In order to reach the middle of the calendar, hand and eyes are joined. Together they contemplate a month, JUNE, and a word, QUERÉTARO.
Querétaro. Almost one and a half million inhabitants in 2000, according to the INEGI, and more than 25,000 indigenous speakers over the age of 5. Otom'e-Hñañúe indigenous, Mazahuas, Nahuas, Pames, Huastecos, Zapotecos, Totonacos and Purépechas have survived in lands where racism and arrogance govern, and stupidity has attained the status of government policy.
June. Querétaro. The stone is once again new made snow-white cloud. She flies high. Not because she fears the dog-like stupidity which issues from the government palace. It is so she can better appreciate what is happening here. Querétaro is one of the best examples of what the National Action party can do…right, more accurately "undo"…as government.
The cloud reaches the "Sierra Gorda." From there she locates Toluquilla, which is also called "Hunchback Hill," and she rests on one of the two ball fields there. Just like in Ranas, which is close by, the lands of Hunchback Hill abound in red sulfur from mercury or cinnabar, which were much appreciated in Mesoamerica because they were a symbol of life, and they were called the "blood of the earth."
From here the cloud can see "La Veracruz" campesino community, which every 15 days sent a committee to the capital of the state, Querétaro, in order to provide legal follow-up for a charge they had filed against the INAH. The reason was that the INAH had expropriated various hectares from these Querétaranos, and they were trying to pay them 20 centavos per hectare.
Yes, 20 centavos. Let the reader try and figure out how to write the symbol for centavos on a computer or on a typewriter (there might even be those who no longer remember how to write it by hand), or, even better, try and live with a compensation of 20 centavos. The campesinos from the Toluquilla area demanded, in addition, that they themselves would be the ones to work, use and conserve that area.
But Querétaro, the capital, is a place governed by intolerance and racism. Last October, members of the Kurinit group denounced to the State Human Rights Commission that the delegate from the Historic Centre of the municipality of Querétaro had prohibited them from holding their dances in a public plaza, arguing that they "reflected badly" on the capital's "urban image." Punks are also being harassed by the "good government" of Querétaro. But they are quite far from being intimidated, continuing in their culture and resistance, linking up with other movements and groups.
And the fact is that Querétaro is not only the pathetic image of the PAN made government. It is also, and above all, the encouraging image of a resistance which takes many names and faces: the Union of Indigenous and Campesino Women of Querétaro (UMIC), Felipe Carillo Puerto Civic Union, National Association of Organized Women in Network &endash; Querétaro, National Association of Bovine and Goat Producers &endash; Querétaro Delegation, Independent Front of Social Organizations, Independent Querétaro Association for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights AC.
There is a neighborhood called "Nueva Realidad" in this city. This indigenous neighborhood is famous because of the demonstrations and struggle for those land, which were led by members of the indigenous council of the Independent Front of Social Organizations (FIOS at that time, now FIOZ). Despite the imprisonment of their leaders in 1998, and the attempts to divide them, they are trying to reclaim cultural demonstrations in "Nueva Realidad," demonstrations which are still being held in their communities of origin (in the municipality of Amealco). And so they have been promoting groups which have to do with the reclamation of fiestas, clothing, music, and, along with researchers from the Autonomous University of Querétaro, with the conservation and transmission of the oral and written language.
The lack of attention to social demands, and the increasingly brazen, repressive nature of the government, have given impetus to an incipient network of organizations and groups from civil society which have converged around human rights issues. It is necessary to stand up to the high level of repression and impunity being demonstrated by different officials and police forces. This brazen and cynical repression is not only being directed at independent organizations and groups. Denunciations have also been made by members of opposition parties. Arrest warrants held in abeyance in order to sow terror, surveillance of public, and even of private, activities, telephone threats, damages inflicted to houses and automobiles, holding back funds and low budgets (as in the case of the Autonomous University of Querétaro), "beatings" publicized by the officials themselves: these are all just some examples of the "rule of law" which is being fostered by National Action.
