Wikileak’s Cablegate: Mexico-U.S. Relations
Diplomats play a vital role in the production of foreign affairs because they are the foot soldiers and primary resources for their respective countries. Through the writing of diplomatic cables from posts around the globe, foreign diplomats paint a realistic portrait of their host countries which in turn assist their governments in their foreign policy formulation towards their host country, or in a multilateral forum like the United Nations. The United States Government (USG) is well-equipped to engage in effective and mutually beneficial bi-lateral and multi-lateral negotiations because it has diplomatic presence of some sort in almost every region and country in the world. Diplomatic cables reveal an inside look at the domestic climate of each country. In addition, cables update the USG on the advancement of U.S. interest in the host nations. The USG classifies these diplomatic cables within different classifications because many of them contain different levels of sensitive information that deal with important U.S. interest such as homeland security. The USG has experienced leaks of classified information before, but with the advent of the internet, an increasing number of people have access to their content. On November 28th 2010, under the link “Cablegate,” Wikileaks began to release some of their arsenal of 251,287 U.S. diplomatic cables which anyone with internet could have access to the database. Diplomatic rifts between the United States and their host country are inevitable because of the misinterpreted information some of 251,287 cables contain about the host country, and because of the unprecedented look at the inner-workings of U.S. diplomacy.
This paper focuses on the one hundred and eleven U.S. diplomatic cables that relate to Mexico as a form to analyze the GOM’s role in 1) International affairs 2) the bi-lateral relationship between the U.S. and Mexico 3) and domestic issues. This paper will address Mexico’s culture of corruption, the desperate need to modernize their institutions and infrastructure, their diminishing role as the regional sphere of influence, and the stronger relationship with the United States. The importance of this paper stems from the fact that globalization has made our world more integrated as the expansion of the internet and other forms of technology facilitate instant access to information. Mexico is not the only country with a culture of corruption; the United States also engages in corruption. Wikileaks has revolutionized the world by giving it access to whistle-blowing information that as a result has been the catalysts for attacks on financial institutions, ended careers, and exposed governments’ dirty laundry worldwide. Wikileaks in certain form serves as a balance of power between the United States and the rest of the world by calling into question the USG’s image of the land of the free with liberty and justice for all.
The majority of the sources are the diplomatic cables uploaded to the Wikileaks website(s). This research paper includes cables from November 2010 to March 21st 2011. The Wikileaks webpage is now hosted in over 80 different mirror websites. For this research, I utilized the http://www.wikileaks.ch/ website hosted out of Switzerland because of its accessibility to even the novice user. Wikileaks allows users to browse the Cablegate documents by searching for them by the date website released the cables, the year the cable was originally produced, by the origin, tag, or classification of the cable. In order to concentrate my research on cables pertinent to Mexico, I first gathered all the cables with the Embassy in Mexico City as the origin. Then I gathered all the cables that were tagged with the letters MX, which is the international code for Mexico. From there, I proceeded to analyze the cables in search of information of Mexico’s domestic, regional, and international politics. Important to note, is that all the cables were written by Americans and despite containing first-hand accounts from GOM officials, civilians, and other countries’ officials, the content of the cables will naturally be biased towards what is in the United States interest. Nonetheless, the cables reveal the contents of high level meetings between heads of states, economic leaders, and civic organizations. A total of 111 cables explicitly linked to Mexico through their origin in either the Embassy in Mexico City, or from any of the 9 consulates within Mexico, or because the cables surged from a search in which MX was clicked under the “browse by tag” tab. Cables are numbered as follows: (year-origin-number of cable) Example: (09MEXICO160). (Please Refer to Appendix A)
Does Mexico Have a Culture of Corruption?
Mexicans are familiar with the dicho (saying) “el que no tranza no avanza.” Indeed, in a nation in which 48% of the population lives in poverty, people are forced to make ends meet one way or another, even if it involves corrupt behavior. It seems that corruption has penetrated every aspect of Mexican society, and might even be seen as necessary. Telma Luzzani in Global Corruption Report explains, “The theory that bribery makes public administration work more smoothly is, astonishingly, quite prevalent in South America (Luzzani 2001:173). But is corruption in Mexico really rampant? In 2005, Eduardo A. Bohorquez, then Executive Secretary of Transparencia Mexicana (Mexican Transparency) answers, "What we have discovered ... is that this is not endemic…It's more epidemic," but political scientist Stephen Morris views corruption on a deeper level.
