2. Mexico is not a Democracy
Mexico has the political façade of a democracy. Its political system is similar to that of the United States, and in certain areas, even superior. Like the U.S., Mexico has three branches of government: legislative, executive, and judicial.
The Legislative branch,
referred to as Congress, is composed of two chambers, the Chamber of Senators and the Chamber of Deputies (In the U.S. this would be the House of Representatives.)
Mexico is composed of 31 states and one federal district, where its capital is located. This is similar to the District of Columbia in the United States. The Distrito Federal has close to ten million inhabitants, the second largest political entity after the State of Mexico itself.
In the Chamber of Senators
there are 128 senators. Each senator serves for six years. The senator can be reelected after an intermediate period of vacancy. Each political party presents two candidates. The citizen votes for the party, not the individual. The party with a majority of votes receives 64 senators. The party with the next higher minority receives 32 senators. The other 32 senators are apportioned to the parties in accordance with the proportion of the votes received by each party. Therefore, it is possible for one party to obtain control of the Senate.
In the Chamber of Deputies
there are 500 deputies. Districts are created proportional to the population in the states. The political party that receives the majority of votes receives 300 deputies. The other 200 deputies are apportioned to the parties in accordance with the proportion of the votes received by each party.
The Executive Branch
is the President. He is elected by direct plurality vote. The candidate must not belong to a religious order or cult. The President serves for a 6-year term and there is no re-election.
The Judicial branch
consists of a Supreme Court composed of eleven magistrates.
The political system in Mexico is not that much different from the political system of the United States. The main difference is that, in Mexico, the President serves for one term only, and the Senators and Representatives cannot be reelected continuously. They are not eligible as candidates for a subsequent period. After skipping one term, they may be elected again.
Let us compare both systems:
Senate: 6 year terms with unrestricted reelection.
House of Representatives: 2 year terms with unrestricted reelection.
Camara de Senadores: 6 year term, may be reelected after an intermediary term.
Camara de Diputados: 3 year term, may be reelected after an intermediary term.
4 year term, limited to an additional 4 year term.
6 year term, no reelection.
Judiciary (Supreme Court)
9 Justices appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. Appointed for life. Under good behavior.
11 magistrates appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. The term of office is 15 years.
As you see, both systems are similar. The advantage that the Mexican system has is that the president is not reelected, and the senators and representatives must allow an intermediate period before they can run again for the same office. The idea is to avoid perpetuity of power. Mexico has a magnificent political system. Unfortunately, it is all a farce, as I will show.
Mexico is an Oligarchy.
The benefits of a good political structure are good when its values and ideals are applied and respected. This is not the case in Mexico.
The word democracy comes to us from the Greek "Demos" (people) and "Kratia" (rule or power). This means: "Rule by the people". However, the "people" are not the rulers of Mexico. For a democratic political system to be true, all members of society must have access to political seats. Access to political seats are dependent on each candidate’s social network and the money available for his/her campaign.
This is true in every country. We see it in the United States, where certain families and interests prevail. The Bushes, the Rockefellers, the Carters, the Clintons, the Kennedys, for example. Donald Trump does not have a political dynasty, but he has money. However, in the United States there is a viable possibility for an individual who is not from a prominent family to become a senator, representative, even president. While in Mexico, if you are not from a "buena familia" (good family), you do not stand a chance to obtain a political position. You will not be part of the political network. Social status is very important in Mexico. Only members of the oligarchy have access to the network that is both social and political.
Mexico has a multiparty system, and has had it for a long time. The perception was that Mexico had a one party political system. That is because one party, the PRI, Partido Revolucionario Institucional won all presidential elections for 71 years, from 1929 to 2000. During that time the president of Mexico was a member of the PRI, making the government virtually a dictatorship.
Allegedly, the PRI perpetuated its dominion by fraud and intimidation. Since its formation in 1929, all governmental positions were held by the PRI, until 1989 when the Partido de Accion Nacional (PAN) obtained the governorship of Baja California Norte, a state with a population of less than three million, most of them concentrated in the city of Tijuana. In 2000, Vicente Fox, PAN candidate, became the first president who was not a PRI candidate. His successor, Felipe Calderon, also was a PAN candidate. The president in 2015, Enrique Peña, is once again a PRI candidate.
Mexico has a devious, diabolical, conniving political campaign funding system. The nation’s Treasury funds the political campaigns of the parties. Mexico sets aside an amount from its Treasury and gives it to an organization known as the Instituto Nacional Electoral (INE) (National Electoral Institute). The INE is thought to be an autonomous, non-partisan organization founded to promote peaceful and periodic elections and corroborate the legitimacy of election outcomes. The total amount allocated to INE from the Treasury is the total number of the electorate multiplied by the minimum wage.
This would be an excellent system if INE would allocate the funds equally to all the political parties, then, everyone would participate on an equitable basis. However, this is not the way INE allocates the funds. Rather, INE allocates the funds in accordance to the percentage of votes received by each party in the prior federal election. New parties receive at least 2% of the total. The law allows private contributions, but the total amount is limited to the amount of funds allocated by INE to each party. We know money is the essence of any political campaign. Generally, the candidate who comes with more money wins an election. The reality is that the candidate with substantially less funds has a great disadvantage in a campaign.
