Creating a Monster


Former Hidalgo Governor Omar Fayad. Photo: Google


The recent resignation of Omar Fayad, the former governor of Hidalgo, from Mexico’s centralist Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) after 40 years of militancy in its ranks only serves to confirm just how dangerous and wrong it can be for Mexico’s opposition to go ahead with its plan to purge the alliance against leftist President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) by marginalizing the PRI in order to accommodate and incorporate the much smaller upstart Citizens Movement (MC). That plan has been promoted by certain members of the conservative National Action Party (PAN), including the party’s former presidential candidate Ricardo Anaya and PAN leader Marko Cortés.

If what is left of the PRI were to be taken out of the alliance equation at this point, the diminished PAN and nearly-extinct left-leaning Party of the Democratic Republic (PRD), which together with the PRI currently make up the opposition Va por México alliance, the bloc would be left under the orders of an old political wolf, MC President Dante Delgado. This would also ensure a landslide victory for AMLO’s National Generation Movement (Morena) party in 2024. And even more importantly, it would undercut the opposition by consolidating it into an ultra-submissive party in a future beyond 2030.

The thesis is simple, but unsound: Morena’s unabaited power poses a natural temptation for many PRI members who have in their political DNA the innate urge to join the ranks of the AMLO government rather than to fight from the opposition.

Being part of an opposition alliance that emerged from an awkward brotherhood with the PAN and the PRD and was conceived out of defeat, along with the barrage of offensive comments by López Obrador against practically everyone who dares to disagree with him, has been an incentive for many PRI members to abandon the alliance and to place themselves at the orders of the ruler in turn. There were several PRI politicians who did exactly that when former Presidents Vicente Fox and Felipe Calderón, both from the PAN, won and governed. Those PRI turncoats included the likes of Oscar Levin, Alfonso Durazo, Javier Lozano and Diódoro Carrasco.

At present, the private negotiations of former PRI governors in Sonora, Nayarit, Hidalgo, the State of Mexico, Colima and Tlaxcala, among others, to switch sides to Morena is evidence that politics does indeed make for strange bedfellows, just as long as it is convenient for the party traitors.

Those PRI governors who have negotiated the “peaceful” delivery of their seats to Morena, as Fayad evidently has, have received in return a guarantee of not being investigated, as well as juicy consolation prizes in the form of consulates or embassies. The same will no doubt happen with Fayad, who at least can now breathe easily knowing that he is off the hook for investigations against him, even though he left a slew of unbalanced accounts during his term in Hidalgo.

Due to PRI President Alejandro Moreno’s dubious reputation and low public image, many party members who up until now had resisted the temptation to switch boats midstream will have no other option but to join Morena. That would be the ultimate outcome of the maneuver now being promoted by Anaya and others who still think that a purge of logos is all that is needed to make the PRI a winner after its disastrous defeat earlier this month in the State of Mexico, all because its so-called “citizen operator,” business tycoon Claudio X. González, could not managed to stir up public support for the party.

For López Obrador, dismantling the PRI is a key condition for the durability of his ultra-dominant party system, and that has always been the main objective in his obsessive concentration of power.

Morena lacks the structure and capacity for a hierarchical organization at the local level. With the expulsion of what remains of the PRI from Va por México, the PAN and the MC’s Delgado — who has always been suspected of working under-the-table for López Obrador — could be handing the president the key that brings his goal to fruition as he tightens the last screws against Mexico’s democratic political system, something he has been itching to do since since 1994.


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