Carlos Salinas de Gortari
||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (May 2010)|
|Carlos Salinas de Gortari|
53rd President of Mexico
December 1, 1988 – November 30, 1994
|Preceded by||Miguel de la Madrid|
|Succeeded by||Ernesto Zedillo|
|Secretary of Programming and Budget|
December 1, 1982 – October 5, 1987
|President||Miguel de la Madrid|
|Preceded by||Ramón Aguirre|
|Succeeded by||Pedro Aspe|
|Born||Carlos Salinas de Gortari
April 3, 1948
Mexico City, Mexico
|Political party||Institutional Revolutionary Party|
|Spouse(s)||Cecilia Occelli González (divorced)
Ana Paula Gerard Rivero
|Relations||Raúl Salinas de Gortari
José Francisco Ruiz Massieu
Elí de Gortari
|Children||Cecilia (by Occelli)
Emiliano (by Occelli)
Juan Cristóbal (by Occelli)
Ana Emilia (by Gerard)
Patricio (by Gerard)
Mateo  (by Gerard)
|Parents||Raúl Salinas Lozano
Margarita de Gortari Carvajal
|Alma mater||National Autonomous University of Mexico Harvard University|
Carlos Salinas de Gortari (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈkarlos saˈlinaz ðe ɣorˈtaɾi]) (born April 3, 1948) is a Mexican economist and politician affiliated to the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) who served as President of Mexico from 1988 to 1994. Earlier in his career he worked in the Budget Secretariat all the way up to Secretary. He was the PRI presidential candidate in 1988, and was declared elected on July 6, 1988.
Carlos Salinas was born April 3, 1948, the second son and one of five children in all of economist and government official Raúl Salinas Lozanoand Margarita de Gortari de Salinas. Salinas's father served as President Adolfo López Mateos's minister of industry and commerce, but was passed over as the PRI's presidential candidate in favor of Gustavo Díaz Ordaz (1964-70). When Carlos Salinas was chosen the PRI's presidential candidate for the 1988 election, he told his father "It took us more than 20 years, but we made it."
A tragedy occurred early on in Carlos Salinas's life. On December 18, 1951, when was three years old, he, his older brother Raúl, then five, and an eight-year-old friend were playing war with the Salinas family's twelve-year-old maid, Manuela. As part of the game, they decided to execute Manuela, and found a loaded rifle and shot and killed Manuela. Although it was never determined for certain which of the three boys pulled the trigger, the incident was declared an accident, but was given newspaper coverage in Excelsior at the time. According to one account, the nearly four-year-old Carlos boasted "I killed her with one shot. I am a hero!" A judge blamed the Salinas parents for leaving a loaded weapon accessible to their small children and ordered psychological treatment for the three boys. The Salinas family did not know the last name of their 12-year-old maid Manuela--only that she came from San Pedro Atzcapotzaltongo--and it is unknown whether her family ever claimed her body. The story was suppressed while Salinas was president, and he has not commented publicly on this tragic early childhood incident.
Salinas attended the National Autonomous University of Mexico as an undergraduate, studying economics. He was an undergraduate when the student movement in Mexico organized against the 1968 Olympics, but there is no evidence he participated in any way. He was an active member of the PRI youth movement and a political club, the Revolutionary Policy and Professional Association, whose members continued to be his close friends when he was president. Salinas was a skilled dressage horseman, and was a member of the Mexican national team at the Pan-American Games in Cali, Colombia in 1971.
Salinas was one of the Mexicans of his generation who studied at elite foreign universities. He earned a masters degree in Public Administration from Harvard University in 1973 and went on to earn a Ph.D. from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government in 1978. His doctoral dissertation was published as Political Participation, Public Investment and Support for the System: A Comparative Study of Rural Communities in Mexico.
Presidential Election 1988
Carlos Salinas became presidential candidate in a difficult time for the PRI which for the first time was faced by significant opposition from the left (National Democratic Front) and from the right (National Action Party, PAN). The candidate of the PAN was Manuel Clouthier.
Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas Solórzano registered as an opposing candidate from a left-wing coalition called Frente Democrático Nacional. He rapidly became a popular figure, and became the first opposing candidate to fill the Zócalo with sympathizers and to seriously threaten the PRI, which had won all presidential elections since its inception in 1929. The Ministry of the Interior (Secretaría de Gobernación), through its Federal Electoral Commission, was the institution in charge of the electoral process, and installed a modern computing system to count the votes. On July 6, 1988, the day of the elections, the system "crashed," and when it was finally restored, Carlos Salinas was declared the official winner. Even though the elections are extremely controversial, and some declare that Salinas won legally, the expression se cayó el sistema (the system crashed, lit. "the system fell down") became a colloquial euphemism for electoral fraud. As one observer put it, "For the ordinary citizen, it was not the computer network but the Mexican political system that had crashed."
The process involved two suspicious shutdowns of the computer system used to keep track of the number of votes. Suspicions later grew as Congress voted (with support from the Revolutionary Institutional and National Action parties) to destroy without opening the electoral documentation. Other people believed that Salinas, in fact, won the ballot, albeit probably not with an absolute majority as the official figures suggested, although that is not required under Mexican election law.
During a television interview in September 2005, Miguel de la Madrid acknowledged that the PRI lost the 1988 elections. However, he immediately clarified his comment by saying that the PRI had "at least lost a significant amount of voters". Asked for comment on De la Madrid's statements, Senator Manuel Bartlett, who was the president of the Federal Electoral Commission (Comisión Federal Electoral) during the De la Madrid administration, declared Salinas won the election albeit with the smallest margin of any PRI candidate before him. He attributed De la Madrid's remarks to his old age (71 years old as of 2005[update]) and the remarks being taken out of context by journalist Carlos Loret de Mola. Ex-president Miguel de la Madrid admitted that the elections had been rigged.
As a consequence of the fraudulent electoral process, Salinas lacked legitimacy when entering into office in 1988. However, in his inaugural address in December 1988, he outlined an ambitious and important goal of "modernizing" Mexico. He contended that
The modernization of Mexico is essential if we are to meet the demands of the 85 million Mexicans of today.... In brief, we need to modernize politics, the economy, and society. The modernization of Mexico is, moreover, an absolute imperative. This is the only way we will be able to affirm our sovereignty in a world undergoing profound transformation.
During his six-year term in office (sexenio) major changes were made to the Constitution of 1917 that had an impact on political reform; church-state relations, ending many aspects of anticlericalism restricting the Catholic Church and other religious organizations; agrarian reform, ending redistribution of land under Article 27; "indigenous peoples, human rights, economic activities of the of the state, [and] criminal due process."
Salinas fought corruption. One example for this is the detention of Joaquin Hernández Galicia, head of the oil workers union.
For the first time the PRI lost its two-thirds majority in Congress, which is necessary to conduct constitutional reforms.
At the end of Salinas’ presidential term, several politically motivated assassinations occurred. The victims were: Cardinal Juan Jesús Posadas Ocampo, PRI Presidential Candidate Luis Donaldo Colosio, and a PRI official, José Francisco Ruiz Massieu.
On January 1, 1994 the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional, EZLN) issued their first declaration from the state of Chiapas in southern Mexico. The date coincides with the date that NAFTA came into force.
Salinas continued with the neoliberal economic policy of his predecessor Miguel de la Madrid and converted Mexico into a regulatory state. During his presidential term the banking system (that had been nationalized by José López Portillo) was privatized, as well as the national phone company TELMEX.
His National Development Plan (Plan Nacional de Desarrollo) published in 1989 had 4 objectives:
- Protecting sovereignty
- Economic recovery
- Improving the living standard.
By the end of his term, inflation had been reduced to 7.05% in 1994, the lowest figure in 22 years. Shortly after leaving office, due to the so-called December Mistake, inflation rose again to 51.48%.
