Miguel de la Madrid

Last updated
Miguel de la Madrid
De la madrid1.jpg
52nd President of Mexico
In office
December 1, 1982 (1982-12-01) November 30, 1988 (1988-11-30)
Preceded by José López Portillo
Succeeded by Carlos Salinas de Gortari
Director of the Fondo de Cultura Económica
In office
January 15, 1990 December 13, 2000
Preceded by Enrique González Pedrero
Succeeded by Gonzalo Celorio Blasco
Secretary of Programming and the Budget
In office
May 16, 1979 September 30, 1981
President José López Portillo
Preceded by Ricardo García Sainz
Succeeded byRamón Aguirre Velázquez
Under-Secretary of Finance and Public Credit
In office
September 29, 1975 May 16, 1979
President Luis Echeverría Álvarez (1975–76)
José López Portillo (1976–79)
SecretaryMario Ramón Beteta (1975–76)
Julio Rodolfo Moctezuma (1976–77)
David Ibarra Muñoz (1976–79)
Preceded by Mario Ramón Beteta
Succeeded by Jesús Silva-Herzog Flores
Personal details
Born
Miguel de la Madrid Hurtado

(1934-12-12)December 12, 1934 [1]
Colima, Mexico
DiedApril 1, 2012(2012-04-01) (aged 77)
Mexico City, Mexico
Resting placeIglesia de Santo Tomás
NationalityMexican
Political party Institutional Revolutionary Party
Spouse(s)
Paloma Cordero Tapia
(m. 1959;his death 2012)
[2]
Children5 including Enrique
Alma mater National Autonomous University of Mexico
John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University

Miguel de la Madrid Hurtado (Spanish pronunciation:  [miˈɣel delamaˈðɾið uɾˈtaðo] ; December 12, 1934 – April 1, 2012) was a Mexican politician affiliated with the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) who served as the 52nd President of Mexico from 1982 to 1988. [1] During his presidency, de la Madrid introduced sweeping neoliberal economic policies in Mexico, beginning an era of market-oriented presidents in that country. His administration was criticized for its slow response to the 1985 Mexico City earthquake, and the handling of the controversial 1988 Presidential elections in which the PRI candidate Carlos Salinas de Gortari was declared winner, amid accusations of electoral fraud.

Mexico Country in the southern portion of North America

Mexico, officially the United Mexican States, is a country in the southern portion of North America. It is bordered to the north by the United States; to the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; to the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and to the east by the Gulf of Mexico. Covering almost 2,000,000 square kilometres (770,000 sq mi), the nation is the fifth largest country in the Americas by total area and the 13th largest independent state in the world. With an estimated population of over 120 million people, the country is the tenth most populous state and the most populous Spanish-speaking state in the world, while being the second most populous nation in Latin America after Brazil. Mexico is a federation comprising 31 states and Mexico City, a special federal entity that is also the capital city and its most populous city. Other metropolises in the state include Guadalajara, Monterrey, Puebla, Toluca, Tijuana and León.

Institutional Revolutionary Party Mexican political party

The Institutional Revolutionary Party is a Mexican political party founded in 1929 that held uninterrupted power in the country for 71 years from 1929 to 2000, first as the National Revolutionary Party, then as the Party of the Mexican Revolution and finally as the PRI in 1946.

President of Mexico Head of state of the country of Mexico

The President of Mexico, officially known as the President of the United Mexican States, is the head of state and government of Mexico. Under the Constitution, the president is also the Supreme Commander of the Mexican armed forces. The current President is Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who took office on December 1, 2018.

Contents

Early life and education

Miguel de la Madrid was born in the city of Colima, Colima, Mexico. He was the son of Miguel de la Madrid Castro, a notable lawyer (who was assassinated when his son was only two), [3] and Alicia Hurtado Oldenbourg. His grandfather was Enrique Octavio de la Madrid, the governor of Colima.

Colima City Place in Colima, Mexico

Colima is a city that is the capital of the Colima state and the seat of Colima municipality, located in central−western Mexico.

