Blog dedicated to reporting on Mexican drug cartels
on the border line between the US and Mexico

Friday, July 4, 2014

A 2012 Warning: The EPN-PRI Danger

Borderland Beat  LAT Archive Article May 2012 by John Ackerman 
A 2012 article in anticipation of the election.  A reader sent this in (thank you!)  How anyone could have voted for this man is something I cannot reconcile in my mind.  A historical road map existed, why would anyone imagine EPN would change his character when becoming, arguably, the most powerful man in Mexico?
One of the hundreds of memes in Mexico mocking EPN's Time cover
The Mexican version of the old Soviet Politburo is poised to make a comeback, with potentially disastrous consequences for North America. In 2000, the world hailed the end of more than 70 years of rule by the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, as a sign of democratic transition. Today, the PRI's presidential candidate in the July 1 election, Enrique Pena Nieto, threatens to bring back the authoritarian ways of the past. 

PRI has not cleaned up its act or modernized over the last 12 years. To the contrary, it has deepened its networks of corruption and illegality in the territories it still controls. The 10 states where the PRI has never lost power are among the most violent, underdeveloped and corrupt in the country. In these states, democratic transition and accountability are exotic concepts and the local governors rule like despotic feudal lords.

For example, the state of Veracruz is one of the most dangerous places in the world for journalists. Recently, four journalists were assassinated in a single week. In January, officials close to the governor were detained in an airport with a suitcase containing nearly $2 million in cash, supposedly for an advertising campaign.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration is investigating alleged complicity between three former governors of Tamaulipas and some of the most violent drug cartels in Mexico. The former governor of Coahuila, Humberto Moreira, has been embroiled in an enormous corruption scandal that left his state $3 billion in debt, allegedly involving falsified government documents and complex front corporations in Texas.

The state of Mexico, where Pena Nieto just finished a six-year stint as governor, is no exception. Homicide and poverty rates have skyrocketed and "femicides" -- targeted killing of women -- are common. A recent study by scholar Guadalupe Hernandez found that millions in government "social spending" went unaccounted for while Pena Nieto was governor, most likely to illegally fund his presidential campaign. Independent civil society groups rank the state at the bottom in competitiveness and tops in corruption.

Pena Nieto is a wolf in sheep's clothing. He hides behind a telegenic smile and sharp attire, but he represents Mexico's old corrupt political class. Last week, for example, a high-ranking general apparently close to Pena Nieto and his group of politicians from Mexico state was arrested on organized-crime charges.

During his governorship, Pena Nieto allegedly spent tens of millions in public funds to illegally boost his image on national television. But he has few ideas of his own and questionable moral character. He fathered a son in an extramarital affair and has come under fire from the boy's mother for being an irresponsible parent.
on right a Michoacan Autdefensa

When Pena Nieto was asked at a book fair to name three books he had read, he could only mention that he had gone over "parts" of the Bible. The late Carlos Fuentes, who died May 15, said that Pena Nieto's "ignorance" cast serious doubts on his ability to be a good president. No intellectual or independent journalist is willing to publicly endorse Pena Nieto's candidacy.

Pena Nieto would not stand a chance under typical democratic conditions in which candidates are forced to engage with citizens and frequently debate their adversaries. But in Mexico the powers that be have been working hard to protect him. For instance, not a single television station or major university has sponsored a debate between the candidates. 

Those who support Pena Nieto behind the scenes do so not because they think he would be a good president but because the return of the PRI is seen to be their best insurance policy. "Who's going to move the people with the money?... Pena Nieto is," boasted a prominent Mexican businessman close to the PRI.

But Mexico doesn't need more privileges for the rich and powerful. It needs greater opportunities for the common people, who have seen their wages stagnate over the last three decades. Mexico is one of the most unequal societies on the planet. It is home to both the wealthiest man in the world, Carlos Slim, and the most powerful narco-trafficker in the hemisphere, Joaquin Guzman. Only 10 families control 10% of Mexico's gross domestic product. Meanwhile, more than 50 million people languish under the poverty line.

If the next president does not attack inequality and stimulate economic growth, the violence and discontent will only deepen. This could lead to expanding social protest and political instability as well as significant new outflows of migration to the United States.

There is some evidence that Mexicans may be opening their eyes. Pena Nieto has fallen from first to third place among college-educated voters. His support in northern Mexico, normally a PRI stronghold, and among independents is also in free fall. Earlier this month, students booed and literally ran Pena Nieto off campus after his speech at one of Mexico City's elite private schools. This weekend, tens of thousands of students took to the streets to protest against a possible return of the PRI on July 1. "It would be like a horror movie," said one of the marchers.

The upcoming elections, which include the Senate and the federal Chamber of Deputies and six governorships, are very much up in the air. There is still an opportunity for Mexico to move forward instead of backward in its struggle to consolidate democracy, institutionalize accountability and expand economic opportunity.