During his term, the peso devalued from 2.65 MXP to 3.60 MXN per U.S. dollar by November 30, 1994, the last day of his term; thus the peso devalued far less than it had in the two previous terms. (The peso was later devalued from 4 per dollar to 7.2 in a single week due to the December Mistake.)
He negotiated the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), with the United States and Canada. Critics say that NAFTA has had mixed results for Mexico: while there has been huge increase in commerce and foreign investment, this hasn't been at all the case for employment and salaries, resulting thus in worse distribution of wealth. Salinas also renegotiated Mexico’s foreign debt.
Arguably, Salinas might have favored a few of his closest friends, among them Carlos Slim, as many critics point out, in the same way he had favored Salinas Pliego with the privatization of Imevisión (later Azteca) over the rest of the bidders. All of those deals were flagrant corruption in the eyes of the majority of the Mexican population. As a result, the number of state-owned industries continued to drop, from approximately 600 in 1988 to a minimum of 250 in 1994.
Mexico reestablished diplomatic relations with the Vatican. Moreover Mexico became member of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The First Ibero-American Summit was held and the Chapultepec Peace Accords, a peace agreement for El Salvador, were signed.
Carlos Salinas's popularity and credibility at the time was high. The economic bubble gave Mexico a prosperity not seen in a generation. This period of rapid growth coupled with low inflation prompted some political thinkers and the media to state that Mexico was on the verge of becoming a "First World nation." In fact, it was the first of the "newly industrialized nations" to be admitted into the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in May 1994. It was known that the peso was overvalued, but the extent of the Mexican economy's vulnerability was either not well known or downplayed by both the Salinas administration and the media. This vulnerability was further aggravated by several unexpected events and macroeconomic mistakes made in the last year of his administration.
Several economists and historians have analyzed some of the events and policy mistakes that precipitated the crisis of December 1994. In keeping with the PRI election-year practices, Salinas launched a spending spree to finance popular projects, which translated into a historically high deficit. This budget deficit was coupled with a current account deficit, fueled by excessive consumer spending as allowed by the overvalued peso. In order to finance this deficit, the Salinas administration issued tesobonos, an attractive debt instrument that insured payment in dollars instead of pesos. This may have been a response to three important events that had shaken investor confidence in the stability of the country: the Zapatista uprising, the assassination of PRI presidential candidate Luis Donaldo Colosio, and the assassination of José Francisco Ruiz Massieu, Salinas' former brother-in-law, who was also the Secretary General of the PRI and whose murder was never solved during Salinas' presidency, even when Mario Ruiz Massieu (Francisco's brother) was the attorney general and in charge of the investigation.
These events, together with the increasing current account deficit fostered by government spending, caused alarm among Mexican and foreign T-bill (tesobono) investors, who sold them rapidly, thereby depleting the already-low central bank reserves (which eventually hit a record low of $9 billion). The economically orthodox thing to do, in order to maintain the fixed exchange rate (at 3.3 pesos per dollar, within a variation band), would have been to sharply increase interest rates by allowing the monetary base to shrink, as dollars were being withdrawn from the reserves. Given the fact that it was an election year, whose outcome might have changed as a result of a pre-election-day economic downturn, the Bank of Mexico decided to buy Mexican Treasury Securities in order to maintain the monetary base, and thus prevent the interest rates from rising. This, in turn, caused an even more dramatic decline in the dollar reserves. These decisions aggravated the already delicate situation, to a point at which a crisis became inevitable and devaluation was only one of many necessary adjustments. Nonetheless, nothing was done during the last five months of Salinas’s administration even after the elections were held in July of that year. Ernesto Zedillo took office on December 1, 1994.
