sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Mexico Elections 2012


There are three ways to make serious money in Mexico. The first, an obvious route, is to become a drug kingpin. The second, and just as obvious if you are Mexican and understand how things work there, is to become a government official. The regular pay is dismal, but there are other ways to make money as a bureaucrat in Mexico. The third way to make money is to own a monopoly.

From bread, tortillas, beer and milk to telephones, television and electricity, monopolies and duopolies dominate Mexico’s economy. Loosening their grip would give Mexican consumers more choices and more money to spend. But that's not going to happen. Recall the golden rule: The man with the gold - rules. In a campaign focused more on personalities than policies, the three leading candidates -- Enrique Pena Nieto (Institutional Revolutionary Party - PRI - The Quasi-Socialist Party), Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (Democratic Revolution Party - PRD - or Mexican Communist Party) and Josefina Vazquez Mota (National Action Party - PAN or Mexican Conservative Party) didn’t necessarily dwell on this concentration in the Mexican economy during their campaigns because to do so would be to invite financial retaliation from the people who actually own (the monopolies in) Mexico.

There is no Sherman Anti-Trust Act in Mexico, though Mexico has made moves to limit monopolies with mixed success.
Carlos Slim, at roughly US$ 80 billion, is the world's richest man and he lives in lives in Mexico. (roughly $20 billion more than either Bill Gates or the Obamaphile, Warren Buffett.) The key to wealth is to control a sector of the economy. In Slim's case, it's telecommunications. 
MEXICO CITY (AP) — Presidential candidate Enrique Pena Nieto (above) led Mexico's elections with about 40 percent of the vote, exit polls showed Sunday, signaling a return of his long-ruling party to power after a 12-year hiatus. 
Conservative National Action Party candidate Josefina Vazquez Mota conceded almost immediately, saying none of the exit polls favored her, the first woman candidate for a major party in Mexico. Her party held the presidency for a dozen years after kicking out Pena Nieto's Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, in 2000. 
But she garnered little more than 23 percent in exit polls released by Milenio and TV Azteca networks. Former Mexico City Mayor Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador had about 30 percent of the vote. 
"We won't permit the new government to surrender to organized crime," Vazquez Mota told supporters as some yelled "the corrupt one won."
No matter who you did or did not support, in terms of substantive leadership changes impacting the way business is done in Mexico, nobody believes that anything will be different. And I think that they (whoever 'they' are) are quite correct. There will be a change of faces and some policies will shift one way or the other, but Mexico is still Mexico. The real power in Mexico comes from the people with money and influence and the holders of monopolies, the drug kingpins and the politicians in power will continue to operate the country as they always have.

As for me, it looks as if I may be spending a lot more time in Mexico City than I have in the past.