perceived to be stolen,, that the Mexican people will no longer stand for that? And 1 am not trying to provoke a response that would suggest, yes, there will be violence, but is there the potential for a popular uprising? I don’t know. I think that if once again the vote is not respected, once again there is a major fraud like the one committed in ’88, well, I think that the reaction will be much stronger than in ’88. And we will have a much better and stronger organization in 1990. I think that the fraud I have no doubt that the government will commit a fraud again in the 1991 election. But I think that this time it will result in a very high political cost. Public opinion, national and international, is very much attentive, very responsive to what is happening in relation with electoral fraud in Mexico. This opinion will bear heavily and will be an important influence on what can now happen with electoral politics in Mexico. What is it that makes the Mexican government and the dominant party so durable? Governments have fallen in Eastern Europe and in other parts of the world. I understand that you say the PRI is not immune from this. But what is it that makes them so durable to this point? Maybe the resources that they dispose of internally. And the political and economic supports there are from outside. Do you see a faction within the party that is working for real reform? Is it Reyes Heroles who is mentioned as a reformer within the Party, or do I have the wrong Yes, he is part of what they call the Corriente Critica [Critical Current]. But the head is Rodolfo Gonzalez Guevara, who was ambassador to Spain and before that was president of the PRI in the federal district for a long, long time. He is the head of this Corriente Critica. Do you perceive them as possible allies in a presidential election? People who might join your party? We do see them as potential allies. To join or to work together. You have been openly critical of President Salinas. But do you have any channels of communication with him. Are there any official channels or unofficial channels by which you communicate? Directly with him, no. We have contacts with the Congress. And when we go to elections, through local authorities. But we have no direct contact with Salinas. But he obviously communicated with you the other day [through the news media]. 18 SEPTEMBER 16, 1990 Yes, that is how we communicate. What has all of this this long campaign meant for your personal and family life? Have you felt at times personally threatened? Not personally. There was a threat, a very direct threat to one of my sons, the second, Cuauhtemoc, who is 23 years old. He was intercepted by men in a car, late at night. Four men got out and with a knife threatened him, then cut him on the chest and forehead. They told him that he had better stop causing problems in Michoacan. Recently, the secretary of Jorge Castenada, a political commentator, also was threatened because of positions Castenada had taken. In the case of my family, I considered this was a direct threat. I mean, one of my sons was attacked and threatened. On the other hand, I travel freely throughout the country without protection. I never have had it and I don’t believe in protection [bodyguards]. This has had an effect on my family life. But I try to remain as close to home and to my family as possible. My family understands and participates as much as is possible my wife and children. I have three children, two boys, 26, 23, and a daughter who is seven. We all participate in these [political] activities. They are in Michoacan or in Mexico [City] ? In Mexico. The second of my sons is finishing his studies in architecture. The first has finished his studies in anthropology and is now working on his thesis and preparing for graduate school. What does this trip, coming to the U.S. and meeting with the academic community and other groups here, achieve? For us it has been important these meetings with the academic community in different parts of the United States allow us to interact with the very people who are studying Mexico’s problems, who have an interest in what is happening in Mexico. And for us it is important that we know them and understand their perspective. We also think it is important that people here understand what we are trying to achieve in Mexico the terms, the objectives of this struggle. If they understand this, then they will understand the type of transformation that we are trying to achieve in Mexico and the kinds of relations that we would like to have and should have between Mexico and the United States. So for us it is important. People in this country are going to have an opinion about Mexico and we feel they should know the PRD, what are our principles, who is leading this party. Those are our reasons for being here. And at the same time, as Mexicans, we are interested in remaining close to the Mexican community in the United States particu larly with the Chicano community but also with other progressive and liberal groups outside the community. We want members of these communities to understand that the struggle that we are conducting in Mexico is not distant and removed from them. For Chicanos, whom we consider a part of the Mexican people, our struggle is their struggle. President Salinas has arrested the president of the petroleum-workers union. Does that suggest that there is a possibility of privatization of Pemex Idle state-owned oil e.vploration and distribution company] ? First, the leaders of petroleum-workers union who are imprisoned could never have been considered a balance against the government, because they are part of the government. I don’t think Salinas would consider privatizing the primary functions of the industry, the exploration and extraction. I think the big push to privatize will be an attempt to open opportunities in the petrochemical industries in an industry that is vital if Mexico is to grow. You have said that you objected to the export of crude oil Yes. Because it is so important that we protect our petroleum reserves to use over a longer period. If Mexico is to export petroleum products, they should export refined products and petrochemicals. You would prefer, then, the Saudi model, by which you begin vvith the resource, then acquire the means of distribution, rather than just sell the raw resource. Right. You would stand by that even though oil prices are so high that they would allow Mexico to recapture some That can function for the short run. But it is not a good policy for the long term. Do you anticipate being a candidate for the presidency in 1994? The party will decide this in ’93. Before that, we think it is inopportune to discuss it. And I see in the PRD that new leaders are emerging local leaders, statewide leaders, national leaders. So there are a number of potential candidates. If I have to be a candidate, I will. But there are others who are qualified. And you anticipate electoral fraud on behalf of the government if they perceive that they have lost the election. Yes. But I also perceive that democratic forces will be much more organized and will have more possibility of imposing our candidate.
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