Posts Tagged ‘Felipe Calderon’

Mexico: Anger and justice in Ayotzinapa

Thursday, February 19th, 2015

x ayotzinapa-march[Translation of an article from La Jornada of Mexico City for February 14, 2015. See original here and related articles here, here and here.]

By Tanalis Padilla

Four and a half months after the murders of three normal school students and the disappearance of 43 of their classmates, the Ayotzinapa students, the parents and a considerable portion of the national and international community are still in struggle. While the government tries to have the investigation over and done with and its apologists have tried to blame the students themselves for the violence of which they were the victims, the demonstrations for the disappeared still express anger and seek justice.

With a total of 100,000 dead and 20,000 disappeared since former President Felipe Calderón declared his war on drugs, it would seem that we have gotten used to (or worse yet accepted) the absurd level of violence his initiative, carried on by President Enrique Peña Nieto, has engendered. That is why it seemed obvious at first for the government to dismiss the attacks of September 26 and 27 as just another half a hundred victims. They have tried to portray it as a merely local matter, as fights between criminal gangs, like an exceptional case that has nothing to do with structural injustice, like anything except what it is: a state crime. (more…)

Mexico: Revolution and passive revolution

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

[Translations of two articles from La Jornada of Mexico City, the first, which has been abridged, from November 23, 2014, the second, a rebuttal of the first,  from November 30. See originals here and here.]

Enrique Semo: Mexico’s passive revolution

by Ericka Montaño Garfias

What we are living through in Mexico is what Antonio Gramsci called a “passive revolution,” the results of which have not yet been written. These are the words of historian Enrique Semo, who, together with researcher and anthropologist Néstor García Canclini, will receive this year the Premio Nacional de Ciencias y Artes in the field of history, social sciences and philosophy. That is the reason for this interview.

There are many things that history can teach us in the crisis the country is living through. “It offers us endless lessons, as long as it is understood that there are no two identical situations, that there are always differences, but in essence there are many lessons, and those who cannot accept them commit many errors,” Semo Calev stated.


Mexico: University forum examines Peña Nieto’s energy privatization and US national security

Saturday, November 16th, 2013

[Translation of an article from La Jornada of Mexico City for Novembr 12, 2013. See original here.]

By Elizabeth Velasco C.

Mexico City – The privatization of the Mexican energy sector serves the interests of the United States government, which, for national security reasons, requires an assured supply of oil, gas and water during the course of the first half of the 21st century, according to Josefina Morales and Carlos Fazio, professors at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, and José Antonio Almazán, a representative of retirees of the Sindicato Mexicano de Electricistas (Mexican Electrician’s Union), and Jesús Ramírez of the executive committee of the Movimiento de Regeneración Nacional (MORENA – Movement for National Regeneration).

The panelists concurred on the description of Enrique Peña Nieto’s energy reform as “the outcome of 30 years of neoliberal reforms imposed since Ronald Reagan’s presidential campaign,” which have already brought to Mexico “a war of plunder of its strategic resources and the social gains bequeathed by the Mexican revolution.” (more…)

Mexico: Cyber espionage and the hypocrisy of the presidents

Monday, October 28th, 2013

[Translation of an article from Proceso of Mexico City for October 22, 2013. See original here.]

By Jenaro Villamil

Mexico City – United States interference in the country’s fundamental decisions was never a problem of state for Felipe Calderón. The PAN [Partido Acción Nacional] president opened to the North Americans the doorways, the archives, the intelligence files on energy matters, on national security and on big business in Mexico.

The problem for him was that others learned of Washington’s lack of esteem for his bold and failed “war on drugs.” Or that, in fact, they saw him as a weak and sham president and, therefore, more vulnerable to pressure from the empire.

