Mexico's Ruling Party

Monday, November 15, 1993   |   Posted by Jim Hightower
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Jim Hightower noting that Mexico is a special place, a land of proud and enterprising people with tremendous potential . . . and crushing poverty.

It's not in this shape because it lacks resources, but because for decades it's been run by a single political party for the benefit of the few -- a ruling clique of rich families that directs the government and treats average Mexicans with contempt, profiting from political corruption, raw censorship and extensive human-rights abuses. This is no democracy.

Consider President Carlos Salinas' "privatization" program, highly-touted by U.S. leaders. But the sell-off of Mexico's phone company, TV network, banks and other government-owned businesses simply became private monopolies -- now owned by guess who? As a respected Mexican columnists wrote: "The booty of privatization has made multimillionaires of 13 families, while the rest of the population has been subjected to impoverishment."

These powerful families sustain their self-dealing through the PRI -- Mexico's all-powerful, self-perpetuating political party that suppresses any opposition and has ruled Mexico for sixty straight years. One Party! A party that has driven down wages in Mexico by half to an average of 51 cents-an-hour. A party that looks the other way when at least 55 opposition journalists have been murdered. A party whose political opponents have been assassinated. A party that steals elections. Why link ourselves to such a party?

This is Jim Hightower saying . . . NAFTA is not a deal between us and the 80 million people of Mexico . . . it's a deal between our corporate elite and their ruling oligarchy.

Austin American-Statesman - October 10, 1993
New York Times - October 7, 1993
Los Angeles Times - November 29, 1992

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