PRI Triumphant: “Calderón Dances With the Devil in the Pale Moonlight”


“We have already taped a message in which we declare that we won the debates. And that’s not all: We already know all the headlines from tomorrow’s paper, and all the editions up to the day we win the election.” The reference is to the IFE-Fox “pre-taped message” affair, which does not seem to want to go away.

“For our friends, anything; for our enemies, the law.”

Análisis: Los pactos mafiosos de Calderón: Álvaro Delgado of Proceso (Mexico) cites an interview with outgoing PAN president Espino to charge that PAN’s significant loss of ground at the polls recently was the result of a brokered backroom political deal.

One of the most astonishing claims I read in the U.S. press in the wake of the 2006 election was a Chicago Tribune editorial reporting that even a prominent Proceso columnist was expressing “grudging respect” for “the bespectacled, Harvard-trained lawyer.” See

Nothing could have been further from the truth.

Proceso magazine — I subscribe — has been steadfast in its insistence that Calderón is a greasy little crook, a puppet propped up by the usual retrograde suspects.

Imagine me reporting to the readers of the Outer Mongolian Daily Bugle that Karl Rove expressed “grudging admiration” for Hillary Clinton in his latest Newsweek column.

The only way you could construe that as a credible interpretation of Rove’s views is under a theory of knowledge according to which truth is falsity and falsity, truth. And words no longer have meaning.
Banana-republican journalism has apparently infected the great metro dailies of the republic, like a tarantula hitching a ride on a Chiquita freighter on its way back from dropping off a few thousand AK-47s to Salvatore Mancuso.

México, D.F., 19 de noviembre (apro).- Salvo la retención del gobierno de Baja California, en cuya estrategia electoral fue clave la intervención del aparato gubernamental para aplastar a Jorge Hank Rhon, el Partido Acción Nacional (PAN) sólo recogió derrotas en el año electoral que ya concluyó, pero ahora se sabe que en buena medida esto obedeció a Felipe Calderón, pero no sólo por su incompetencia al frente del gobierno federal, sino, sobre todo, por pactos mafiosos con el priismo.

Except for holding on to the governorship of Baja California, where the intervention of the state apparatus was a key element in the strategy to defeat Jorge Hank Rhon, the National Action Party (PAN) registered only defeat in the election year just concluded. But we now know that in good measure this was due to Calderón, and not only as result of his incompetence at the head of the federal government, but above all, because he made mafia-style deals with PRI.

¿Un acuerdo semejante o idéntico al que establecieron, a partir de 1988, Carlos Salinas y el PAN para beneficiarse mutuamente con el reparto del poder político en México y que, en buena medida explica, la alternancia en la Presidencia de la República en el año 2000 y la extensión de ese proyecto otros seis años? Parece que sí.

Was this an accord similar to the one struck, after 1988, between Salinas and PAN, for their mutual advantage, to divide political power in Mexico between them? One that in large part explains the presidential succession in 2000 and the extension of this project for another six years? It seems that it was.

Manuel Espino, el saliente presidente del PAN, afirma que desde Los Pinos se han tramado pactos con el priismo para que su partido resulte derrotado en elecciones clave, como en su momento la de Yucatán, el 20 de mayo, cuando se “cedió” la gubernatura; y las más recientes en Oaxaca, de Ulises Ruiz; Veracruz, de Fidel Herrera; Puebla, de Mario Marín; Tamaulipas, de Eugenio Hernández; y Michoacán, de los Cárdenas.

Manuel Espino, the departing PAN party president, says that deals were struck with PRI out of the Mexican White House whereby PAN would lose key election, such as Yucatán on May 20, were it “conceded” the governor’s mansion, and more recent elections in Oaxaca (Ruiz), Veracruz (Herrera), Puebla (Marín), Tamaulipas (Hernández) and Michoacán (the Cárdenas clan).

En la entrevista publicada en la más reciente edición del semanario Proceso, Espino revela detalles de cómo en las últimas elecciones de este año, apenas el 11 de noviembre, Mario Marín hizo lo que le vino en gana para operar electoralmente y logró aplastar al PAN, que sólo pudo ganar uno de los 26 distritos electorales y un pequeño número de alcaldías, cuando se trata del gobernador más desprestigiado, a raíz de la acreditada colusión con el empresario Kamel Nacif para reprimir a la periodista Lydia Cacho.

In an interview published in the most recent edition of Proceso, Espino reveals the details of who in this year’s last elections, on November 11, Marín had a free hand to do whatever it took to beat PAN, which was only able to win 26 precincts and a small number of mayor’s office, even though the Governor was badly damaged by his documented collusion with Kamel Nacif to repress the journalist Lydia Cacho.

An astonishing child-fucking scandal, the Cacho affair. Cacho wrote a book charging that Mexican officials were protecting a man who ran a child-prostitution ring frequented by powerful men. She was jailed and abused on what she and her supporters say were trumped-up charges.

