Lawmaker Strips in Congress to Protest Energy Bill

Credit: Reuters

By Anne Laurent

Mexico has approved an energy reform bill that will allow foreign companies to invest in its oil sector after 75 years of state control over production. Some say this will strip the country, and one lawmaker demonstrated this point in front of Congress.

A Mexican MP from the leftist opposition, Antonio Garcia Conejo, from the PRD (Party of the Democratic Revolution), stripped down to his underwear during a Senate debate Dec. 11 in protest of the move. He removed his clothes to suggest what he called "the stripping of the nation."

After a strong approval given by both houses of Congress on Thursday, President Enrique Pena Nieto, who pushed for this bill, said via his Twitter account that "It will boost productivity, economic growth and job creation."

To become a law, the energy reform needs to be ratified by 17 of Mexico's 31 states. The passage is widely seen as assured since Peña Nieto's party, the PRI (Institutional Revolutionary Party), controls a majority of the states.