Former president Miguel de la Madrid continued his public exercise in self abasement. His office distributed a one page letter sent to reporter Carmen Aristegui with yet another revision on his assessment of his successor. The letter read in part, “To weigh the government of Carlos Salinas it is necessary the take into account the important modernization that he promoted in various areas of national life.” (Universal 5/27)
Joaquin López-Doriga’s column in Milenio is a good summary of the political environment:
With the passage of the weeks, scandal has been the constant. The book of Ahumada, from whom everyone is trying to distance themselves, without being able to deny their own past; Madrazo’s own book, as part of his effort at reinvention, accusing ex-presidents Ernesto Zedillo and Vicente Fox of ties to drug trafficking; the statements of Miguel De la Madrid recognizing that he made a mistake in selecting Carlos Salinas, talking of relationships with drug trafficking and mentioning the name of two of his brothers, Raúl and Enrique, and the civil death that Salinas decreed on his predecessor, annulling the judgment and condemning de la Madrid to political limbo; the YouTube video of Fidel Herrera and the efforts to censor the Internet; the accusations of drug trafficking against a brother of Ricardo Monreal, his saying that Amalia García has ties with organized crime, her response calling him a coward, and the counter reply saying that the governor and her daughter, Senator Claudia Corichi, were oriental queens and princesses; the flight of 53 prisoners from the jail in Zacatecas, freed by an armed commando; the dismantling of a protection network for the Beltrán Leyvas in Morelos after discovering a safe house only 100 meters from the governor’s mansion in Cuernavaca; the firing of the state attorney general, the detentions of the state minister for public safety and the Cuernavaca police chief; and the call by Manlio Fabio Beltrones to all ex-presidents to shut up until July 5th. These form the scenery against which the ongoing electoral process will yield the lowest rate of citizen participation in response to the use of scandal and double talk, cynicism and hypocrisy, as method.
Following are some of the key interchanges in Carmen Aristegui’s interview with former President Miguel de la Madrid Hurtado. The audio and a transcript of a portion is available on Reporte Indigo:
Carmen Aristegui (CA): What disappointed you most about Carlos Salinas?
Miguel de la Madrid Hurtado (MMH): Principally, the immorality that there was with respect to money.
CA: Do you believe that Salinas was conscientious, honest?
MMH: He committed serious errors. The worst was corruption, and above all, that of his brother.
CA: Since when did Raul Salinas have links with narco trafficking?
MMH: Starting with the government of his brother.
CA: Do you know with which cartels?
CA: But you had intelligence information that spoke of his relationship with drug trafficking?
CA: Does Raul Salinas still have ties with drug traffickers?
MMH: I wouldn’t know.
CA: Is justice an obstacle to exercising power in Mexico?
MMH: Sometimes, yes.
CA: Is impunity a necessary condition for the machinery continuing to work in Mexico?
CA: What you are saying is huge; it’s dramatic.
CA: Who is Carlos Salinas? Use three words?
MMH: He is complicit in the crimes of his brothers and sister.
Award winning journalist Carmen Aristegui broadcast the
audio of an interview with former President Miguel de la
Madrid Hurtado (1982-1988). During the 89 minute interview
recorded on April 15, 2009, the former President
accused his chosen successor Carlos Salinas de Gortari
(1988-1994) of complicity in the corruption of his brother
Raúl and other family members, and suggested that Raúl
was involved in drug trafficking. Some of de la Madrid’s
answers were monosyllabic, but others were extended
Ramón Alberto Garza called it an “unprecedented presidential
confession” and said, “The rules of the game, the
PRI code of silence, have been broken, profaned, and
shown for what they are.”
The interview set off an immediate, furious counterattack
from Salinas (who is in London) and the PRI establishment.
Emilio Gamboa, the PRI leader in the Chamber,
reportedly visited de la Madrid at home. Eight hours after
the broadcast, de la Madrid’s office issued a letter under
his signature disowning the interview, saying that he had
been too ill to understand the questions and that his answers
“lacked validity and precision.” The former President
is 76 and suffers from emphysema. Aristegui responded
that the interview “was carried out with a man
who was disposed to be there, with the time, the talent
and sufficient clarity to express what he thought and what
he knew about the Salinas de Gortari family.”
Political scientist Denise Dresser writes: “There are
many paralyzed by fear. Many who are silent from complicity.
… The genuflection before the Great Corrupter
continues as a result of the knowledge he has and the
favors owed him. … The matter of the Salinas family isn’t
an affair from the past. It affects the present and will determine
the future. If the President and the Attorney General
and the parties do not agree to investigate those who
have power, they will underscore that here the laws do not
apply to them.”