Soon after taking office, Zedillo announced that his government would let the fixed exchange rate band increase 15 percent (up to 4 pesos per US$), by stopping the unorthodox measures employed by the previous administration to keep it at the previous fixed level (e.g., by selling dollars, assuming debt, and so on). This measure, however, was not enough, and the government was unable to hold this line, and decided to let the exchange rate float. While experts agree that devaluation was necessary, some critics of Zedillo's 22-day-old administration argue that, although economically coherent, the way the crisis was handled was a political mistake. By having announced its plans for devaluation, they argue that many foreigners withdrew their investments, thus aggravating the effects. Whether the effects were aggravated further or not, the result was that the peso crashed under a floating regime from four pesos to the dollar (with the previous increase of 15%) to 7.2 to the dollar in the space of a week.
Mexican businesses with debts to be paid in dollars, or that relied on supplies bought from the United States, suffered an immediate hit, with mass industrial lay-offs and several suicides. To make matters worse, the devaluation announcement was made mid-week, on a Wednesday, and for the remainder of the week foreign investors fled the Mexican market without any government action to prevent or discourage the flight until the following Monday, when it was too late.
Salinas faced widespread criticism in Mexico. He was widely blamed for the collapse of the economy and his privatization of several government-run businesses such as Telmex. With respect to the collapse of the economy, he rapidly responded by blaming Zedillo's "inept" handling of the situation, coining the term "December mistake" to refer to the crisis and Zedillo's mistakes. He then argued that he had talked to Zedillo of a possibility of "sharing the burden" of the devaluation by allowing the peso to devaluate a certain percent before his term was over, and the rest of the necessary devaluation would have been done during Zedillo's administration.
Exile and Raúl Salinas controversies
Shortly after leaving office in 1994, Salinas staged a brief hunger strike to protest the arrest of his older brother Raúl Salinas de Gortari (see below) as well as the accusations of responsibility for the country's economic travails that his successor as President, Ernesto Zedillo, aimed at him. He abandoned his campaign, which had been backed by the United States, to become the Director-General of the World Trade Organization. He left Mexico for self-imposed exile and settled in Ireland. Beyond the disputes over responsibility for Mexico's economic problems, Salinas's reputation was to be further clouded by a series of controversies involving close family members.
In January 1999, after a four-year trial, Salinas's older brother Raúl Salinas de Gortari was convicted of ordering the murder of the PRI official (and Salinas brother-in-law) Jose Francisco Ruiz Massieu and sentenced to 50 years in prison. In July 1999, an appeals court cut the sentence to 27 1/2 years. In June 2005 the conviction was overturned, and Raúl Salinas was freed
In November 1995, Raúl Salinas's wife, Paulina Castañón, and his brother-in-law, Antonio Castañón, were arrested in Geneva, Switzerland, after attempting to withdraw $84 million USD from an account owned by Raúl Salinas under an alias. Their capture led to the unveiling of a vast fortune spread around the world and amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars, even though Raúl Salinas had never officially received an annual income of more than $190,000. A report by the U.S. General Accounting Office indicated that Raúl Salinas had transferred over $90 million out of Mexico into private bank accounts in London and Switzerland through a complex set of transactions between 1992 and 1994. In 2008 the government of Switzerland turned over $74 million, out of the $110 million in frozen bank accounts held by Raúl Salinas, to the government of Mexico. The Swiss Justice Ministry indicated that the Mexican government had demonstrated that $66 million of the funds had been misappropriated, and the funds, with interest, were returned to Mexico. The Salinas family would not receive back any of the frozen funds.
Salinas divorced his first wife soon after leaving office and married Ana Paula Gerard. He has six children: Cecilia, Emiliano and Juan Cristobal from his first marriage; Ana Emilia, Patricio and Mateo from his second marriage.
In the last years of Zedillo's term, Carlos Salinas returned to Mexico to announce the publication of his book, Mexico: The Policy and the Politics of Modernization. Written during his stay in Ireland and full of quotations from press articles and political memoirs, it defended his achievements and blamed Zedillo for the crisis that followed his administration. The book is 775 pages long, with about 200 pages of references.
One group of bank debtors declared their outrage at what they saw as profiteering from their tragedy and took the decision to transcribe the whole book, respecting even its layout, and to give it away electronically, in spite of legal threats from the publisher. Salinas had already announced that he would donate a copy to each public library in the country.
