Meet Señor Aguirre: Rob Allyn the Guatemalan

The image “https://i2.wp.com/www.proceso.com.mx/imgpgde/1620-gd.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

In order to conceal his [illegal] activity, Allyn assumed the false identities of “José de Murga” y “Alberto Aguirre.”

Capitalism is the future of Latin America, but not just any form of capitalism. A capitalism with a terroristic, guerrilla warfare mentality does not build prosperity, although it may be good business for some. This type of capitalist culture delegitimizes free enterprise in the eyes of society. –Fernando Javier Ruiz, Centro para la Apertura y el Desarrollo de America Latina

Rob Allyn, con Fox, negocio seguro: Proceso magazine (Mexico) — in an issue dedicated to cooking former President Vincente Fox and eating him, with hot sauce — files this profile on a certain Señor Aguirre.

Also known as Rob “John McCain is flat-out freaking insane” Allyn of Allyn & Company, reportedly the co-author with President Fox of the forthcoming presidential memoir, Revolution of Hope.

File under

Washington.- En Estados Unidos, a Rob Allyn se le cataloga como uno de los cabilderos políticos y publirrelacionistas más exitosos, con el prestigio internacional de haber ayudado a consolidar los triunfos presidenciales de George W. Bush y de Vicente Fox.

In the U.S., Rob Allyn is regarded as one of the most successful political advisers and public relations experts around, with international prestige based on his role in achieing the presidential triumphs of George Bush and Vincente Fox.

Allyn, de 47 años, es el fundador y presidente de la empresa Allyn & Company, la cual, según el Departamento del Tesoro, tiene un ingreso de unos 5 millones de dólares anuales.

Allyn, 47, is the founder and president of Allyn & Company, which according to the Treasury Dept. has annual revenues of $5 million.

“Ganadora de varios premios, Allyn & Company es una firma de relaciones públicas, de publicidad y consultoría política fundada en 1983, con oficinas en Dallas, Austin, Phoenix y la Ciudad de México. Ofrece servicios a las 500 corporaciones más importantes (de Estados Unidos) que se encuentran en la lista de Fortune; a jefes de Estado, industrias, equipos deportivos y a las causas políticas en Estados Unidos, México, Asia y el Caribe”, dice en su pagina electrónica.

Quotes the company’s Web site. I find a different blurb there, as follows:

A global star in political media, Allyn & Company has served more than 300 winning campaigns for heads of state, candidates, political parties and causes in the U.S., Mexico, the Caribbean and Asia. President Vicente Fox of Mexico. Three Mexican Governors. Prime Minister Perry Christie of the Bahamas. Award-winning creative for Governor George W. Bush. Independent advocacy TV ads in support of President Bush in 2000. Victories for the Republican Party, U.S. Senate, Congress, mayors and statewide offices. … American Airlines. Bank of America. EDS Mexico. 7-Eleven. Deloitte & Touche. Mary Kay Cosmetics. Marriott. XM Satellite Radio. SBC. Wal-Mart. Public affairs, issue advocacy, PR, litigation support and crisis communications. Allyn & Company provides Fortune 500 corporations with strategic counsel, issue advertising, media relations, research, message strategy and creative collateral for retail, transportation, energy, hospitality to real estate, consumer products, health care, technology and telecom.

I could not find the copy cited by Proceso, but then I did not comb the site too thoroughly. Does it have a separate site in Spanish?

Con un título de licenciatura en “gobierno” por la Universidad de Georgetown, donde fue alumno de Madeleine Albright y de Henry Kissinger –ambos extitulares del Departamento de Estado–, Allyn se inició en el mundo de la política a finales de los setenta como asistente del legislador republicano Jim Collins; en 1983 trabajó como autor de los discursos del gobernador de Texas Bill Clemens, y ese mismo año fundó Allyn & Company.

With a B.A. in government from Georgetown, where he studied with Madeleine Albright and Henry Kissinger — both former Secretaries of State — Allyn entered the world of politics in the late 1970s was an aide to Republican lawmaker Jim Collins; in 1983 he went to work as a speechwriter for Texas governor Bill Clemens, and in the same year found Allyn & Company.

Desde hace 24 años, Allyn ha sido una pieza fundamental en la estrategia electoral de los políticos republicanos de Texas. Ha producido cientos de promocionales de televisión, radio, prensa e internet que impulsaron las victorias de figuras como el senador Phil Gramm, el representante Mac Thornberry y George W. Bush. En el sector privado, Allyn & Company ha prestado servicios a corporaciones como Coca Cola, Cinemark, GTE y Spring [sic] PCS.

