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

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Pena Nieto Keeps His Campaign Promises

Inauguration Day
By DD for Borderland Beat

"My promise and commitment is to carry Mexico to that place which it should occupy on the world stage" - Inauguration Day, Dec. 1, 2012

EPN had a good public relations team working for his campaign leading up to his election as President of Mexico.  Their campaign was based on “putting a new face” on PRI, the party that ruled Mexico for 70+ years through corruption and rigged elections to become known as “the perfect dictatorship” and the party and the state became one.

Their efforts at portraying the young handsome telegenic Pena Nieto (women at campaign rallies would shout “sweetheart, come to my bed), while maybe not the brightest bulb on the tree he was the future Mexico.

The campaign was good enough to win the election for him with 38% of the votes cast in a controversial election.  Considering that only roughly ½ of the eligible voters cast their vote in the election, he won with a little over 17%  of the voting population.  Not exactly a mandate.  But it was better than the “mandate” that Carlos Salinas (now considered by most of Mexico as the most corrupt President)  had when elected.   In his election, by midnight on election night the vote count showed Salinas trailing by a considerable margin before the computers that were doing the counting crashed.  The next morning when they came back up, they showed he won the election.

PRI (EPN) didn’t consider the “mandate” big enough to accomplish the ambitious plans they had for the country and the “new PRI”.  While most of the old guard of PRI (the dinosaurs) was still there, the “new PRI"  had people and economic interest they needed to accommodate. 

The old pie from the “good ol days” had already been sliced so thin by the dinosaurs that there wasn’t much left to divide up among the “new PRI”.  The only thing to do was to create a new pie.

Some of the best PR  people in the world, mostly from NYC were hired to attract new investors to Mexico.   They achieved some success during EPN’s first year in office.. 

The “Aztec Tiger” and  “Mexico’s Moment”  quickly became buzz words.  EPN’s photo was on the cover of Time Magazine with the caption “Mexico’s Savior”.   
That got some attention from business and investment journals, but it really didn’t put him on the world stage. It didn’t get the attention of the people of the world. 

Pesky little doses of reality kept creeping into the news –violence, corruption, poverty, lack of jobs that paid a living wage and a lack of opportunities for children due to an abysmal education system.

 “You will listen to him say everything is wonderful and fantastic, but on the other hand we still have terrible problems with security,” said Guadalupe Loaeza, an author and columnist for the Reforma newspaper. “He’s much more popular outside than in Mexico because we don’t trust him. We don’t believe him”

The violence, kidnapping, extortion, and “forced disappearances” not only did not go down but increased after he took office.  By the middle of EPN’s second year in office news of corrupt politicians at all levels of government and human rights atrocities involving police and military killing civilians was starting to get more attention primarily through social media and internet blogs.   Foreign Investors (needed to make a new pie) were keeping their money in their pockets.

Even before Iguala, nearly all media stopped using the term “Aztec Tiger” in describing Mexico and some had started using the term  “Barbarous Mexico”.  Not good for attracting foreign investors.

Up to that point, the PR machine had managed fairly well to keep the focus of the media on economic issues and just ignore the problems in Mexico.   

They had mostly kept EPN on a leash and only allowed him press access when he was talking from a script.  They had learned a lesson when EPN made a fool of himself at a Guadalajara book fair during the campaign.

To offset the increasing news of the problems in Mexico, around the first of Sept. EPN embarked on a series of op-ed pieces in the foreign press and speeches in foreign capitals extolling the virtues of investing in Mexico.   Though direct contact with reporters was kept at a minimum to keep EPN on script,  some reporters were insistent on  asking questions on corruption and violence.
When asked about the widespread corruption embed in all the levels of government in Mexico, EPN responded that “corruption is a cultural thing in Mexico.  It is just part of our culture.”  When he said that the room went silent, the reporters not believing that he just said corruption is not the fault of the government, it was because Mexicans were corrupt by nature.

At another interview in early September (barely 3 weeks before Iguala exploded into the world news), he was asked about his security policy regarding the violence in the southern states, specifically Guerrero.  He refused to talk about it by saying “that is a local problem and not the responsibility of the federal government.”