As of May 2010, Salinas was still living in Dublin, Ireland. Salinas also attended his son's civil wedding in Mexico City and promised to attend the subsequent religious wedding in late September.
He will be the commencement speaker at Franklin University Switzerland on May 18, 2014.
- Camp, Roderic Ai (1995). Mexican Political Biographies, 1935–1993 (3 ed.). University of Texas Press. p. 641. ISBN 978-0-292-71181-5. Retrieved 2009-11-13.
- Del Collado, Fernando (November 29, 2012). "El árbol genealógico de los herederos de Los Pinos" (in Spanish). Retrieved 5 August 2014.
- quoted in Jane Bussey, "Carlos Salinas de Gortari" in Encyclopedia of Mexico, vol. 2 p. 1330.
- Jane Bussey, "Carlos Salinas de Gortari" in Encyclopedia of Mexico, vol. 2 p. 1330.
- Alexander Cockburn, "Beat the Devil: Harvard and Murder: The Case of Carlos Salinas," The Nation 29 May 1995, 747-745. Cockburn builds his article around accounts in the Mexican newspaper Excelsior, especially Alberto R. de Aguilar, "Tres Niñitos 'Fusilaron' a una Sirvienta," Excelsior 18 December 1951, 1.
- Cockburn, "The Case of Carlos Salinas," 745.
- Bussey, "Carlos Salinas de Gortari", p. 1330.
- Bussey, "Carlos Salinas de Gortari", p. 1330.
- Bussey, "Carlos Salinas de Gortrai", p. 1330.
- Bussey, "Carlos Salinas de Gortari", p. 1330.
- Carlos Salinas de Gortari, Political Participation, Public Investment and Support for the System: A Comparative Study of Rural Communities in Mexico. La Jolla, CA: Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies, University of California, San Diego 1982.
- Enrique Krauze, Mexico: Biography of Power. New York: HarperCollins 1997, p. 770.
- Valdés, Leonardo; Piekarewicz Sigal, Mina (1990). "La organización de las elecciones". In González Casanova, Pablo. México, el 6 de julio de 1988 : segundo informe sobre la democracia (in Spanish). Mexico City: Siglo Vientiuno Editores : Centro de Investigaciones Interdisciplinarias en Humanidades, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. ISBN 978-968-23-1651-7. OCLC 23953244. Retrieved 2009-04-19.
- Aguayo Quezada, Sergio (2008-01-16). "Las boletas" (in Spanish). Reforma. Retrieved 2009-04-19.
El 88 terminó siendo un detonante de la transición y caló muy hondo la ignominiosa quema de las boletas electorales de 1988 aprobada por el PRI y el PAN
- "Perdió el PRI en el 88: De la Madrid" (in Spanish). Noticieros Televisa. Retrieved 2009-04-19.
No, más bien yo creo que la elección del 88 nos dejó otra serie de fenómenos, como la crisis económica que mi gobierno tuvo que afrontar con medidas de austeridad, con medidas que apretaron el bolsillo de la gente, yo creo que esa fue la razón por la que el PRI perdió las elecciones del 88, o por lo menos perdió una gran parte del electorado al que estaba acostumbrado
- Barredas, Francisco (2005-09-20). "Refuta Bartlett declaraciones de Miguel de la Madrid" (in Spanish). Noticieros Televisa. Retrieved 2009-04-19.
- Roberto Blancarte,"Recent Changes in Church-State Relations in Mexico: An Historical Approach." Journal of Church and State Autumn 1993, Vol. 35, Issue 4, p. 1.
- Carlos Salinas de Gortari, Inaugural Address (Dec. 1, 1988) quoted in Jorge A. Vargas, Jorge A. Vargas, "Freedom of Religion and Public Worship in Mexico: A Legal Commentary on the 1992 Act on Religious Matters." BYU Law Review, 421, (1998)issue 2. Article 6, fn. 40.
