WBEZ | PRI http://www.wbez.org/tags/pri Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Five weird things about Mexico's next president (maybe...) http://www.wbez.org/blogs/achy-obejas/2012-07/five-weird-things-about-mexicos-next-president-maybe-100656 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AP050703116280.jpg" style="float: left; height: 419px; width: 300px; " title="In this photo from July 3, 2005, Enrique Pena Nieto, then candidate of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, for governor of the state of Mexico, gives the thumbs up sign as he arrives at a voting station to cast his vote in the city of Atlacomulco, Mexico. (AP/Dario Lopez-Mills)" />Enrique Peña Nieto will likely survive the post-election scandal brewing about his party, the PRI, having bought and given away more than <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/04/mexico-election-recount_n_1649688.html?utm_hp_ref=world">$5 million of gift cards</a> in exchange for votes, but he&rsquo;s not going to have it easy no matter what. Peña Nieto won with only <a href="http://worldnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/07/02/12528602-partys-notorious-past-weak-mandate-challenge-mexicos-president-elect?lite">38 percent of the vote</a> -- and the PRI actually lost seats in Congress. (A partial recount is underway.)</p><p>In other words, a full <em>62 percent</em> of Mexicans voted for somebody else.<br />And, you know, maybe for good reasons.<br />Or weird ones.<br />Here are five truly strange things about this man.<br /><br />1. In the last month of the campaign, adultery match site <a href="http://worldnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/06/06/12090303-mexican-presidential-candidate-becomes-poster-boy-for-infidelity?lite">Ashley Madison ran billboards with Peña Nieto&rsquo;s face</a> and a slogan that said: &ldquo;Unfaithful to his family. Faithful and committed to his country.&quot; Peña Nieto, who is accused of being both gay and a ladies man, has admitted to having been unfaithful to his first wife, who died four years ago, and fathering children with two different women.<br /><br />2. A few years ago, during <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bYxysNr2BKQ">an interview that never ran in Mexico</a>, Univisión anchor Jorge Ramos asked Peña Nieto about the circumstances surrounding the death of his first wife.<br />&ldquo;How did she die?&rdquo; Ramos asked.<br />Smiling the whole time, Peña Nieto mumbled and stumbled.<br />&ldquo;Look, at the time, it was explained. It happened all of a sudden ... For two years, she&rsquo;d been sick with ... something ... it was something like ... the thing was ... I forgot the ... eeeeh ... the name of the illness.&rdquo;<br />&ldquo;Epilepsy,&rdquo; said Ramos.<br />&ldquo;Epilepsy!&rdquo; said Peña Nieto, still smiling. &ldquo;It was probably epilepsy. Something ... it was similar to epilepsy. Unfortunately, at some point when I wasn&rsquo;t with her, she had a seizure from something like that. When I found her in her bedroom, she was practically dead already.&rdquo;<br />Then he repeated that everything was amply explained at the time -- &ldquo;in medical terms that I couldn&rsquo;t explain&rdquo; -- by a doctor.<br /><br />3. Last December, in a <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sUMwy7ZolNg">public conversation at the Guadalajara Book Fair</a> -- the Spanish-language world&rsquo;s biggest gathering of publishers, authors and other book people, and one of the biggest literary events on the planet -- Peña Nieto couldn&rsquo;t remember the name of a single book that had influenced his life, except the Bible. And even in regards to the Bible, he couldn&rsquo;t come up a single prophet or passage.<br />He also confused the names of two leading Mexican writers -- the now late Carlos Fuentes and Enrique Krauze.<br />&ldquo;The truth is, when I read a book I often don&#39;t fully register the titles,&quot;&nbsp;he said by way of explanation.<br />Just to make matters worse, his teen daughter, Paulina, used a slur for poor people while defending her father in two late-night tweets after the incident. Paulina&#39;s Twitter profile has since disappeared, and Peña Nieto apologized the following morning.