Welcome to the seventh edition of La Basura Mañanera!
your roundup of the most striking Mexican news you
probably don’t crave, all in one place every morning if I have the mental fortitude to read them the night before. Here are the important stories you need to know.
Lbm is brought to you by Animal Politico: Mexico’s number one copy of Politico Magazine and procurer of all the news posted here.
not sponsored by Le Pain Quotidien, the restaurant that asks “What if Whole Foods was somehow even more whitewashed?”
First bag: Adios, shan’t be missed.
Margarita Zavala announced she would be retiring her candidacy a few days before the second presidential debate saying it was a question of “common sense.” Zavala, who was polling below 5%, was asked by both members of PAN, the party that effectively ousted her, and members of PRI, the party that blocked all of her husband’s reforms, if she would like to support either Anaya or Meade respectively. Zavala chose none of the above and decided not to endorse anyone just yet.
Zavala, a person I defended until the first debate, was criticized as the ballots for the general election have already been printed with her name on them, and for not endorsing either candidate from the sane parties, as the other options are a guy that wants to cut off hands, Jaime Rodriguez, or a man that has defended and cherishes Hugo Chavez. Many people suggest that Zavala’s people will go for Anaya, but there’s the question of whether these people want to vote for the man that made Zavala quit PAN. In the end it doesn’t really matter, she can go question the legality of equalitarian marriage somewhere far from the national palace.
Second bag: JINX!
On Wednesday morning seismic activity in Guerrero activated the seismic alarm in Mexico City, prompting millions of people out of their offices and into the streets of the capital and other cities with seismic alarms. The earthquake was magnitude 5.2; basically impossible to perceive in the capital, barely above the threshold to activate the alarm, and only served to scare people shitless with PTSD from the earthquakes back in September.
Given the sensible science behind monitoring seismic activity; its hard to predict exactly how an entire valley would react to an earthquake, even a 6.0 earthquake, a significant shake, could be impossible to perceive depending on depth, distance from the epicenter, and the soil mechanics of the place the very scared person is atop. But given that the alarm has lead to the death of people due to heart attacks, perhaps we should try and make the science more exact.
Third bag: Another stupid debate of stupids.
The earthquake wasn’t the only thing to under-whelmingly shake the city, as the second debate for chief of government went underway, with predictable results, Mikel Arreola, a man with all the sensibility of a campaigning Richard Nixon, went against marihuana, gay rights, and the former borough president Claudia Shienboum, a woman who is as corrupted as a file downloaded using a broken torrent and who will probably win the election.
The debate was short on debating and heavy on blaming Shienboum on the School Colapse that made a Marine dog and a fake girl a sensation for a few hours. As borough presidents, they must enforce the Mexico City building code, which the school building that collapsed blatantly disregarded, as an entire structure was built upon an auditorium roof containg a gas tank, the building fell to the ground on the day of the earthquake and caused the deaths of over 20 people, many of them minors.
Alike Claudia, everything about this building was shady, there was no property merger on file, the building record were incomplete, no blueprints are on file and during her two year tenure as borough president she failed to inspect the kindergarten and elementary school for possible abuses.
The debate basically was a shitshow where two women of questionable ethics did not discuss their questionable ethics, as there were insulted by a living hemorrhoid, who was also invited to a street fight by another candidate, as the other candidates said that they were better than the others for reason other than living in a poorer area, and the final candidate, Mariana Boy, said something probably, but she’s not even listed in the official polls, which is very disturbing but also, sort of what many expected.
Fourth Bag: Judge Sassy will see you now.
Mexican Marie Antonette Cosplayer and former governor of Veracruz Javier Duarte went to court this week as he was charged of committing five more crimes. Duarte, who was accused by the Federal Auditory (ASF) of misusing up to three billion dollars of federal funds alone, and giving water to leukemia patients rather than chemotherapy, was now charged of misusing 220 million pesos destined for hydraulic infrastructure in the state, and also flying the state helicopter after resigning, because you know, fuck you.
The accusations were made by his treasury secretary, who is now pleading against former Governor Duarte, and certified by the Mexico City judge who has had enough of this shit by Duarte, who during the court date often interrupted the judge, the DAs, and other testimonees, Duarte’s lawyer also failed to understand a basic procedural move three times. Prompting the judge to say, on the record “Please pay attention so that the DAs don’t have to repeat the accusations” and “Please stop interrupting the DAs” several times.