Since the age of 24, Allyn has been a key man in the electoral strategy of Texas Republicans. He has produced hundreds of TV, radio, print and Internet ads that have driven the victories of such figures as Sen. Phil Gramm, Rep. Mac Thornberry, and George W. Bush. In the private sector, Allyn & Company has worked for such corporation as Coca Cola, Cinemark, GTE and Sprint PCS.

Coincidentally or not, Vincente Fox was the CEO of Coca-Cola Mexico, right?

Como amigo, asesor y aliado de los políticos millonarios de Texas afiliados al Partido Republicano (incluida la familia Bush), en 1997 Allyn aceptó el consejo de un “empresario texano” que le sugirió acompañar a la Asamblea de Dallas a Monterrey, México, a un evento en el cual el gobernador Vicente Fox sería uno de los oradores principales.

As a friend, aide and ally of millionaire Texas Republicans (including the Bush family), in 1997 Allyn took the advice of a “Texas businessman” who suggested he accompany the Dallas city council on a trip to Monterrey, Mexico, to an event at which Governor Fox would be one of the principal speakers.

Allyn dijo haber quedado “impresionado” por la determinación de Vicente Fox de liquidar la hegemonía del PRI en la Presidencia de México. Dos meses después fue contratado por el grupo de asesores del gobernador guanajuatense, entre ellos Jorge Castañeda y Juan Hernández, para que los apoyara en el diseño de una campaña con miras a los comicios de 2000.

Allyn said he had been “impressed” with Fox’s determination to put an end to the PRI’s monopoly on the Mexican presidency. Two months later he was hired by a group of the Guanajuato governor’s aides, among them Jorge Castañeda and Juan Hernández, to help them design a campaign with an eye to the 2000 elections.

En una clara violación del artículo 33 de la Constitución, que prohíbe la intervención de extranjeros en los asuntos políticos del país, Fox y su equipo comenzaron a recibir la asesoría de Allyn, quien para ocultar su actividad usó las falsas identidades de “José de Murga” y “Alberto Aguirre”. Con ese fin trasladó a México a sus dos principales asistentes: Mari Woodlief, una rubia de ojos azules que se hacía llamar “Señora Hernández”, y a Michael Portman.

In a clear violation of Article 33 of the Constitution, which prohibits the participation of foreigners in Mexican political affairs, Fox and his team began receiving advice from Allyn, who in order to conceal his activity assumed the false identities of “José de Murga” y “Alberto Aguirre.” For this purpose he brought his two main assistants to Mexico: Mari Woodlief, a blonde with blue eyes who went by the name “Señora Hernández,” and Michael Portman.

The Article in question reads:

SON EXTRANJEROS LOS QUE NO POSEAN LAS CALIDADES DETERMINADAS EN EL ARTICULO 30. TIENEN DERECHO A LAS GARANTIAS QUE OTORGA EL CAPITULO I, TITULO PRIMERO, DE LA PRESENTE CONSTITUCION; PERO EL EJECUTIVO DE LA UNION TENDRA LA FACULTAD EXCLUSIVA DE HACER ABANDONAR EL TERRITORIO NACIONAL, INMEDIATAMENTE Y SIN NECESIDAD DE JUICIO PREVIO, A TODO EXTRANJERO CUYA PERMANENCIA JUZGUE INCONVENIENTE. LOS EXTRANJEROS NO PODRAN DE NINGUNA MANERA INMISCUIRSE EN LOS ASUNTOS POLITICOS DEL PAIS.

The current U.S. ambassador to Mexico married “Mexico’s richest woman” — “Tecate your body” — in February 2005. Is he still a foreigner?


Rob Allyn, with Marcela Berland of LatinInsights

De acuerdo con declaraciones públicas que ha hecho Juan Hernández –quien durante la presidencia foxista sería primero jefe de la Oficina Presidencial para Mexicanos en el Exterior y Mexicano-Americanos, y luego coordinador de la Crónica Presidencial–, Allyn se encargó de “darle forma a los mensajes del candidato presidencial que se transmitían por la radio y la televisión”.

According to public statements made by Juan Hernández — who during the Fox presidency served, first as head of the Presidential Office for Mexican-Americans and Mexicans Abroad, then as coordinator of the Presidential Archives — Allyn was in charge of “giving form to the candidate’s radio and TV messages.”