He graduated with a bachelor's degree in law from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and received a master's degree in Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, in the United States. [1]

National Autonomous University of Mexico public research university in Coyoacán, Mexico City, Mexico

The National Autonomous University of Mexico is a public research university in Mexico. It ranks highly in world rankings based on the university's extensive research and innovation. UNAM's campus is a UNESCO World Heritage site that was designed by some of Mexico's best-known architects of the 20th century. Murals in the main campus were painted by some of the most recognized artists in Mexican history, such as Diego Rivera and David Alfaro Siqueiros. In 2016, it had an acceptance rate of only 8%. UNAM generates a number of strong research publications and patents in diverse areas, such as robotics, computer science, mathematics, physics, human-computer interaction, history, philosophy, among others. All Mexican Nobel laureates are either alumni or faculty of UNAM.

John F. Kennedy School of Government school of public administration of Harvard University

The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University is a public policy and public administration school, of Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States. The school offers master's degrees in public policy, public administration, and international development, grants several doctoral degrees, and many executive education programs. It conducts research in subjects relating to politics, government, international affairs, and economics. Since 1970 the school has graduated 17 heads of state, the most of any educational institution.

Harvard University private research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States

Harvard University is a private Ivy League research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with about 6,700 undergraduate students and about 15,250 postgraduate students. Established in 1636 and named for its first benefactor, clergyman John Harvard, Harvard is the United States' oldest institution of higher learning. Its history, influence, and wealth have made it one of the world's most prestigious universities. The university is often cited as the world's top tertiary institution by most publishers.

Early career

He worked for the Bank of Mexico and lectured in law at UNAM before he got a position at the Secretariat of Finance in 1965. Between 1970 and 1972, he was employed by Petróleos Mexicanos , Mexico's state-owned petroleum company, after which he held several other bureaucratic posts in the government of Luis Echeverría. In 1979, he was chosen to serve in José López Portillo's cabinet as Secretary of Budget and Planning, replacing Ricardo García Sainz. [1]

Bank of Mexico Mexicos central bank

The Bank of Mexico, abbreviated BdeM or Banxico, is Mexico's central bank, monetary authority and lender of last resort. The Bank of Mexico is autonomous in exercising its functions, and its main objective is to achieve stability in the purchasing power of the national currency.

Secretariat of Finance and Public Credit (Mexico)

The Office for the Treasury and Public Credit is the finance ministry of Mexico. In Mexico the Treasurer of the Republic is the head of the Office for the Treasury and Public Credit, and is a member of the federal executive cabinet and is named to the post by the President of the Republic. Recently, the institution has been promoting a financial inclusion policy and is now a member of the Alliance for Financial Inclusion. This position is analogous to the Secretary of the Treasury in the United States of America or to the finance ministers of other nations.

Pemex company

Petróleos Mexicanos, which translates to Mexican Petroleum, but is trademarked and better known as Pemex, is the Mexican state-owned petroleum company, created in 1938 by nationalization or expropriation of all private, foreign, and domestic oil companies at that time. Pemex had total assets worth $415.75 billion, and was the world's second-largest non-publicly listed company by total market value, and Latin America's second-largest enterprise by annual revenue as of 2009, surpassed only by Petrobras. The majority of its shares are not listed publicly and are under control of the Mexican government, with the value of its publicly listed shares totaling $202 billion in 2010, representing approximately one quarter of the company's total net worth.

1982 Election

De la Madrid had no political experience as an elected official prior to becoming the candidate for the PRI. In the assessment of political scientist Jorge G. Castañeda, López Portillo designated De la Madrid as a candidate by elimination, not by choice, and that De la Madrid remained in contention as a candidate because he was never the bearer of bad news to the president. Other contenders were Javier García Paniagua and David Ibarra. [4] When his candidacy was revealed, his "candidacy was greeted with unusual hostility from some sectors of the political establishment--an indication of the emerging rift between the old políticos and emerging technocrats." [5] De la Madrid did not run against a strong opposition candidate. His campaign rhetoric emphasized traditional liberal values of representation, federalism, strengthening of the legislature and the judiciary. There was massive turnout in the election, for the first time in many years, voting overwhelmingly for De la Madrid. [6]

Presidency

De la Madrid inherited the financial catastrophe from his predecessor; Mexico experienced per capital negative growth for his entire term. De la Madrid's handling of the devastating 1985 Mexico City earthquake was his own major misstep. The end of his administration was even worse, with his choice of Carlos Salinas de Gortari as his successor, the split in the PRI with the exit of Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas, and the government's handling of balloting with election results deemed fraudulent. His administration did have some bright spots, with Mexico's becoming a member of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) in 1985. Mexico also was part of the Contadora process to find a solution of the conflicts in Central America. [7]

Carlos Salinas de Gortari President of Mexico (1988–1994)

Carlos Salinas de Gortari is a Mexican economist and politician affiliated with the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) who served as President of Mexico from 1988 to 1994. He is widely regarded as the most influential and controversial politician in Mexico over the last 30 years. Earlier in his career he worked in the Budget Secretariat eventually becoming Secretary. He was the PRI presidential candidate in 1988, and was declared elected on 6 July 1988 after accusations of electoral fraud.

Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas Mexican politician

Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas Solórzano is a prominent Mexican politician. He is a former Head of Government of the Federal District and a founder of the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD). He ran for the presidency of Mexico three times. His 1988 loss to the Institutional Revolutionary Party candidate by the narrowest of margins had long been considered a direct result of obvious electoral fraud, later acknowledged by President Miguel de la Madrid. He previously served as a Senator, having been elected in 1976 to represent the state of Michoacán and also as the Governor of Michoacán from 1980 to 1986.

The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) is a legal agreement between many countries, whose overall purpose was to promote international trade by reducing or eliminating trade barriers such as tariffs or quotas. According to its preamble, its purpose was the "substantial reduction of tariffs and other trade barriers and the elimination of preferences, on a reciprocal and mutually advantageous basis."

Economic policy

From left to right: US President Ronald Reagan, First Lady Nancy, Mexican President Miguel de la Madrid and his wife Paloma Cordero in Cross Hall, White House, at a state dinner. Ronald and Nancy Reagan Miguel de la Madrid Paloma Cordero.jpg
From left to right: US President Ronald Reagan, First Lady Nancy, Mexican President Miguel de la Madrid and his wife Paloma Cordero in Cross Hall, White House, at a state dinner.

Unlike previous Mexican leaders, he was a market-oriented president. Inflation increased on an average of 100% a year and reached to an unprecedented level of 159% in 1987. The underemployment rate soared to 25% during the mid-1980s, income declined, and economic growth was erratic since prices rose usually much faster than incomes.

All that was a stark reminder of the gross mismanagement and inept policies of his two immediate predecessors, particularly the financing of development with excessive overseas borrowing, which was often countered by high internal capital flights. [8] As an immediate reaction to the economic crisis, he first presented the Immediate Economic Reorganization Program (Programa Inmediato de Reordenación Económica) and, a couple of months later, the National Development Plan (Plan Nacional de Desarrollo). Some of the measures proposed were a reduction of public spending, fiscal reforms, a restructuring of the bureaucracy, and employment protection. [9]

During his presidency, De la Madrid introduced neoliberal economic reforms that encouraged foreign investment, widespread privatization of state-run industries, and reduction of tariffs, a process that continued under his successors, and which immediately caught the attention of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other international observers. In January 1986, Mexico entered the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) following its efforts at reforming and decentralizing its economy. The number of state-owned industries went down from approximately 1,155 in 1982 to 412 in 1988. De la Madrid re-privatized companies that had been made state-run under his predecessors. He sought better public-private sector relations, but the private sector began backing opposition candidates nonetheless. Given the dire economic circumstances he inherited from his predecessor, he pursued policies of economic austerity, rather than deficit spending. [10]

Domestic elections

President De la Madrid initially stated that further democratization of the country was necessary, and the political system opened up to greater competition. As other parties showed the potential for their electoral success, his attitude later seemed to be hostile to the advance of opposition parties, instead allowing the PRI to maintain near-absolute power of the country. [11] [12] (at the time, the PRI still governed all of the Mexican states plus the Federal District, in addition to holding 299 of the 400 seats in the Chamber of Deputies and 63 of the 64 seats in the Senate). However, it was during his administration that the opposition National Action Party (also known as "PAN" for its initials in Spanish) started to become popular with the masses, specially in Northern Mexico.

