Mexican Senator María de los Ángeles Moreno of Mexico’s Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI) party proposed on Tuesday the establishment of Mexico City as a “Federal City,” replacing the position of head of government with that of a mayor and 17 elected city council members.
The constitutional modifications would give residents of the Federal District more voting power and increase the city’s autonomy, though its name and status as the nation’s capital would not change. The City Legislative Assembly, for example, would approve Mexico City’s debt, rather than the National Congress. Ángeles Moreno said the new mayor would be a more visible, authoritative position than the current head of government, similar to the mayors of New York, Madrid or Washington. Her proposal would also divide the city into 20 municipal territories, rather than the current 16. The proposal is now being reviewed by the upper house’s Commission on Mexico City.
While the legislature considered structural reforms for the city, several senior members of the Barack Obama administration, including Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, were also in the Mexican capital on Tuesday to unveil a $331 million plan focused on civilian police training as part of a new approach to U.S.-Mexican counter-narcotics strategy.