As noted earlier, an oligarchy controls the government in Mexico. This oligarchy controls the two major political parties, the PRI and the PAN. By allocating the taxpayers’ funds based on the percentage of votes that a party received in the prior election, the oligarchy ensures perpetuity in power.
In the United States, we also have two major parties. The difference is that taxpayers do not finance the majority of campaigns of these two major parties.
For the year 2015, the allocations in Mexico were as follows:
Campaign Allocations to Major Mexican Political Parties
|| MILLION PESOS
* According to the article cited above from CNN-Mexico, the political parties PUEM and
PRI are affiliates, giving the controlling party PRI an undue advantage with 1/3 of all INE
funds. The political party PT, which is the workers’ party, gets only 7.2% of the funds.
Mexico is a racist country.
The image of a Mexican in the United States is that a Mexican is fat, brown, greasy, and unattractive. This is the image perpetuated in the movies. And, too often it is the type of person who immigrates to the United States. However, Mexico is a layered country in terms of race. There are Whites, Mestizos (mixed European-Indian blood), Indians (native), Asians and a very few Africans. The majority of the population is Mestizo. Indians are next in numbers. There is a large white population. The white population is the population who runs the country.
There is a perception in Mexico that if you look white or are light-skinned, you are superior. If you are brown-skinned and/or have Indian features, you are inferior. In fact, calling somebody "Indian" is an insult. There is an idolization of the European look and a strong bias against people who have Indian characteristics such as dark skin, slanting eyes, and/or thick lips.
Mexican romantic songs make constant references to "green eyes", "blue eyes" and "alabaster skin". Only songs that are meant for country folk (Indians), refer to dark skinned women. On television, Mexican soap operas and movies, Indians are rarely seen. When women with Indian or Mestizo characteristics do appear they are cast as maids, or comedians. Men with Indian features are usually comedians.
Recently, I saw on television the beauty contest for Mexico 2016, (Nuestra Belleza Mexico 2016). ALL 29 female contestants had white skin and looked European, even the winner, though she had thicker lips than most. The audience and the hosts, too, looked European. You would have thought the event took place in Spain. There was not a single brown skin there! You can take a cursory look via YouTube.
To test my contention, look at images of the venerated Virgin of Guadalupe, the Patron Saint of Mexico. Purportedly, this Indian Virgin appeared to a Mexican Indian. You will see the images representing this Virgin are those of a white woman, with pink, rosy skin. Even on the few occasions when the artist represents the Virgin as dark, her features are those of a white woman.
In Mexico, Governors, legislators, judges, and presidents are white. Why was a person who is 6’4”, and named "Fox", president of Mexico? The current president of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto, and his wife appear as if they just stepped out of a soap opera.
Benito Juarez (1857-1872) is the only president of Mexico who was of Indian blood. However, he was an anomaly. He was a Zapotec Indian orphan raised by Catholic priests and given education and, initially, political support. He became a lawyer. Juarez came to power as the head of the liberal party when Mexico was struggling first with the Mexican-American war, then with internal dissention, then with the invasion by France. He served five terms interrupted by civil wars. His accession to presidency was by appointment by the party ruling at the time, not by general vote of the population.
If you find this assessment unbelievable, you can make your own observations by visiting the website: Heads of state of Mexico.
You will see that all of the prior presidents, except one, Benito Juarez, are white.
Or, do a search in the internet for Mexican leaders. You will find all of them are white. Should you visit a Chamber of Commerce in any large city in Mexico you would find that there, too, most of the members are white. Look at the businesspersons, professionals and upper-level politicians. They are white.
The heads of the drug cartels are also white.
I can usually look at Spanish language television and know where the television station is located, by looking at the broadcasters. If they look European, the television station is located in Mexico. If the broadcasters have Indian features and are overweight, the station is usually located in the United States. In the popular U.S. television series, "Jane, the Virgin,” The leading actress would never have obtained such a role in Mexico. She looks too Indian.
For more proof visit the website of the Electoral Institute for the state of Oaxaca, Mexico. Oaxaca is a state where a majority of residents are of Indian ancestry, mostly Zapotec, Mixtec, and Mazatec. About one-half of its population does not speak Spanish. This state has the highest concentration of people of Indian ancestry in Mexico. I have never met an Oaxacan with European features. Yet, when you look at this website, which represents leaders in Oaxaca, you notice that most of the leaders have European features.
The images used to represent the voters of this state are of a couple with pink skin. The male has obvious European features. The female has slightly elongated eyes that makes her look more like a fair-skinned Japanese woman. They do not represent the looks of the majority of the population of Oaxaca.
The mechanism of exclusion is simple. If you do not look European, and you do not belong to a "buena familia", you are not invited to their New Year’s party, to play golf, or to join the chamber of Commerce.
If you are not part of the leadership network, you will never be a leader. On the other side, people who look Indian resent those who do not, and do not desire to participate with them. There is deep resentment from the "Indian looking" population towards those who do not look Indian. I am of Mexican birth, but do not look Indian. Mexicans who look Indian have told me to leave the continent, as I do not belong here.
There is a deep chasm between the European looking population and the Indian looking population, particularly when the European looking population is running the show. Even though the political structure is fair on its face, it is not providing the opportunity to participate to all members of Mexican society.