On Sept 26 Pena Nieto fulfilled his campaign promise to “carry Mexico to the world stage where it belongs”.  Municipal police, acting on orders from the Mayor, or the Mayors wife, attacked students from  a teachers school who had come to Iguala from a nearby town to raise funds for a trip to Mexico City to participate in a annual protest on the anniversary of the massacre at the Plaza of the Three Cultures in 1968.    Also attacked by the police was a bus carrying a youth soccer team.  In all, six were known killed and 43 were kidnapped and have not been found, dead or alive.  
  Shortly after that fateful day and as the facts started to come out, (of the murders and kidnapping, not from the seemingly Keystone Cops investigation), protests broke out across Mexico in more than 60 cities and 27 states.  Seemingly spontaneously and without any world wide organizing, protests soon broke out across the US and at least 15 other countries.  All demanding answers and the return of the students.  Some demanding the resignation of EPN.

  When the story broke it was carried seemingly by every major news media in the world.   

This can't be happening to me.  (looking like a deer caught in headlights)

After the new of violence in Guerrero started coming out President Pena Nieto told the press, “ I am deeply disturbed about this information coming out”.  Note he did not say he was disturbed by the events that were taking place, but “by the information coming out”.  Maybe a very telling choice of words – more concerned about tarnishing his image than a concern for the people.

I don’t think this was the stage he had envisioned on Dec. 1, 2010, but he did get Mexico front and center on the world stage as he promised.   Now that he is there he doesn’t seem to like being in the spotlight

His avoidance of the spotlight is very well expressed in a column yesterday by Denise Dresser  of REFORMA.

Reforma: Denise Dresser*
Translated by Ruby Izar-Shea

Disappeared. Absent. Dead or presumed dead. Forty-three students that are neither angels nor devils, but rather Mexican citizens with rights that the State trampled on. Probably tortured, killed, burned. According to Father Alejandro Solalinde, thrown onto a pyre of wood.

Before the Ayotzinapa tragedy, another disappearance in addition to the 43 we know about. The disappearance of Enrique Peña Nieto’s government. As Leo Zuckermann has correctly stated, the President looks stunned, paralyzed, trapped. Without leadership, answers, strategy, government positions to defend or forceful actions to orchestrate. Without cabinet members who can explain what happened in Guerrero and how to face it. Without a team that understands how to operate efficiently, act quickly, react appropriately and intelligently. A government that knows how to sell its image, but not defend it. A government that knows how to "save Mexico" when negotiating reforms, but not to prevent deaths.

There is a prosecutor who, one month later, still doesn't have information on the whereabouts of the missing students. There is the paradox that there are more detainees than disappeared. In addition to all the signals ignored, as Esteban Illades explains in "Iguala: el polvorín que nadie olió," ["The Powder Keg That Nobody Smelled"] published in Nexos magazine. The candidate who ran against the Iguala mayor, was murdered. The PRD municipal president [José Luis Abarca] owns nineteen properties and governs with a total lack of transparency. With eleven family members on the payroll, receiving 300,000 pesos [US$22,000] a month from public funds, 1.15% of the municipality’s expenditures. With a wife whose two brothers were on a PGR [Attorney General] most wanted list, published in 2009, for their ties to the Beltran Leyva cartel. With a history of vis-a-vis confrontations with leaders of popular organizations in Guerrero, like the one with Arturo Hernández Cardona, who was murdered after protesting on the Iguala-Acapulco highway. Shootings, kidnappings, mass graves, scattered bodies. A reality created by some governments and ignored by others.

In the face of this, a disturbing state of shock. An alarming incompetence. A President who says "there will be no impunity", but does not act to fulfill his promise. A leader who doesn’t know how to be one, inaugurating events instead of supervising investigations. Boasting about the achievements of his government instead of ensuring it works the way it should. No one knows what evidence was used to put most of the detainees in jail, or if they have been remanded before a judge, or if there will be a judicial proceeding against them. In the case of the burned bodies, that doesn't prevent DNA testing, but Murillo Karam admits there were errors in extraction of the remains. In the case of the Argentine forensic doctors, they say results will be ready in two weeks. In light of this information, it’s hard to understand what the prosecutor used as a basis for saying the bodies found were not those of the students.

Mexico simply does not have a justice system capable of investigating, identifying, protecting the chain of custody of the bodies, properly processing evidence, using genetic markers, conducting DNA tests using, for example, the CODIS system, developed by the FBI and Interpol. Rapes, homicides, murders cannot be solved like that. Nothing can be solved like that. This conveniently helps the government. It is better for Peña Nieto to have 43 students who "disappeared" than to find the bodies of 43 students murdered. It is better to have doubt, hope, uncertainty, than to know with certainty that the State committed a crime. A crime perpetrated by colluding police officers and murderous mayors and purposefully ignorant governors and stunned presidents.

