Welcome to a special edition of La Basura Mañanera! which will be posted tonight in the spirit of the lies and falsehoods candidates made.
Today we will focus on the reporting of the third presidential debate by fact checkers at Verificado 2018; journalism company part of Mexicanos Contra la Corrupcion and Animal Politico.
Lbm is brought to you by Animal Politico: Mexico’s number one copy of Politico Magazine and procurer of all the news posted here.
So there was a debate!
Yesterday! In Merida. If you want to read up on the candidates, context and primary issues touched upon in the debate I suggest you read this, this and this. But because all of this is horrific, also watch this, as a prize for holding it together, specially if these elections effect your life directly, as they will for probably all Mexicans alive.
Transport secretary pick for Obrador is related to Odebretch
Verificado says: Yes... but,
Javier Jiménez Espriú, an important member of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s campaign was accused of being part of a company with links to international clusterfuck and money pit Odebrecht. Jiménez is a renown engineer and winner of the national engineering prize in 2008.
However, his reputation plundered when he joined Obrador into a Trump-like ode against the new Mexico City International Airport. Within said ode, Obrador declared that the airport sank by more than three feet per year... which was false, it’s actually a foot per year (hint: if you’re good with water management you can basically do whatever you want)... which is off by 300%; not the standards of one national engineering award winner, would you agree?
Anyway, it all began when Jose Antonio Meade began a game of hot potato with his rivals by deflecting criticism that Ricardo Anaya addressed to him about Odebrecht unto Obrador, by saying that the aforementioned engineer had direct ties to Odebrecht through Idesa: a company that owns a chemical processing plant in Veracruz. While both Obrador and Jiménez denied the allegations, not only is Jiménez listed as a member of the executive council of the company in Obrador’s own website, Jiménez’ wife also owns stock in the firm Idesa and her entire family is tied to the company.
Yet Meade forgot the potato goes along. So, Anaya chose to reiterate criticism to Meade, who as a member of Pemex’s executive council, approved the creation of Etileno XXI; the disputed chemical plant that caused pemex losses for almost two billion pesos in just one year.
Multimillionaire developer Jose Manuel Rioboo is given contracts for almost two hundred million pesos without public licitation
Verificado says: Yes, BUT...
Rioboo recieved various contracts for the segments of the elevated ring road, land studies, and a bicycle path for 170 million pesos that did not over go a public licitation bid. Those are 2005 pesos, so that’s 17 million dollars. Rioboo was hired again by the following two mayors as well for very expensive projects involving the Metrobus and another elevated roadway.
However, given the stipulations of the Mexico City highway fund, Obrador was not obligated to participate in a licitation process for projects costing less than 70% of the total fund... given the fund was for almost six billion pesos, Rioboo’s contract is safely inside the no licitation margin.
It’s almost as if the Fund was written to be abused!
The fund was created in December of 2001 by Obrador’s government and Rioboo recieved the first and most expensive contract f the four in February of 2002... Which did raise questions, in fact the Fund was audited twenty one times by three different federal and local regulators resulting in over three hundred recommendations in just seven years ranging from irregular payments, lack of documentation or receipts, and structural integrity issues. Yet according to the Fund’s managers, they resolved all recomendations made by local auditors and all forty four made by one of the federal agencies.... right.
It is also rumored that when Rioboo lost the bidding for the landing strips at Mexico City’s new airport, Obrador began saying the airport was a waste of money and time. Oh also, Obrador abandoned the aiport strife, it was so last season, and the work that would’ve gone into actually fixing it would’ve hurt people like Rioboo, who Obrador is clearly friends with.
So yeah, one turd, two turds, three turds, four!
As the debate focused on education and science a lot, Verificado made a few smaller investigation into what the candidates said about it, ranging from budgets for education and research, reach of this educational system, and graduates of the very same system. Before it, let me just leave this clear: highschool is not necessary curriculum in Mexico, and this man, the former education secretary Aurelio Nuño fired more than three thousand teachers in a single day.
Ricardo Anaya: “The secretariat of Education spent more money on advertising than it did on teacher training.” -Ricardo Anaya
Verificado says: Yes.
SEP spent more than a billion pesos more on advertising than it did on training programs, overspending on advertisement by more than 2500% and spending on teacher training 42% less than was approved by the congress. A lot of information goes into this, as Anaya who is in favour of the Educational Reform he helped pass through congress says that it needs a refocus, as Aurelio Nuño (who as the presumptive nominee for President by PRI a few years ago and current campaign manager for Meade) has used the teacher evaluations as punishment, and not focused on improving training for teachers which is what we need.
Anaya was checked again on how many Mexicans still don’t have access to internet or a mobile phone, and his number of 30% was proven correct within the relevant context... Anaya now wants everyone to have a smartphone.