Let me have a read of the Espino interview to see if Espino really says what Delgado attributes to him.

PAN on PAN violence is not an unknown phenomenon.

A PAN state party chair was arrested last year, for example, for allegedly ordered the murder of a PAN lawmaker who was investigating corruption in municipal budgets in Guerrero.

It is really sad to see. I mean, over the years, I have always had a certain sympathy for the political principles of Christian social democracy movements like PAN. But a lot of them seem to have been seized by grotesque Moonies. See, for example,

It’s the same with the neoconservatives, isn’t it?

Paleoconservatives — for many of whose ideas I have always felt a certain respect as well (the goddamn gummint in a lot of cases really is bloated, wasteful and restrictive of private initiative) are now waking up to the fact that that Orwellian neo actually means “the opposite of.”

You may not have agreed with those paleoconservatives, but at least they had a certain amount of intellectual and moral integrity.

Neoconservatives are not conservative libertarians at all. Just the opposite. Postmodern Christian democrats? In many cases, there is nothing recognizably Christian about them. Or democratic.

En Puebla el activismo del gobierno estatal para favorecer al PRI fue obvio, en ejercicio de los presupuestos estatal y federal para, tal como se hacen ahora las elecciones, con toda la fuerza del aparato, levantarse con el triunfo, pese al elevado abstencionismo. Marín lo hizo con total impunidad.

In Puebla, the activism of the state government in favor of PRI was obvious, with the use of state and federal funds, as elections are conducted nowadays, with all the force of the state behind them, come away with the victory, despite high levels of abstention. Marín did this with total impunity.

Calderón no intervino tampoco para, conforme a sus facultades, evitar la arbitraria intervención del gobernador, igual que no actuó ante Ulises Ruiz en la elección estatal de Oaxaca ni en Veracruz, ni en Tamaulipas, elecciones que han exhibido mayor ostentación de los gobiernos estatales priistas. En este último estado, la acción del crimen organizado en la acción política alcanzó niveles nunca vistos.

Calderón, who did not even intervene to stop the arbitrary intervention of the Governador, which he has the power to do, also did not act against Ruiz in Oaxaca, or in Veracruz or in Tamaulipas, elections in which PRI governors were visibly active. In Tamaulipas, organized crime involvement in the political sphere reached levels never before seen.

Espino, quien en tres semanas entregará la presidencia del PAN a Germán Martínez, a quien Calderón designó por dedazo, asegura que operadores del gobierno federal han interferido en los procesos electorales para, en cumplimiento de “acuerdos en los oscurito”, ponerse por encima de las dirigencias estatales y candidatos, y evitar los triunfos panistas. En esos “arreglijos”, aclara, la dirigencia nacional se ha mantenido al margen.

Espino, who will hand over PAN to Germán Martínez, Calderón’s hand-picked successor, in three weeks, says that federal government operatives intervened in the elections, in order to impose the terms of these “backroom deals” on state party leaders and candidates and avoid PAN victories. PAN national leadership stayed out of these “little side deals,” he adds.

No se trata de una imputación cualquiera: Espino podrá estar desprestigiado a los ojos de muchos panistas, sobre todo los que han sido siempre sus enemigos o quienes ya se han acomodado con la fuerza hegemónica, incluyendo a sus “jilgueros”, pero es todavía el presidente del PAN y sus declaraciones son de inobjetable interés público.

This is not just some random accusation: Espino may have lost the respect of a lot of PAN members, especially those who have always been his enemies or those who have accomodated themselves to the hegemonic faction, including his …, but he is still the president of PAN and his statements are of indisputable public interest.

Las aseveraciones de Espino tienen sentido: Calderón, con el déficit de legitimidad con el que recibió el triunfo que le dio el Tribunal Electoral del Poder Judicial de la Federación, requería de un pacto con el PRI, que ha obrado como en su momento lo hizo Salinas con el PAN, y que comenzó con la asistencia de los diputados y senadores priistas a la toma de posesión, hace casi un año.

Espino’s statements make sense: Calderón, suffering from a lack of legitimacy because of the way the elections tribunal handed him the presidency, needed to make a deal with PRI, which has operated much as Salinas once did with PAN — a deal that began with the assistence lent by PRI deputies and senators at Calderón’s inauguration nearly a year ago.

El pacto se ha traducido en muchas ganancias económicas para el PRI y, sobre todo, sus gobernadores, utilizados para el clientelismo político y la adulteración de la voluntad popular: A cambio de presupuestos abultados, Calderón ha ganado margen de maniobra en el Congreso y ha logrado que se aprueben reformas tan regresivas como la del ISSSTE, que fue otro pago de facturas a Elba Esther Gordillo.

The deal has translated into a lot of economic gains for PRI, and above all, for PRI governors, who were used for their political clientelism and ability to adulterate the popular will: In exchange for hefty budget allocations, Calderón has gained room for maneuver in Congress and succeeded in approving such regressive reforms as the ISSSTE law — another quid pro quo owed to Elba Esther Gordillo.

