Miguel de la Madrid
|Miguel de la Madrid|
52nd President of Mexico
December 1, 1982 – November 30, 1988
|Preceded by||José López Portillo|
|Succeeded by||Carlos Salinas de Gortari|
|Director of the Fondo de Cultura Económica|
|Preceded by||Enrique González Pedrero|
|Succeeded by||Gonzalo Celorio Blasco|
|Secretary of Programming and the Budget|
May 16, 1979 – September 30, 1981
|President||José López Portillo|
|Preceded by||Ricardo García Sainz|
|Succeeded by||Ramón Aguirre Velázquez|
|Born||Miguel de la Madrid Hurtado
December 12, 1936
|Died||April 1, 2012
Mexico City, Mexico
|Resting place||Iglesia de Santo Tomás|
|Political party||Institutional Revolutionary Party|
|Spouse(s)||Paloma Cordero Tapia (m. 1959–2012)|
|Children||Enrique de la Madrid Cordero|
|Alma mater||National Autonomous University of Mexico
John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
Miguel de la Madrid Hurtado (Spanish pronunciation: [miˈɣel delamaˈðɾið uɾˈtaðo]; December 12, 1936 – April 1, 2012) was a Mexican politician affiliated with the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) who served as the 52nd President of Mexico from 1982 to 1988. During his presidency, de la Madrid introduced sweeping neoliberal economic policies in Mexico, beginning an era of market-oriented presidents in Mexico. His administration was criticized for its slow response to the 1985 Mexico City earthquake that occurred halfway throughout his administration.
Early life and education
Miguel de la Madrid was born in the city of Colima, Colima, Mexico. He was the son of the late Miguel de la Madrid Castro a notable lawyer (who was assassinated when his son was only two) and Alicia Hurtado Oldenbourg. His grandfather was Enrique Octavio de la Madrid, the governor of Colima.
He graduated with a bachelor's degree in law from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and received a master's degree in Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, in the United States.
He worked for the Bank of Mexico and lectured in law at UNAM before he got a position at the Secretariat of Finance in 1965. Between 1970 and 1972, he was employed by Petróleos Mexicanos, Mexico's state-owned petroleum company, after which he held several other bureaucratic posts in the government of Luis Echeverría. In 1979, he was chosen to serve in José López Portillo's cabinet as Secretary of Budget and Planning, replacing Ricardo García Sainz.
He was president after López Portillo. He won the elections that took place on July 4, 1982, and took office the following December.
He was a member of Collegium International, an organization of leaders with political, scientific, and ethical expertise whose goal is to provide new approaches in overcoming the obstacles in the way of a peaceful, socially just and economically sustainable world.
Unlike previous Mexican leaders, he was a market-oriented president. Inflation increased on an average of 100% a year and reached to an unprecedented level of 159% in 1987. The underemployment rate soared to 25% during the mid-1980s, income declined, and economic growth was erratic since prices rose usually much faster than incomes.
All that was a stark reminder of the gross mismanagement and inept policies of his two immediate predecessors, particularly the financing of development with excessive overseas borrowing, which was often countered by high internal capital flights.
During his presidency, he introduced neoliberal economic reforms that encouraged foreign investment, widespread privatization of outdated state-run industries, and reduction of tariffs, a process that continued under his successors, and which immediately caught the attention of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other international observers. In January 1986, Mexico entered the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) following its efforts at reforming and decentralising its economy. The number of state-owned industries went down from approximately 1,155 in 1982 to 412 in 1988.
As an immediate reaction to the economic crisis, he first presented the Immediate Economic Reorganization Program (Programa Inmediato de Reordenación Económica) and, a couple of months later, the National Development Plan (Plan Nacional de Desarrollo). Some of the measures proposed were a reduction of public spending, fiscal reforms, a restructuring of the bureaucracy, and employment protection.
During his administration, an electoral reform was conducted in 1986:
- The number of members of the Chamber of Deputies being elected by proportional representation (plurinominales) was increased from 100 to 200 and allowed for a better representation of opposition parties.
- The Senate is composed of two senators from each state and two from the Federal District of Mexico. An election of half of its members takes place every three years.
- The Legislative Assembly of the Federal District of Mexico was created.
Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas and other politicians from the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) announced the creation of the Democratic Current (Corriente Democrática) within the PRI. The Democratic Current demanded the establishment of clear rules for the selection of the party's presidential candidate. When they failed, Cárdenas and Porfirio Muñoz Ledo left the PRI and joined the National Democratic Front (Frente Democrático Nacional), a loose alliance of left-wing parties.
On May 1, 1984, an anti-government activist named José Antonio Palacios Marquina, along with others, threw Molotov cocktails at the balcony of the Presidential Palace, where De la Madrid was reviewing the May Day parade. Although the President was unharmed, the incident left many officials and guests injured, including the then-director of the ISSTE, Alejandro Carrillo.
Main article: 1985 Mexico City earthquake
In the morning of September 19, 1985, an 8.0 magnitude earthquake devastated Mexico City and caused the deaths of at least 5,000 people. De La Madrid's mishandling of the disaster damaged his popularity because of his initial refusal of international aid. It placed Mexico's delicate path to economic recovery in an even more precarious situation, as the destruction extended to other parts of the country.
The federal government's first public response was President de la Madrid's declaration of a period of mourning for three days starting from 20 September 1985.
These earthquakes created many political difficulties for the then-ruling Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI) or Institutional Revolutionary Party. The crisis was severe enough to have tested the capabilities of wealthier countries, but the government from local PRI bosses to President de la Madrid himself exacerbated the problem aside from the lack of money. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs declared it would not request aid.
It was also widely reported in the days after the earthquake that the military assisted factory owners in retrieving their machinery rather than in removing the bodies of dead factory workers.
