The View from the North: Worrying Trends in Mexico, Seen from Abroad
By SILVIO CANTO, JR.
As an outsider who follows Mexico and Mexican news closely, I’ve noticed a couple of recent articles that should be worrying the Mexican middle class.
First, according to his column in Pulse News Mexico, Ricardo Castillo has noted that President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) is making investors nervous. Castillo wrote:
“Fear does not ride on a burro; it flies at the speed of sound!
And spreading fear about President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s economic policies seems to be the leading reason that Mexico’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has slumped markedly, to the point of reaching a minimal growth of 0.1 percent for the second quarter of 2019.”
Based on the article, it appears that some major corporations are having second thoughts about investing in Mexico or following up on their promises to invest.
Why? Can you say AMLO?
It appears that AMLO’s chief of staff, Alfonso Romo, is picking up on the message. He just tweeted that AMLO’s team understands the role of investment in the nation’s economy.
But the business community is not keeping mum. Gustavo de Hoyos, head of the Mexican Employers’ Confederation (Coparmex), is promising to launch an “alternate plan” to defend investors from the “populist” AMLO.
Well done Mr. de Hoyos!
Maybe my memory is bad, but I don’t recall seeing that before, or a major industrial leader challenging the president’s populism.
The other story that is concerning is about Mexico’s public schools and the growing influence of leftist teachers’ union. In an Aug. 11 article in Panam Times, Mamela Fiallo Flor, a fellow Cuban who has seen this movie before, writes:
“The National Coordination of Education Workers (CNTE) will provide textbooks to hundreds of thousands of Mexican children in 6,000 schools and indoctrinate them with communist propaganda. The material ranges from Karl Marx to the link between Mexico and Cuban communism since the yacht called Granma that transported Che Guevara, and the Castro brothers sailed from its shores.”
The new curriculum will attack the Spanish conquest and praise the Sandinista revolution. I wonder if the students will read anything about Daniel Ortega’s extravagant lifestyle or the Castro family’s millions. Probably not.
Frankly, I’m a lot more concerned about the economic story than the public schools. Most Mexicans do whatever they can to keep their children out of public schools.
Who would have believed all of this a year ago? How about the many of us who were deeply concerned with the election of a populist leftist in Mexico.
Silvio Canto , Jr. is a Cuban-born U.S. citizen who teaches English at a north Texas college. He is the author of the book “Cubanos in Wisconsin” and has a daily online radio program and blog dealing with U.S. and Latin American politics, as well as sports and historic events.