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Outgoing Jalisco governor flaunts achievements in annual report

February 8, 2013

Governor Emilio Gonzalez’s sixth and final annual report (informe) was presented in writing to the State Congress on Friday, February 1.

“We were very pleased but not satisfied,” said Secretary General Victor Gonzalez upon delivering the six-volume report which assessed the government’s performance over the last year and provided a summary of the entire term in office.

The Secretary General claimed the National Action Party (PAN) administration met 90 percent of targets set over the six-year period, although he acknowledged that drug-related violence remains a problem in Jalisco.

“The good news is that security did not deteriorate further,” he said. “This year there was a slight improvement, but the truth is that we still have high levels of insecurity, it is one of the main concerns.”

According to the report, 21,762 suspected criminals were arrested from 2007 to 2013, while the murder and kidnapping rates in the state remained below the national averages. During this period authorities in Jalisco destroyed 3,840 marijuana plants and confiscated 3,127 firearms, 148,066 rounds of ammunition and 257 grenades.

The state government said it spent 6.1 billion pesos in educational infrastructure, leading the average level of education to rise from eighth to ninth grade. The rate of illiteracy dropped from 5.2 percent of the population to 3.9 percent, while the percentage of young people graduating from secondary school, preparatorias and higher education rose at every level.

The pro-business governor also said that more than 155,000 new jobs were created in the last six years and the state received more than 13.8 billion dollars of private investment.

But not all of the governor’s claims in the report stand up to close examination.

The report states that the government expanded health care coverage through the Seguro Popular program to an additional 1,045,000 families over the last six years. However official reports from 2007 say there were only 700,000 people in Jalisco without health care at that time.

Similarly, the government claims in the report to have helped 670,000 people who were living in houses with dirt floors and without fixed roofs, drainage or water tanks. But according to the current government’s first annual report, there were just 399,000 people living in such conditions in Jalisco in 2007.

Furthermore, the governor’s boast that his government generated 2.8 billion pesos by hosting “the best ever” Pan American Games in Guadalajara in 2011 is somewhat lacking in context, given that it cost around nine billion pesos to stage the games.

The report can be viewed online (in Spanish) at http://www.informe.jalisco.gob.mx.

Poverty in Jalisco can’t be swept under a rug

One fact that Governor Emilio Gonzalez did not seek to flaunt in his sixth annual informe was that that poverty has risen in Jalisco under his tenure.

The report revealed that there are now 352,000 people living in extreme poverty in the state, 22,000 more than the 330,000 recorded in 2007.

The governor boasted that extreme poverty decreased in the last year, from 4.8 percent of the population to 4.7 percent, but this minor improvement notwithstanding, there are still 6.6 percent more people living in extreme poverty than when Gonzalez entered office.

This regression comes despite the state government spending 9.3 billion pesos on social policy in the last six years.

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