Para imprimir un “toque” más mexicano a sus ideas, Allyn se dedicó a estudiar la historia y la cultura de México, en libros como El laberinto de la soledad, de Octavio Paz, y la Biografía del poder, de Enrique Krauze. Pero su contribución más innovadora y memorable a la campaña de Fox –como lo admitió Hernández públicamente tras la victoria foxista en el 2000– fue instituir la solicitud de fondos a las grandes corporaciones y a los mexicanos ricos para financiar el proyecto proselitista.

To give his ideas a “Mexican touch,” Allyn dedicated himself to studying the history and culture of Mexico, reading books like The Labyrinth of Solitude by Octavio Paz and The Biography of Power by Enrique Krauze.

He should have gotten all the 8-tracks put out by Los Tigres del Norte as well.

But his most innovative and memorable contribution to the Fox campaign in 2000, as Hernández admitted publicly after Fox’s 2000 victory, was instituting the practice of fundraising among big corporations and wealthy Mexican individuals to finance the campaign.

“En los eventos de campaña les gusta a los empresarios ver su nombre muy cerca del nombre del candidato. Si vas a tener un evento de gala, entonces debes estar seguro de que los nombres de los empresarios están en el programa”, dijo el mismo Allyn a la prensa estadunidense poco después del triunfo de Fox.

“At campaign events, businessmen like seeing their names close to the name of the candidate. If you are going to throw a gala event, you have to make sure that the names of the businessmen are on the program,” Allyn told the U.S. press not long after Fox’s victory.

Un día después de que su candidato ocupó la silla presidencial, el 2 de diciembre de 2000, Allyn organizó un desayuno en el hotel Four Seasons, en la capital mexicana, al que invitó a un grupo de empresarios interesados en llevar sus capitales a México, luego de que el día anterior había escoltado al presidente ejecutivo de la cadena de tiendas 7-Eleven, Jim Keyes, y a su esposa Margo, a la toma de posesión de Fox. Durante la siguiente semana realizó otra serie de encuentros con empresarios estadunidenses para hablarles de las “nuevas oportunidades” que les ofrecía el México de Fox. Entre los concurrentes destacaron Jim Nicholson, presidente del Partido Republicano; Rick Perry, quien poco después ganó la gubernatura de Texas, y ejecutivos de las empresas Deloitte & Touche, Mary Kay Cosmetics y American Airlines.

A day after his client took office, on December 2, 2000, Allyn organized a breakfast at the Four Seasons in Mexico City for businessmen interested in sinking capital into Mexico. The previous day, he had escorted 7-Eleven CEO Jim Keyes and his wife, Margo, to the Fox inauguration. During the week that followed, he held a series of other meetings with U.S. businessmen to tell them about “new opportunities” in Fox’s Mexico. Among the attendees were Jim Nicholson, president of the Republican Party; Rick Perry, who became governor of Texas soon thereafter, and executives from Deloitte & Touche, Mary Kay Cosmetics and American Airlines.

Frente al éxito de su trabajo como “gancho” para atraer negocios a México, sustentado en su cercanía con Fox y varios miembros de su gabinete, Allyn abrió en la Ciudad de México una sucursal de su firma de relaciones públicas y la puso a cargo de 15 personas.

Given the success of his work as a “roper” for attracting business to Mexico, and sustained by his close ties to Fox and various cabinet officials, Allyn opened a public relations branch of Allyn & Company in Mexico City and hired a staff of 15.

“Si quieres hacer negocios en México, Rob Allyn es la persona con quien te debes poner en contacto. El año pasado Allyn ayudó a Vicente Fox a ganar la Presidencia de México, derrotando al PRI, el partido que había dominado a México por 71 años”, decía el promocional de Allyn & Company que circulaba en Estados Unidos en 2001.

“If you want to do business in Mexico, Rob Allyn is the guy to get in touch with. Last year, Allyn helped Vicente Fox become President of Mexico, defeating the PRI, the party that had dominated Mexico for 71 years,” read an Allyn & Company brochure that circulated in the U.S. in 2001.

La apuesta de Allyn empezó a rendir frutos casi de inmediato, como lo demuestra una carta que envió a Juan Hernández, fechada el 23 de enero de 2001, cuya copia obtuvo Proceso.

Allyn’s bet started paying off almost immediately, as shown by a letter he sent to Juan Hernández, dated January 23, 2001, a copy of which was obtained by Proceso.

Dice la misiva:

The letter reads, “Dear Juan:”

Gracias por ayudarme a concertar la reunión entre el presidente Fox, el secretario Cerisola y Don Carty, presidente de la Junta (Directiva) de la Corporación AMR y American Airlines.

