The ‘moreirazo’ in Mexico

Mexicans now have a new word in their political lingo –”the moreirazo.” It basically refers to making billions of dollars disappear into thin air and then have one’s brother and loyal functionaries protect one’s back.

That’s not all: It also means how to control the internal party machine to help its candidate all the way through the presidential nomination. And, when the scandal about the huge debt finally broke, the party pushes it to the side so as not to damage its candidate, and they all act as if nothing has happened.

On innumerable occasions, the ex-governor of Coahuila, Humberto Moreira, joined arms in victory with Enrique Peña Nieto, the presidential candidate of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). As the head of the PRI, Moreria secured the nomination of Peña Nieto, in addition to many important electoral victories in Michoacan, in the state of Mexico and -among others- in Coahuila where he left his brother, Ruben, as governor to serve through 2017.

Given these facts it is inevitable to ask whether the “moreirazo” is what the so-called new PRI is adding to the national debate because, as it is, it seems uncanningly like the corrupt organization that ran Mexico uninterrupted for 70 years.

It is true that Moreira resigned from party leadership so that that shadow of scandal surrounding his government in Coahuila wouldn’t tarnish the PRI’s chances. That is not enough to give the party a clean slate because the protection of Moerira goes very deep.

For example, Coahuila’s State Auditor told the media seeking information on the debt’s expansion – by more than 9,000% in six years- that details related to the case would not be made public until 2019.

If that wasn’t enough, the state’s chief auditor, Armando Plata, has already determined prior to any investigation that Moreira would not face charges because legally the governor is allowed to delegate the fiscal functions of his administration. So, the former governor is already absolved.

The “Moreirazo” is a sign that the PRI is – in the best of cases- as tolerant of internal corruption as it was in the past. The close ties between Moreria and Peña Nieto, and the party’s attitude to protect its own, undercuts the candidate’s moral authority when he promises a clean and transparent government.

Millions of people in Coahuila will now see the quality of their life affected as austerity measures are put into place to repay the mysterious debt incurred during the government of Humberto Moreira. Ordinary citizens always pay the price!

This all leaves a disturbing message about Mexico’s future. The PRI of Peña Nieto has shown that it prefers loyalty and protection of presumed corruption over the public’s outrage and the protection of the interest of the people. If deceit and arrogance are so highly valued in the political campaign imagine what will happen if they are victorious and win Los Pinos?