As reported in the Los Angeles Times. From the Oscars in Hollywood, to the pope in Rome, Mexico is receiving some rather unflattering attention, a reversal of the image that the government has spent millions to cultivate.
It started as a celebration of Mexicanness, with Academy Award glory being heaped on Mexican director Alejandro G. Iñarritu, who took three Oscar statuettes in Sunday night’s ceremony. It turned when he made a plea for better treatment of Mexican immigrants and took a sharp dig at President Enrique Peña Nieto.
“I want to dedicate this prize for my fellow Mexicans,” he said when his film “Birdman” was named best picture at the 87th Academy Awards in Hollywood. “I pray that we might find and build a government that we deserve.”
Peña Nieto ignored the slight and congratulated the director via his Twitter account. But many newspapers in Mexico on Monday carried a front-page photo of a jubilant Iñarritu and highlighted his remarks. And social media was aflame with reaction, a hashtag using “the government we deserve” (#ElGobiernoQueMerecemos) soaring to the top of things that trend.
When I visited Mexico City and Acapulco over 40 years ago they were exciting places where both citizens and tourists could comfortably walk down the boulevards and streets without fear of gang violence. Advertising in the Los Angeles Times Travel section was all about visiting those cities and many other places in Mexico. About the only thing you had to fear was the water. – Not any more. Water quality is the least of your worries in Mexico today.
It is sad to write that the tourist population has declined as the level of gangs and other criminal activity has grown dramatically. It is no wonder that the poor of Mexico try to sneak into the United States. The oligarchs of Mexico have no problem with today’s Mexico.
Sadly Peña Nieto is not the answer to their prayers.