- Jorge A. Vargas, "Freedom of Religion and Public Worship in Mexico: A Legal Commentary on the 1992 Act on Religious Matters." BYU Law Review, 421, (1998)issue 2. Article 6.
- Tim Golden (May 13, 1994). "Mexico Invites U.N. to Attend Election to Observe the Observers". The New York Times.
- Coerver, Don M. (2004). Mexico: An Encyclopedia of Contemporary Culture and History. ABC-CLIO. p. 460.
- Delgado de Cantú, Gloria M. (2003). México, estructuras política, económica y social. Pearson Educación. p. 484.
- Rivera Ayala, Clara (2008). Historia de México II. Cengage Learning Editores. p. 388.
- Rivera Ayala, Clara (2008). Historia de México II. Cengage Learning Editores. p. 389.
- Rivera Ayala, Clara (2008). Historia de México II. Cengage Learning Editores. p. 393.
- Hufbauer and Schoot (2005)
- Hufbauer & Schott, 2005
- BBC. "Mexico frees ex-leader's brother". 10 June 2005. Accessed on 9/3/12 at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4079372.stm
- "Switzerland will return blocked Salinas funds to Mexico - swissinfo". Swissinfo.ch. 2008-06-18. Retrieved 2012-02-16.
- "Cercano a Enrique Peña Nieto" (in Spanish). Carlos Salinas de Gortari: El padrino político de Enrique Peña Nieto. January 4, 2010. Retrieved April 10, 2012.
No lo digo yo. Lo dicen los periodistas Francisco Cruz Jiménez y Jorge Toribio Montiel en su libro "Negocios de familia: la biografía no autorizada de Enrique Peña Nieto y el Grupo Atlacomulco" publicado por editorial Planeta.
- Cruz, Francisco (2009). Negocios de Familia: la Biografía no Autorizada de Enrique Peña Nieto y el Grupo Atlacomulco (in Spanish) (11 ed.). Editorial Planeta. ISBN 978-607-07-0172-6. Retrieved 2012-04-10.
Enrique Peña Nieto se perfila como la carta más fuerte para enarbolar la candidatura presidencial del PRI en 2012. La trayectoria de Peña Nieto es también la de una gran familia: los apellidos Peña, Montiel, Nieto, Del Mazo, Fabela, González, Vélez, Sánchez y Colín, han dado al Estado de México seis gobernadores, todos ellos unidos por sólidos lazos familiares y de poder. Se han valido de la corrupción, compra de lealtades, imposiciones y otras maniobras similares para conservar y heredar el mando de generación en generación, a pesar de algunos intervalos. Como actual gobernador del Estado de México, Peña Nieto se ha convertido en la cabeza visible del Grupo Atlacomulco; su ascenso fue labrado escrupulosamente y está lejos de ser una obra del azar o una maniobra caprichosa de su antecesor Arturo Montiel. Negocios de familia desentraña la verdad detrás de la carismática figura de Peña Nieto y el entramado político para alcanzar la Presidencia de la República. La presencia cercana de Carlos Salinas de Gortari: llegó muy puntual al funeral de Enrique Peña del Mazo (padre de Peña Nieto), al velorio de Mónica Pretelini Sáenz, sus visitas secretas a la Casa de Gobierno, su asistencia a la toma de protesta de Peña Nieto.
- Salinas's book, print edition: Carlos Salinas de Gortari, México, un paso difícil a la modernidad (Mexico, a difficult step into modern times) Plaza & Janés, ISBN 84-01-01492-1.
- Mexico under Salinas, Mexico Resource Center, Austin, TX, by Philip L. Russell. ISBN 0-9639223-0-0
- (Spanish) Extended biography and presidential tenure by CIDOB Foundation
- (Spanish) Response of Manuel Bartlett to de la Madrid remarks.
Miguel de la Madrid
|President of Mexico
|Party political offices|
Miguel de la Madrid
|PRI presidential candidate
Luis Donaldo Colosio (assassinated)