Miguel de la Madrid

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Miguel de la Madrid
De la madrid1.jpg
Seal of the Government of Mexico.svg
52nd President of Mexico
In office
December 1, 1982 – November 30, 1988
Preceded by José López Portillo
Succeeded by Carlos Salinas de Gortari
Director of the Fondo de Cultura Económica
In office
Preceded by Enrique González Pedrero
Succeeded by Gonzalo Celorio Blasco
Secretary of Programming and the Budget
In office
May 16, 1979 – September 30, 1981
President José López Portillo
Preceded by Ricardo García Sainz
Succeeded by Ramón Aguirre Velázquez
Personal details
Born Miguel de la Madrid Hurtado
(1934-12-12)December 12, 1934[1]
Colima, Mexico
Died April 1, 2012(2012-04-01) (aged 77)
Mexico City, Mexico
Resting place Iglesia de Santo Tomás
Nationality Mexican
Political party Institutional Revolutionary Party
Spouse(s) Paloma Cordero Tapia (m. 1959–2012)[2]
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, 1934 – 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.[1] During his presidency, de la Madrid introduced sweeping neoliberal economic policies in Mexico (beginning an era of neoliberal 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[edit]

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)[3] 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.[1]

Early career[edit]

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 1976, he was chosen to serve in José López Portillo's cabinet as secretary of budget and planning.[1]

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.[citation needed]


Domestic policy[edit]

From left to right: US President Ronald Reagan, First Lady Nancy, Mexican President Miguel de la Madrid and his wife Paloma Cordero in Cross Hall, White House, at a state dinner.

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.[4]

First ladies Paloma Cordero of Mexico (left) and Nancy Reagan of the United States (right) with US Ambassador to Mexico, John Gavin, observing the damage done by the earthquake.

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.[5]

His administration's mishandling of the infamous 1985 Mexico City earthquake 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.[2]

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.[6]
Miguel de la Madrid (left) with U.S. President Ronald Reagan (center) in Mazatlán (1988).

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.[7]

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.[8] The expression “se cayó el sistema” became a euphemism for electoral fraud.

Assassination attempt[edit]

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.[9][10][11]

Foreign policy[edit]

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.[12]

Director of FCE[edit]

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[edit]

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.[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Encyclopædia Britannica (2008). "Miguel de la Madrid". Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Retrieved 1 July 2008. 
  2. ^ a b Ortiz de Zárate, Roberto (10 May 2007). "Miguel de la Madrid Hurtado" (in Spanish). Fundació CIDOB. Retrieved 1 July 2008. 
  3. ^ Carlos Valdez Ramírez. "Fuerte de carácter y muy íntegro Miguel de la Madrid (in Spanish, fifth paragraph)". El Noticiero. Retrieved 1 July 2017. 
  4. ^ Duncan, Richard; Kelly, Harry (21 June 2005). "An Interview with Miguel de la Madrid". Time. Retrieved 1 July 2008. 
  5. ^ Rivera Ayala, Clara (2008). Historia de México II. Cengage Learning Editores. p. 381. 
  6. ^ Delgado de Cantú, Gloria M. (2003). México, estructuras política, económica y social. Pearson Educación. pp. 123–124. 
  7. ^ Foweraker, Joe (1990). Popular Movements and Political Change in Mexico. Lynne Rienner Publishers. p. 129. 
  8. ^ "1988: La caída del sistema". CNN. Archived from the original on 29 October 2013. Retrieved 26 October 2013. 
  9. ^ "Molotov en Palacio Nacional". Milenio (in Spanish). November 11, 2014. Retrieved October 14, 2017. 
  10. ^ Fabrizio Mejía Madrid, "Insurgentes" in The Mexico City Reader (University of Wisconsin Press, 2004), ed. Rubén Gallo, trans. Lorna Scott Fox & Rubén Gallo), p. 73.
  11. ^ Castigo al Pato: 23 años de cárcel y el pago del traje de Carrillo Castro, Proceso (August 30, 1986).
  12. ^ Rivera Ayala, Clara (2008). Historia de México II. Cengage Learning Editores. p. 387. 
  13. ^ http://www.milenio.com/cdb/doc/impreso/9139921[permanent dead link]

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
José López Portillo
President of Mexico
Succeeded by
Carlos Salinas
Party political offices
Preceded by
José López Portillo y Pacheco
PRI presidential candidate
1982 (won)
Succeeded by
Carlos Salinas de Gortari