In, Corruption and Mexican Political Culture, Morris relates, “Corruption, in short, may foster a culture of corruption, while the culture of corruption provides a setting in which corruption flourishes: a setting in which the culture of corruption becomes expected though perhaps not accepted behavior.” Morris continues, “In the past, anti-corruption campaigns were the product of an authoritarian government intent on using the mantle of reform to maintain political support, regenerate faith in the regime, steal the reformist thunder from opponents and (re)assert presidential control.” (Ibid: 699-700). What is clear about the culture of corruption in Mexico is that it exists, the people acknowledge it and participate in various levels of it, and despite efforts to eliminate it, corruption seems to persist. Another dicho rings similar truth, “Árbol que nace torcido, jamás su tronco endereza.” Wikileaks reveals that Mexico’s culture of corruption is found in nearly all aspects society and it continues to be a growing problem for the Government of Mexico (GOM). The culture of corruption, coupled with Mexico’s deficiencies in both institutional and physical infrastructure further exacerbates the GOM ability to protect their citizens from security threats, growing income disparities, human rights violations, and equal protection under the law. Even Calderon is suspected of corrupt behavior. Cable 07MONTERREY472 details, “According to the Governor [of Nuevo Leon], the unidentified man also said that some of the highest ranking members of the Mexican government are on the narco-traffickers’ payroll, and specifically mentioned Mexican Secretary of Defense, Gen. Guillermo Galvan, and Mexican President Felipe Calderon.” A Mexican dicho comes to mind, “Si el río suena es que agua lleva.” At the end of the cable, no further details were given about Calderon’s alleged involvement with the DTOs.
US Involvement in the War against DTOs
The USG has a very close relationship with the GOM’s efforts to disrupt the DTOs. The USG under the Merida Initiative, as originally conceived, sought to:
1) Break down power and impunity of criminal organizations
2) Strengthen border, air, and maritime controls
3) Improve the capacity of justice systems in the region and,
4) Curtail gang activity and diminish local drug demand.
The strategy eventually changed as the GOM and USG, through close cooperation, strive to promote a significant amount of energy into building strong respected institutions capable of enforcing the law. A cable titled, Mexico: More Interagency Cooperation Needed on Intelligence Issues, unfortunately reveals negative information on the GOM progress in its efforts to maintain peace and disrupt criminal organizations. The cable states, “Embassy officers working with the GOM report that Mexico’s use of strategic and tactical intelligence is fractured, ad hoc, and reliant on U.S. support. Despite their myriad inefficiencies and deficiencies, Mexican security services broadly recognize the need for improvement. (09MEXICO3195) Later in the cable, Ambassador Pascual writes, “While our Mexican interlocutors recognize the need for greater interagency cooperation, they are reluctant to address the problem: the solution will require sustained U.S. help in fortifying institutions against corruption, inefficiencies and backbiting that have bred distrust amongst GOM partners.” (Ibid) Overall, the USG role is more supportive and consultative than hands-on. The USG respects Mexico’s sovereignty and participates in operations by providing intelligence and equipment. The GOM and USG still have unresolved issues: “Calderon said that a second priority should be to cut U.S. drug consumption. Mexico was working to halt the supply- - the United States needed to cut demand.” (09PARTO40301). In the same line, Calderon and other GOM officials continue to implore the USG to seriously curtail the illegal flow of weapons into Mexico. Operation Fast and Furious managed by the United State’s Bureau for Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) in January 2011, allowed the illegal flow of handguns that resulted in the death of two U.S. agents last month. The operation hoped to investigate the guns final destinations in an effort to identify and arrest those involved in the purchase of the weapons. Mexicans, although very dependent of USG support, have publicly voiced their discontent at the actions taken by the ATF, with some even calling it an attack on Mexico’s sovereignty. Overall, Mexicans desperately need USG cooperation to combat the DTOs but the escalating violence in Mexico and the USGs inability to control their illegal weapons flow can be enough to seriously affect their future cooperation on intelligence sharing and training operations.