Campesinos, as well as workers, are experiencing enormous discontent. The lack of supports and programs dealing with production, migration to the United States, the high rates of unemployment (denied in official figures) and few opportunities for work, are all a constant. In addition, the use of government programs, and building projects "awarded" to companies belonging to officials or relatives, has created disgruntlement. The media and those deputies who have made denunciations are co-opted or threatened. There are loud rumors about the governor having sent checks to the Congress, in order to block information or in order to have executive proposals approved.
Meanwhile, in the Social Readjustment Center (Cereso) of San José El Alto, two civilian zapatistas, Sergio Gerónimo Sánchez and Anselmo Robles, have turned their confinement into resistance. These two men are still prisoners due solely to the arrogance of the firulais who is barking in the government palace.
The cloud descends in order to have a better look at what is going on in the house of Power. There is the capital of Querétaro, governed by the famous Firulais Loyola. The history of this reject from the 1001 Dalmatians casting call ("he's too gray," the producers said) is worthy of a prominent place in the memory of the National Action Party and its platform.
"(…) The PAN, in 1997, gambled everything on winning the state capital, since the governorship was considered to be unattainable. To that end, they put forward their strongest candidate, Francisco Garrido Patrón, for the municipality of Querétaro. For the state government, they launched a featherweight, a complete neophyte in political issues, someone of minimal intelligence and common sense, Ignacio Loyola Vera, an agronomy engineer who had graduated from the Monterrey Technologic Institute. His political ties up to that point had been more with the PRI than with the PAN, since Loyola is himself married to a cousin of Fernando Ortiz Arana (who was the PRI gubernatorial candidate when Loyola was running). In addition, according to some journalists, Ignacio Loyola was a member of a PRI organization during his youth. After the election, the results were announced, and the PAN had not only won the mayoralty of Querétaro and been reelected in San Juan del R'o, but they had also gained the state government. The person who was most surprised by this was Loyola himself…" (Rubén Lugo Sánchez, "Power and Videocracy in Mexico, the Querétaro Case." Third Virtual Congress of Anthropology, 2002. "Archeological City" www.naya.org.arg).
National Action's victory truly changed the stage in this state. Yes, now Querétaro and San Juan del R'o are full of advertisements announcing the PAN's "great achievements," i.e., flowerpots and rubbish bins!
Firulais Loyola's stupidity is now the stuff of legend abroad. In September of 2001, the "Señor Governor" did what had already seemed impossible: surprising Mexico and the world with a discovery which is now government policy in PAN administrations. Demonstrating that he was a man, pardon, dog, of his word, Loyola stated, during the Avances program radio broadcast, the following: "I'm going to remind my friends who are listening to me, to the many journalists who have asked me how much I was going to make if I became governor, and I told them I was going to make 20% more than what the best paid company director made, and the truth was rather late in coming. Now I'm going to at least fulfill that campaign commitment, and so I'm telling you here how much your friend is going to make, because it's going to be a lot. I think I've done my bit, and I've demonstrated I can win, if a director of a company makes a certain amount, I think the governor should make more, like I promised in my campaign." (Notimex, September 24, 2001).
The Firulais (who should be in a circus, because a dog who can do sums is always an attraction) made his calculations and announced: 360,000 pesos monthly. He noted, condescendingly: "360,000 pesos, less deductions, probably about 200,000 is left, but that's not much either (…) no other politician has more responsibility than your servant, and there are some who make more, fistfuls."
"Make more?" The one writing this is not a dog, but he will nonetheless attempt to do his sums: 200,000 pesos net, at a rate of exchange of 10 pesos per dollar, with 20,000 dollars monthly, adds up to something like $240,000 a year (without counting awards, bonuses and I don't know how many more things, but the Firulais surely knows). In the study "The Salaries of Top level Officials in Mexico from a Comparative Perspective," by researchers from the CIDE, Laura Carrillo Anaya and Juan Pablo Guerrero A., it notes that the President of the United States had, in 2002, a net salary of $243,600 annually. And so that's how big Loyola is, who will be making almost the same as Bush (I believe because they have the same IQ) and more than the total made by the presidents of Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Spain.