In 1983, during the municipal elections in the northern state of Chihuahua, the PAN won the state's nine biggest Municipalities, which held 70% of its population. The border state had been one of the most affected by the government's policies, specially the nationalization of the Bank decreed in the last months of former President López Portillo's administration. [13] Rather than accepting that the unpopularity and corruption of the PRI in Chihuahua had led to such a defeat, the local PRI bosses claimed that the Catholic Church, the local businessmen and even "foreign influences" had persuaded voters to support the PAN. Most importantly, the local PRI stated that the electoral defeat was a "tragic disaster" that should never be repeated. [14]

The 1986 gubernatorial elections in that same state were marked by accusations of Electoral fraud. Although the PRI candidate, Fernando Baeza, was officially pronounced winner, the PAN candidate Francisco Barrio Terrazas, who officially ended in second place with 35.16% of the vote (at the time, the biggest percentage of votes that an opposition candidate had earned in Chihuahua) did not recognize the results, and the PAN promoted acts of civil disobedience to resist the alleged fraud. Many other local elections were marked by accusations of fraud in those years, sometimes ending with violent clashes. In some small municipalities of Veracruz and Oaxaca, the local population even seized or burned the local Town halls in response to alleged electoral frauds. [13]

Electoral reform

In response to these controversies, an electoral reform was conducted in 1986:

  • The number of members of the Chamber of Deputies being elected by proportional representation (plurinominales) was increased from 100 to 200 and allowed for a better representation of opposition parties.
  • The Senate is composed of two senators from each state and two from the Federal District of Mexico. An election of half of its members takes place every three years.
  • The Legislative Assembly of the Federal District of Mexico was created. [15]
Miguel de la Madrid (left) with U.S. President Ronald Reagan (center) in Mazatlan (1988). Miguel de la Madrid Ronald Reagan Mazatlan 1988.jpg
Miguel de la Madrid (left) with U.S. President Ronald Reagan (center) in Mazatlán (1988).

Split in the PRI

Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas and other politicians from the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) announced the creation of the Democratic Current (Corriente Democrática) within the PRI. The Democratic Current demanded the establishment of clear rules for the selection of the party's presidential candidate. When they failed, Cárdenas and Porfirio Muñoz Ledo left the PRI and joined the National Democratic Front (Frente Democrático Nacional), a loose alliance of left-wing parties. [16]

Assassination attempt

On May 1, 1984, an anti-government activist named José Antonio Palacios Marquina, along with others, threw Molotov cocktails at the balcony of the Presidential Palace, where De la Madrid was reviewing the May Day parade. Although the President was unharmed, the incident left many officials and guests injured, including the then-director of the ISSTE, Alejandro Carrillo. [17] [18] [19]

San Juanico explosions

In the San Juanico Disaster, six of these spherical type liquid petroleum gas (LPG) containers exploded into huge fireballs killing 500-600 people and causing severe burns in 5000-7000 others. Gaskessel gr.jpg
In the San Juanico Disaster, six of these spherical type liquid petroleum gas (LPG) containers exploded into huge fireballs killing 500600 people and causing severe burns in 50007000 others.

On 19 November 1984, a massive series of explosions occurred at a liquid petroleum gas (LPG) tank farm in the town of San Juan Ixhuatepec (outside of Mexico City, Mexico). [20] The disaster was initiated by a gas leak on the site, likely caused by a pipe rupture during transfer operations, which caused a plume of LPG to concentrate at ground level for 10 minutes. The plume eventually grew large enough to drift on the wind towards the west end of the site, where the facility's waste-gas flare pit was located. The explosions devastated the town of San Juan Ixhuatepec, and resulted in 500-600 deaths and 7,000 people with severe injuries.

The tragedy sparked a national outrage, and President De la Madrid visited the affected area on November 20. He instructed the creation of a comission to help the survivors and to rebuild the destroyed homes. On December 22, the Procuraduría General de Justicia found the state-run oil company Pemex to be responsible for the incident, and was ordered to pay indemnification to the victims. Due to the tragedy apparently having been caused by corruption and incompetence at the state-run company, the public further resented the Government and public institutions. [21]

1985 Earthquake

First ladies Paloma Cordero of Mexico (left) and Nancy Reagan of the United States (right) with US Ambassador to Mexico, John Gavin, observing the damage done by the earthquake. Paloma Cordero Nancy Reagan Mexico City 1985 earthquake.jpg
First ladies Paloma Cordero of Mexico (left) and Nancy Reagan of the United States (right) with US Ambassador to Mexico, John Gavin, observing the damage done by the earthquake.

