Mexico.- John Ackerman, a very respected Political Science UNAM’s university professor, and TV host of Dialog UNAM, wrote an Op-ed in the Mexican version of The New Yorker called Proceso. In the piece, Ackerman calls out Jorge Ramos for attempting to bring down the new progressive government of Mexico, by defending neoliberal policies which destroyed the economy and the social fabric of the country for the last 35 years.
Jorge Ramos said to Ackerman on twitter that he wants Mexico to be like Colombia, which for 20 years has been fighting “the war on drugs” with results many consider as a total failure. Many believe it has become a big business for the U.S. security and weapons manufacturing industry.
Dr. Ackerman said to Ramos “The focus needs to change and bet instead for peace… Your criticism is nostalgic. In other words, Dr. Ackerman told Ramos he was taking the posture of the former authoritarian presidents, Calderon and Peña Nieto who also fought for the War on Drugs for 15 years and failed.
“That’s exactly what @FelipeCalderon and @Epn postulated.
The failure was not only of implementation but of conception.”
This all came about after Jorge Ramos’ most recent visit to Mexico’s Presidential press conference with AMLO. Ramos has been in constant frontal attacks towards the Mexican president since the beginning of his administration in 2019.
Despite the usual borderline showmanship provocations of Jorge Ramos, President Lopez Obrador has not kicked Ramos out of his pressers, as Trump did with security guards, or run out of patience and walk out as Nicolas Maduro did in Venezuela.
With AMLO, Ramos has met his match, and on his last two visits to Mexico’s National Palace, were the daily press conferences are held, Jorge Ramos his second round with AMLO. Yet again, the President has debated Ramos with hardcore data on a large screen on powerpoint, and put Ramos back in his chair, literally.
AMLO, a life-time human rights activist and an intellectual, is not alone. Because Mexicans did not only vote to change a far-right President for a progressive one, but an overwhelming majority voted to change the entire authoritarian two party system that ruled Mexico for almost 70 years. An historical event not only for Mexico, but audiences world-wide.
Mexico’s new progressive party, MORENA, now holds a congressional majority in the house and the senate, an scenario that many progressives in the states could only dream of.
AMLO counts not only with 72% approval and the support of congress, but also the support of many social movements and academics who have constructed a new social paradigm to transform the government, and to bring back to Mexico a functional democracy.
John Ackerman and Jorge Ramos last met at Ackerman’s show last year in a debate-type interview, yet keeping composure, but in today’s op-ed by Ackerman, the professor literally lectured Ramos on politics in Mexico, democracy and its moral application.
Below is the translated and reacted version of Proceso’s op-ed written by Doctor Ackerman.
“Citizen” with nostalgia.
It was a long time ago” said journalist Jorge Ramos regarding the responsibility of former National security secretary, Genaro García Luna [now in prison in New York City for colluding with Cartels] in the current security crisis in Mexico. Then, Julián LeBarón asks Mexicans living in the U.S. to [sabotage Mexico’s economy] stop sending money to Mexico, in order to “put the current government against the wall.” And lastly, Javier Sicilia, organizes a march on January 23 in order to pressure Andrés Manuel López Obradora to change his public security strategy [back to the very profitable Merida Initiative AMLO ended].
Although these three public figures disguise their discourse with a concerned “citizen” halo, what they really are looking for is to return Mexico back to the failed strategies of the past championed by the former Presidents, Felipe Calderón, and Enrique Peña Nieto. Those strategies were posing as showing a “firm hand on crime,” but behind closed doors the reality was a collusion and absolute complicity between the former security forces and organized crime.
The crime levels and insecurity in Mexico today are unacceptable, without a doubt. And the criticisms and proposals in the matter are healthy and productive. However, in order to move forward, it’s important first to get rid of the prejudices of the neoliberal thinking.
The approach of Ramos, LeBarón, Sicilia, and other similar voices is not really of concern “citizens”, but more of “anti-government.” They insist on putting President López Obrador in the same category as Peña Nieto and Calderón, simply because he also holds the same public office; their ideological dogmatism does not allow them to understand that the function of “government” is not always the same in all historical contexts.
For example, when the State security apparatus serves a government whose main purpose is the looting of natural resources and the enrichment of senior officials, of course its main functions are social control, repression and simple put, administration of Crime.
But when these same security forces receive orders from a government whose central purpose is to improve the welfare of the people and the strengthening of public institutions, then their main functions are just the opposite: citizen protection and the frontal fight against crime.
The terrible crisis of insecurity that continues to affect the Mexican people is not the fault of López Obrador, but of the combination of decades of economic looting, more than two decades of a mistaken strategy of “war” and a profound corruption and inefficiency of the apparatus of security. So by taking a 180-degree turn in the public security strategy, the current government is moving on the right path.
First, a strict separation between security forces and organized crime has been established and a deployment of a deep clean anti-corruption strategy is now underway at all levels of government.
Strategies in the style of García Luna or Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong of quid pro quo negotiations with criminals will no longer be tolerated. Instead. they are being fought in an integrated strategy and without ambiguity.
In addition, a completely new security enforcement agency called the National Guard (Guardia Nacional or GN). The guard will conclude integration by the end of 2020. Currently the GN constantly recruiting and training members at a rate of 20,000 new recruits per year. The National Guard is conformed by citizens who receive the most up-to-date training based on the principles of loyalty, honesty, discipline and absolute respect for human rights.