Mexican Gov. Faces Crisis of Legitimacy After Consumption Tax on Oil Catalyzes P
KIM BROWN: Welcome to The Real News. I’m Kim Brown in Baltimore.
During the past week, protests took place throughout Mexico in reaction to a 20% price increase for gasoline. The protests have so far resulted in four deaths and the arrests of over 700 people. Also, over 300 stores are said to have been looted throughout the country.
The gasoline price increase is part of a plan by President Enrique Peña Nieto to eliminate subsidies in the wake of the partial privatization of the country’s oil industry. On Wednesday, President Peña Nieto vowed to continue with the price increases despite the protests.
Well, joining us today from Mexico City to analyze the situation in Mexico we’re joined by John Ackerman. John is a professor at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. He’s also Editor-in-Chief of the Mexican Law Review and a columnist with both La Jornada newspaper and Proceso magazine. John, thank you so much for being here.
JOHN ACKERMAN: Pleasure, as always, to be on The Real News Network.KIM BROWN: Appreciate it, John. So, John, give us some background about these protests because people are said to be reacting to the price increase of gasoline. So, is that all? Or is there more to this?
JOHN ACKERMAN: No, this is not just about gas or gas prices. This is another step in the collapse of the legitimacy of the ruling government, the ruling regime. We can compare it, I think, to the government of Carlos Andrés Pérez in Venezuela about 25 years ago, the beginning of the ’90s. Carlos Andrés Pérez came back for his second presidency, and one of his most important reforms was more privatizing — they already had more privatizing then was in Mexico but deepening the privatization of oil in Venezuela. This lead to a fiscal crisis of the state and lead to widespread protests and the collapse of what used to be considered the most stable, centralist democracy in Latin America — Venezuela. And we had a revolution, a peaceful revolution, which lead to a new constitution, lead to a new government. And this is the process we’re in the middle of in Mexico.
Now, I’m not trying to say that you know, we’re going to have a Chávez coming in, or Maduro, or that Mexico is going to follow the path of Venezuela — for good or for bad, or however you want to look at it — but Mexico is going through a collapse of its sitting government and this is being expressed through the question of oil.Johnny Rash, Enthusiast like thisIt ain't the things you don't know that hurts you, it's the things you know that ain't so.
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