In the morning of September 19, 1985, an 8.0 magnitude earthquake devastated Mexico City and caused the deaths of at least 5,000 people. De La Madrid's mishandling of the disaster damaged his popularity because of his initial refusal of international aid. It placed Mexico's delicate path to economic recovery in an even more precarious situation, as the destruction extended to other parts of the country. [2]

The federal government's first public response was President de la Madrid's declaration of a period of mourning for three days starting from 20 September 1985. [22]

De la Madrid initially refused to send the military to assist on the rescue efforts, and it was later deployed to patrol streets only to prevent looting after a curfew was imposed. [23]

The earthquake created many political difficulties for the then-ruling Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI) or Institutional Revolutionary Party. The crisis was severe enough to have tested the capabilities of wealthier countries, but the government from local PRI bosses to President de la Madrid himself exacerbated the problem aside from the lack of money. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs declared it would not request aid. [24]

It was also widely reported in the days after the earthquake that the military assisted factory owners in retrieving their machinery rather than in removing the bodies of dead factory workers. [25]

President de la Madrid was also criticized for refusing to cut foreign debt payments to use the money to help with the recovery effort (at the time, his administration destined around 30% of the federal budget towards the payments of the foreign debt). The government's response to the earthquake was widely criticized at various levels of Mexican society, being seen as both authoritarian and incompetent. [24] As most of the collapsed buildings were of recent construction and public works projects, the government was seen at fault due to mismanagement and corruption in these constructions. [26] The government itself realized that it could not handle the crisis alone through already-established institutions and decided to open the process up to "opposition groups". [24]

1986 World Cup

During his administration, Mexico hosted the 1986 FIFA World Cup. There were some protests against the tournament, as Mexico was going through an economic crisis at the time and the country was still recovering from the 1985 earthquake, therefore the World Cup was considered by many as a lavish and unnecessary expense. [27] During the World Cup's inauguration at the Estadio Azteca on May 31, De la Madrid was booed by a crowd of 100,000 while trying to give a speech, apparently in protest over his administration's poor reaction to the 1985 earthquake. [28] [29] [30]

Drug trafficking

U.S. DEA agent Kiki Camarena Enrique-camarena1.jpg
U.S. DEA agent Kiki Camarena

As the U.S. consumption of illegal substances grew in the 1960s and 1970s, the U.S. became interested in strengthening enforcement of drug trafficking in Mexico. In the 1980s U.S. Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush expanded the so-called "war on drugs" to stop drugs at ports of entry from Mexico. More importantly, the U.S. began asserting extraterritorial jurisdiction over drug trafficking in Mexican national territory. [31] The crackdown on drug trafficking resulted in higher prices for drugs, since there was more risk involved, but trafficking in this era boomed. Drug trafficking organizations in Mexico grew in size and strength. As the U.S. asserted jurisdiction over trafficking in Mexico, Mexico could no longer pursue an autonomous drug policy. Agents of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) began operating in Mexico without the consent of Mexican authorities. "In 1987, De la Madrid declared drug trafficking a national security problem and completely reorganized Mexican antidrug policy" and more government financial and personnel resources were devoted to the policy. Arrests in 1987 for drug trafficking reached 17,000. Front-line enforcement agents of the Mexican police were often corrupted by bribes from drug traffickers. Violence between traffickers and between traffickers and the police increased in this period. [32] A major incident in the drug war and in U.S.-Mexican relations was the kidnap, torture, and murder of DEA agent Enrique "Kiki" Camarena in 1985. In 1984, the Mexican government had staged a raid on a suspected site of drug trafficking in Chihuahua state. Traffickers suspected Camarena of providing information to the Mexican government and he was abducted in February 1985, tortured and killed; his body was found a month later. The U.S. responded by sending a special unit of the DEA to coordinate the investigation in Mexico. In the investigation, Mexican government officials were implicated, including Manuel Ibarra Herrera, past director of Mexican Federal Judicial Police, and Miguel Aldana Ibarra, the former director of Interpol in Mexico. [33] Drug trafficking as an issue has continued in Mexico in succeeding presidential administrations.

Foreign policy

President de la Madrid arriving at Andrews Air Base, Maryland. De la madrid.jpg
President de la Madrid arriving at Andrews Air Base, Maryland.

In 1983, the Contadora Group was launched by Colombia, Panama, Venezuela and Mexico to promote peace in Latin America and to deal with the armed conflicts in El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. [34]

During De la Madrid's administration, Mexico pursued closer relations with the United States, supporting some of its foreign policy objectives.

