The Mexican Pulse

By Glenn Holland

Mexico City, Sep. 27 ­ On behalf of almost 2,000 members of the Mexican Science Academy, several scientists protested in the capital against planned cutbacks in the 2005 federal budget. Three of the protesters were winners of the National Science and Technology Award. Upon the budget’s approval, scientists assured that at least three universities would have to close their doors, three scientific magazines would stop being published and jobs and entire postgraduate classes would be lost.

--According to the General Education Law, the federal government should provide 5.45% of its Gross National Product (GNP) in 2005 for its education budget. With only 4% planned for the upcoming year, 125.9 billion pesos would be needed to reach their goal. There are 83 education departments that would suffer a cutback of up to 83% in their budgets. Only 24 would receive an increase.

--Corruption in Mexico accounts for 9% of the GNP according to Transparencia Mexicana. Of all companies, 62% acknowledge having made illegal payments to speed up bureaucratic steps. The Kurtzman Group placed Mexico in 36th place, out of the world’s 48 largest economies, for its lack of transparency in doing business.

--The Chinese government has shown its disproval about the planned reception of the Dalai Lama on October 3 in Mexico. The political and religious leader of Tibet is in exile as China takes control of its neighboring country. China does not want Los Pinos to receive him as a political leader, but the Mexican government has its own point of view. An under secretary for the State Department responded, “No government from any country (can opine) in respects to the freedom of belief and creed of the Mexican nation and of the people that visit Mexico.” Take that!

China and Mexico recently agreed to pursue economic agreements for free trade. China is also Mexico’s number one competitor for selling goods to the U.S.

--The U.S. government is about to punish Mexico with economic sanctions for not having made advances in its fight against drug trafficking. What is curious is that in the last two years Mexican authorities have had unprecedented success in capturing or killing the heads of the Gulf Cartel, the Tijuana Cartel, the Arrellano Felix brothers, and several groups that operate in Sinaloa, Durango and Chihuahua. Now it is so difficult for Mexican drug dealers that they are fleeing to Colombia to start their businesses in order to avoid problems in Mexico. So I wonder, what are the true motives of the Bush administration?

--The UNESCO viewed in 1984 that Teotihuacan possesses an exceptional value not only in Mesoamerica but in the entire American continent “both from the urban point of view as well as monumental, as it is a pioneer in urban revolution due to its great visual complexity.” To this wonderful visual richness, now you can appreciate the vanguard architecture of a Walmart Supercenter. What is curious is that not only was the construction approved by the Mexican government, but also by UNESCO itself!

--Sixty-two days after the murder of a teacher in Huatla, Oaxaca due to political reasons, an event captured in photos and on the television by several media sources, no one has been detained. One of the witnesses was legislator José Luis Pineda, who still works at the House of Representatives.