By RICARDO CASTILLO
Thus far in Mexico’s Covid-19 pandemic, 13 state governors are criticizing the administration of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO). Whatever he does, he does wrong in the eyes of these 13 beholders.
In return, AMLO and his supporters are claiming that at least 11 of the 13 governors, who should be running their states according to the best of their ability, are not doing their jobs, but rather, politicizing and sowing the voters’ field for the next 2021 midterm election.
Of course, in Mexico’s adversary press these governors are seen as “the opposition,” but a breakdown in numbers show that only nine of them represent an opposition. They are, of course, the governors that stemmed out of the National Action Party (PAN) united as the Governors Association, which they named the Goan. (If you’re interpreting in English and are reading Go Acción Nacional or AN, you may just be right.)
Three of the other four belong to different political parties, and, of them, two actually are not “opposition” but have criticized the Covid-19 figures given out to the public by Public Health Undersecretary Hugo López-Gatell. They are Baja California’s Jaime Bonilla and Michoacán’s Silvano Aureoles, who are not really “opposition” (as touted by some columnists) but rather have just complained about the accuracy of López-Gatell figures, which both over this past weekend called “lies.” Other than criticizing Covid-19 figures, they have not shown the opposition some of Mexico’s feverish-minded columnists have claimed.
Two more are also not in the president’s cronies’ club, but run the two most economically developed states in the nation, independent Jaime “El Bronco” Rodríguez of Nuevo León and somewhat-independent but representing the tiny Citizens’ Movement Party Enrique Alfaro of Jalisco, whose state capitals are Monterrey and Guadalajara, respectively, the countries’ largest cities outside the Mexico City/State of Mexico metropolitan 23 million.people conglomerate.
The remaining nine belong to GOAN and are extremely busy badmouthing AMLO.
From the point of view of former National Regeneration Movement (Morena) President and now-Senator Martí Batres, the GOAN members are openly waging a war against Morena by seeking the following:
To wear out the AMLO administration in order to diminish its voter base support and undermine the federal government’s finances, extend the work paralysis, transfer funds to rich businesses, impede the federal government’s pet projects (Santa Lucia airport, Dos Bocas refinery and Tren Maya tourist train), make the majority poorer, force the government to follow their rule and, of course, get to the 2021 midterm elections in improved shape, and not as the less than 25 percent of the vote the GOAN members represent today.
They are the governors of the states of Aguascalientes, Baja California Sur, Chihuahua, Durango, Guanajuato, Querétaro, Quintana Roo, Tamaulipas and Yucatán.
All of the abovementioned is a reaction to a letter GOAN sent to AMLO last week in which they demanded that he increase support to their states and criticized his outright “lack of a strategy” to help the survival of small. and medium-sized businesses, which they said the federal government must subsidize for the recovery.
AMLO instead has offered loans to the small entrepreneurs, but the GOAN members have demanded a subsidy. They are fully backed by National Confederation of Employers president Gustavo de Hoyos, who has also demanded that the administration “partly subsidize” not-working laborers wages.
To accomplñish this, however — and in this the leaders are “El Bronco” and Alfaro — they would need to undo the “fiscal pact” they signed last year with the administration to help the government invest funds in the most backwards states of the nation (namely Michoacán, Guerrero, Oaxaca, Chiapas and Tabasco) and instead devote resources to their own states.
Undoing the “fiscal pact” is a no-no for the AMLO’s administration, as the president often puts it because what he is doing is what the majority of the people voted for. The GOAN members, however, seem to have forgotten the results of the 2018 presidential election. Again, the PAN ended up with just 24 percent of the vote.
In their letter, the governors made a seven-proposition proposal, which, as stated above, is interpreted by the Morena majority in both houses of Congress as doing a lot for the rich by clamping down on the poor.
The clash represents a deep ideological divide between Morena and the PAN, in which there is no middle ground. The dividing line is an abyss.
Or as AMLO has said almost every day, emphasizing the differences, “we are not equal.” AMLO has called the GOAN “hypocrites,” claiming they are honest and do not recognize the steep ideological divide between the two parties.
This is where things stand currently, with slight variations. Recently the Texas border state governors of Coahuila, Nuevo Leon and Tamaulipas have been talking about a truly dangerous idea of a “Nor-exit,” forming a new nation composed of the three states (as proposed by PAN Governor Javier García Cabeza de Vaca of Tamaulipas). That would be going to extremes, and definitely, secession under the current situation is just a bad plan that the federal government is not going to allow.
All this is the result of losing an election and the current political leadership of this still-great nation.
And it has little or nothing to do with the management of the Covid-19 pandemic and the already-upon-us economic crisis, which, according to AMLO, is the result of the past 36 years of neoliberal administrations.
…April 21, 2020