Calderón became angry with ambassador Carlos Pascual when Wikileaks disclosed State Department cables in which the diplomat, perhaps the most astute in recent years, sent a hard-hitting file describing Calderón’s war as a failure, all the while smiling at the president in Los Pinos. (more…)

Mexico is not a “middle-class” country, statistics show

Monday, June 17th, 2013


((Proceso photo by Miguel Dimayuga))

((Proceso photo by Miguel Dimayuga))

Contrary to Felipe Calderón’s claim

[Translation of an article from the weekly magazine Proceso of Mexico City for June 12, 2013. See original here and the INEGI report here.]

By Juan Carlos Cruz Vargas

Mexico City – Despite the growth of the middle class in the period between 2000 and 2010, Mexico cannot be described as a “middle-class” country but as a poor one, according to the Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía (INEGI – National Institute for Statistics and Geography, an autonomous government agency).

In a study entitled “Clases Medias en México,” the agency, headed by Eduardo Sojo, reports that 55.08% of homes, representing 59.13% of Mexicans, live in economically precarious conditions. This can grow worse in the event of any catastrophic event in the home, like the sudden loss of the main provider, or a sickness or serious accident. (more…)

Ciudad Juárez, Mexico: What Calderón isn’t teaching at Harvard

Saturday, March 2nd, 2013

[Translation of an op-ed from La Jornada of Mexico City for March 1, 2013. See original here and the article by Felipe Calderón here.]

By Víctor M. Quintana S.

He will probably think that after reading his article published in Latin American Policy Journal they, like his entourage in Mexico, will say “Very well, Mr. President.” But what is certain is that only the indulgent professors, poorly informed concerning our beloved border, will swallow what Calderón claims about the success of his strategy against violence in Juárez.

In his article, “Todos Somos Juárez:  An Innovative Strategy to Tackle Violence and Crime,” Calderón relates that the strategy he put in place had three main components: sending in the army and the federal police; supporting local and state authorities in enforcing the law; and operating the Todos Somos Juárez program in order to reconstruct the battered social structure of the border. (more…)

Mexico: A thermometer of the young

Friday, June 1st, 2012

((José Carlo González photo))

The youth vote could change the election results

[Translation of an article from Página/12 of Buenos Aires, Argentina, for May 31, ,2012, by writers from La Jornada of Mexico City. See original here.]

by Alonso Urrutia and Claudia Herrera

With a potential that could equal 30 percent of the electorate (if those up to 29 years of age are included), the uprising of the young in the midst of the electoral campaign could reverse the trends. The participation of the young is not only a criticism of Enrique Peña Nieto, the PRI (Partido Revolucionario Institucional) candidate, favored to win, but what he represents: corruption and impunity. Thus warns Enrique Cuna, a researcher for the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana (UAM) who conducted a study financed by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) on youth participation in elections . (more…)

Argentina: Repsol YPF awakens the beast of colonialism

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

[Translation of an article from El Clarín of Santiago, Chile, for April 21, 2012. See original here.]

By Marcos Roitmann Rosenmann

Measures taken to nationalize and to recuperate basic riches in Latin America or Africa or Asia have always suffered the ire of colonial centers and the enterprises affected. There is no shortage of examples: Lázaro Cárdenas, Jacobo Arbenz, Fidel Castro, Omar Torrijos, Velasco Alvarado, Salvador Allende, Evo Morales, Hugo Chávez; the list is long.

Accustomed to ordering and to being in charge, arrogant empires are unfamiliar with the concepts of independence and sovereignty. They are reluctant to deal as equals. Paternalism, based on positions of strength, shapes the discourse of imperial haughtiness. To declare oneself opposed to paternal authority and the established order usually brings on exemplary punishment: blockades, destabilizing processes, economic strangulation, assassinations of leaders or coups d’état. These days, the expropriation of a private company, Repsol YPF, whose interests are those only of their stockholders and whose objective is to obtain profits at the cost of any ethical, judicial or environmental consideration, awakens the ire of the hegemonic powers, their institutions and principal political leaders. (more…)