Thanks for helping me put together the meeting between President Fox, Secretary Cerisola and Don Carty, chairman of the board of AMR Corporation and American Airlines.

Como sabes, American Airlines ha venido operando en México desde hace 58 años. American está profundamente comprometida con México y le gustaría trabajar con el gobierno de Fox y su visión para un nuevo México (sic), directamente en lo referido a la aviación, desarrollo económico, turismo y en una relación cercana entre México, los Estados Unidos y la economía global.

As you know, American Airlines has been operating in Mexico for 58 years. American is deeply committed to Mexico and would like to work with the Fox government and its vision for a new Mexico (sic) [sic], as it directly relates to aviation, economic development, tourism and a closer relationship among Mexico, the U.S., and the global economy.

En una nota personal (te informo que) el señor Carty es un ciudadano canadiense cuya esposa, Ana, es descendiente de mexicanos. Ellos son verdaderamente una pareja NAFTA (sic) y comparten un gran entusiasmo por el presidente Fox y su visión sobre el futuro de las Américas.

On a personal note, [I inform you that] Mr. Carty is a Canadian citizen whose wife, Ana, is a descendant of Mexicans. They are literally a NAFTA couple (sic) [sic] and share a great enthusiasm for President Fox and his vision for the future of the Americas.

El señor Carty está ansioso de conocer al presidente Fox y al secretario Cerisola para presentarse y discutir cómo American puede trabajar con el gobierno de Fox. Él tendría posibilidad de realizar la reunión en la Ciudad de México en las fechas siguientes: 14, 15 y 16 de marzo, 22 y 23 de marzo; o en la semana del 9 de abril.

Mr. Carty is anxious to meet President Fox and Secretary Cerisola in order to introduce himself and discuss how American can work with the Fox government. He could meet in Mexico City on the following dates: March 14, 15 or 16, March 22 or 23, or during the week of April 9.

Por favor, déjame saber cuál de estas fechas estaría acorde con la agenda del presidente Fox y el secretario Cerisola. Si no están disponibles en estas fechas, tengo la seguridad de que podríamos acomodar una fecha a tu conveniencia.

Please let me know which of these dates works with the schedule of President Fox and Secretary Cerisola. If they are not available on those dates, rest assured that we will be able to accomodate another data at your convenience.

Estamos en la mejor disposición para proveer información adicional sobre American Airlines y el señor Carty.

We are at your service in providing further information about American and Mr. Carty.

Gracias, Juan, por tu ayuda y asistencia en este asunto.

Thanks, Juan, for your help and assistance in this matter.

Sincerely, Rob Allyn.

Nothing especially damning about that, except to show that Allyn used his pull with his client to create “innovation synergies” of “relationship management” with “strategic influentials.”

Con el avance del sexenio foxista, Allyn continuó haciendo negocios mediante su firma de relaciones públicas. Fox, a su vez, nunca se olvidó de su asesor extranjero, y en diciembre de 2005 ordenó a la Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores contratar a Allyn & Company para realizar una campaña de cabildeo en EU con la finalidad de hacer entender a la sociedad y al gobierno de ese país de la necesidad de reformar las leyes migratorias. El contrato del gobierno de Fox con Allyn & Company fue por un año de duración, y le pagó a Rob Allyn 720 mil dólares por sus servicios poco antes de que Fox tuviera que abandonar la Presidencia llevando a cuestas su fracaso.

As the Fox administration wore on, Allyn continued doing business through his public relations firm. Fox, for his part, never forgot his foreign advisor, and in December 2005 ordered the foreign relations secretary to hire Allyn & Company for a lobbying campaign in the U.S. designed to make the people and government there understand the need for immigration reform. The Fox government’s contract with Allyn & Company was for one year, and paid Rob Allyn $720,000 for his services, not long before Fox had to leave the presidency, carrying on his back the burden of his failure.

La más reciente colaboración de Allyn con Vicente Fox ha sido la coautoría del libro La revolución de la esperanza, un recuento de los seis años de foxismo en México…

The most recent collaboration between Allyn and Fox has been their co-authorshiop of the book The Revolution of Hope, an account of the six years of Foxism in Mexico …

It is common to read that Mexican law forbids foreign interference in internal electoral politics.

Similar in intention to our laws on registration of foreign agents, I suppose.

Dick Morris allegedly did business for Calderón under pseudonyms as well, as was widely quoted in the Mexican press early this year as having admitted working for El Chaparrito. …

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Allyn & Co. creative for Wal-Mart: “We no longer steamroller your cityscape flat to conform to the needs of our vasty, rectilinear mother ship.”

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