President de la Madrid was also criticized for refusing to cut foreign debt payments to use the money to help with the recovery effort (at the time, his administration destined around 30% of the federal budget towards the payments of the foreign debt). The government's response to the earthquake was widely criticized at various levels of Mexican society, being seen as both authoritarian and incompetent. As most of the collapsed buildings were of recent construction and public works projects, the government was seen at fault due to mismanagement and corruption in these constructions. The government itself realized that it could not handle the crisis alone through already-established institutions and decided to open the process up to "opposition groups".
1986 World Cup
During his administration, Mexico hosted the 1986 FIFA World Cup. There were some protests against the tournament, as Mexico was going through an economic crisis at the time and the country was still recovering from the 1985 earthquake, therefore the World Cup was considered by many as a lavish and unnecessary expense. During the World Cup's innauguration at the Estadio Azteca on May 31, De la Madrid was booed by a crowd of 100,000 while trying to give a speech, apparently in protest over his administration's poor reaction to the 1985 earthquake.
Galloping inflation, the controversial privatisation programme and austerity measures imposed by his administration caused the ruling party to lose ground, leading up to the controversial elections of 1988. On Election Day 1988, the computer system used to count the votes shut down, as Cárdenas held an initial lead. That event is remembered by the prase se cayó el sistema (the system crashed). When the system was restored, Carlos Salinas was declared the winner. The expression “se cayó el sistema” became a euphemism for electoral fraud.
In 1983, the Contadora Group was launched by Colombia, Panama, Venezuela and Mexico to promote peace in Latin America and to deal with the armed conflicts in El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Guatemala.
During De la Madrid's administration, Mexico pursued closer relations with the United States, supporting some of its foreign policy objectives. On March 31, 1986, the Mexicana Flight 940 crashed in the state of Michoacán, killing everyone on board. Initially, two Middle Eastern terrorist groups claimed responsibility for this crash, along with the bombing of TWA Flight 840, which occurred just two days later. An anonymous letter signed by those groups claimed that a suicide mission had sabotaged the plane in retaliation against the United States. However, sabotage was later dismissed as a cause of the crash, and the investigations carried out by the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board and Mexican aeronautical authorities concluded that the cause of the accident was that the center landing gear tire was filled with compressed air, instead of nitrogen.
Director of FCE
After completing his term, he became the director of the Fondo de Cultura Económica (FCE) in 1990. He implanted modernization programs in production and administration. It incorporated the most advanced techniques in book publishing and graphic arts and maintained the openness and plurality features in the publication policy of the company.
On September 4, 1992, he inaugurated the new facilities, on 227 Picacho-Ajusco Road. Surrounded by garden and offices, it hosts cultural unity Jesús Silva Herzog, the Gonzalo Robles Library, which houses the growing publishing history of the Fund, and the seller Alfonso Reyes.
On the international scene in 1990, the existing facilities were remodeled subsidiaries. The presence of the Economic Culture Fund acquired a larger projection in the Americas: on September 7, 1990, the subsidiary in San Diego, California, was founded. On June 21, 1991 Seller Azteca opened its doors in São Paulo, Brazil. In 1994 FCE facilities were inaugurated in Venezuela, and in 1998, another subsidiary was established in Guatemala. This Thus, the FCE reached a significant presence in Latin America with nine subsidiaries: Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Spain, United States, Guatemala, Peru and Venezuela.
In publishing field, under his direction, 21 new collections were launched: in 1990, Keys (Argentina) in 1991, A la Orilla del Viento, Mexican Codices, University Science and Special Editions of At the Edge of the wind; in 1992, Breviary of Contemporary Science (Argentina) and New Economic Culture, in 1993 Library Prospective, Mexican Library, Library Cervantes Prize (Spain), and History of the Americas Trust and Cruises, in 1994, Word of Life and Indians A Vision of America and the Modernization of Mexico; Files, Sunstone (Peru), Entre Voces, Reading and Designated Fund 2000; Encounters (Peru) History of Mexico, and five periodicals: Galeras Fund, Periolibros, Images, Spaces for Reading and the Fund page.
During his administration, the FCE received several awards, among them: in 1992, FILIJ Book Award (CNCA) to children's books, in 1993 Golden Laurel Award (Department of Culture of the City of Madrid) in 1993, honorable mention Juan García Bacca (Peruvian Cultural Association) Award, and Gold Aztec Calendar (Mexican Association of Radio and Television). In 1994 and 1995 Award Book Bank of Venezuela for children's books.
The Spanish Council for Latin American Studies, distinguished him for his contributions to the development of reading in the Spanish language, received in 1997 the IUS Award by the Faculty of Law of the UNAM, and in 1998 the government of France awarded him the Academic Palms in rank of Commander for his contribution to cultural development. In 1999, Mr. De la Madrid received the medal Picasso Gold (UNESCO), for their work on the diffusion of Latin American culture.
Personal life and death
De la Madrid died on April 1, 2012, at 7:30 am in a Mexican hospital apparently following a lengthy hospitalization for complicated chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which led to acute renal failure and cardiac arrest.
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- "HACE 25 AÑOS SE INAUGURÓ EL MUNDIAL DE MÉXICO 1986" (in Spanish). Record. 1 January 2013. Retrieved 20 February 2018.
- "¿Por Qué Perdimos?: Reflexiones Desde El Anonimato De Un Ciudadano Sin Futuro" (in Spanish). Retrieved 20 February 2018.
- "1988: La caída del sistema". CNN. Archived from the original on 29 October 2013. Retrieved 26 October 2013.
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- http://www.milenio.com/cdb/doc/impreso/9139921[permanent dead link]
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