CONACYT: U.S. Companies benefited from Mexican Government subsidiaries meant for nacional Science & Technology
MEXICO — A corruption scandal recently made public where Volkswagen, Buyer, PepsiCo, Monsanto & Ford became one of hundreds of U.S. companies that benefited from Mexico’s government subsidized programs meant for National Science & Technology Research and students’ scholarship.
PhD professor at one of largest Universities in the world, the National Autonomous University (UNAM), John Ackerman, explains on the University’s TV program, Democracy Dialog, that Mexico’s National Department of Science and Technology know by its acronym, CONACYT, funneled government money to benefit mostly American companies instead of scholarships for research students.
Recently, the new Progressive president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) has begun to again fund the neglected science and technology department CONACYT. The Department was run by politicians instead of scientists. Now, AMLO renews the department by allocating the budget to fund PhD scholarships and research programs that before, were cut out or defunded to give the money to U.S. multinationals.
“Mexico has lost a huge ground in science and technology advancement in the last three decades. This, after Mexico has gone through 36 years of the neoliberal economic model that failed in Mexico, and which only corrupted institutions to levels never seen in the history of Mexico.” Said Dr. Jalife, UNAM’s Professor.
Money was funneled from several government agencies and one of those was the science and technology department CONACYT which rejected Mexican scientists and PhD research students to instead favor Fortune 500 companies who use the money for outlandish research that did not benefit the nation. One example was research on how to make frozen pizzas and french fries better, or to pick a better color for Ford cars.
What makes this recent Scandal of corruption a tragedy for Mexico is not only money lost in Mexico’s development, but the agency pushed away scientists and inventors like, like Manuel Gutierrez Novelo, the Mexican who invented the 3D television and virtual reality technology who was left with no option but to take his invention to the US, instead. When Gutierrez came to CONACYT asking for funding for his technology research, he was told to look elsewhere by former president Vicente Fox. He was told CONACYT didn’t “have the budget for it.” This entrepreneur went on to become a millionaire and his technology was obtained by American companies and the U.S. Department of Defense. An amazing invention that was yet again lost to Mexico, just the same way with another Mexican, Guillermo González Camarena, who invented color television but due to the lack of support, he had to go overseas.
Gutierrez Novelo said he felt really disappointed with his country and his government because he didn’t want his invention to be like the Mexican who invented the color television where the technology went to other countries, so he wanted it to stay in Mexico.
“I felt brokenhearted because I wanted the technology to stay in my country.”
Eventually the technology is currently used by the U.S. military, as well as many applications for medicine and science, and well as for video games.
President López Obrador this year increased the funding to grad research students, and he is restructuring the personnel at the science and technology department (CONACYT), replacing the staff and executives so as to stop this misappropriation of public funds, preventing them from being sent to foreign companies, or in other cases, for personal use or corruption.
The department used to be run by lawyers and politicians, and now it’s run by scientists with very well-known reputations and national awards.
Source: See full video.