President Felipe Calderón Announces The Creation of a New Biometric ID Card

It’s the dawn of a new era.

The Mexican government will issue a new biometric identity card which will carry fingerprints, a retina scan and a photograph on a magnetic strip to fight corruption in social programs, announced the President during a ceremony before the Senate at the National Palace.

“With this there will be clearer account and it will be clear that programs reach their intended recipients,” Gomez told a press conference shortly after President Felipe Calderon addressed the Senate about the card.

“This will avoid unnecessary intermediation and manipulation that can lead to illicit deviation of federal resources”, Gomez said.

The announcement came after Mexican lawmakers declared a shake-up of Procampo, an agricultural support program which takes up a budget of 171 billion pesos. The money has gone largely to the wealthiest, politicians and criminals, not small agricultural producers who were its intended target.

The card will be used in state health service sector, welfare programs and others like Opportunities which gives parents allowance for keeping their children in school and receiving regular medical check-ups.

Gomez added that it could let no one use fake names and might help in the fight against identity theft and other crimes.

Most transactions in Mexico permit the use of three other identity documents: the driving license, the voter registration card and the Unique Population Registry Number (CURP) document issued by the nation’s tax office. According to the minister, these were not accurate enough to identify a person.

The new ID card will not have a name and a photo visible on the outside, making it impossible to be falsified. The project’s fund will come from the ministry.

A cardholder’s address will not be recorded, but blood type data may be included for the sake of medical emergencies.

The first cards will be issued by the end of the year.