Americas

Mexico 2012: The six-year Presidential term that awaits us

0 8
Last July 1 there took place presidential and parliamentarian elections in Mexico. Enrique Peña Nieto was elected, the candidate of the formerly hegemonic Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) that after eighty years in power (1920-2000) and two alternation governments in charge of the right wing National Action Party (PAN) (2000-2006 and 2006-2012) is back on the presidency.

BY DR. DANIEL VÁZQUEZ | APRIL 11, 2013

Enrique Peña Nieto

There are many topics related to the events before and after the presidential election such as the performance of PRI’s governors regarding the lack of transparency at the local level and the arbitrary use of the public resources, which caused the accusation of thousands of bought votes around the country (there is no official data on this, but estimates go from 5 thousand to 250 thousand votes obtained in exchange for money); the inexistence in practice of the electoral bodies –especially the Specialized Office for the Attention of Electoral Offenses (FEPADE)- either before and after the election; the actions taken by Andrés Manuel López Obrador, candidate of the centre-of-left Revolutionary Democratic Party (PRD) who finished second in the election and did not accept the results; the performance of the polling companies that overestimated the votes for Enrique Peña Nieto by 5-15%; to sum up, there are many relevant aspects to be analysed in this election, however, beyond the topics around this juncture, it is worth asking ourselves: which patterns are going to shape Mexican politics in this PRI’s comeback to power? What kind of six-year term we have got ahead?

What kind of six-year term is waiting for us?

I think there are some patterns that were born during PRI’s governments, which were kept by PAN’s governments, and which will shape the PRI’s return in the next six-year term: a “tropicalized”-neoliberal-capitalism, an institutional design based in the logic corruption-complicity-impunity; and a political functioning based on corporatism-co-optation-selective repression. Let us see each of them.

  1. Institutional logic

The initial reading of the partisan left on what was going on around the elections was that everything was part of a plot: an implicit agreement between the polling houses, the PAN’s led federal government, the PRI’s presidential candidate, the owners of the two main media’s corporations in Mexico that possess 100% of open TV signal, the councillors of the Federal Electoral Institute (IFE), and the magistrates of the Electoral Court of the Judicial Power of the Federation (TRIFE), in order to guarantee the victory of Enrique Peña Nieto through fraud orchestrated before the elections through a massive vote buying. If it is certainly true that the PRI governs the majority of the states of the federation (over 70%) and that there is little transparency in these governments where it is common the arbitrary use of public resources (it is not surprising that there was a wide mobilisation of the local state’s structures favouring Enrique Peña Nieto’s candidacy); it is mistake reading the actions of autonomous organs such as the IFE or the TEPJF in terms of a plot. On the contrary, the performance of these two organs must be observed through the series of institutional incentives that, in general, permeate all the logic of government in Mexico. Worse than a conspiracy, there exists an institutional design guided by the logic of corruption-complicity-impunity.

The different institutional players of Mexican politics work under logics of systematic violation of rights whether to “find criminals” or to “win elections” (the current president Felipe Calderón characterized the disputed election he won in 2006 as “haiga sido como haiga sido”, which roughly translates as “[I won] no matter how”). What could be observed in the Mexican political performance is an organisational structure that informs the common sense of political action through a pattern of corruption-complicity-impunity. Under this logic, it is easier to follow the illegal path than the legal one to carry out state action; execute “fake” arrests in popular neighbourhoods to increase the number of detentions; “sow” evidence both to enlarge data regarding recovered weapons and to support legal accounts; keep low standards of transparency and accountability in the states of the federation to make discretional use of public spending via clientelistic and corporatist policies that enable the conditioning of votes; show artificial police action in TV (portrayed as real) to create the perception of an efficient security policy; etc.

It is worth asking ourselves: does this logic applies to all government institutions, including autonomous organs that seem very professional such as the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN), the Federal Institute of Access to Information (IFAI), the IFE, and others? Fortunately corruption does not prevail in these newly formed institutions, where a different logic operates: that of complicity-impunity that needs the organisational performance to focus on making believe that “everything’s all right.” It seems that the “feeling of normality” has become a relevant pillar in the Mexican institutional logic when it comes to seek political legitimacy. Instead of conducting deep investigations that render visible –though scandalous- the structural problem of corruption in governmental functioning, the internal watchdogs are more focused on making us believe that everything is OK. This logic explains why even the Electoral Councillors linked to “leftist thought” quickly declared that this year’s elections were “exemplary”, that everything was very well. Worse, even after judicial proceedings the TEPJF simply concluded that there were not any proofs of vote buying, not a single one, although the reality exceeded it completely. Another example: facing the massive outflow of capitals during the first half of 2012 –which in this occasion four folded Foreign Direct Investment, the Central Bank (Banco de México) –another autonomous organ- declared that this outflow was “normal”, for we live in a free market.


Published in Political Reflection Magazine Vol. 4  No. 1


 

About the author / 

CESRAN Int.

Leave a reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

CESRAN Blog

  • 24th Issue is Online Now!

    Vol. VI | No. III – July-August-September 2020 To Download the Magazine Click Here… CONTENTS 05-14….. World News by Ebru Birinci 17-24….. Preparedness for an Uncertain Future “The Only Thing We Have to Fear is Fear Itself” by Professor Mark Meirowitz 25-39….. EU LAW vs UK LAW The Primacy of EU Law over National Law:…

  • IEPAS2020 is Going Virtual!

    Dear Friends and Colleagues, IEPAS2020 is Going Virtual! Due to the COVID19 pandemic, we are holding our entire conference virtually by streaming all of the live sessions. You may participate in all of our virtual networking events. In case of missing a session, you may get full access to the replays of every session since all…

  • The 13th issue of JCTS (Journal of Conflict Transformation & Security) is out now…

    The 13th issue of JCTS (Journal of Conflict Transformation & Security) is out now… Vol. 8 | No. 1 | 2020 Click here to Download the Entire Issue   TABLE OF CONTENTS Editor’s Note By David Curran Introduction By Nergis Canefe Research Articles Statelessness as a Permanent State: Challenges to the Human Security Paradigm By…

  • The 19th Issue of The Rest: Journal of Politics and Development is Out Now!

    The 19th issue of the rest: journal of politics and development is out now. Download the issue here… TABLE OF CONTENTS Research Articles Turkish AK Parti’s Posture towards the 2003 War in Iraq: The Impact of Religion amid Security Concerns By Alberto Gasparetto Nigeria and the Great Powers: The Impacts of the Boko Haram Terrorism on…

  • CESRAN International Named again amongst the Top Think Tanks in the World

    CESRAN International is pleased to announce that it has been named again amongst the world’s best think tanks. The 2019 Global Go To Think Tank Index ranked CESRAN International 141st among the World’s “Top Think Tanks in Western Europe” 75th among the World’s “Top Environment Policy Think Tanks” 153rd among the World’s “Top Foreign Policy…

  • THE 18TH ISSUE OF THE REST: JOURNAL OF POLITICS AND DEVELOPMENT IS OUT NOW.

    The 18th issue of the rest: journal of politics and development is out now. Download the issue here… TABLE OF CONTENTS Research Articles The Foreign Policy Decision Making Approaches and Their Applications Case Study: Bush, Obama and Trump’s Decision Making towards Afghanistan and the Region By Sharifullah Dorani Evaluating the Explanatory Power of Social Identity Theory,…

Newsletter