Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas abandons PRD, 25 years after he founded it

More fallout from Iguala

Guadalajara -
The influential "moral voice" of Mexico's political left wing, Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas, yesterday resigned from the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) which he and others founded on May 5, 1989.

Ten days ago Cárdenas challenged the party's top leadership after investigators revealed in October that the former PRD mayor of Iguala, Guerrero directly ordered the kidnapping of 43 college students there on Sept. 26. Mexico's attorney general has reported that the students were brutally executed in a neighboring town within hours. Both the mayor and his wife are in federal custody awaiting trial.

The former PRD governor of Guerrero, Ángel Aguirre, was forced to resign on Oct. 23 in the wake of the Iguala massacre, but local PRD politicians continue to dominate the violent state, 77% of which is under the control of organized crime groups, according to Mexico's defense secretary. Control of Guerrero hotly disputed by six major drug cartels, and many local gangs.

"The party is in grave danger of losing its institutional authority," said Cárdenas on Nov. 16. The 80 year old politician, Mexico's most iconic leftist spokesman, was thrice a presidential candidate - in 1988, 1994 and 2000 - campaigning under the PRD standard in the latter two elections. Father of Mexican Left says Democratic Revolution Party has "lost its moral authority" after Iguala disaster.

Citing "profound differences in our visions of how to confront problems within the party," Cárdenas said he was compelled to resign. In a parting shot at PRD leaders he added, "Otherwise I would have to share responsibility for myopic decisions being made upon expediency or complacency."

Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas is the son of former Mexican president Lázaro Cárdenas del Río (in office 1934-1940), who nationalized Mexico's petroleum industry in 1938 by seizing foreign oil company assets and creating Petróleos Mexicanos (PEMEX), a state monopoly. PEMEX was opened to private capital investment and foreign technical participation in December 2013, in an historic reform generally regarded as the most politically significant in the 24 month old administration of president Enrique Peña Nieto. Mexico's Supreme Court upheld the new energy rules on Oct. 30 despite PRD's intransigent opposition, which called them a sellout of the nation's vast hydrocarbon assets to foreign oil and gas producers.

PRD elected a new national leader on Sept. 8, in a four way contest where Cárdenas and a former mayor of Mexico City were candidates. But party regulars rejected both, voting overwhelmingly for Carlos Navarrete Ruiz, who served as president of Mexico's Senate from 2009 to 2010. Navarette, who assumed his leadership post in October, has the formidable task of remaking PRD's tarnished public image before the 2018 presidential election season, which will begin in about 36 months. Former Mexico City governor Marcelo Ebrard, a moderate leftist, loses bid to capture PRD helm.

In addition to staunch opposition from the center right National Action Party (PAN) and the ruling center left Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), PRD will face the harshest of criticism from radical left politician Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who was PRD's presidential nominee in 2006 and 2012. López Obrador, who now rails against PRD, contends that his former party has been far too indulgent with the political opposition, and has promised to run again in 2018 as the candidate of the National Regeneration Movement (MORENA), which he founded in September 2012.

MORENA is at the far end of Mexico's political Left. Former Mexico City mayor Marcelo Ebrard, a PRD loyalist despite some disagreements with the party, has said it would be disastrous if the Left fielded two candidates in 2018, but that's exactly the way the next presidential election is shaping up. May 5 - On Cinco de Mayo PRD celebrates its 25th birthday - with strong dissent from ultra left wing.

Mexico's far Left also includes the Partido de Trabajo (PT), or Workers' (Labor) Party

Oct. 29 - Campaign photo with most wanted couple in Mexican puts ex-PRD presidential candidate in unwanted spotlight
Dec. 14, 2013 - Mexico already looking ahead to 2018 presidential election
Dec. 12, 2013 - Exit Stage Left: PRD says "The Pact for Mexico is dead"

© MGR 2014. 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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