The Mexicanization of the US
David Terrell PhD
Living in Mexico for more than 40 year gave me an insight about the meaning of accountability, or rather about how the lack of accountability corrodes society.
In Spanish there is no word for “accountability” therefore it is not part of Latin American cultural values. About 20 years ago in Mexico we were talking about the “Colombianization” of Mexico as the drug cartels were infiltrating the powers of government and corruption was becoming rampant and incontrollable. Now we see the consequences and the question is: if Mexico’s socio- economic system is beyond repair. I was able to witness over all those years living in Mexico how the powerful players were warned about the future but kept profiteering from the situation. Today as things are out of hand and personal security is difficult to obtain, even the oligarchy is claiming for a change. We have to understand how this happened, how slowly as the frog boiled in a pan of water by slowly increasing the temperature; the Mexican society got to this point during a long span. For 71 years a single party ruled the scene, the Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI) was able to convince people every six years that a new day had arrived. A new beginning every six years as a new president was inaugurated. In his inaugural speech Carlos Salinas de Gortari said how the country was in an economic and budgetary mess, so Mexico had to move forward to fix this mess. What he didn’t say was that he was secretary of Budget and Finance and that under his watch the country had gotten into the mess. So what was the new direction? Do the same thing! Forgive all the sins of the past, as he incited all his compatriots to look to the future not to look back and find whom to blame. The times were not to find blame but to see the bright future that the nation had. In the year 2000 Mexicans voted for change! A “new” party, The Party of National Action, was brought into power. Vicente Fox was now the new leader who wanted to look forward and forget the mistakes of the past. There will not be accountability. There would be no investigations about the political murders of the recent past or any other crimes. Mexicans new that Carlos Salinas, backed by the US, got into power through a fraudulent election against the “socialist” Cuauhtémoc Cardenas, and that Ernesto Zedillo got the presidency after Donaldo Colosio was assassinated in Tijuana. Again a new beginning for Mexico was at hand. Six years later it was clear that the “new” party was nothing more that the old oligarchy with a new name. The bankers and stockbrokers that managed the system since the economic crisis of early 80’s continued with enormous immoral profits as the country was going down the drain. One must remember in 1994 when the administration of President Clinton supported president Zedillo to save the Mexican banking system by lending money that the Mexican bankers took without a blink, These people are who continue to be the power behind the “new” party. Now of course Felipe Calderón has the task of bring order and security in the face of a growing dispute between moneys within the Mexican elite. The question of course is: Is it too late?
Similarly, we in the US are moving in the same direction as accountability is being taken off our cultural fabric. That is why we can talk about the Mexicanization of the US. Is highly similar to hear now President Obama talking about the future with optimism and lack of accountability for those who are bringing our loved country to the ground.