It was Sept. 7 in the state of Zacatecas when President Enrique Peña Nieto (EPN) bitterly complained of the sheer misunderstanding of his executive — political if you will — decisions by his growing but already humongous number of critics.
“Decisions made with a political intent are also enormously polemical but I have made them purely with Mexico in my mind, and the future that awaits it. And perhaps today they are not fully understood, but I am certain that a time will come in which why every one of the decisions I made will be comprehended.”
During the past few weeks many of these “political decisions” have come not merely under scrutiny, but under attack from those who disagree with them.
One of those decisions was EPN’s announcement last May that he was introducing a bill to make same-sex marriage a national law and free individuals from the religiously imposed bonds of marriage.
The reaction from mostly Catholic Mexicans came swift and strongly pushed by the nation’s religious leader Cardinal Norberto Rivera, who organized a nationwide anti-gay marriage demonstration, with another one programmed for this coming Saturday.
Will Cardinal Rivera and his flock understand EPN’s decision in the future? My fair guess is “no,” as they live by the Bible, which imposes stiff and thunderous spiritual penalties on the children of Sodom and Gomorrah and demands sexual intercourse be for breeding and creating a family only — a family with values, of course.
The Church will definitely not understand his same-sex marriage move, but surely the people who want to be free of the stifling bonds that a Catholic society imposes upon non-conventional individual behavior (namely gay) would be in favor of EPN and applaud his political decision to be on their side, just the way Barack Obama is doing in the United States.
Another group that was active last Thursday September 15 with a march that got stopped before it reached the National Palace was a group demanding EPN’s immediate resignation, who also do not like his political decisions.
The reality with this group is that among the approximately 5,000 participants in the demonstration over Reforma Avenue to the Palace of Fine Arts in Mexico City is that apparently each had a different reason why EPN should turn his resignation ipso facto.
In the past this writer opposed even powerful U.S. journalist of Mexican descent Jorge Ramos who demanded EPN’s resignation over the White House scandal he allegedly took as a bribe for a quick train-track construction contract given to a Chinese company, which would have gone from Mexico City to Querétaro.
Personally I named Ramos “an enemy of democracy” because accusing EPN of being corrupt is one thing and proving it is another, particularly as Jorge Ramos and the 5,000 marchers of Sept. 15 keep forgetting that EPN — like it or not — won a democratic election and arrived in power with a minority 38 percent of the total vote tally, but still, six percent above his closest competitor Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO).
Incidentally, AMLO — who literally hates EPN’s guts — is adamantly against EPN’s resignation as it is clear that such a political move would disrupt the current democratic system which is so costly and has taken a long time to integrate into the nation’s peaceful life. It may not be perfect, but still it is as close as Mexicans have come to democracy in the 192-year old history of an independent Mexico, starting with the 1824 election of the first president and the drafting of the first Constitution.
So EPN’s complaint that his decisions are not understood may be valid, but not for the plaintiffs. They keep growing as his six year mandate is about to close its fourth year next Nov. 30.
Opposition to his administration — don’t read my lips on this — will most likely continue growing precisely because of his political decisions as of now the “resignation” movement has plans for a noisy spring during 2017 in which they aim to bring millions of people to the streets.
It remains to be seen whether they will succeed, but the fact for EPN now is that opposition to his regime keeps diversifying just as the economy is on slippery ground, as the dollar keeps devaluing and the international reserves — which he received at $198 billion — have dwindled to $176 billion and are inevitably still going down.
Let there be no doubt, however, that EPN has a clear grip on national power that deceives people because the one political decision he has not made is to exercise force against protesters, but this same situation is sending him directly into being probably the earliest lame duck president in history.
And that’s not good either.