The Firulais' "modesty" doesn't end there. For a 15 day event, Loyola spent 63.9 million pesos in the construction of the "Exhibit Eco Center" (better known as the "Ego Center"). The awarding of the contract stank. The state Congress discovered that the construction had been awarded to Oliver SA de CV, without any tenders whatsoever having been let. In the city of Querétaro, which suffers from floods during the rainy season, the PAN government spent 210,000 pesos, not in order to improve the drainage system, but in order to buy an amphibious vehicle, which, obviously, will not be of any use (cfr. Rubén Lugo Sánchez, op. cit).
The "Mexico of Change" which the PAN wants is being promoted in the state capital. The establishment of police checkpoints right in the center of the city (violating the Constitution, which &endash; oh, paradox! &endash; was signed here), along with the display of "elite" police officers on motorcycles and luxurious patrols who have the noble mission of safeguarding businessmen and tourists, clearly demonstrate the PAN national program.
In order to help one govern, there is nothing like family. The governor's brother is the owner of the local Azteca TV affiliate, and, along with some radio stations and some newspapers, Loyola's "dirty tricks" are quickly covered up.
But even with all that, there are those who cannot let go of control. The following is an article from Reforma, which earned that newspaper's correspondent having his car stolen from inside his house:
"Loyola suspected of diverting funds. Governor of Querétaro's wealth inexplicably increases.
By Fernando Paniagua/Reforma Group. Querétaro, Mexico (January 30, 2003). Local independent Deputy Marco Antonio León Hernández announced that Governor Ignacio Loyola Vera acquired imported marble from France, at a cost of 6 million pesos, for the building of his house, leading to suspicions concerning a probable unexplained enrichment. Interviewed by the local news program, Enlace, Leon Hernández stated: "…Here's an exact and concrete figure, and I have the details in hand which I was going to mention at the proper moment: at that time a shipment of marble arrived from France for a cost of 6 million pesos," he said, (Reforma News Service Group).
And, prior to that, in October, the following article appeared concerning a kind of castle that was being built in secret:
"Loyola is building his house, made in the image of Los Pinos.
Francisco Flores Hernández, El Financiero, Wednesday, October 2.
In order to build a country house, Governor Ignacio Loyola Vera invaded 20 hectares of ejidal land in the community of Ajuchitlancito, in the municipality of Pedro Escobedo, denounced local ejiditarios. Despite the fact that they had been dispossessed, the dissidents stated that charges had been filed against 20 ejiditarios by Governor Ignacio Loyola Vera, accused of seizing 100 hectares of land. At a press conference, Braulio Alvarez Botello, speaking for the 216 ejiditarios who had been affected, displayed documents which supported their ownership. He related that, despite residents' anxiety over having learned about the huge house which was being built, they were not allowed access, and unidentified persons informed them only that the lands which had been allegedly invaded belonged to Governor Ignacio Loyola Vera."
And that is not all. In July of 2001, in the midst of widespread coverage about the espionage team which had been discovered in the state of Mexico, the Firulais admitted that he was carrying out, as part of "state security," the same kind of espionage. The PGR intervened in response to public outcry, summoning him to give evidence. When he refused, they sent him a questionnaire, which, according to some local media, he answered in writing. Up to this point, the PGR has refused to make the responses public.
In order to summarize: Loyola is so popular that there have been only eight outstanding political charges filed against him.
Is the Firulais an isolated phenomenon in National Action? It would appear not. This mini-king's rudeness and his abuses of power are repeated by deputies, senators, governors and municipal presidents of that political party. And Diego Fernández de Cevallos is there to confirm it.
The entire debate over the PAN's fight being between the doctrinaires (followers of Manuel Gómez Mor'n) and the Barbarians of the North, is a farce. There is no one, today, in the National Action Party who truly lays claim to the ideology of Gómez Mor'n. The person who has conserved the study and systematization of Gómez Mor'n's body of ideas is Rodr'guez Prats (multi-party PAN senator from Tabasco and architect of maintaining the PRI in the governorship of that state), who was the PRI leader in Tabasco until 1993. That gentleman, known for his absolute lack of PAN ideology &endash; and who was brought into the PAN ranks by Fernández de Cevallos &endash; wrote a libelous piece entitled: "The PAN's Great Doctrinaire Legacy." He is the one who was (purportedly) in charge of training PAN's political cadres in Gómez Mor'n's "tenets." This caused José Angel Conchello, some time ago, to become greatly upset. He emerged angrily from one of those "training" courses, berating the PAN leadership for having assigned said task to an "upstart."