El caso de Puebla es claro: Marín no sólo logró evitar el juicio político que ya debería estar desahogado la Cámara de Diputados, sino que la Procuraduría General de la República debió ya haber consignado a un juez las averiguaciones previas contra el gobernador, la procuradora Blanca Laura Villeda y otros funcionarios por el caso de Lydia Cacho. Y nada.

The Puebla case is clear: Not only did Marín managed to avoid a well deserved impeachment in the lower house of the federal congress, but the federal attorney was due to have assigned the investigation into Marín, prosecutor Blanca Laura Villedo, and another officials in the Lydia Cacho case to a judge by now. Nothing.

Al contrario, Calderón ha ido repetidas veces a Puebla para retratase, sin sonrojo, con quien es identificado como el góber precioso, contra quien el PAN pensó que podía obtener dividendos electorales hasta que, el 11 de noviembre, se topó con que fue todo lo contrario.

On the contrary, Calderón has visited Puebal on a number of occasions to be photographed, without blushing, with the man known as [“the precious guv”], against whom PAN thought it could make electoral gains up until November 11, when it ran up against the reality that the situation was just the opposite.

Y eso a nivel del estado está todavía más claro: El diputado federal Alfonso Bello declaró, también al semanario Proceso, que el pacto de Calderón con Marín se puede acreditar no con dichos, sino con hechos: En tres meses, el jefe de la Oficina de la Presidencia, Juan Camilo Mouriño, y el secretario de Gobernación, Francisco Ramírez Acuña, se negaron a recibir a los legisladores federales panistas para informarles del involucramiento de Marín en el proceso electoral.

On the state level, the situation is even more obvious: Federal deputy Bello stated, also to Proceso, that the proof of the Calderón-Marín alliance lies in deeds, not words: In three months, the presidential chief of staff, Mouriño, and the [interior secretary], Ramírez Acuña, refused to meet with PAN lawmakers who wanted to complain tothem of Marín interference in the elections.

Ambos funcionarios allegados a Calderón no sólo les dieron largas para las entrevistas solicitadas, sino que a última hora, ante la inminencia de las elecciones, las cancelaron, aseguró el diputado Bello Pérez, quien también reveló que el juicio político contra Marín no ha avanzado por decisión de Diódoro Carrasco, exgobernador priista de Oaxaca y actual diputado federal del PAN.

Both officials, closely tied to Calderón, not only delayed meeting with them but at the last minute, with the elections imminent, cancelled those meetings entirely, according to Bello, who also reports that the impeachment proceeding against Marín has not prospered on the orders of Diódoro Carrasco, the former PRI governor of Oaxaca who is now a PAN federal deputy.

Presidente de la Comisión de Gobernación de la Cámara de Diputados, Carrasco Altamirano fue propuesto por Calderón a Espino para inscribirlo en la lista de candidatos plurinominales a diputados, como parte de los pactos con un sector del priismo que hizo durante la campaña; y ha sido el operador para robustecer éstos, como el que mantiene con Ulises Ruiz, gobernador de Oaxaca, quien en las elecciones locales también aplastó a la oposición.

President of the [governance committee] of the lower house, Carrasco was imposed by Calderón on Espino, who was ordered to include him on the list of candidates for proportional elections to the congress, as part of his dealings with a faction of the PRI during the campaign; and Carrasco has worked to strengthen those ties, such as those with Ruiz in Oaxaca, who in the last elections smashed the opposition.

En este espacio se había escrito, hace más de un año, que Calderón estableció un pacto mafioso con el PRI para dejar hacer lo que le dé la gana a los gobernadores en sus estados, porque a cambio recibiría apoyo para tomar posesión y después para aprobar reformas que a él le importaban y, con ello, cumplir los compromisos que hizo con quienes financiaron su campaña.

We wrote in this column more than a year ago that Calderón had made a mafia-style deal with the PRI under which the PRI could do as it pleased to elect state governors, in return for PRI support for his inauguration and for reforms that were important to him, and which Calderón was honoring the promises he made to those who financed his campaign.

Habrá quienes desde el PAN, con la misma abyección que tuvieron los priistas con Carlos Salinas, ignoren y hasta descalifiquen las revelaciones de Espino y Bello, pero sólo evidenciarán el retroceso que padece el país con estos pactos de mafia instrumentados por Calderón, quien no puede alegar que ignora lo que hacen subordinados como Mouriño o Ramírez Acuña, salvo que sea un pusilánime hasta para ellos.

There are those in PAN who, exhibiting the same subservience that the PRI showed Salinas, ignore and belittle the statements of Espino and Bello, but these are merely symptomatic of the regressive tendencies resulting from the mafioso deal entered into by Calderón, who cannot credibly claim he is not aware of what subordinates like Mouriño o Ramírez Acuña are doing — unless, that it, he treats them with the same cowardice [with which he has treated Espino and Bello].

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