Mexico has very specific problems to face. The economy has not fully recovered from the cataclysm brought about by the pandemic in 2020, which caused the closure of one million businesses. Inflation rose in October to 6.24%, which is the highest figure in four years. More than 56% of Mexican workers are part of the informal sector, despite the gradual reappearance of lost jobs. In fact, the growth seen at the beginning of the year (relative growth, because it’s just by contrast) froze in the most recent quarter.
In short, the Mexican economy has returned to the levels of 2017. And a country the size of ours suffers from these contractions, because they mean that millions of people have lost quality of real life. The suffering Mexican middle class, according to the official numbers, released by Inegi, now has 6.3 million people less than in 2019, and who now enter the lower class statistics. This not only represents loss of income for individuals and families, but also losses in education, food and access to medicines and treatments.
By the way, the public health outlook isn’t looking good either. The outbreaks of covid-19 in Europe and China (where quarantines and hospitalizations have returned) raise concerns that we have a difficult winter ahead. According to official counts, almost 300,000 Mexicans have died from the disease, to which hundreds of thousands more would have to be added in the calculations of excess mortality (for a grand total of around half a million deaths). The shortage of medicines in the public sector remains unresolved, and while the abundant government drafters cling to denying or questioning the desperation of millions of those affected (they have come to accuse them of coup plotters), President López Obrador ended up scolding the health secretary last Thursday and demanded that he provide a solution to the shortage. “We cannot sleep soundly if there are no medications,” he said.
And since we talk about horrors that take away sleep, what about insecurity and violence. In September, the 100,000 homicides registered in the current federal administration (which began in December 2019) were exceeded. So far in 2021 alone, more than 25,000 people have been killed in the country. There are entire states that are under the foot of organized crime, without there being any kind of strategy, let alone control, but at least containment.
While all this is happening, the Mexican political milieu and part of the national commentary are turning the other way. For many, it is enough with the belated contemplation of the presumed good intentions of the current president and the moral messages that he emits to be happy. Others maintain the need to do futurology and try to read between the lines if the hand of cards (to name the finger of the president, who we know will be in charge of electing his candidate for successor) will be better given to the head of government of the capital, Claudia Sheinbaum, or for Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard, or for some “black horse” like the legislative leader Ricardo Monreal.
And almost all of them get tangled up in the president’s petty rhetorical battles against diverse targets, which have nothing to do with the problems that affect most Mexicans: his well-known tirades against the middle class, academics, intellectuals. , the press, feminists, NGOs, the conquerors of the sixteenth century (and the current inhabitants of the lands from which they came), and even against those who play video games. Of course, none of this has to do with the real challenges and conflicts posed by the economy, health and insecurity. But since the government is doing nothing to solve them, it is concentrating on speaking out loudly on issues in which it feels most comfortable. And many follow the rag and are convinced that it is not important that 6.3 million people become impoverished if we can talk about who will be aspiring to power in the year of the Lord 2024. What priorities.
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