The sole and true doctrine of the current PAN is the religion of power and of money. This is a process which has been ongoing in that party for several years now, and one person has been key in that process: Diego Fernández de Cevallos. He has managed, replicating the multi-armed goddess Kali, to insinuate himself with men and women of money, with the political classes of all the parties, with the governors of all the parties, with sectors of the Church, with his confreres - the drug trafficking bosses - and, also, inside the PAN.
Diego Fernández de Cevallos (Mexico City, 1942) began his political career with ties to the extreme right university group, MURO, which was founded by Abascal père. This group, inspired by fascism, was used by university officials, until prior to 1966, as an instrument for repression and internal control in the university. During 1968 he was the leader of PAN youth, and he attempted to give the impression of proximity to the movement, which never went past a few statements. When Pablo Emilio Madero was the leader of PAN, Diego was frozen out, and his star went into eclipse for a few years . He was rehabilitated by Luis H. Alvarez, and he began building his personal power base under Alvarez' shadow.
From the professional perspective, he inherited Manuel Gómez Mor'n's client portfolio (all very powerful men). Here a relationship began being woven with the owners of money, which was to become his launching pad.
Following a brief confrontation with Carlos Castillo Peraza, Cevallos became the PAN boss, controlling the fundamental part of its bureaucratic infrastructure, with a client portfolio that was able to exploit privileged information in order to win lawsuits against the State, with control over important groups of senators and deputies from other parties (it should not be forgotten that when the indigenous counter-reform was given "fast track" approval, PRI Deputy Rocha Cordero sided with him and told PAN members who were present: "Tell Chief Diego that he has been taken care of.").
Only PRIs now refer to Diego Fernández de Cevallos as "Chief." He has found a more suitable nickname in law office circles, a name which, in addition, characterizes him quite well: La Coyota (a name which no one should like, since it has always been given to very "brave little boys.").
Some examples which bear evidence to La Coyota's trafficking in influence: The case of the Del Valle company, which won a lawsuit against the Treasury Department for not having to pay IVA, arguing that its product was a natural juice, and that fruit was exempt from IVA payments. What is incredible is that "the law" forced Treasury to repay IVA to that company for several years. But it so happens that IVA had not been paid by the company, but by consumers, and, nonetheless, the decision had been taken to reimburse the money to the company. Who was that company's legal representative? Diego Fernández de Cevallos. How much did La Coyota pocket? Approximately one million six hundred thousand pesos. The Ramos Millán family won a conflict over lands from the Department of Agrarian Reform, which meant that this agency had to pay an amount that was higher than their whole budget for an entire year. Who was the legal representative? Diego Fernández de Cevallos. How much for La Coyota? One million two hundred and fourteen thousand pesos. If we add to this what was made from the Atlántico-Bital bank "rescue" (some 13 million pesos), we would have La Coyota, the "Chief" of the PRIs, having comfortably pocketed more than 15 million pesos (facts taken from "Money." Enrique Galván Ochoa. La Jornada. July 12, 2002).
La Coyota Fernández de Cevallos also bought 20 hectares of land that were located in front of the New Intercontinental Airport of Querétaro, which had been built by his puppy, the Firulais Loyola. La Coyota "only" paid one million five hundred thousand pesos for those lands (Notimex, August 2, 2002), or something like 75,000 pesos per hectare (a "slight" difference between that and the 20 centavos which campesinos from Toluquilla, Querétaro had been paid per hectare).
The 'Lord of the Heavens,' Amado Carrillo, was admitted to the Santa Elena Hospital. He purportedly died there following liposuction. Who was that hospital's legal representative? Diego Fernández de Cevallos. How much did he get for the "referral" and how much for the "death" of the drug trafficker? It's a mystery. A service was held for the same drug boss in a funeral home whose legal representative is Fernando Gómez Mont (partner and putative son of Fernández de Cevallos).
