Daylight saving time in Mexico City, Durango, etc.: the plot thickens

Paul Eggert eggert at
Sun Mar 4 23:07:06 UTC 2001

The following article in yesterday's Los Angeles Times has several bits
of information about the new daylight saving rules in Mexico:

James F. Smith
Confusion Is the Watchword as Mexico Tinkers With Time

Among other things, the article says:

* Sonora will not adopt DST, to keep in sync with Arizona.  This is as before.

* Other border states, including Baja California, Chihuahua, and Nuevo
  Leon, will go on DST on the first Sunday in April, to keep in sync
  with the US.  Presumably they will also use US rules in the fall.

* Last weekend, Mexico City conducted an unusual telephone referendum
  and callers (about 5% of registered voters) voted 3:1 against DST.
  The mayor, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, then decreed last week that
  the Federal District will not adopt DST.

* The federal government says that federal facilities in the Federal
  District (is that enough "federals" for you?) will use DST despite
  Lopez Obrador's decree.  This includes banks, hospitals, and the
  airport.  Also, schools fall under federal rules and will use DST.

* 4 (out of 16) district leaders in Mexico City have announced that
  they will ignore the mayor's decree.

* Lopez Obrador has said he'll file a Supreme Court challenge to the
  federal DST rules, arguing that the president does not have the
  constitutional authority to impose DST by decree.

The Mexico City confusion stems from a political dispute between Lopez
Obrador and Mexican president Vicente Fox.  Here's the last two
sentences of the article, which pretty well sums up the situation:

  Carlos Marin, a columnist in the daily Milenio, wrote that the
  dispute "descends into the arena of the absurd. One merely has to
  imagine what it will be like to cross one of the hundreds of streets
  that pass through different districts of the capital and find
  oneself with one hour more, or less, to eat, work, go to a movie or

Smith doesn't list the other border states that will use the US rules,
but my guess is that Coahuila, Tamaulipas, and Durango (the last a
non-border state) will also observe US DST rules, as those states have
all agreed with Nuevo Leon since 1970.  I'd certainly welcome any
better info.

This reminds me of a similar dispute in Rio de Janeiro some time ago,
in which the mayor backed down after the city endured a day of
balkanized time zones.  It's one thing to run a small town like
Pangnirtung like that; it's quite another thing to do it with a major
metropolis like Mexico City.

More information about the tz mailing list