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Tijuana Mayor Carlos Bustamante has created controversy by eliminating council members' speeches from his third and final state-of-the-city address. The decision was made by a majority of the city council.
The Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) mayor noted that Mexican presidents have stopped having opposition speeches be part of their state-of-the-nation addresses, and that some National Action Party (PAN) governors have done the same for their state-of-the-state addresses. Bustamante will deliver his address on Tuesday night, Nov. 26, at the old jai-alai fronton, as he has done the past two years; the council members will present their speeches at City Hall. El Mexicano said the fronton space can handle 2,000, while the City Hall space can accommodate about 80.
Bustamante was quoted as saying in El Mexicano newspaper that PAN Councilman Erwin Aréizaga spoke 45 minutes last year, taking up more time than the rest of the council combined. However, this was wrong: Aréizaga only spoke for 16 minutes and 23 seconds — albeit more than 11 minutes over his allotted time. Also, some of his speech time was taken up by catcalls and booing; Aréizaga has been a thorn in Bustamante's side. The six council members who spoke last year, including David Ruvalcaba from the PRI, spoke for a total of 61 minutes; none spoke within the allotted time, although Aréizaga spoke the longest. See table with speaker times below. Bustamante, after an 18-minute video presentation, delivered a 36-minute speech.
Bustamante told the paper that the only positive things "that señor" (Aréizaga) has done has been to present one initiative "so that children don't attend bullfights and another so that dogs are taken care of; he has spent the rest of the last three years on the attack, which is what he knows how to do." Bustamante said, "I have no fear of anyone, much less him; I have nothing to hide, and on Tuesday (Nov. 26) I will clear up the lies he keeps telling."
* No one spoke under the 5-minute limit; Bustamante was quoted in El Mexicano as (mistakenly) saying council members were allotted 15 minutes and that Aréizaga had spoken for 45 minutes (neither was correct.)
Bustamante, who like other Mexican elected officials could not be re-elected, will be succeeded as mayor by the PRI's Dr. Jorge Astiazarán on Dec. 1.
Meanwhile, Bustamante's daughter, Carolina, gave her third state-of-the-city address as Tijuana's first lady. She said the Comprehensive Family Development system (DIF) she heads has been working to prevent domestic violence and human trafficking, and also developed La Ruta del Migrante (The Migrant's Route), a transportation system to pick up migrants at shelters and bring them to the DIF so that they can register for social services.