A few years ago, the PGR noted that the Anáhuac Financing Company (owned during that time period by Miguel de la Madrid's son and his nephew) had been accused of money laundering for drug traffickers. Its legal representative? Diego Fernández de Cevallos.
These are some of La Coyota's "clients." That client portfolio has turned him into one of the richest men in Mexico, without any lights having been shone on his fortune and his lawyerly swindles.
Fernández de Cevallos' objective &endash; ever since the time of Carlos Salinas de Gortari, forward &endash; seems to have been to be the second most important man in the country, other than the president of Mexico, that is, without the troubles that position entails. La Coyota was a key factor in taking the social pressure off Salinas de Gortari, promoting the burning of ballots in 1988. He came up with the idea that "Salinas was an illegitimate president who can legitimize himself with his actions," even though it was someone else who expressed it. He was in charge of promoting and securing the votes for all of Salinas' political and economic proposals which dismantled the national wealth and delivered it into the hands of a handful of adventurers, who turned into ultra-millionaires overnight (all La Coyota's clients).
At the same time, he managed to introduce several of his peons into PRI power circles. This is how Fernando Gómez Mont came to be Ernesto Zedillo's advisor regarding changes in the law, especially those having to do with the judicial system, and particularly as regards sending a large part of the old Supreme Court justices into retirement. The surprise for PAN deputies and senators was that, when they went to discuss the law, sitting on the other side of the table from them was their fellow PANista, Gomez Mont. When they went to complain to Fernández, he simply smiled snidely.
Another of his peons, Fauzi Hamdan, was also a Zedillo advisor while he was an assemblyman in the DF. The importance of this individual's role in the "Fox's Friends" scandal has recently come to public light. The point would be to know who he had been working for. No one, right now, not even the IFE, has as much information on "Fox's Friends" as Fernandez de Cevallos does. That is the reason for Lino Korrodi's virulent reaction. He knew that Diego knew, and he knows he knows, and he doesn't want to be the scapegoat for palace conflicts (tragedies? farces?). A free tip for the IFE and the PGR: investigate the Hamdan-Fernández de Cevallos relationship and connect it to "Fox Friends" (I would advise the use of a gag because what you will find will not smell very good).
It would not be untoward to think that Fernández de Cevallos wants to implement a rendition of callismo ("cervallismo") in the country. A de facto power behind the throne. A power at the service of the men and women of money, with a court which flatters him, or by feigning opposition, are nothing other than his jesters. In the final analysis, this individual is the living and faithful portrait of the Mexican political system.
If, in previous times, this was what Saturnino Cedillo represented, and later Gonzalo N. Santos, subsequently Rubén Figueroa and Carlos Hank González, today, with his white collar and Armani suits, in his Jaguar with its leather seats, the Mexican political system is portrayed by a lowlife character called: Diego Fernández de Cevallos, alias La Coyota.
The Firulais Loyola and La Coyota Fernández de Cevallos are not the entire PAN. But they are the most scandalous examples that National Action offers up as government policy.
Because corruption and imbecility not only create money for those who "get their degree" in them, they also turn into a way of doing politics, the "government of change's" way.
Brandishing a stupid intolerance, hand in hand with the Catholic right and with "philosophical" arguments out of gossip magazines, the PAN is now the government.
Carlos Monsiváis, perhaps the most lucid and incisive analyst of the advance of the right in Mexico, warned, in the media desert (for political criticism) of 2000, about what would come of the country with the, then, "government of cultural victory" (or, also, "government of the center-left" for the promoters of the "expedient vote"), and, today, "government of change." Along with Jenaro Villamil, in the now disappeared column, "Por mi madre, bohemios," Monsiváis dissected the cadaver of the Mexican political system, and what he saw then is now the daily terror on Mexican lands. Here are a few examples of what existed during the days of the euphoria of the "change":
- "I'll invite the best people in Aguascalientes onto my work team. It doesn't matter to me what party they belong to, it doesn't matter to me what religion they are, but we aren't going to invite faggots." Mayor-elect of Aguascalientes, Luis Armando Reynoso Fermat, days prior to his inauguration in 1998. Cited by PRI leader Armando López Campa. Article by Mario Luis Ramos Rocha. Pages 24, 26, August 26, 2000.