<br /><br />4. Angelica Rivera, Peña Nieto&rsquo;s second wife, a <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2168694/Angelica-Riveras-faces-Singer-dancer-soap-actress-friend-Ricky-Martin.html?ito=feeds-newsxml">former soap opera star</a>, is also a former member of a &quot;fictional&quot; pop group called <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d6l6Hcobafo">Muñecos de Papel</a>. She sang alongside a crazy good-looking guy named Ricky Martin, with whom she remains good friends.<br /><br />5. A Mexican man named <a href="http://www.losangelespress.org/agustin-estrada-documento-tortura-y-violaciones-por-parte-de-enrique-pena-nieto-desde-2007/">Augustín Estrada</a>, who received U.S. asylum as a persecuted homosexual based on incidents in his native country, has been making claims that Peña Nieto is gay and his former lover. He says that when he came out in a 2007 Pride parade, Peña Nieto, then the governor of Mexico state, had him beaten and tortured -- including various violent jailhouse rapes -- to keep him quiet about their relationship.</p></p> Thu, 05 Jul 2012 10:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/achy-obejas/2012-07/five-weird-things-about-mexicos-next-president-maybe-100656 Immigrants express shock at return of Mexico's PRI http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-07/immigrants-express-shock-return-mexicos-pri-100620 <p><p style="text-align: center;"><img a="" alt="" am="" ap="" as="" class="image-original_image" demonstrates="" face="" he="" i="" in="" last="" marco="" mask="" mexico="" movement="" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AP120624039950.jpg" style="float: left; width: 310px; height: 206px;" title="A member of the #YoSoy132 or ‘I am 132’ student movement demonstrating in Mexico City last week. (AP/Marco Ugarte)" wears="" week.="" /></p><p>Mexico&#39;s new president may dissuade some immigrants from returning home, despite promising economic opportunities there and a faltering U.S. job market.</p><p>The vast majority of the 40,000 Mexican expatriates who voted in Sunday&#39;s election cast ballots against President-elect Enrique Pena Nieto. Many immigrants said Monday that they were shocked his Institutional Revolutionary Party &mdash; which largely convinced them to leave their homeland &mdash; has returned to power.</p><p>&quot;I think most immigrants kind of fled Mexico because of the PRI, and they still carry visions of a PRI that was corrupt and murderous,&quot; said Guadalupe Sandoval, an 18-year-old San Diego college student who said she closely watched the race. &quot;I&#39;m definitely surprised.&quot;</p><p>Sandoval said her family would have considered returning if Pena Nieto&#39;s top challenger, leftist candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, had won. The PRI won only about 38 percent of the vote to regain the presidency.</p><p>Sandoval&#39;s family left Mexico a year before the PRI ended its 71-year rule in 2000. Illegal immigration has dramatically dropped since then because of the crackdown at the U.S. border after the 9-11 attacks and the slowing of the U.S. economy.</p><p>More than 40,000 Mexicans voted from 91 countries in Sunday&#39;s elections. Mexican immigrants gained the right to vote in their country&#39;s elections in 2006.</p><p>The vast majority voted for Josefina Vazquez Mota, of President Felipe Calderon&#39;s National Action Party, who garnered 17,169 votes from abroad, according to preliminary results released Monday from Mexico&#39;s Federal Electoral Institute.</p><p>Lopez Obrador got 15,878 votes among voters from abroad, while Pena Nieto received 6,359.</p><p>Pena Nieto immediately went to work to counter claims that the old PRI was back, saying in his victory speech: &quot;We&#39;re a new generation. There is no return to the past.&quot;</p><p>He talked of security, commerce and infrastructure, but didn&#39;t bring up the traditional Mexican issue of U.S. immigration reform to help the 12 million Mexicans who live in the United States.</p><p>Pena Nieto said he wanted &quot;a relationship that will allow the productive integration of North America.&quot;</p><p>He also vowed to curb the drug violence.</p><p>But 56-year-old Mexican immigrant Justiniano Rosario, who lives in New York, said he sees a downward spiral for the homeland that he left 27 years ago.</p><p>&quot;There is too much violence and little honesty among politicians. It&#39;s a circus and with the PRI, nothing is going to change,&quot; said Rosario, who works transporting boxes of food supplies for a local warehouse. &quot;The PRI governed for so many years and lied to the people. They are not going to resolve the problem of violence.