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Column 061112 Wall

Monday, June 11, 2012

Promises and More Promises by Mexico's Presidential Candidates

By Allan Wall

"El prometer no empobrece -- El dar es lo que aniquila." -- Spanish proverb
(To promise does not impoverish -- To give is what annihilates.)

The Mexican presidential election proceeds apace, with less than three weeks to go to balloting on Sunday, July 1. 

As of June 9th, the Milenio-GEA/ISA poll reported Enrique Peña Nieto in first place with 44.8%; Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador in second place with 28.9%; Josefina Vazquez Mota in third place with 22.8%; and running a distant fourth, Gabriel Quadri with 3.5%.

Let's take a look at just a few of the promises made by the three principal candidates:

JOSEFINA VAZQUEZ MOTA is the candidate for the Partido Acción Nacional, the PAN.  You can visit her website here.

Josefina promises a labor reform that will result in 400,000 new jobs, to simplify the tax system, to sell PEMEX bonds to the public, to establish a new national police force, make sure all Mexicans have health care, and she wants everybody to have a high school education.

ANDRES MANUEL LOPEZ OBRADOR heads up the Movimiento Progresista, an alliance of parties led by the PRD (Partido de la Revolución Democrática), the Labor Party (Partido del Trabajo, or PT), and a party called the Movimiento Ciudadano.    Lopez Obrador is commonly referred to by his initials AMLO, and his website is here.

AMLO promises the creation of 1,200,000 jobs during his six-year term, 6% annual growth, lower energy prices, the elimination of police corruption, guaranteed education for all, and to make Mexico self-sufficient in food production.  Lopez Obrador also promises one million new jobs in rural Mexico -- now, is that million included in the 1,200,000 figure above?

ENRIQUE PEÑA NIETO is the candidate of the Compromiso por México, which is comprised of the PRI (Partido Revolucionario Institucional) and its smaller Green Party partner, the Partido Verde Ecologista de México.  The candidate's website is here.

Of the three major candidates, Peña Nieto has been the most diligent in including promises on his own website. That may come back to haunt him, should he win the election! And he is the front-runner!

You can click here to see Peña Nieto's main promises, which he calls Mis Compromisos Nacionales (My National Commitments).  Peña Nieto promises to...

  • "Recover peace and liberty" by "reducing the rate of homicides and kidnappings by at least 50%."
  • "To construct an inclusive Mexico without poverty ... the full exercise of the rights of women, the indigenous and the handicapped."
  • "... To create more and better jobs, to triple economic growth of the past decade, and to create more than a million jobs a year."
  • Peña Nieto promises to get all Mexican students to attend preschool to high school, and to get 45% to go to university. The candidate also promises to get Mexico to the #1 position in Latin America in the international PISA test.

Then, on another page on his website, Peña Nieto shows promises by state.  There is a map of Mexico, choose and click the Mexican state, and you can see what the candidate has promised to that state.

And on yet another page, click here, the candidate has his promises listed in chronological order, beginning on March 30th.  At the time of this writing there were 134 promises on the list!

Peña Nieto, or whoever is running his website, has done a very diligent job of listing his promises.  As the front-runner, he's the most likely to win the election, and it would be interesting to keep track of these promises and which he fulfills and which he doesn't.

I invite interested readers to browse around and see some of the promises these candidates have made.  Here is another page with promises from all four candidates, plus you can click the daily websites of Mexican newspapers and see the latest promises made by candidates. 

 "El prometer no empobrece -- El dar es lo que aniquila."

Allan Wall, an educator, resided in Mexico for many years.  His website is located at

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