- "Who is guilty of a rape? Is the child who is born the guilty one? Then why are they going to kill him? Let them castrate the rapist." (But, if the most effective measures are preventative ones, let them do it before anyone is raped). Bishop Onésimo Cepeda. Article by Diego Badillo. Unomásuno. September 7, 2000.
- "Education officials in the PAN government of Baja California put into effect a regulation that prohibited, among other things, using makeup in secondary schools, or wearing miniskirts or shoes with modern heels, in order to prevent moral decline (Of course, heels force wiggling, wiggling causes groping, groping culminates in atheism. The Ed.). The boys are not allowed to show up with long hair, since that contravenes the formative principle of good habits of the secondary school." (Compañeros of the expedient vote, history provided you with the information beforehand). Article by Jorge Alberto Cornejo, La Jornada, September 21, 2000.
- "The sculpture by Sebastián, for seeing in the new millennium and for promoting urban art (Sic: which is frozen in an attitude of admiration) is as important as drinkable water in a neighborhood." (more so, because drinkable water is lacking in durable artistic form). PAN councilperson Eduardo Rosales, in a controversy over the budget for a monument by Sebastián, cited by Juan José Doñán, Público, September 30, 2000. The project, according to the Guadalajara PAN initially, was not to have cost the municipality one centavo, since it was to have been paid for by patrons, and it was to be let by tender. Afterwards, it was announced that it had been assigned directly to Sebastián, because of "his great prestige," and because "he wasn't going to charge for his work," and, if the opinions of the residents of Guadalajara hadn't been taken into consideration, it was because "the authorities cannot consult each citizen." Up to the present moment, the cost has reached almost 21 million pesos, paid for almost in its entirety by the government.
- From Fernando Canales Clariond's repertoire (who today is Secretary of the Economy): "The fires continue. I'm not a fireman. (In response to the Cydsa explosion which left more than sixty residents injured). The women and children were gassed by themselves, they gassed themselves. I'm not going, period. I don't know how to repair tanks, it's their problem, not mine, I'm not an investigator, it's not about making a spectacle. The people of Nuevo León don't need to use Viagra, there's plenty of that kind of vigor."
- "The first thing is understanding that the organization of a government, or of a series of institutions, is nothing more than a method for reaching a goal. And, as for the rest, it was clear that the adjustments are an overriding need. It's as if you had a VW, and now what you need is a Ferrari, or you have regular tires on your car, and now you're entering very rough terrain. Of course there have to be adjustments!… (But we do not recommend doing anything improper in order to secure a VW. The practical Ed.). In this work you have to understand that you're not the flower, but the vase (Sic which multiplies to the postgraduate level). The vase should not be more beautiful than the flower. That's why I have to focus myself and be open to listen, listen and listen. When you express an opinion, it's because you've already listened to everybody.' (Sic which goes to the ENT). Señor Ramón Muñoz, director of the national consulta for picking Vicente Fox's best men. Interview by Alberto Aguirre. Milenio Diario, November 13, 2000.
- "Before negotiating minimums, we should define the model of country we want (Doubled over in surprise, the Ed., just at this very moment found out that President Fox's government has not defined the model of the country we want. And, on the other hand, that the Constitution of the Republic hasn't been ratified, which does say something about salaries in its Article 123). If they want high rates of inflation, let's go back to the old scheme of offering emergency increases, crazy increases going to extremes (The Ed. agrees: better that we should promote sensible decreases in order to instill respect for patriotic scarcity), but that path has already proven its failure." Secretary of Labor, Carlos Abascal. Article by Armando Flores. Reforma. November 30, 2000.
There is more about the PAN, much more…But now the cloud is once again lifting up in snow-white flight, and, carried by a wind which sings, along with José Alfredo Jiménez, "We were clouds parted by the wind/we were stones always in collision/drops of water evaporated by the sun/intoxicated still," she comes upon July and heads towards Guanajuato…
From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast.
Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos
Mexico, January of 2003.
Originally published in Spanish by the EZLN ************************************ Translated by irlandesa