In the extraordinary photo taken by Genaro Lozano a few days ago of the 50,000 people protesting the Ayotzinapa disappearances [in Mexico City], there is a huge sign on the Zócalo pavement that reads “It Was the State”. And that’s correct. You can add one more disappearance to the 43 disappeared in Ayotzinapa. The one of a State that doesn’t know how to protect. Defend. Care. Investigate. Prosecute. Punish. Fulfill its mission. Instead, we have elusive, contradictory authorities. Or authorities missing, just like the students they claim to be searching for: 43 + 1. And that additional "1" is the country’s President himself who, faced with this crisis, has failed to pass the basic test of leadership defined by John Kenneth Galbraith: the willingness to confront unequivocally the people’s biggest anxiety. Pena Nieto does not confront that anxiety. He only adds himself to it


  1. Excellent post DD, and thanks for the translated article, pretty much hits the nail on the head !

  2. The governments of Mexico are simply the same as the thugs Obama and Holder sold guns to.

  3. "My promise and commitment is to carry Mexico to that place which it should occupy on the world stage"

    EPN has kept his promise - - the murder capital of the world and the obviously most corrupt government n the world.

    Forrest Gump says it best, "Stupid is as stupid does." FUCK Nieto and all those lying SOB's who call themselves politicians. They learn form idiots like Obama and Holder more stupidity.

  4. Pena is not has bad as Obama

  5. Why r u doing this, just like 1968 killing. Pena doesn't care

  6. Pena nieto is just a puppet put there by multinationals and the us gov to safeguard their interests in Mexico. POS traitor presidente.

  7. is jauerz safer ..... México has come a long way you wuld be foolish to think 1 person culd fix 100 yrs of coruption murder rapes ect hows the schools

  8. Grab the money and exit stage left!

  9. EPN is the perfect president for the reality of Mexican politics and culture. It's novellas, elites, and corruption meets the president that looks like Enrique Iglesias.

  10. The butchers of Atenco and Acteal, pena nieto and emilio chuayffet, have learned to clean up their crime scenes, unlike tlatlaya, nobody can find te victims or their corpses...
    --but the Iguala disappearances of the ayotzinapa students bears their shitty footpirnts and fingerprints, nice use of the weaponry and defense resources the US gives to the mexican satrapy to keep the juanitos and the juanitas bananas at bay, safely away from the rich bounty that "belongs to the global cabal" that wants to privatize everything...
    --the mexican government can not conduct a clean investigation, and can not accept help, period...???
    --but emilio cuayffet had to resign under fire from the ernesto zedillo cabinet for exactly the same crimes perpetrated by him against the indians massacred in Acteal, who HAD ALREADY VACATED THEIR TOWN, persecuted by police, gafes and paramilitary forces paid by the governor of the state of guerrero, angel aguirre rivero was left as governor instead of ruben figueroa who resigned, along with chuayffet, to save zedillo's jundillo...
    --See: Hermann Bellinghausen/ACTEAL: A Crime Of State.
    --Nice report, it is good to see that we are on the same side on this, blaming the government, we have been bamboozled misled and lied to for too long already...

  11. We can't keep bringing up old stories, acteal was about as long ago as mexico68, and the halconazo, damn the internet, can't let the dead rest in peace, just because the CIA assets, the Litempos and the DFS were a bunch of criminals and drug traffickers, it doesn't mean today's PRI, PAN, PRI-ANAL, PRD or PVEM are not the same improved shit, freshly stirred...
    --Damn the internet to hell, or at least to malaysia, where whole planeloads get lost just like that...

  12. Epn beats the hell out of calderon the one who started the mess

  13. After 5 years, obama is falling into the wars and interventions the private US warriors like, that is stupid...
    --Those that blame obama and holder for the WIDE RECEIVER program enhanced under obama, and behind his and gw bush's backs, must have been born prematurerly, full term devil's spawn...
    The US has been meddling on latin america for the last 200 years, and there is nothing obama and holder can do against the US industrial-military complex denounced by IKE on his farewell speech, the general who won the WWII fo the US, could not do anything against the US industrial military complex who went on to murder the kennedys, martin luther king and a few others, no matter who was president, now they are mass murdering other americans children they have fighting their wars for profit for them, but obama and holder tried to stay out of it

  14. I saw Derbez criticize EPN on tv. Is Televisa turning its back on EPN or is Derbez turning it on Televisa?

  15. 8:38 derbez anda buscando que le paguen mas o que se lo chinguen, por delante y por detras, al derecho y al derbez


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