Mexico's Tempest in a Time Change

Mike Bilow mikebw at
Tue Apr 10 17:21:53 UTC 2001

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   Tuesday April 10 10:21 AM ET
   Mexico's Tempest in a Time Change
   MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - If leftist Mexico City Mayor Andres Manuel
   Lopez Obrador gets his way, the capital could operate in a different
   time zone from the rest of the country, out of line even with its own
   With the federal government and mayor's office reportedly locking
   horns this week in legal maneuvers, many Mexicans fear that if Lopez
   Obrador prevails there would be chaos for airlines, television
   broadcasts, school schedules and lunch appointments.
   Lopez Obrador, who took office late last year, in February decreed
   clocks would stay put in the capital on May 5 when the rest of the
   country is scheduled to adopt daylight savings time, moving clocks
   ahead one hour.
   The capital of some 9 million people, is part of a greater urban area
   of some 19 million. So the core of the metropolis would be one hour
   behind all of its suburbs.
   Lopez Obrador's government has filed a constitutional challenge to
   daylight savings in general, before the nation's Supreme Court,
   arguing that the president does not have power under Mexico's
   constitution to impose the time change.
   According to local press reports, this week the government of
   conservative President Vicente Fox counter-sued, asking the nation's
   top court to knock down Lopez Obrador's February decree.
   Mexico adopted the time change in 1996, to put the country in tune
   with its northern neighbor and biggest trading partner, the United
   States. But daylight savings has never been popular here.
   Many argue that it is dangerous for children to walk to school in the
   dark. And last year in congressional debates, at least one legislator
   argued that darkness inhibited morning sex.
   The Supreme Court has promised to issue a resolution on the suit and
   the counter-suit by May 1, just days before Fox has decreed that the
   country will move clocks ahead.
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