Friday, November 13, 2009

Mexico's Left

One of the more amusing but basically meaningless details that I've ever picked up from a magazine article came in this Gatopardo piece about the Mexican left: Juanito's ever-ringing cell uses YMCA as the ringtone. I can't stop smiling at the imagined sight of Juanito with his headband bouncing to the Village People. Also, he is said to regularly employ the third person in referring to himself.

Another noteworthy conclusion from the story was the future of the PRD and the Mexican left will be determined at a "refoundational" party congress this December. The congress is referred to (by different people) as the last chance for the PRD, as well as a chance to establish a new focus of leftist political activity in Mexico.

The section including an interview with AMLO was also memorable for how his answers were colored by his fears that the mafia is out to get him:
He reiterated what I heard in the Iztapalapa demonstration: that his struggle is against the "mafia" that owns the media, Congress, the judicial branch, the assets of the nation. He said that they are using international reserves of the Bank of Mexico to support the businessmen that have dollars abroad, and with that purpose "they have spent around $12 billion". Mexico is fourth place in number of millionaires in the world "and all of that accumulated wealth has been made through the suffering with the people", he added. I then mentioned that some of his critics question the relationship that he had with Slim when he was the mayor of Mexico City.

"I never compromised myself with anyone, so I can question the members of the oligarchy, because I never established any commitment that I am ashamed of.


I wanted to ask him about the spat with the Chuchos. To hear his opinion about their management of the party and of how they see him as a caudillo.

"If I had known what was to be the topic of the interview, I wouldn't have granted it, because I don't like to dwell on that topic", he emphasized with irritation. "It's dwelling on the same thing, you can even include it, that for two or three years what the oligarchy wants is for me to get mixed up in rivalries with PRD leaders or with Marcos, so that we forget the fundamental points.


"Why didn't you go to the PRD meeting" --I referred to the meeting of the National Council of the PRD celebrated in Morelia after the elections, in which Ortega was ratified as president after a rumored attempt to resign.

"Because I don't want to stick myself into that logic where they want to stick me.

"But, isn't it important that you define your positions before the party?"

"No, because the oligarchy wants to destroy us, and anything that signifies a posture of ours is motive for an attack.


"You are bored by this interview?"

"Yes, the topics, I don't consider them fundamental. I'm telling you seriously, I would not have accepted the interview if [I'd known that] these were the topics. It's a very superficial journalism, and very helpful to the oligarchy.

"You think I am helpful to the oligarchy?"

"You are not, but how you operate in the sphere of journalism and political society, it's not easy to separate yourself."
Really, it comes across as paranoid to the point that it borders on being nonsensical. The part when he is irritated about the horserace line of political questioning is especially interesting. Lots of politicians of all political stripes complain about that, and with reason, but most of them don't attribute it to a mafia lined up against them.

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