On March 31, 1986, the Mexicana Flight 940 crashed in the state of Michoacán, killing everyone on board. Initially, two Middle Eastern terrorist groups claimed responsibility for this crash, along with the bombing of TWA Flight 840, which occurred just two days later. An anonymous letter signed by those groups claimed that a suicide mission had sabotaged the plane in retaliation against the United States. [35] [36] However, sabotage was later dismissed as a cause of the crash, and the investigations carried out by the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board and Mexican aeronautical authorities concluded that the cause of the accident was that the center landing gear tire was filled with compressed air, instead of nitrogen. [37]

1988 election

Galloping inflation, the controversial privatization program and austerity measures imposed by his administration caused the ruling party to lose ground, leading up to the controversial elections of 1988. In the assessment of political scientist Roderic Ai Camp, "It would be fair to say that the election of Carlos Salinas de Gortari in 1988 marked the low point of that office as well as the declining legitimacy of the state." [38] In 1987, an internal conflict led to a division in the PRI, as President De la Madrid, like previous PRIísta Presidents had traditionally done, handpicked his successor for the Presidency and appointed the Secretary of Budget and Programming, Carlos Salinas de Gortari, as the PRI candidate for the 1988 elections. [39] A group of left-wing PRI politicians, led by Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas (the son of former President Lázaro Cárdenas) and Porfirio Muñoz Ledo, protested Salinas' appointment as they demanded that the PRI should put an end to the practice of the President choosing his own successor, and proposed that the PRI Presidential candidate should be democratically chosen by all of the PRI members through a convention. They also claimed that President De la Madrid had gone too far with his austerity and free-market reforms, and that his protegée Salinas represented a continuation of such policies. [39] After many public discussions and proposals, the leadership of the PRI stood by President De la Madrid and confirmed Salinas as the party's presidential candidate, while expelling Cárdenas and Muñoz Ledo from the PRI, along with their followers. [39]

For the first time since the PRI took power in 1929, the elections featured two strong opposition candidates with enough popularity to beat the PRI candidate. On one hand, after he and Muñoz Ledo were expelled from the PRI, Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas was nominated presidential candidate by the Frente Democrático Nacional, a coalition of leftist parties. Cárdenas attained massive popularity as result of his efforts at democratizing the PRI, his successful tenure as Governor of Michoacán, his opposition to the austerity reforms and his association with his father's nationalist policies. [40] On the other hand, the right-wing opposition party PAN nominated Manuel Clouthier as their presidential candidate. A businessman-turned-politician, Clouthier became popular, specially in Northern Mexico, for his populist rhetoric and his dennouncement of the political establishment and the media.

On Election Day 1988, the computer system used to count the votes shut down, as Cárdenas held an initial lead. That event is remembered by the phrase se cayó el sistema ("the system crashed"). When the system was restored, Carlos Salinas was declared the winner. [41] The expression “se cayó el sistema” became a euphemism for electoral fraud. All the opposition candidates refused to recognize the official results and claimed that a massive electoral fraud had been orchestrated by the government. Nevertheless, Salinas was confirmed by the Chamber of Deputies, controlled by the PRI, as the winner.

Post-presidency

Director of Fondo de Cultura Económica

After completing his term, he became the director of the Fondo de Cultura Económica (FCE) in 1990. He implanted modernization programs in production and administration. It incorporated the most advanced techniques in book publishing and graphic arts and maintained the openness and plurality features in the publication policy of the company.

On September 4, 1992, he inaugurated the new facilities, on 227 Picacho-Ajusco Road. Surrounded by garden and offices, it hosts cultural unity Jesús Silva Herzog, the Gonzalo Robles Library, which houses the growing publishing history of the Fund, and the seller Alfonso Reyes.

On the international scene in 1990, the existing facilities were remodeled subsidiaries. The presence of the Economic Culture Fund acquired a larger projection in the Americas: on September 7, 1990, the subsidiary in San Diego, California, was founded. On June 21, 1991 Seller Azteca opened its doors in São Paulo, Brazil. In 1994 FCE facilities were inaugurated in Venezuela, and in 1998, another subsidiary was established in Guatemala. This Thus, the FCE reached a significant presence in Latin America with nine subsidiaries: Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Spain, United States, Guatemala, Peru and Venezuela.