  1. In nuevo Laredo there's strong rumors that the zetas shot down a hilocopter and 8 or twelve soldiers died.they say the soldiers are on shoot to kill orders.yesterday there was 4 body's on Mexico street. Has anybody heard more about this.

  2. I love the pictures ! :-)

    Well done !

  3. He was packaged and marketed successfully. Even then, he was elected with only 34% of the vote. But don't lay all the blame on poor ignorant Mexicans who sold their votes for the equivalent price of a coke and a hamburger. Consider that Pena Nieto was and still is very popular with the U.S. media, who gush shamelessly about his and this wife's Hollywood looks while praising his constitutional reforms. There has not been even a whisper of criticism against Pena Nieto from U.S. politicians on both the right and the left. Ackerman was not the only writer who tried to warn Mexicans, but the problem was that the PAN was just as corrupt as the PRI, and AMLO, the leftist candidate, scared the pee out of the Mexican business community. Mexico will never recover from Pena Nieto's and the PRI's assault.

  4. Great article chivis

  5. the writing on the wall could not have been more clear.
    the covers are priceless

  6. Puteado nieto pena

  7. Mexico is just experiencing another period of tumultuous events that the war on the cartels/ corruption is causing. Unfortunately, in the history of Mexico all the Nación Azteca has experienced is setback after setback. While the U.S. become the wealthiest country on Earth and developed in all sectors of a first world country. Mexico, on the other hand, in the same eras has experienced the loss of more than half it's territory, political instability, unending conflict, enormous losses of life through violence, large numbers of their citizens mired in poverty, and loss of generations of Mexicanos who headed north looking for opportunities/ stability that their homeland couldn't offer to them. Como dice el dicho: México muy cercas a los Estados Unidos, pero lejos de Dios. I just don't see Mexico revolutionizing itself for the foreseeable future. Maybe Mexicanas y Mexicanos with visión will cause me to change my mind.

    1. I nuevo Laredo your starting to see the corruption of the federal police. I see them talking with the drug dealers and they where robbing the American truck drivers.but the tour guides who bring them
      complained to the owner of the bars.who are zetas.and the took the money to the bars.I don't no if the truckers got the money.its the same thing they did to doctor Morales they say they have guns.take the Monday.

  8. And the Federal Reserve? Whats the percentage of the wealth it has of the world?

  9. Nieto,king of corruption

  10. This article was written before the AD movement even started last February! Now I actually have more hope because although the PRO is powerful. I also see that it's starting to crack. It's only a matter of time before the disenfranchised that are just below the Mexican elite level get fed up and start to undermine the criminal PRI!

  11. I travel mexico a lot and got to admit its better and safer since the pri and nieto came in the pan fucked it up

  12. I just tried to post my comment on this web site and was informed that it needed to be approved THIS WEBSITE IS FUCKIN COMMUNIST!

  13. From another BB article comment

    This is what should be boycotted: " Germany's BMW to invest $1 billion in Mexico plant." Ooouch, that would really hurt EPN's pocket.
    July 3, 2014 at 9:53 PM

    Also, a Diamler plant tooo. All while living in one big slave labour camp . & The camp guards are demented demonic possessed people called narcos .

    Meanwhile in Cancun and Cabo pass the margaritas

  14. Plenty of blood was spilled under Caldacorona .

    " It goes on and on and on its Heaven and Hell " (RJD Black Sabbath)

  15. Mexico's version of Obama

  16. I just tried to post my comment on this web site and was informed that it needed to be approved THIS WEBSITE IS FUCKIN COMMUNIST!

    relax and get of the meth you tweeker

  17. the chinese already have bmw plants where they make their own pirated versions of the latest bmw, ferraris, bentleys, cadillacs, ANYTHING YOU WANT, call on the chinese...
    --anyting technology related is ok and welcome in mexico, but getting paid 25 dollars a week for 6 days of work, is bullshit, calling lucky the lucky ones that get to work there is a fucking joke too...
    --them there nazis must be after something else, they will not just be nice for nothing, after having the market cornered with volkswagen, they must be after "something else", like a disaffected commenter on this thread whose comments never get posted, because they must be POS kind...

  18. K triste para la gente de Mexico! La corrupción y las atrocidades k ahora están ocurriendo todos los días parecen no tener fin! Las adicciones a las drogas en los Estados Unidos están alimentando la violencia y la corrupción! Si no hay demanda de drogas ilegales, entonces no hay beneficio para los carteles! Con la mayoría de las personas que viven en la pobreza, el dinero del negocio de la droga seguirá atrayendo a más gente que va a terminar muerto o encarcelado! Más víctimas de la negocio de la droga! La sangre de los inocentes asesinados está en las manos de los consumidores de drogas en los Estados Unidos y los gobiernos corruptos de ayudar a los carteles!

    1. Eso ya lo sabemos todos.di algo k no sepa nadie anticuado.eso ya aburre pero no se nos kita la maña seguimos votando y confiando en hombres imperfectos y no confiamos en dios.


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