Sunday, October 17, 2010

PRI bigshot suggests "truce" with the narcos

Manuel "El Meme" Garza is no insignificant name within the Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI). The former mayor of Reynosa, Tamaulipas, has been secretary general several times of the PRI, the party in which he has spent more than half a century. He has remained an important operador político, a political fixer, until the present. It therefore is quite notable that Garza recently called for called for a truce, of sorts, with the drug lords, though he adds "in order to catch breath, and later give them a final kick." This disclaimer notwithstanding, it is still noteworthy that a PRI bigshot calls for negotiations with the drug gang. The bigger question, of course, is: How representative is he of the party in general?

AMLO: Ebrard has "every right to be in favor of alliance" - but it is "treason," mind you

It is getting harder for AMLO to maintain his very sharp rejection of a PAN-PRD in Mexico State and elsewhere, while not directly engaging in warfare with Mexico City Chief of Government Marcelo Ebrard. Recently, the wording has become increasingly, well,  acrobatic:
"The Chief of Government is entirely in his right to declare himself in favor of an alliance, but I already made my position clear, and that it is a treason to the principles of the Left."
How does one square that semantic circle? One the one hand it is legitimate to support the alliances, yet on the other it is treason?

On the subject of word gymnastics, there is more. In a rally in Ixtapan de la Sal, south in Mexico State, one of the attendees asked him the very fair question why an alliance was OK in Oaxaca, but not in Mexico State. (In Oaxaca, to recall, AMLO kept his mouth shut even though PAN was part of the opposition alliance behind Gabino Cué). His answer:
"The conditions were different. I disagreed; I made a tour of all municipalities, and in Oaxaca there was the reason of the governor, it was something special, so then here in Mexico State, less so. We won't be impressed here."
What is one to make of this? One the one hand, it was OK to go against Ruiz (then why not Peña Nieto?), as things were different there (how?), but he was still against it, for the record. 
AMLO's verbal gymnastics simply cannot cover up for the intrinsic contradictions of this and other stands:

* He want's Peña Nieto out, but will even launch his own candidate against a PAN-PRD alliance, which will clearly destroy any chances of the left, and AMLO, to win in Mexico State/
* He argues that PAN and PRI are all the same - yet why then would it be such a disaster should the PRI return to Los Pinos, if there aren't really any differences between them?

Don't expect these contradictions to be resolved any time soon. 

Adiós, Friedrich Katz

From La Jornada

Farewell to a wonderful historian and human being. Mexfiles has a most worthy obituary, and more from La Jornada, and MilenioFor those new to Katz: If you are ever to read one work on Pancho Villa, read this epic work

Emilio González Márquez, governor of Jalisco, a gift that keeps giving

Emilio González Márquez, governor of Jalisco, is on the offensive, and wants to ride the coattails of the Mexican Revolution like everyone else, despite his tenure as one of the absolute most right-wing governors of the Partido Acción Nacional (PAN): "I am a revolutionary, and a juarista," he declared yesterday in conference of newly elected PAN mayors. He is most decidedly not. As governor of Jalisco, he has preceded over, among many things, extremely reactionary education policies that includes an attack on sex education policies, and a very, very cozy relationship with the Mexican Church's most extremist, falangist elements, above his close friend (and, many have argued, his real boss), Cardinal Juan Sandoval Iñiguez. Among a rash of scandals, González Márquez was caught red handed a couple of years ago trying to pass off millions of pesos of tax payers money to pay for a sanctuary for cristero fighters, fanatical catholics who rebelled against the Mexican state in the 1920s - an attempt at counter revolution.

 No, there is absolutely nothing linking Emilio González Márquez to the Revolution; he is as counter-revolutionary as they come, and appears more far right than even El Chacal himself, the counterrevolutionary Victoriano Huerta who had Madero murdered.

If nothing else, the latest utterances of Emilio González Márquez, shows that the Mexican Revolution still is powerful enough to lead even the most counter-revolutionary of Mexico's governors to seek to link himself to it. In this case, it just won't work.