Reply to Viridiana Ríos

Reply to Viridiana Ríos,
I read with interest your article from the Mexico Institute at the Wilson Center (Four Rule of Law Policies to Make Mexico Grow).
I believe that some other important factors at the root of the problem have not been properly addressed. First, you mention that other Latin American countries like Chile had doubled its output per capita during the 2nd half of the 1990s, whereas Mexico only grew 20 %. However, Mexico’s economy, unlike Chile, depends in roughly 80 percent of its exports to the United States, whereas Chile exports less than 40 percent to the U.S. This leaves Mexico with a reduced margin of maneuverability. To prove my point, from 2008 to 2012 Mexico’s yearly economic growth averaged 2.2 percent, which is almost equal to the U.S. yearly growth for the same period of time. Therefore, our business community is not expanding as it should because it has been pegged and subservient to the US economy, consequently, the demographic bonus has not been incorporated into the production line.

On the other hand, in Korea 80% of its young population (between 20 and 35 years of age) has been endowed with higher education, whereas in Mexico is less than 20 % (OCED 2010). Consequently, Korea has in 50 years doubled the income of Mexico’s, actual per capita income (In the 60s Korea’s Income Per Capita was half of Mexico’s).

Second, our rule of law is certainly very precarious, especially when the legal system only convicts less than 5 percent of all delinquents (1 in 20). The same legal system perpetuates poverty in 52.2 million Mexicans, whom are deprived of opportunities to better themselves and remain hostage to pervasive violence. These circumstances make Mexico one of the most unequal countries (place 71 among 100 evaluated countries, World Bank 2010) in the globe. Accordingly, these paupers are left with only three possibilities to make ends meet, which are:

1. Informal economy, which has steadily grow more than the formal one, particularly during the Calderon term, and is now roughly 50 percent of the overall economy.

2. Illegal Migration to the USA.

3. To become “employed” and dependent on money from Criminal enterprises from the Drug Cartels.
Moreover, your 3rd point mentions that Mexican citizens do not have equal access to justice, which I may remind you that this becomes secondary when you lack food on the table (Maslow Pyramid).

According to Angel Gurria, The Secretary of OCED, the TELMEX monopoly costs Mexico 7 per cent of its GDP. Energy public monopolies (PEMEX and CFE) cost an additional 4 percent to Mexico’s GDP, and bribes account for almost 7% of the Mexican income per capita of all its citizens (T.I. 2010 Mexico, Federico Reyes Heroles, Reforma).

When you mention that Mexico is focusing more on economic reforms than productivity, save the rule of law, you are not considering that to foster productivity you need a sound fiscal reform, low energy and communication costs, and a competitive cost of labor. The latter is the only one that Mexico is presently offering to the foreign investor. Therefore, first come reforms, and then productivity, otherwise the Ox would be behind the Wagon (as is often the case in Mexico, as this happened with NAFTA in 1994).

Fourth, the rule of law cannot possibly prevail in a society where the cultural gene of corruption (Cuadrivio: Corruptofila, Un Gen Cultural de Nuestra Sociedad. Dr. Eduardo Garcia Flores Published by Editores de Textos Mexicanos 2009) is deeply entrenched in its citizens, along with impunity, which is endemic. Therefore, it is irrelevant how much money do Public Defenders make in Mexico, but even if we take that into account, a Public Defender in USA makes 36,000 dollars as average, and is not that far to the 16,000 Dlls a year that Defensores de Oficio make in Mexico when considering the PPP (Purchasing Power Parity).

There are some deep rooted problems related with our culture of illegality that are accountable to epigenesis – cultural genes – particularly because during the last five hundred years we have been subjected to two cultures that consider themselves exceptional (La cultura de la Ilegalidad en Mexico, Cintermex, Monterrey, Conferencia Magistral Octubre 2009 Dr. Eduardo Garcia Flores). 300 years of the Spanish Domination and 166 years of USA domination. Both cultures have been clearly dominant upon our country, because they believe in the Exceptionalism, a variant of the Middle Ages philosophy of Teosophism in which a few illuminati believed that they were the chosen ones by the will of God to be the savors of humanity.

Clearly, the wikileaks scandal according to H. Farrell and M. Finnemore in his paper (Foreign Affairs Nov-Dec 2013) “the End of Hypocrisy” has proven that “Manning’s and Snowden’s leaks mark the beginning of a new era in which the… U.S. Government can no longer count on keeping its secret behavior secret… and its friends and foes cannot longer plausible deny the dark side of U.S. foreign Policy…in which its policy and rhetoric will have to move closer to each other.. ” and, thus, secrecy cannot be defended in an open democratic debate.

Notwithstanding, many people in Mexico like Raymundo Rivaplacio a prominent editorialist of the newspaper El Horizonte (Nov. 4, 2013) has demanded to create a Commision de la Verdad (Truth Commission) to inform the Mexican public whether there is any agreement between the US and the Mexican Government to provide impunity to the Mexican drug cartels, responsible for the rampant violence, which is the ugly face of the lack of rule of law in Mexico.

Dr. Eduardo García Flores

Noviembre 18, 2013. Monterrey, N.L., México

(Imagen tomada de Internet / Derechos reservados por el autor)