In [the book] I submit that Mexico is entering the 21st century walking hand in hand with lies and dissimulation, which have been loyal partners throughout our history, but now they have become the only form of government.That is a remarkably pessimistic take on Mexico. Not to understate the problems of today, but compared to where Mexico was 15 or 20 years ago, there's a lot more cause for celebration. Twice in the 1980s and once more in the 1990s, devaluations wrecked the economy. Now, the country's financial and monetary positions are strong enough that, despite the present crisis, its foreign reserves have withstood the wild see-sawing of the peso, Mexico's banks are in no danger of insolvency, and the nation is a model for recovery and sensible financial regulation.
They have told us that we have a solid economy, that we live in a democracy and we have advanced in the fight for objectives which the international community considers correct, such as social justice and respect for human rights, the environment, and diversity (religious, sexual, ethnic, ideological, cultural). But none of that is true. Our democracy is purely electoral and hasn't passed the tests of agreements and negotiation, there's no citizen participation and bandied-about transparency and accountability are non-existent. The economy, which according to the government discourse would place us among the biggest on the planet, doesn't pass the test of competitiveness and Nafta hasn't turned into the motor of development that they told us it would be, half the population lives in poverty as was the case half, one, two centuries ago, racism toward the Indians is brutal, justice hasn't been informed that its name must be honored, scholastic education is a disaster, and even in the sacrosanct family violence reigns. Now we don't even know if we're a nation and if we have an identity, something that a short time ago wasn't in doubt.
Two decades ago, a blatant electoral fraud robbed Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas of the presidency, and murder was a not-uncommon tool for silencing political enemies. Today, despite Sefchovich's complaints about the lack of depth to Mexico's democratization, a 1988-style fraud is unimaginable, and suspected political murders are rare. (Despite his many political enemies, no one even mentioned political murder as a possible cause of the plane crash that killed Juan Camilo Mouriño.) As far as deception becoming "the only form of government," is today's government really less honest than Salinas' or López Portillo's or Echeverría's or Díaz Ordaz's? An examination of each of episodes contradicting that assertion (just to run off the first examples that come to mind: Pepe Ruiz, Tlatelolco, Raul Salinas) could fill an entire blog by itself for years and years.
With the possible exceptions of violence and racism toward Mexico's indigenous population, every one of the problems Sefchovich lists in her manic tantrum, from deficiencies in education to the economy to the democratic system, was unquestionably worse one decade ago, and even more unquestionably so two decades ago, 50 years ago, a century ago.