And demands resignation of PRD's new national leader and executive committee
Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas, the man whose father nationalized Mexico's petroleum industry in 1938 by seizing foreign oil company assets to the delight of millions in this country, lashed out this weekend at the nation's most influential leftist party of which he was the principal founder 25 years ago.
Cárdenas, who is often referred to as the moral voice of Mexico's Left, established the Democratic Revolution Party May 5, 1989. On Cinco de Mayo, PRD celebrates its 25th birthday. Although PRD has never won a presidential election it came within a nose in 2006, and placed a respectable second in 2012, well ahead of the center right National Action Party candidate and a fourth party contender.
Today Cárdenas urged the "immediate and unconditional" resignation of PRD's executive committee and its national chairman, Carlos Navarrete Ruiz.
The demand is extraordinary because Navarette was just elected to his post on Sept. 8 and has only held office since October. Moreover, he easily won PRD's four way internal contest in which tens of thousands of rank and file members voted for the man they wanted to lead their party into the 2018 presidential election. Navarette solidly defeated another prominent left wing politician who has long enjoyed national prominence, and Cárdenas - a candidate himself - was soundly rebuffed as well. Former Mexico City governor Marcelo Ebrard, a moderate leftist, loses bid to capture PRD helm.
Carlos Navarrete Ruiz, 59, served as Senate President from 2009-2010. He represents Guanajuato.
But in a letter released today to key PRD loyalists, Cárdenas insisted the party will have no credibility in upcoming state and local elections, and could fracture or even dissolve, unless it undertakes a sweeping change of political course.
"The party is in grave danger of losing its institutional moral authority," argued Cárdenas, who remains Mexico's most iconic leftist spokesman. The 80 year old politician was thrice a presidential candidate - in 1988, 1994 and 2000 - campaigning under the PRD standard in the latter two elections.
PRD is reeling after the disappearance and presumed execution of 43 college students in Iguala, Guerrero on Sept. 26. Mexico's attorney general reported last month that the PRD mayor of Iguala and his wife are responsible for the brutal crimes, which forced the state's PRD governor to resign on Oct. 23. PRD members control most of the local political scene in Guerrero. Family ties, nepotism suggest nothing has changed in Iguala.
Mexico's Left has long criticized the nation's two other main political parties for endemic corruption, and in the case of the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party, for active cooperation with organized crime. But now it is facing precisely the same allegations, and with substantial proof. A recently surfaced photograph of PRD's 2012 presidential candidate, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, with Iguala's mayor has further fueled the accusations, although López Obrador insists it was nothing more than a routine campaign shot. The two time presidential candidate himself abandoned PRD in September 2012 to form his own political party, the radical National Regeneration Movement. Campaign photo with most wanted couple in Mexican puts ultra Left politician in unwanted spotlight.
Nov. 17 update: Mexico's Milenio network reported this morning that at least 12 Guerrero mayors are under federal investigation for links to organized crime, primarily the Guerreros Unidos drug cartel. Eight belong to the Democratic Revolution Party, and four to the Institutional Revolutionary Party.
Nov. 26 - Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas abandons PRD, 25 years after he founded it
Cárdenas at a recent Mexico City rally for the Iguala victims
Nov. 2, 2014 - Mexican Catholic Church lashes out at political parties, including the "false Left"
Oct. 30, 2014 - PEMEX reforms are forever a done deal despite fierce leftist opposition
Feb. 2, 2014 - On Constitution Day, far Left pol files criminal complaint against Peña for treason
Dec. 14, 2013 - Mexico already looking ahead to 2018 presidential election
Sept. 19, 2013 - Opinion: Mexico's Left determined to shackle the nation to the past
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