received it dismantled with police without equipment or training, with a façade of control and in an extreme situation which made it necessary to change the root the vision.
She emphasized the issuance of the Citizen Security Law to guide the transformation of the branch secretary with five new directorates to coordinate new specialized police forces and restructure the operational deployment, as well as increase the training and of the elements.
Likewise, she said that they have made a historic investment in the sector with more than 2.2 billion pesos in equipment.
Lezama said that she came to render an account of a mandate before the people without overwhelming them with numbers or scandalous figures, but rather to say that there is commitment to carry out a profound transformation of public life and put people at the center of decisions.
She said the objective of her government is to recover the role of the state as a guide of economic development and main actor to promote justice and income distribution, because it is responsible for tempering social inequalities.
Without the assistance of her predecessor, former governor Carlos Joaquín González, the current Mexican ambassador to Canada, Mara Lezama explained that she received the government in a complex crisis since poverty rates had grown, the health system did not even remotely reach all corners of the entity and insecurity had skyrocketed to levels never seen before.
She said there was no underlying social containment policy, only some insufficient palliatives and salaries were not enough to live on with dignity due to an exhausted economic model, which was very successful for a few and totally insufficient for the majority.
He said that there was a state government without reaction, which had relaxed all controls against corruption, resulting in a waste of resources and to this chaotic scenario was added a monumental debt that paralyzed the administration. A debt of 20 billion pesos and a second short-term debt of nearly 7 billion.
She stated that her administration took on the challenge and have made great progress this year, with a new way of governing. She said the her first order of business was to reform or reduce organization budgets and powers to redirect resources to urgent matters.
There was also a reform to increase tax percentages, but not to fatten the government and pay higher salaries to the high bureaucracy, but to finance urgent social programs and make each peso transparent through trusts with the participation of the private sector so that it is clear that public resources go where they should go.
In this sense, he highlighted that this is how they allocated 4 times more resources to social programs of the Ministry of Welfare than last year, and they doubled them to DIF for the benefit of the most vulnerable families in the state.
She also highlighted that there are now programs focused on women and reducing family and gender violence, as well as a support network, training for police officers to deal with family violence and the first specialized first intervention psychology unit against family and gender violence.
He stated that these social programs expand those that President López Obrador has launched and that have given rise to post-pandemic recovery at the national level. At this point, the governor attributed a decrease in poverty that occurred before her government, between 2020 and 2022, to her social programs.
Lezama reported that in 2020, Coneval (Consejo Nacional de Evaluación de la Política de Desarrollo Social or National Council for the Evaluation of Social Development Policy) reported that poverty in Quintana Roo had grown more than 17% to more than 800,000 people.
In the latest Coneval report, she said that poverty in Quintana Roo had decreased from 47.5% to 27%, a decrease of 20.5% and that based on those figures, that “social policies have lifted people out of poverty” and that “inequality has decreased.”
She also made priority mention of the fact that they have reduced the absolute debt of the state by more than 2.1 billion pesos due to better financial management and the state is now in the green with the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit (SHCP).
Lezama also explained that strict control of the budget is exercised to avoid corruption, including surprise visits to facilities where public services are provided, such as hospitals.
“When there is no corruption, there is enough money,” she said which generated an audience applause.
She highlighted several larger federal projects including the modernization of Cancún’s Colosio Boulevard in Cancun, the Maya Train, Tulum airport, the airport road distributor, Chac Mool Avenue and the Nichupté bridge in Cancún as well as the new beach access road for Felipe Carrillo Puerto.
She also highlighted new hospitals for Felipe Carrillo Puerto and Chetumal, the Wellbeing Market and the Quintana Roo Park in Chetumal, projects also in development or to be started with federal resources.
Lezama dedicated an important period of time to highlighting historic growth in the activity of the tourism sector in which the influx numbers for the first half of 2023 already exceed those of 2022.
She stated that up until now, 31 million passengers have been counted in the three airports, an influx of more than 19,680,000 thousand tourists, 4,903,000 cruise passengers and $19 billion in economic benefits.
She reported that during the first half of 2023, tourist influx grew 13.7% compared to 2022, airport passengers increased by 11%, cruise passengers increased by 47.3% and visitors to archaeological sites grew by 11.5%, making it the best semester in the history of the Quintana Roo tourism industry.
In addition, she said that since September 2022, 13 new routes have been opened to airports in the Mexican Caribbean connecting the region with 120 cities. New flights will open in December 2023.
Lezama reported that in addition to absolute coordination at all levels of government, she promoted a citizen security scheme and installed peacebuilding as the main objective to address the social causes of violence.