The World’s Perception of Mexico

El escritor, columnista y ensayista Ramiro Padilla Atondo inicia hoy en A los Cuatro Vientos, la realización de un reto personal: escribir y publicar una columna semanal en inglés. Ramiro es autor de los libros de cuentos “A tres pasos de la línea”, traducido al inglés; Esperando la muerte y la novela Días de Agosto. En ensayo ha publicado La verdad fraccionada y Poder, sociedad e imagen. Para realizar su nuevo proyecto contó con el apoyo en edición de Luis Morales. Aquí su primer trabajo en inglés:

Ramiro Padilla Antondo / A los Cuatro Vientos

It’s obvious that we, Mexicans, don’t have the best reputation in the world. Two worlds coexist in that rich land. On one side, we have the hard working honest people -who are a majority- and on the other hand we have an absolutely corrupt government.

Last year was catastrophic to the ambitions of our president in his attempt at securing his place in history.  His ambitious reforms were set as an example to the world. Newspapers portrayed him like the real deal, “The Savior” of Mexico, just to see him plummet from such lofty place within months, after his poor handling of the 43 student’s disappearance, still unsolved.

But, what’s the Mexican reality? What’s so wrong in such a rich country filled with poor people?

One word: corruption. Some years ago, a radio show that aired in Los Angeles area, the “John and Ken show”, accused the Mexican government of being a socialist one. Nothing is farther from reality. Capitalism in Mexico is fiercer than capitalism in the United States.

A small group of companies control almost every aspect in the life of the average Mexican. From Telmex to Televisa and TV Azteca, with strong connections to the political class, everything revolves around one thing: power.

At risk of appearing to be repetitious, I must say that as a matter of  fact, political conditions in Mexico are so decomposed that in some States are even considering the idea of cancelling the upcoming elections.

MUJERES SEMIDESNUDAS PROTESTA

Crime has so widely spread its activities that criminals have now started to kill those candidates that don’t fulfill their requirements.

No political reform can work while the whole country falls apart thanks to the personal ambitions of politicians.

It is quite clear that the president has no idea of how to handle a complex country like ours. He is a dinosaur trapped in the body of a young, inexperienced man.

Our biggest problem, then, is how to change a political system that is so obsolete. There’s nothing we can do to impeach the president and force him to resign. The laws on this matter are too ambiguous. Besides, three quarters of a Congress dominated by his own party would be required to rule him out of office.

And buying votes with all the resources the government has (the tragic part is that that money its from our taxes) is an ever-increasing practice.

Changing the Mexican culture of submission is our biggest challenge. The rules that allow us, Mexicans, to vote while absent from Mexico are specifically designed to prevent us from exercising that right.

That’s why it is urgent to change the perception the world has on us Mexicans. Like Newsman Jorge Ramos said once, “This government picked the fight with the wrong generation.” Let’s prove him right.