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MEXICO: Friends of Fox

From Mexico, Raúl Esclante sends this: "The Amigos de Fox are poor people to preach morality. The few I've known (including one of my wife's cousins), can be loosely described as unsavory. I'm glad that the Instituto Federal Electoral is taking a good hard look at the PAN's 2000 campaign finances and the allegedly illegal contributions channeled by the Amigos de Fox (almost as glad as I was when the PRI was fined one billion pesos for the Pemex scandal). I d be very surprised if no hanky-panky is discovered".

I praised the cientìficos of the time of Porfirio Díaz and said Foz was carrying on their tradition. Raúl replied: "On Fox and the Científicos, I'm not sure I agree. I believe the Salinas administration had much more in common with Díaz than does Fox (starting with the president being a pretty ruthless b&&d). Fox is largely (and thankfully) continuing much of the reform begun in the mid-eighties by the tecnócratas under Miguel de la Madrid and continued through Ernesto Zedillo's term in office. However Fox s original initiatives (which are few) have little to do with Díaz. I do not think very highly of President Fox but admire much of the work done by the Científicos. Official Mexican history has been very unjust to them as a group".

RH: Here we go back to our history project. The technocrats of Miguel de la Madrid were the heirs of the cientificos, but with more stress on economics and less on engineering. Raúl is a Catholic. I wonder if his assessment of Fox is influenced by the argument between his wife and the Catholic Church. A book attacking her has just appeared Is it simply a publicity stunt for profit, or is it part of an attempt to weaken the Fox government? From this distance I still think well of him.

Ronald Hilton - 5/23/03