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Opinion
Ricardo Castillo
Ricardo Castillo The Mafia in Power Senator Manuel Bartlett Díaz has been spilling the beans on how it was that now former president Carlos Salinas de Gortari got “elected"
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There’s never been a question in terms of modern Mexican democracy that its beginnings came immediately after the 1988 presidential election but now that the whole truth and nothing but the truth comes straight out of the horse’s mouth is leaving everyone dumbfounded.

Over the course of this week Labor Party (PT) Senator Manuel Bartlett Díaz has been spilling the beans on how it was that now former president Carlos Salinas de Gortari got “elected” and how since the Institutional Revolutionary (PRI) and the National Action (PAN) parties concocted an arrangement that gave origin to what is now known as “the mafia in power. PRI and PAN are ideologically the same ever since.”

In interviews with different television stations Senator Bartlett, now a staunch supporter of the candidacy for president of Andrés Manuel López Obrador of the National Regeneration Movement party (Morena) revealed how it was that the leader in the polls and winner Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas was robbed of the election and the presidency.

Bartlett did have a way of knowing as at the time he had been the Interior Secretary during the six-years of the President Miguel de la Madrid Administration and definitely an actor in many a political fray. Plus he was the Federal Electoral Commission coordinator who organized the elections and finally was the fall man in the accusation that he had tossed the election awry.

This may have all happened on July 1988 – 29 years ago to the month – but the issue is at hand today as political parties prepare for the 2018 presidential election and whatever Senator Bartlett is saying surely is slinging mud on two parties in distress, PRI and PAN, both of whom have shared power ever since.

There are several instances surrounding the 1988 election day itself that Bartlett has made it a point to clarify and cleanse his name from any wrong doing at the time. One was “the crashing of the computer system” and secondly how it was that the election was stolen.

Bartlett has been tagged with being the author of the phrase that the vote count was stopped because the “system crashed” and even then at the time Carlos Salinas de Gortari was leading in the count.

He denies ever having said that and claims now that the phrase came from later PAN presidential candidate Diego Fernández de Cevallos who said it, not him. At the time, the Interior Secretariat (Segob) did not have a computer system and all results were being transmitted by phone. The phone system did stop functioning “for about an hour” and then reinitiated. The computer system couldn’t have crashed because there was no system. “That was sheer Fernández de Cevallos perversity.”

But the worst part came at around 11p.m. that Sunday night July 6 when out of the president’s office a call went to then PRI president Jorge de la Vega Domínguez ordering him to go on the air in all media and announce the victory of Carlos Salinas de Gortari even if all votes had not been counted. It was then that all political hell broke loose at the Interior Secretariat with all political parties (PAN included) screaming “fraud” at him.

“What really happened that day was declaring Salinas as the winner without having a figure to back that up on the part of Jorge de la Vega.”

In the aftermath “Salinas came to an agreement with PAN and they made an alliance and that’s where the mafia in power comes from and ever since, PRI and PAN are the same.”

He still says he’s not sure whether Carlos Salinas did actually win the majority of votes because he “never had Access” to the total amount of packages sent then to Electoral College which was under the supervision of PRI controlled Chamber of Deputies.

But for sure, “the pact” between PAN led by Fernández de Cevallos and Salinas to endorse the validity of the election, much to the chagrin of Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas who went on to form the Democratic Revolution Party.
As for the fact that the “system crashed” Diego Fernández says now that he used the verb “calló” or “hushed” and not “cayó” that means crashed.

But the end result of the 1988 was that in the end “it was President de la Madrid who declared Salinas the victor.”

In short, the power of “presidencialismo” prevailed but the outcome was that ever since PAN has been able to get a larger share of the government’s pie than it ever did before with the creation of “the mafia in power.”
Well, at least, that’s Bartlett’s opinion now.

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