Mexico: Diplomatic cable reveals “quiet intervention” by US in oil production

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

Despite constitution, Calderón requested US involvement

[Translation of an article from La Jornada of Mexico City for March 16. See original here, related article here and cable in question, as released by Wikileaks, here.]

by Roberto González Amador

Mexico is on the verge of becoming an importer of petroleum. Production of crude oil in the country is declining rapidly. “Despite some optimistic GOM [government of Mexico] forecasts, there are no realistic options for reversing this decline in the short to medium term.” This from a February, 2010, report to the State Department by Carlos Pascual, United States ambassador to Mexico.

In the cable, the diplomat reports that at the request of the administration of Felipe Calderón Hinojosa the United States government has become “quietly” involved in areas related to the domestic energy sector. (more…)

Mexico: Can lightning strike twice in the same place?

Saturday, November 19th, 2011

((José Francisco Blake))

Second interior minister dies in suspicious plane crash

[Translation of an article from El Faro of San Salvador, El Salvador, for November 14, 2011. See original here.]

By Blanche Petrich

Important pieces of the puzzle that is Mexico these days have again fallen into place. Faced with a new calamity – a helicopter crashed on a hillside, the bodies of eight officials and military officers amid the twisted metal – the figure of President Felipe Calderón is weakened even more. In a period of three years, mourning has befallen his cabinet on two occasions. First a secretary of the interior, Juan Camilo Mouriño, dies in a plane crash (September 21, 2008) [sic. — it was in fact on November 4, 2008] and now José Francisco Blake, his successor, dies in another airplane accident, last November 11.

But can lightning strike twice in the same place? Science and common sense would say that the probability is minimal. But nevertheless…

In fact we can speak of three bolts of lightning, three air “accidents” that kill three cabinet members in a period of only six years and leave strategic national security ministries leaderless during the past two Partido Acción Nacional administrations, if we include the helicopter crash in which José Ramón Huerta, the public security minister in the previous administration of Vicente Fox (September 21, 2005), died. (more…)

From Monterrey to Atlántida

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

A demonstration against violence in Monterrey

[Translation of an editorial from El Faro of San Salvador for August 29, 2011. See original here. Atlántida is a state on the Caribbean coast of Honduras, best known as a luxury tourist attraction but recently also a center of drug trafficking and other organized crime, and of the violence that results.]

The recent attack on a casino in Monterrey, which left more than 50 dead, raised even higher the level of horror that drug trafficking gangs have unleashed in Mexico in their delivery of drugs to the United States.

President Felipe Calderón, besieged by a population fed up with so much bloodshed, pointed rightly toward the United States, asking that country to begin the task it has never been willing to take on: that of decreasing the drug use and toughening its control over the sale of fire arms. (more…)

El Salvador: Muricio Funes on pragmatism and Utopia

Sunday, June 26th, 2011

La Jornada photo by Marco Peláez

[Translation of an interview from La Jornada of Mexico City for June 22, 2011. See original here.]

by Blanche Petrich

Two years as president and he has three to go. The first ruler of his country, El Salvador, not to come from the oligarchy. He defends his pragmatism as an indispensable attribute at this juncture. Mauricio Funes Cartagena, 53 years old, recognizes beforehand that in 2014, when he leaves the presidential residence, he will be “halfway done,” leaving unfulfilled many of the aspirations that led partisans of the leftist Frente Farabundo Martí para la Liberación Nacional (FMLN) and the popular sectors to vote for him in 2009.

“I am aware that people are going to be disappointed. I never thought in a utopian way; I knew I would diverge from the historical aspirations of the people. I understand that the unions are frustrated, I understand the frustration of the teachers, with whom I reached an agreement for an improvement in their salaries and now we are not going to achieve that in the terms we agreed on. It is just that I do not have any more resources to improve the hospitals, to improve the living standards for many. But despite it all, El Salvador has changed. (more…)