In recent days, two major foreign newspapers have published unflattering articles on Mexico.
Brittany The Economist published a column under the title “Mexican president holds show trial of his predecessors, while France The world published a report entitled “Mexico under the sprawling influence of the Mafiocracy. “
The Economist The column criticized the August 1 referendum in which Mexicans will be asked, in a roundabout way, whether the last five previous presidents – blamed by President López Obrador for all kinds of problems facing the country today – should be investigated for corruption.
The referendum question – translated by The Economist as: Do you agree or not that appropriate actions in accordance with the constitutional and legal framework be taken in order to undertake actions to clarify political decisions taken in the past by political actors, aimed at guaranteeing justice and the rights of possible victims? – is one that “could have been conceived by Cantinflas, a comedic actor who transformed the Mexican taste for circumlocution into an absurd art form,” the British newspaper said.
“This is what President Andrés Manuel López Obrador wants Mexicans to decide in a national referendum on August 1. Decoded, that means, should he be allowed to orchestrate some sort of unofficial show trial of his five most recent predecessors and their subordinates?
The Economist asserted that holding a popular vote on whether or not someone should be prosecuted is a “travesty of the rule of law”, although he acknowledged that the Supreme Court, headed by a ally of the president, “narrowly ruled that the referendum was constitutional but softened the issue to its current convoluted form. “
The newspaper said the organization of the referendum is “even more surreal” given that López Obrador, commonly known as AMLO, has indicated that he will not vote because he prefers to look to the future rather than linger. on the past – even if he frequently denounces against his predecessors during his long morning press conferences.
The president said he would respect the will of the people and seek to hold his predecessors to account for alleged corruption if that is what the citizens want. The referendum will be binding if 40% of eligible voters participate and a majority supports it. But it is not clear whether the 40% threshold will be reached as opposition parties boycott the vote.
The Economist said the referendum “serves many of the president’s goals.”
“He likes advisory votes. They support his claim to pay more attention to the people than his predecessors. He used them to support decisions he wanted to make anyway, like canceling a new half-built airport in Mexico City, ”the column said.
“… The vote also confirms that, in the fight against corruption, AMLO prefers the theater, which it can basically stage ”, The Economist mentionned.
He argued that López Obrador – despite his own grandiose proclamations – has failed in the fight against corruption. The newspaper quoted María Amparo Casar of Mexicans Against Corruption and Impunity, who said: “Corruption in Mexico is healthy. We speak against corruption but there is no anti-corruption policy.
Citing the results of last month’s election, in which the ruling Morena party lost its qualified majority in the Chamber of Deputies but retained control of the lower house with the support of its allies, The Economist admitted that López Obrador remains popular but said he was “no longer invincible”.
“A lot of Mexicans still think he’s on their side. But they are suffering from the pandemic, the government’s mismanagement of it and the resulting economic slump, as well as relentless violent crime. To divert attention from political failures, their president needs all the political theater performances from Cantinflan that he can muster, ”he concluded.
Meanwhile, the The world The report focused on the security situation in Mexico with particular emphasis on political violence in the run-up to the June 6 elections. He examined the case of Alma Barragán, candidate for the Citizens’ Movement party in Moroleón, Guanajuato, who was murdered 12 days before the elections.
One of Barragán’s sons has ties to the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, The world said, citing an investigation which he said should be kept confidential.
“Was Alma Rosa Barragán a narco-candidate or was there an attempt to discredit her to justify the murder? »Asked security expert David Saucedo in an interview with the French newspaper.
The world noted that more than 140 politicians and candidates were assassinated during the election period and that criminal organizations were able to influence the electoral process and its results.
the The world The report also cited a claim by a US military official earlier this year that 30 to 35 percent of Mexican territory is controlled by drug cartels. Among the episodes of violence he recounted was the wave of cartel attacks in Culiacán in October 2019, sparked by the arrest of Ovidio Guzmán, a son of former Sinaloa cartel leader Joaquín “El Chapo »Guzmán.
The newspaper’s headline “mafiocracy” is taken from an interview with US-based organized crime expert Edgardo Buscaglia.
“Citizens’ votes carry less weight than the influence of the mafias [drug cartels],” he said The world.
“… To influence the [election] results, the drug cartels have instilled fear and shed blood, methods which… are only the visible part of Mexican narco-politics, whose expanding networks give this federal republic the air of mafiocracy ”, indicates The report.
Mexico Daily News