miércoles, 28 de noviembre de 2007

Letter never published but today

Written: July 20, 2006

México will never reach the status of a developed country. It’s not a matter of political elections, it’s a matter of culture; it’s not a matter of elections’ day, it’s a matter of History.

Six years ago, on July 4, 2000, I cheered in a letter to the Times the ascension to power of Vicente Fox Quesada, National Action Party’s (PAN) candidate, to realize, at the end, he had committed the same kind of corruption that the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) in its 71-year ruling regime: out-of-law economic and material privileges for him and some of his closest collaborators, abuse of power from his wife, severe corruption scandals surrounding the First Lady’s sons, and during the past several months, usage of government’s social programs in favour of the PAN official presidential candidate, Felipe Calderón Hinojosa, together with hundreds of hours in the media promoting him and trash-talking against his political adversary, Democratic Revolution Party’s (PRD) Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador.

On the other side, what everybody expected on the latter’s part has happened: rejection of defeat. That’s OK, he’s on his right and Mexicans have the institution to manage this, the Federation Judicial Power Electoral Tribunal (TEPJF, by its Spanish initials), but he has chosen the wrong way. He is blaming everyone, even members of his own team, instead of concentrating on the bad use of social programs and publicity President Fox made on behalf of Calderón. He may also demand transparency on vote’s computational machinery. He may, finally, decline in favour of Mr. Calderón, just as Al Gore did in 2000 to avoid his nation further economic, political, and social damage, indoors and internationally, and take advantage of the clear “win” his party got in the Senate and the House of Representatives, with almost a third of its members in each congressional body, together with the almost 15 million votes he got, practically as many as Calderón got. Unfortunately, this is the most unlikely scenario, no to say impossible. The likely one is that of political upheaval and turmoil during the coming several weeks (years?). The Electoral Tribunal will not come to a decision before August 31, after tough deliberations, and it will announce the name of México’s next President until September 6. To add to the mess and confrontation, six of the seven members of this Tribunal will end their term, after 10 years in charge, on October 31, and they are natural candidates for a vacancy which will be available in the coming months in the Supreme Court.

This is why we will never be a developed country. It does not suffice to belong to the prestigious and well-reputed rich club, the OCDE, headed since June, by the way, by former Mexican Treasure Secretary, José Ángel Gurría. México invariably occupies one of the last places in every survey the OCDE conducts on its 30-member exclusive panel. This membership was more the caprice of Mexican ex-President Carlos Salinas de Gortari, free market leader advocate, than a deserved privilege.

México has no remedy. México has lost its last chance.

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