Editorial note: If you have not yet read our mission statement above, please do so in order that you can put our blogs in context.
11 October 2018
“Poor Mexico, so far from God and so close to the United States.”
Lament attributed to Porfirio Díaz (1830-1915), who was President of Mexico from 1877 to 1880 and again from 1884 to 1911.
Plus ça change…..The man who will take over as Díaz’s latest successor on 1 December – Andrés Manuel López Obrador – is likely to have similar sentiments. Obrador, popularly known as AMLO from his initials, trounced the political establishment to score a landslide victory with 53% of votes cast in the presidential election on 1 July this year.
Mexico is awash with violence. Over 25,000 people were murdered there in 2017 — the highest annual figure recorded – while an estimated 130 political candidates and other public officials were murdered during the 2018 election campaign alone. The police appear powerless, while the drug cartels are a law unto themselves. And then, as if that were not enough, across the Rio Grand there is Trump and his wall.
However, that’s where the comparison with Díaz ends. Obrador is a left-leaning populist, who has vowed to root out corruption, whereas Díaz was a dictator who seized land from the peasantry and handed it to the big landowners.
You might perhaps care to view some of our earlier posts. For instance:
- Why? or How? That is the question (3 Jan 2012)
- Partitocracy v. Democracy (20 July 2012)
- The shoddiest possible goods at the highest possible prices (2 Feb 2012)
- Capitalism in practice (4 July 2012)
- Ladder (21 June 2012)
- A tale of two cities (1) (6 June 2012)
- A tale of two cities (2) (7 June 2012)
- Where’s the beef? Ontology and tinned meat (31 Jan 2012)
Every so often we shall change this sample of previously published posts.