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By Ariel Moutsatsos (for Safe Democracy)

Ariel Moutsatsos analyzes the Mexican political scenario previous to the presidential elections (of the upcoming month of July) and states that the country is divided in two: the “pro”AMLO —Andrés Manuel López Obrador initials, the Leftist candidate–and the “anti” AMLO. Moutsatsos believes that the discussion level in Mexico is lamentable and if it follows this route, the next President will be elected by chance and not by the debate of ideas and proposals among the parties in battle: PRI, PRD and PAN.

Ariel Moutsatsos is a Mexican journalist of Greek origin, from the Tecnológico of Monterrey. He has a Master degree in International Relations from the University Complutense, and he has been international correspondent in New York, Europe and the Middle East. He covered the 9-11 and 3-11 terrorist attacks for Mexican television and radio. He teaches International Terrorism and Comparative Press. He lives in Paris.

Ariel Moutsatsos.JPG IT IS NO LONGER A SECRET FOR ANYONE that Mexico will enter the upcoming July 2nd presidential elections polarized as it has not been for a long time. In the presidential candidate tripartite’s right corner is Felipe Calderón –from the National Action Party, PAN–, a moderate politician (more or less transparent), and not too popular, who he has managed, nevertheless, to distance himself from President Fox.

If the polls do not deceive, he is the one that is giving Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the populist-left candidate from the Democratic Revolution Party and Mexico City’s ex-mayor, a fight, who according to some studies of intended vote (each time less) and various analysts, is already perceived as the next and conclusive episode of “Latin-American new Left”.

Lastly, in the third corner, is Robert Madrazo, the aspiring candidate from the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), dinosaur with a big tail and to whom no serious projection would confer any given possibility to reach power since “his party” (literally, since he has been in charge of dismissing all dissidents) governed Mexico without interruption for more than 70 years up until 2000, when Fox and the PAN broke the revolutionary bewitching of the Aztec democracy.

As things are, Mexicans, in reality, are split in two. On one side are the pro-AMLO (the leftist candidate ‘s initials), and on the other side are the anti-AMLO. In the medium, there is no “calderonistas” neither “madrazistas”, except for those that see AMLO as a threat to the country and those that point at him as the best option for a real change after the “Fox” deception.

However, there is yet something much worse than that polarization: the debate level.


Once again, the aspiring presidential candidates have decided to give a pass to the cheap disqualifications in place of becoming entangled in the battle of ideas and proposals, which the country is in dire need of and that no candidate should never renounce, although it is difficult for the uneducated population to understand them (it would be better if they attempted to explain them).

A few days ago, for example, the President of the country made some declarations and López Obrador said: “quiet chachalaca”, not only disrespecting Fox but also the very presidential institution itself, which he aspires to head in a few months.

The PAN candidate, for his part, does not tire in comparing AMLO to Hugo Chávez –in television spots– and warns the electorate that the ex-Mayor is a “danger” for Mexico; he never says why. Madrazo fails to make the best use of his third position in discord and prefers to utilize his energies in accusing AMLO since he promised a television debate and now does not fulfil it.


I believe that being two months from the elections, it is lamentable that such a level of discussion continues along this pathway. If the political parties were already going to put the debate on the floor, at least they should strike with certain height. There are not yet utilizing, for example, the enormous possibilities being offered by the corruption scandals of two of the closest collaborators of López Obrador in the Federal District, nor have they seriously and repeatedly questioned AMLO for saying that he acts in favor of the poor while building a mega-via distributor for the wealthy instead of improving public transportation.

It has neither been seen that someone question in-depth Calderón so as to know if he really possesses fresh proposals and how deep such proposals are. The color of the business class interests that support him has not been investigated, nor have they broken their heads a bit to put him under distress in a live program. If all this was not enough, it is well known that none of the politicians that have illicitly been enriched will pay for it; they could investigate more into Roberto Madrazo’s patrimony or contrast his actions during his Tabasco government with his present promises.

With this campaign period that we are living, the next President of Mexico will not be elected by will and by a conscious decision of who best represents the interests of the country, but by the most pure and popular chance.

What a way to waste democracy!