Mexico: AMLO, Slim and the power mafia

We publish an unofficial translation of an article of Periódico Mural from Mexico:

«Salinas is the head of this group. They are 16 billionaires. For the most part, everything they have is owed to Salinas. Before Salinas they did not have any power and now they appear on Forbes magazine’s list among the richest men in the world. (They are) 16 billionaires, 11 corrupt politicians from the PRI and the PAN and three technocrats.

Andrés Manuel López Obrador
CNN Expansion Interview
November 2011

«I don’t deceive anyone, I have moral authority. The government will not be at the service of a minority. The general interest will prevail, whether you like it or not. Imagine, the State subordinated to the financial markets! From now on there is a border between political and economic power.

Andrés Manuel López Obrador
Press conference
October 30
th, 2018.

“I want to recognize, a tribute to the most austere and most institutional businessman in Mexico who is also our pride, Carlos Slim.”

Andrés Manuel López Obrador
Inauguration of “Olmeca” Refinery, Dos Bocas, Tabasco.
July 1
st, 2022.

To contradict and exhibit AMLO, there is no one better than AMLO himself. His quotes allow us to understand the degree of hypocrisy and opportunism of the bureaucratic government of the self-proclaimed “fourth transformation.” This is neither a surprise nor a “betrayal of his own ideals,” but rather a revelation of his nature as a representative of the bureaucratic bourgeoisie. His mask has fallen.

The way in which the relationship has “evolved” between someone who, as a candidate, proclaimed “the poor first” with the richest man in Mexico, is simply shameful. Before the 2018 electoral victory, AMLO considered Carlos Slim as part of the power mafia, and he was right. Carlos Slim was one of the main beneficiaries of the wave of privatizations undertaken by Salinas de Gortari and has amassed his fortune under the power of the old State, currently placing him in the “Top Ten” of the richest men in the world with around 93 billion dollars.

The technocratic government of Salinas de Gortari dismantled a good part of the property of the Mexican State, auctioning off different companies, including Telmex, which Slim acquired in 1990 at a cost that seemed absurd compared to the capital it was acquiring. Before that, the State had a monopoly on telecommunications with private participation that, although it was increasing, was subject to the operations of the companies related to the State. A sealed offer ended this and since then Telmex was privatized like other public companies that were liquidated. Today Carlos Slim has different companies in Mexico and the world that generate huge profits. América Móvil, Grupo Financiero Inbursa, Sanborns, Grupo Carso, Telmex, Minera Frisco, Condumex, Carso Energy, Impulso del Desarrollo y Empleo de América Latina and even 17% of the shares of the New York Times are some of his businesses. He also owns large mansions in and outside the country.

But it would be unfair to say that Carlos Slim’s great fortune was built by the isolated action of the salinato. In reality, the governments of Ernesto Zedillo, Vicente Fox, Felipe Calderón, Enrique Peña Nieto and Andrés Manuel López Obrador himself have done the same, benefiting him with privatizations, concessions, prerogatives, licenses, fiscal stimuli and other mechanisms that show the subordination of the different governments before this and other magnates.

A recent report from Oxfam-Mexico tells us that during the Covid-19 pandemic, this character’s fortune grew by up to 58%, placing him as the richest man in Mexico, Latin America and the Caribbean. The report does not speak only of this character, but of the big bourgeoisie and the oligarchy as a whole, whom Oxfam calls “rich and ultra-rich.”

“…if we broaden our view to all the people who accumulate fortunes of more than one million dollars—whom we call “rich”—we observe that this small group is made up of just under 294 thousand people, which is approximately equivalent to the population of Pachuca. “The rich people in Mexico, who represent one in every 500 in the country and which include the ultra-rich Mexicans, concentrate almost 60 of every 100 pesos of private wealth in Mexico.”

In the words of Karl Marx “The executive of the modern state is but a committee for managing the common affairs of the whole bourgeoisie.” Harsh data from this report shows us that all the money that Carlos Slim amasses is equivalent to the income of 63 million Mexicans, and while this oligarch, according to AMLO, has gone from being a partner of the power mafia to the “most austere businessman,” nine Millions of Mexicans do not have a single peso to eat and do not know if they will do so the next day.

But not only has the corona virus pandemic been good for the financial oligarchy and the big bourgeoisie. The “fourth transformation” itself has been a gift from heaven for them. The model followed by the federal government is based on an apparent industrial and commercial development that is only possible through the dispossession, oppression and super-exploitation of the people of Mexico.

Slim is a great example of this because, independently or in alliance with large American, French and Chinese companies, he has benefited from contracts by restricted invitation or direct award for the construction of strategic works such as the Dos Bocas Refinery and superhighways, in addition to the acquisition of companies and assets in the oil industry, without forgetting its participation in mega-projects such as some sections of the misnamed “Mayan Train”, the Morelos Integral Project and the Interoceanic Corridor of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, among others.

The “development” proposed by the Fourth Transformation, the frenetic imposition of mega-projects at the service of big capital and the hasty modernization of communication routes have a specific logic: the revitalization of bureaucratic capitalism to continue making monopolistic companies bigger and bigger in industry, commerce and services with a model that is based on dispossession, deepening national subordination to imperialism and reinforcing the rivets of the servitude regime that weighs on our country.

Not only that, the model followed by the Fourth Transformation and the role of the “Mexican” magnates as a kind of modern big landlords who subjugate extensive territories, is being used programmatically by imperialism – mainly Yankee – to establish its strategic interests in all of Central America building a single network with various modes of communication routes for the maritime, rail, road and air transport of goods and troops that guarantee the accurate control of Our America.

But history teaches us that reactionaries make trouble and fail again and again until their final defeat, this is a law. Their riches only deepen their structural crisis; It is the nature of bureaucratic capitalism.

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