Jose Antonio Meade on the willfully inefficient Autonomous University of Mexico City
Verificado says: Sure, sort of, but that’s not the point.
Jose Antonio Meade tried to underline that Obrador’s experience with education starts and ends with the Autonomous University of Mexico City; an institution that has burned, according to him, ten billion pesos and resulted on only 1,450 graduates over its 17 year history.
Which is a bit wrong, from 2002 to 2015 the university had used nine billion pesos. Granted, Verificado couldn’t attain the remaining two FY budgets that should be available. Yet they did report that Meade’s figure for graduates is also wrong by about two hundred as 1868 have graduated.
But is still very low, the university’s focus on part time education sort of makes this happen, but is still a good representation of an inefficient university, it only has a 3% graduate rate, where UNAM has 35% and most universities hover around 15-20%, students are also cost the government almost twice as much as public universities like UNAM or, UAM.. you know, the other Autonomous University of Mexico city.
Meade was checked again on the availability of public education, saying 85% of children go to middle school, while the number is correct, they classify it as dubious because numbers regarding education tend to focus on specific aged children, which is still at 57%. The difference is between the gross and the net rating, the latter being the lower one.
Obrador and Rodriguez: We underfund science and tecnology to illegal degrees
Verificado says: Yes.
Obrador and Rodriguez both said that according to the National Council on Science and Technology (Conacyt) we fund science and technology research by half of what is legally required by the constitution (Our constitution is several pages long), Obrador would like to achieve the number, while Rodriguez wants to achieve a number similar to Spain at 1.2% of GDP.
Verificado says of everyone: Holy shit guys how can you be so wrong.
Basically everyone got it wrong when it came to transport infrastructure and energy. Also, if you’re one of those people that fears nuclear energy because you recently watched a documentary on Chernobyl; Anaya is with you! As the only candidate disqualifying the source without even questioning it.
Obrador: gasoline is cheaper in the US and Guatemala, despite Guatemala not producing petroluem at all.
Verificado says: like your latte, half and half.
The price of gasoline is more expensive in Guatemala and they do produce oil, which goes to show that alike American politicians, we clearly don’t know what the fuck is going on south of our border
Obrador also said gasoline is cheaper in the US, but he seemed to forget to add that it’s not the same price in all of the US and the huge problem that the subsides generate, but nevertheless, gasoline in the US averages a cost of around three quarters of a dollar per litre, where here in Mexico it’s around 15 cents more expensive. Which means he’s right.
Meade: “Obrador here did not invest a single peso in the Metro system”
Verificado says: Eh, maybe?
Obrador did not add any new lines nor extend any existing ones, however he purchased 45 CAF-Bombardier wagons for Line Two, and he’s also the pioneer of BRT lines here in Mexico City. If Meade refers to Metro extensions, nothing happened until 2012 with Line Twelve under Marcelo Ebrard. Which wasn’t stellar. Ebrard was almost sent to jail for all of this and well, he is a bit naive, just a few days ago he retweeted a picture of Mia Khalifa by accident.
Anaya: THIS windmill reduces the electric bill for over ten thousand families to naught.
Verificado says: false.
During the debate Anaya showed an electricity receipt inside a community with a windmill showing the bill was naught, while Anaya wrote back to Verificado saying that the receipt is real, under CFE guidelines the discount is for 20% of the bill only, and you need to sign up for the program.
Obrador: We should focus on hydroelectric since it’s abandoned
Verificado says: Not practical
Mexico does not have the geographic features necessary to efficiently make hydroelectric power, many experts reiterate that those plants cause more damage than good to communities and their environments as huge water reserves would’ve to be made in order to use hydroelectric plants in Mexico, it was also underlined that the focus of the global community, and in fact the other three candidates, is solar and wind powered.
Meade: We have two nuclear power plants
Verificado says: dude, learn how to count.
They just don’t get off easy, do they? Meade is practically right, as the sole nuclear power plant in Mexico, in Laguna Verde, Veracruz, has two GE BWR-5 reactors that were recently uprated and produce 4.5% of Mexico’s electricity. Yet, since these two reactors are in one place, Meade is wrong.
CFE’s complex at Laguna Verde is a good example of government not fucking it up (who needs radioactive Huachinango, amarrite?); it constantly receives praise from the international community, acts as a base load plant, and is also one of the least ecologically damaging plant in the country as our electricity runs primarily on oil and natural gas. Additionally, three nuclear complexes exist in Mexico, the Nuclear Research Institute has one, and so does UNAM, however these do not produce electricity.
That being said, candidates did a host of other errors
that I do not have the time to cover, but it goes to show the level of political discussion going on in this country is minute and often filled with falsehoods.
That’ll be all for today, wait for the next edition of La Basura Mañanera whenever I have the time to do it again and remember: news without context is nothing but content!