Fifth bag: You’re fired, sort of.
Both the Mexican Social Security Institute, IMSS, and the National Autonomous University, UNAM, fired personnel for doing shady shit, well at least IMSS did.
IMSS, who has a history of both racial and gender motivated discrimination against indigenous peoples and women, but mostly against indigenous women, fired three administrators off the La Raza hospital in Mexico City due to negligence causing to the death of a fetus. The mother in question said that she waited more than 50 hours for delivery services and was declined due to a supposed inflection. IMSS is in a bad place, not only because of the Duarte shit, but also because they’re constantly on the verge of bankruptcy, have been caught using public money for bullshit, and have no control over their clinics which have a history of discrimination. The latest cases include implanting, without authorization, an IUD on an indigenous woman once their negligence had caused the death of her infant, and also declining service to a single mother.
Also on fire for the passing of a religious freedom law that would allow doctors to put their faith before their duty, and just to be clear, if you have to ask yourself that question on the operating table, you shouldn’t be a fucking doctor in the first place.
In the case of UNAM, one of their employees was accused of constantly physically harassing a member of faculty, once the accusation reached the very official panel that decided that this man, who was accused on multiple occasions, should be fired, just to retract later on citing the “professional trajectory” of this predator.
The panel which was somehow only implemented in 2016 received more than 240 complaints of violence or sexual harassment in it’s first year, is now the center of yet another march inside campus, the school’s dean then promised he’d implement a jury of students, faculty, and other members of the institution inside the panel that would decide the sanctions against predators and violent members of it.
Recylcing: What is feminism?
In the fourth season of the Netflix show, Bojack Horseman, there’s satirical subplot around a special election for governor in California. Two candidates rule the race: first it’s Jessica Biel, who is portrayed in the show as an anarchistic,pyromaniatic, self obsessed narcissist who wants to promote private prisons with help of a psychopathic corporate sellout, Katrina. Then there’s Woodchuck Berkowitz, the former governor, and the candidate that Diane Nguyen and Mr.Peanutbutter support.
Diane, who is one of the main characters, found herself working for Stefani Stilton, a rich pseudo feminist that runs the blog Girl Croosh, as a writer in the aforementioned blog. In one of the episodes, Diane warns Stefani of the dangerous positions of Biel, but Stefani scoffs at those warnings and instead asks Diane to invite Biel to a superficial lighthearted interview of the “first female governor of California.” During this exchange, the viewer is introduced to Stefani’s primary motivation in supporting Biel which had more to do with her being a woman and not necessarily a woman that would fight for feminist causes, something Diane struggled with for the rest of the episode.
Which leads me to 5% of Mexicans that supported Zavala, who during the first debate demonstrated that she was not only ill prepared, homophobic, and representative of a “freedom from” rather than “freedom to” narrative but also let us know what we really were: ignorantly amused. Zavala wasn’t the first female candidate to the presidency that made us question what it really meant, we saw that with Josefina Vazquez Mota six years ago, another representation of what the parties really think feminism looks like, a vision that is completely skewed.
Mexico, and Mexican politics, is filled with strong, smart, resilient women that we should be focusing on and who deserve a bigger voice than they have, right now in Mexico City we are on the cusp of naming the first democratically elected female chief of government in an election where 5 out of 7 candidates are women, and to contrast this feat we have Arreola and the other idiot representing some of the worst stereotypes of male politicians that we have come to expect: unempathetic, aggressive, ill prepared, mansplaining, and lying compulsively. Are all men like these idiots: No, and that’s sort of the point once you scope out to the federal level. Feminism doesn’t belong to all women, and women can be mysoginistic, if anything, that’s what Margaret Atwood tries to explain in The handmaid’s tale. We live in a society where function follows form, a society in which public support is based upon superficial assumptions and that is completely unacceptable, the vetting of candidates should be based on what they sound like and not how they look like.
The real shame here isn’t that Zavala stepped down, but that from the very beginning the talk surrounding women and women’s rights was kidnapped by cheap, bleak, superficial ideas that don’t represent at all an advancement into a more equal society but a regression into reenforcing gender roles, something the proposed UBI to stay at home mothers has come to represent.