When the Clock Stopped – by Ricardo Vázquez Salazar (alcalorpolitico.com)

~ This column was originally published by alcalorpolitico.com on June 28, 2015 ~


Unfortunate decisions and tyrannical impositions that go against the citizenry; only because they are politically expedient. With the new, patched up Traffic Law—authoritarian and packed with violations of human rights—they try to put a foot on the throat of the citizenry. With how things are in Veracruz, all that is missing is a spark, and this could be it. The curious thing is that the members of “400 Pueblos” [a group that protests in the nude] and others at the service of the government will continue to get a free pass. The femicides in Xalapa are alarming and uncontrollable; for state congressmen, “adjusting” the new ‘Law of the Stick’ [against dissent] is a top priority. One thing after another.

There used to be holidays when things were inaugurated: the Museum of Anthropology, the Veracruz Teachers’ School , the Medical Specialty Center, highways, schools, clinics and hospitals, the urbanization of towns: drainage and drinking water systems—though ‘drinking’ was simply a word—paving of streets and avenues. All that belongs to the past.

Those were other times, when each state administration gave the citizenry valuable packages of works and acts that benefitted the residents of Veracruz, detailed in each “State of the State” report. Currently, public works are not measured by kilometers of paved streets, but by the number of potholes filled. It is no joke, anyone can check this fact: the directors of public works have been saying it proudly.

In terms of infrastructure and public services, in Veracruz time stopped ten and a half years ago, when Fidel Herrera Beltrán took office for his first term.

Today, faced with the absence of new infrastructure, among the political classes personal achievements are highlighted, vaingloriously and with much pomp, as if they represented a public good for the citizenry, when in fact they are totally irrelevant. They are triumphs for themselves, electoral victories or new appointments, benefitting the population in absolutely no way, without an expectation of doing so. Interest in the community comes—not even second—but third, because above all is the personal interest, followed by that of the [political] group.

What has been given to the population since the previous state administration is a serious embezzlement of state funds; corruption and impunity have brought as a consequence serious deficiencies in public services, to the detriment of the residents of Veracruz. Thousands of households have been sent into mourning by the organized crime that has taken root. What happened this Saturday in the municipality of Mariano Escobedo—near Orizaba—when an enraged populace burned two police vehicles simply confirms once more how fed up the citizenry is with organized crime and impunity. This fact has given rise to the formation of self-defense groups this weekend in Mariano Escobedo and other nearby communities such as Maltrata and Nogales.

The residents of Veracruz deserve a better future. Not a “We’re doing well and the best is coming.” It would be absurd to consider a third term of “Fidel-ity.” [The current administration of Javier Duarte is associated closely with his predecessor, Fidel Herrera Beltrán]. The state’s destiny will change next year, for the good of the population; the citizenry is ready to achieve it. [Veracruz will hold gubernatorial elections in 2016]

The lesson is very clear, the announcement that Senator José Francisco Yunes Zorrilla recently made in Acayucan, regarding the plan to undertake expensive works projects to benefit the municipalities of Oluta, Acayucan, Oteapan, and Zaragoza using federal funds, was not by chance. He will do the same in the Huasteca region and in other parts of Veracruz.

For the other senator, Héctor Yunes Landa, the fact of having seen the entrails of power does not make him immune to treachery, and he must be alert. He knows that he could be betrayed as was Pepe [José Yunes, who was passed over for the gubernatorial nomination that went instead to Javier Duarte in 2010]. There is already the “Generational Alliance” to do what is needed.

Pepe and Héctor, Héctor and Pepe walk together; the situation tells them that distance is ill-advised, they cannot be every man for himself. They know that the blue Yunes [a reference to their the PAN opponents, behind Miguel Ángel Yunes] are going all out, they are unfurling the flag of discontent, they are crossing their fingers in the hopes that the PRI candidate will once more emerge from the “Fidel-ity.” They know that there could be a “Bronco” [an independent candidate], unimpeachable, brave, and ready to do what it takes to put Veracruz on the right path.

Ricardo Vázquez Salazar writes the “Esfera Política” column for the website alcalorpolitico.com. This article was originally published with the title “Cuando el reloj se detuvo” and is available at: http://www.alcalorpolitico.com/informacion/columnas.php?idcolumna=9518&c=14

Translation by Michael Lettieri, Trans-Border Institute

About Michael Lettieri

Program Officer at the Trans-Border Institute

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