(Corrects first name in first paragraph)
MEXICO CITY, April 28 Oscar-winning Mexican film
director Alfonso Cuaron challenged President Enrique Pena Nieto
to answer tough questions about reforms opening up the state-run
energy industry to the private sector, in a letter published by
national newspapers on Monday.
The reforms, approved late last year, will end state oil
giant Pemex's monopoly in a bid to boost private
investment in the sector. The government hopes it will help
growth in Latin America's second biggest economy and increase
oil production which has fallen by a quarter since 2004.
The quick passage of the reforms through the national
legislature drew sharp criticism and fueled loud protests from
Mexico's left, which views the state's appropriation of oil
interests in 1938 as sacred.
"The legislative and democratic process of these reforms was
poor and lacked deep discussion," said Cuaron, who this year
became the first Latin American to win an Oscar for best
director with his space thriller "Gravity".
"The dissemination of its contents was done in the context
of a propagandistic campaign that avoided public debate," he
said in the full-page advertisement.
Cuaron, 52, went on to challenge Pena Nieto to answer ten
questions about the energy law, from how the country will avoid
graft to how it plans to protect the environment as powerful
foreign interests enter the market.
"Multi-million dollar contracts will be derived from the
approved reform. In a country with such a weak (and often
non-existent) rule of law like ours, how can you avoid
large-scale corruption?" Cuaron asked.
Congress is currently hashing out the fine print of the
energy reform through a series of so-called secondary laws that
are due to be approved in the coming months.
From his official twitter account, Pena Nieto thanked Cuaron
for the questions and said the government would answer them once
the secondary laws were presented.
"Your questions enrich the debate and will help Mexicans to
understand the reaches and benefits of the reform more
precisely," he tweeted.
(Reporting By Alexandra Alper; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)