Monday, July 29, 2013

Mexican Left lambasts poverty war: "a massive failure"

On the day a Mexican admiral is buried & devastating poverty stats are released, the Left speaks out

Guadalajara -
In election years Mexico's Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) is often referred to by foreign journalists as "leftist" or "center left," mainly to distinguish it from the "right" or "center right" or "conservative" National Action Party (PAN), which lost the presidency in last year's contest. In neither instance is the description particularly accurate, at least measured by what those terms typically mean in many other countries. Calling PRI a leftist party is rather like calling the U.S. Democratic Party leftist (admittedly, the FOX network would probably approve).

But everyone can agree that the far Left in Mexico really is so. In the 2012 presidential election a fiery leftist politician, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, carried the banner for a coalition known as Movimiento Progresista (MP). MP was composed of three different parties which shared common visions for Mexico: Partido de la Revolución Democrática (PRD), or the Democratic Revolution Party; Partido del Trabajo (PT), which is the Workers' Party; and Movimiento Ciudadano, the Citizens' Movement. MP lost last year's election, but it performed much better than expected, easily pushing aside PAN to capture second place, with just under 32% of the ballots cast.

In September López Obrador, ever the political prima donna, announced that he would create a fourth leftist party, Movimiento de Regeneración Nacional (MORENA), the National Regneration Movement, which will chart its own political course apart from the others. Most of his fellow leftists, glad to be rid of him, thought it was a good idea. López Obrador breaks with leftist coalition, forms new party.

Meanwhile, Mexico's main leftist party - true leftist party - remains the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD), and it's already gearing up for the 2018 presidential election. The person most well-positioned to assume leadership of Mexico's Left is Marcelo Ebrard, former governor of the Federal District. He's a popular, charismatic politician who enjoys widespread support in Mexico City, the nation's largest metropolis, and among PRD stalwarts around the country. A year ago a Spanish newspaper argued that López Obrador was beyond his shelf life, suggesting that Ebrard was "much more in sync with the realities of Mexico." Many others share that evaluation. Mexico's presidential campaign 2018 already underway.

Leftist Andrés Manuel López Obrador remains an unapologetic champion of the poor - all 53.5 million.

PRD has several loyal factions within its ranks, including one known as Foro Nuevo Sol. That group's national coordinator and chief head-chopper-offer is one Hortensia Aragón, and today in a clarion call to political battle she let both PRI and PAN have it squarely in the face.

To be sure, Monday wasn't a good day for the PRI government of Enrique Peña Nieto. This morning a Mexican vice admiral was buried in a nationally televised state funeral, the victim of an insurrection - no, let's use the correct term: a regional civil war - which began 80 months ago, and is now right back where it started.

Then this afternoon, a government economic council announced a whopping 53.5 million Mexicans - 45% of the country - live in poverty. The severest poverty. You don't have to hold advanced academic degrees to know that poverty and Mexico's drug war are inextricably linked.

That's why Sra. Aragón said the so-called war on poverty which both the present (PRI) and past (PAN) administrations have waged were and are spectacular failures. She said Mexico needs to "change course 180 degrees" to deal with the endemic impoverishment which curses generation after generation, often consigning them to hopelessness.

Aragón won't get any argument from Rosario Robles Berlanga, Peña Nieto's own secretary of social development. Last week she told an audience that government stimulus programs haven't helped pull most Mexican families out of dire poverty. She noted incomes have continued to fall over the last two years, especially of female workers in the labor force, who often are the sole head of the household. "Without blaming anybody, it may be time to consider changing our approach to the problem," said Robles.

Referring to battles on the political landscape, earlier this year Aragón admitted that "the challenges facing PRD in the future are enormous, but victory is possible if we can count on the very best men and women in our country."

Mexico's Left has just under 60 months to prepare for its next national popularity test (July 1, 2018). That time will pass quickly.

Jan. 5, 2014 - U.K. report: life is getting harder, not easier for Mexicans
April 23, 2012 - Economic inequality is the primary cause of Mexico's insecurity, says López Obrador

© MGRR 2013. All rights reserved. This article may be cited or briefly quoted with proper attribution or a hyperlink, but not reproduced without permission.

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