In publishing field, under his direction, 21 new collections were launched: in 1990, Keys (Argentina) in 1991, A la Orilla del Viento, Mexican Codices, University Science and Special Editions of At the Edge of the wind; in 1992, Breviary of Contemporary Science (Argentina) and New Economic Culture, in 1993 Library Prospective, Mexican Library, Library Cervantes Prize (Spain), and History of the Americas Trust and Cruises, in 1994, Word of Life and Indians A Vision of America and the Modernization of Mexico; Files, Sunstone (Peru), Entre Voces, Reading and Designated Fund 2000; Encounters (Peru) History of Mexico, and five periodicals: Galeras Fund, Periolibros, Images, Spaces for Reading and the Fund page.

During his administration, the FCE received several awards, among them: in 1992, FILIJ Book Award (CNCA) to children's books, in 1993 Golden Laurel Award (Department of Culture of the City of Madrid) in 1993, honorable mention Juan García Bacca (Peruvian Cultural Association) Award, and Gold Aztec Calendar (Mexican Association of Radio and Television). In 1994 and 1995 Award Book Bank of Venezuela for children's books.

The Spanish Council for Latin American Studies, distinguished him for his contributions to the development of reading in the Spanish language, received in 1997 the IUS Award by the Faculty of Law of the UNAM, and in 1998 the government of France awarded him the Academic Palms in rank of Commander for his contribution to cultural development. In 1999, Mr. De la Madrid received the medal Picasso Gold (UNESCO), for their work on the diffusion of Latin American culture.

Personal life and death

De la Madrid died on April 1, 2012, at 7:30 am in a Mexican hospital apparently following a lengthy hospitalization for complicated chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which led to acute renal failure and cardiac arrest. [42]

Public image and legacy

Unlike his predecessors (specially Luis Echeverría and José López Portillo), President De la Madrid was noted for making relatively few speeches and keeping a more reserved and moderate public image. Although that has been attributed to a strategy to break with his predecessors' populist legacies, President De la Madrid's public image was criticized by some observers, who considered that the President was "grey", "distant" or "insensitive" (he was nicknamed "El Presidente gris" -"the grey President"). [43] This perception worsened with his government's slow response to the 1985 Earthquake, when President De la Madrid also rejected International aid in the immediate aftermath of the tragedy.

President De la Madrid's biggest legacy may have been his implementation of economic neoliberal reforms in Mexico, breaking with decades of economic nationalism, and beginning mass privatization of state-run companies, a process which would be further deepened during the administration of his successor, Carlos Salinas de Gortari. De la Madrid was also the first of the so-called Technocrats to become President. [44] On the other hand, those reforms and his unwillingness to allow a primary election to choose the PRI candidate for the 1988 Presidential elections are credited as the factors which led to the split of the party in 1987, with Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas and Porfirio Muñoz Ledo founding the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD by its initials in Spanish) in 1989, taking a great number of former priístas with them.

Under his "Moral Renovation" campaign, his administration attempted to fight corruption at all Government levels, fulfilling Mexico's foreign debt compromises, and creating the Secretaría de la Contraloría General de la Federación (Secretariat of the General Inspectorate of the Federation) to guarantee fiscal discipline and to keep an eye on possible corrupt officials. Nevertheless, his administration still had some corruption scandals of its own, the most notorious being the murder of journalist Manuel Buendía in 1984 by agents of the Federal Security Directorate (Buendía had been investigating possible ties between Drug cartels, the CIA and the FSD itself). [45] De la Madrid shut down the FSD in 1985, although in its place similar Intelligence agencies would be created in subsequent years.

Finally, his administration's handling of the 1986 elections in Chihuahua and, specially, the 1988 Presidential elections, remains highly controversial.

In a 1998 interview for a documentary produced by Clío TV about his administration, De la Madrid himself concluded:

"What hurts me the most, is that those years of economic adjustment and structural change, were also characterized by a deterioration of the income distribution, a depression of the real wages, and an insufficient creation of jobs. In summary, by a deterioration of the social conditions." [46]

See also

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Miguel Alemán Valdés President of Mexico

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Further reading

Political offices
Preceded by
José López Portillo
President of Mexico
1982–1988
Succeeded by
Carlos Salinas
Party political offices
Preceded by
José López Portillo y Pacheco
PRI presidential candidate
1982 (won)
Succeeded by
Carlos Salinas de Gortari