[Translations of two articles from La Jornada of Mexico City for February 14, both by Roberto González Amador, on newly released Wikileaks cables. See original articles here and here and Wikileaks cables here and here. More complete list of recently released cables on Mexico here.]
Calderón and political parties concealed information on poverty
Diplomatic cable reveals plot to withhold data until after 2009 elections
The panista [Partido Acción Nacional] administration of Felipe Calderón Hinojosa and opposition parties reached an agreement in 2009 to withhold figures on the increase of poverty in the country until after the legislative elections of that year, in which the Partido Revolucionario Institucional won the greatest number of seats in Congress, according to a report by the United States embassy in Mexico.
Information on poverty is “politically sensitive” and it is more so during a campaign season. The cable from the United States embassy, supplied to La Jornada by Wikileaks, gives an account of an agreement between the government and the opposition to conceal the data.
The cable cites “semi-independent analysis based on official 2008 figures” to show that poverty increased from 42.6 percent of the total population in 2006, the year Calderón assumed the presidency, to 47.4 percent in 2008. Not mentioned is what happened in 2009, when the economy fell into recession. (more…)