&quot;</p><p>He added: &quot;I don&#39;t believe in any of the candidates &mdash; but I believe a lot less in the PRI.&quot;</p><p>Bricia Lopez, co-owner of the Mexican restaurant La Guelaguetza, based in Los Angeles, agreed.</p><p>&quot;I&#39;m sad,&quot; she said. &quot;I really thought this election could bring changes on how things work. Now, it&#39;s the same old thing. It&#39;s not fair to the people in México who don&#39;t have anything. It&#39;s upsetting. It&#39;s not fair to the poor people I see every time I go to the poor towns of Oaxaca.&quot;</p><p>Mexicans voted in Sunday&#39;s elections for a known quantity after becoming widely disappointed that the euphoria over the ousting of the PRI in national elections in 2000 did not usher in the dramatic changes they had hoped to see.</p><p>Pedro Ramos, founder of a Los Angeles-based group representing immigrants from the state of Puebla, said he understands that frustration.</p><p>&quot;It went very badly for us the change,&quot; he said. &quot;In Pena Nieto, we see an institution that knows how to govern. Now we are hoping that he will see us (migrants) and will see that we are the ones who have sent home money and who have projected a good image of Mexico abroad.&quot;</p><p>The White House said it expected the close relationship that the U.S. has enjoyed with Calderon&#39;s administration to continue under Pena Nieto.</p><p>State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland congratulated Pena Nieto&#39;s &quot;apparent&quot; victory and the Mexican people for demonstrating &quot;their strong commitment to democratic values through a free, fair and transparent electoral process.&quot; Nuland declined to answer questions related to a possible shift in Mexico&#39;s anti-narcotics strategy.</p><p>&quot;We&#39;re not going to predict changes in policy one way or another,&quot; Nuland said. &quot;But we are committed to working in partnership with Mexico to meet the evolving challenges posed by transnational criminal organizations, and we expect that that great cooperation is going to continue with the Pena Nieto administration when it is seated.&quot;</p><p>During its long reign, the PRI was known for building Mexico&#39;s institutions and social services, and keeping a lid on organized crime that operated back then without the levels of violence seen today.</p><p>Mexican immigration expert Wayne Cornelius said that exasperation over Calderon&#39;s war against the cartels may have caused Mexicans to vote the PRI back into power, but what many may be forgetting is the PRI also was largely responsible for major economic crises that rocked the nation three different times since the 1970s.</p><p>Calderon&#39;s government had an impressive record in managing the Mexican economy, which has a long history of plummeting whenever the U.S. economy hiccups, he said. But much of that was overshadowed by the staggering drug violence that has cost more than 47,500 lives since Calderon&#39;s 2006 election.</p><p>The recession may have slowed illegal immigration to the United States, but it also has caused those immigrants who are here to become more rooted. And, he said, he does not see Mexico&#39;s next president changing that.</p><p>&quot;This is a population that has become more and more stable over the last 15 years, and with the great recession in the U.S., it has had an effect of anchoring the Mexican population more firmly because they fear losing the foothold that they already had in the U.S. labor market by going back,&quot; said Cornelius, director emeritus of the Center for U.S.-Mexican studies at the University of California San Diego.</p><p>John Ackerman, a law professor at the Institute for Legal Research of the National Autonomous University of Mexico tells us what Sunday&rsquo;s election results mean for U.S. &ndash; Mexican relations. David Vidal, a member of the Mexican student movement YoSoy132, also joins the conversation. YoSoy was hoping to see a defeat of Pena Nieto. Vidal says the election has given new energy to the movement.</p><p><em>Associated Press writers Claudia Torrens in New York, Edwin Tamara in Los Angeles, Bradley Klapper in Washington; and E. Eduardo Castillo, Katherine Corcoran and Mark Stevenson in Mexico City contributed to this report.</em></p></p> Tue, 03 Jul 2012 10:30:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-07/immigrants-express-shock-return-mexicos-pri-100620