Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Today's headlines: Okay, back to the subject of the reforms . . .

Milenio and El Universal both lead with a security speech by Gobernación (Interior) Secretary Miguel Osorio Chong. The two papers’ focuses are so different you can’t help but wonder if the reporters attended the same event. Milenio, echoed by La Jornada in its third headline, goes with  “The PF must not let its guard down after Iguala: Osorio,” over a pep-rally story promising that the government, including the Federal Police (PF), will move ahead to “guarantee Mexicans’ security.” At El Universal, however, we get this: “Those affected by the reforms encourage violence: Osorio.” Here, “affected” (“afectados”) implies “against,” and the reforms referred to are the major constitutional overhauls of the energy, education, electoral and telecommunications sectors, among others, that were the hallmark of the Peña Nieto administration until the related crises of insecurity and official corruption changed the subject. Osorio is trying to change it back again. As head of the most powerful government agency after the presidency itself, the secretary was reflecting with his words an administration intent on doubling down on the strategy of linking the Iguala-related protest movement to previously existing opposition, and blaming it for any violence. Nor was the El Universal angle taken out of context. The Gobernación press release on the speech starts right out with: “The structural reforms promoted by President Enrique Peña Nieto affected some people’s interests, and they have reacted in these times of pain from the events in Iguala by provoking discord and violence.” Touché.

La Jornada leads with the Ficrea case, in which investors lost their savings after a crooked financial services firm was shut down by authorities. The fraud victims have taken to the streets, aiming their protests not at the crooks but at two government agencies — the National Banking and Securities Commission and Condusef, the financial consumer protection commission — who they claim were more interested in making the problem go away than protecting the depositors. Hence the head: “Lies and betrayal by authorities in Ficrea case: fraud victims.” There have been no arrests, according to the victims, not even arrest orders, or any information about where the money went. This story has significance wider than one unfortunate episode; it’s being talked about as a case in point of how corruption — and the government’s inability to control it — ruins lives, and often ends them.

Excelsior chooses “Analysis of the remains in Austria will be slower and success is not guaranteed.” What little could be found of the presumably incinerated bodies of the students murdered in Iguala was sent to the Medical University of Innsbruck for identification. The forensic team there was able to identify one victim using traditional DNA tests, but further analysis is requiring more complicated methodology. The news today is that identification will take longer than previously thought and may not be possible at all. 

Reforma stays local across its front page. The main head goes after the unpopular mayor of Naucalpan, the sprawling, mostly colorless city of some 800,000 that hugs Mexico City from the northwest: “Naucalpan fetes its mayor like a king.” It was actually the PRI that threw the party, along with city officials (dipping into their own pockets, they insist) and co-opted neighborhood groups. Hundreds were bused to a city park (Naucalli) for a feast of tacos, beer and turkey. The occasion: Municipal President David Sánchez's 40th birthday, which actually isn't until the 29th. The busing and party is a PRI ploy from time immemorial, and was meant to take naucalpenses’ minds off the surges in crime, corruption and mysteriously disappeared funds that have marked Sánchez’s term in office. The "king" reference in the Reforma headline rhas to do with a mention in the traditional Mexican birthday song to "el rey David," i.e. King David. Sánchez is planning to run for Congress next year.

No comments:

Post a Comment