Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Return of Carlos Salinas, continued...

While many a proverbial eyebrow was raised by the presence of el innombrable during the bicentennial festivities, Carlos Salinas' return to the public view was in a quite institutional role: Felipe Calderón invited all current presidents to attend. Similarly, at a forum yesterday celebrating the 20th anniversary of the IFE, the Federal Electoral Institute, the "unnameable" was invited and held a speech. Why? Well, AMLO, to be sure, announced that Salinas' public appearance was "only to show off, to give as a fact that he is the boss of the mafia that controls all the institutions of the country, including the institute and the electoral tribunals."

As has been repeatedly noted, here and elsewhere, AMLO's constant denunciations that Salinas is the éminence grise controlling the levers of... well, just about anything in Mexico, is getting more than tiresome, and begs the question why he bothers to participate then in the first place. More ominously, by disqualifying every and all of Mexico's institutions, AMLO certainly sets the stage for future fraude protests, whether in Mexico State 2011, electing PRD's new president, electing PRD's 2012 presidential candidate, and the next miss universe, for that matter. 

Regardless, the reason is more profane: Salinas was invited to the forum for the simple fact that the IFE, in its initial form, and despite all its deficiencies, was set up in 1990 under his watch. It was, however, the first time in quite a few years that the reviled ex-president made a public discourse. It is worth reading in its entirety, and can be accessed here

Of note I would point to one statement in particular  that demonstrates that Salinas has hardly gotten any less cynical by the years:
"in 1988 the institutional framework was not ready, the electoral organ  was then controlled by the government and its party, and because of this the election authority could not build consensus; there was no electoral tribunal; and one could not give the results the same day of the election."
Really? The 1988 debacle, with the resulting murders of hundreds of activists, most of them from the PRD, really only happened because the "institutional framework" was not ready? 1988 happened because PRI engaged in one of the most blatant acts of fraud in its fraud-ridden history! To try to wash his hands off of this fraud by blaming it on the lack of well-functioning institutions is akin to saying, "oh, it's so terrible that we raped and killed the girl, but if only there had been police present, it wouldn't have happened."

Salinas and the PRI has much blood on their hands, and no amount of self-justification is going to wash off their responsibility for the 1988 fraud and the murders of party activists that followed. 

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