Saturday, March 17, 2012

Vázquez Mota, fit to govern?

I have been thoroughly disappointed with virtually every aspect of Vázquez Mota's campaign so far. Granted she has not much of a record to show to - her highest positions were relatively brief posts as secretary of social development and secretary of education, and despite having some credibility from having fought very publicly with SNTE teacher union despot Elba Esther Gordillo, has really very little to show for in her career. Can anyone point, for instance, to any relevant legislation pushed and passed when she was head of PAN's parliamentary group?

But I was at least expecting to see some future potential on the campaign trail, through her speeches, encounters, responses to criticism, and so forth.

Instead, she has managed to draw the ire of students and the university world, and revelations from here thesis work suggest an extreme anti-popular but also anti-intellectual bias, appearing closer to a Santorum and Palin than anyone else.
- It all began when she, in front of audience at the college ITAM giggled that she was "not perfect, because I studied at La Ibero," or the Universidad Iberoamericana.

Not likely to endear her to Ibero alumni. But then, her Ibero thesis has surfaced, where she in a classist rant refers to UNAM, Mexico's premier public university, as a "monster" - "it slowly converted into a political institution, a monster that harbor half a million students who unfortunately have no interest in their professional preparation."

And the kicker? Beyond the blatant generalization and depreciation of what is the best university in Mexico and its student mass, many who indeed come from lower class families and are first-generation students, the thesis in which she rants against UNAM was begun in 1983 and finished in 1998(!). Yes, unlike all those pesky students at UNAM who don't even study, Vázquez Mota only took fifteen years to finish her thesis masterpiece. 

Now, given the way education is structured in Mexico, it often happens that students finish their coursework but at a later point finish their thesis, though 15 years is quite a stretch - and particularly for someone who depreciate students at other universities for not being dedicated to studying.

But again the worst is yet to come in the fall out: She answered then in the most pathetic way possible: She is the victim - yes, a victim - of a "dirty war," where here commentaries are taken "out of context" with the purpose to "defame" her. Since when is holding someone accountable to earlier statements a "dirty war"?

Vázquez Mota then went to ITAM, the best private college in Mexico, and as it draws primarily from the upper layers of Mexican society one might have expected a friendly audience. To their credit, the students questioned seriously her record. The best comment yet from one of the students:
Many of the things you are saying are not true, because as Secretary of Public Education, of Social Development, twice a member of parliament, you did not pursue any of the reforms you are now talking about, why should we now believe that you are going to do so?
Why indeed should we?


  1. To some of your readers' disappointment, you're starting to sound like the PRI. Anyone can be influenced, but the media has certainly stepped up their attacks and gotten some results in recent weeks, haven't they? Pathetic to point out the spin & attack campaign now that she's seen in a stronger position? I don't think so. She told a joke and is getting attack for writings from a decade ago, it's not like she recently said she was from the school of life like some people...

  2. I might point out that PRI operatives in any party or position of influence or well-placed in giant corporate media fear one thing above all else. It is actually being treated like the front-runners that they are and dealing with attacks from both their left and their right. At this point they remain in a dominant position. Should either candidate threaten, they will seek to ally with the other party to keep them down if they can manage to push such ideas. This is not in the interest of anyone but of the PRI... but then, the PRI will praise its UNAM ties and the UNAM professors will praise the PRI, the PRI will use its Mexican media ties and the media will praise the PRI, etc. So much for being a new party.

  3. I am not sure I follow all your points, but to be perhaps a bit more clear: My disappointment is with a candidate who appears frivolous and shallow and has up until this point not shown the slightest reason why she would deserve to becoming president of Mexico. I hardly see JVM being treated any more unfairly than AMLO or EPN. If any party has strong UNAM ties, it is the PRD and not the PRI. Can you honestly imagine EPN appearing at CU? Expect to see AMLO there soon.