International Affairs-Mexico in the Global Arena
Mexico’s presence in the global governance arena started on September 12th, 1931 with its admission into the League of Nations- although they were not founding members, Mexico remained a League member until the end of the organization in 1939. Mexico’s role in global governance increased as it, along with the other nineteen Latin American countries, became a founding member of the United Nations in 1945 after the failure of the League of Nations and the devastation of World War II.
Since, Mexico has been on the global forefront on issues such as non-proliferation and human rights. The dawn of the 21st century brought Mexico new levels of democracy as the seventy one years of PRI (Partido Revolucionario Institucional) controlled Mexico ended with the electoral victory of its 55th president, Vicente Fox Quezada. With a new president, Mexico garnered closer attention from the international community. In an interview with Mexican diplomats, Ms. Maria Antonieta Jaquez stated, “I would like to add that we are opinion leaders. When Mexico raises their hand, the people are silent; they listen. We have something to say and people listen.” Mexico is seen as the Latin American sphere of influence in Central America while Brazil is seen as the sphere of influence in South America. In this section, I will utilize Wikileaks cables to demonstrate both Mexico’s waning influence in the international forum and the region.
Mexico held the privileged position of being the only Latin American country in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in 1994 before Chile was admitted into the organization 15 years later in December of 2009. Despite the GOM’s efforts under President Calderon, Mexico’s international influence deteriorates as it aligns more with the United State’s position. In this section, I will provide examples of Mexico’s performance in the international arena through the Rio Group, the look at the GOMs relationship with other Latin American countries, and conclude with examples from other regions of the world.
Rio Group Cancun Summit
Unlike the Organization of American States (OAS) which includes the United States and Canada, the Rio Group is an international organization of GRULAC (Grupo Latinoamericano y el Caribe) countries which started in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1986. The Rio Group, unlike the OAS which is headquartered in Washington D.C., does not have a permanent location and instead functions as a yearly meeting in which each country sends their leaders to discuss Latin American & Caribbean issues. Through Cablegate, the reader is confronted with the positive and negative outcomes of the meeting. Cable (10MEXICO141) details: “Mexico’s ambitious plan to use its final Rio Group Presidency Summit (Cancun 22-23 February) to create a new more operational forum for regional cooperation but failed dramatically. The two-day event was dominated by press accounts of ALBA country theatrics and their usual proclivity towards third-world, anti-imperialist rhetoric.” The conference was a devastating setback for the GOM, especially because they were the host country.
The cable continues, “Nothing practical was achieved on the two pressing regional priorities: Haiti and Honduras- and Brazil and the ALBA countries outmaneuvered the Mexicans, leaving the details of the new organization in the hands of a Latin American and Caribbean Summit (CALC) structure that will be managed by Brazil and Venezuela in 2011” (Ibid) To make matters even more grim for the GOM:
“Colombia’s Ambassador in Mexico opined “Calderon had simply put a bunch of the worst types together in a room, expecting to outsmart them. Instead, Brazil outplayed him completely, and Venezuela outplayed Brazil.” There was no practical planning, there was no management of the agenda, and there was none of the legwork that would have been needed to yield a practical and useful outcome…Brazilian DCM Antonio Da Costa conveyed his country’s view that Brazil had done a better job of managing the summit than the Mexican hosts. Brazil was able to ensure the new Rio Group would emerge, not from the Summit, but from ongoing discussions in the Rio Group and the CALC, where Brazil would exert its influence. (10MEXICO141)
Through this cable, we learn that the USG consulted various participants of the Summit in an effort to assess the GOMs performance, but also to gauge who to cooperate with and to better understand which country or countries is/are the sphere of influence in the region. In this case, we see that although Mexico is not the sphere of influence, it nonetheless still shares some influence as evidenced by the fact that Mexico was both the President and host nation of the Rio Summit in 2010.
Brazil Overpowers Mexico
From the cable on the Rio Summit, we see that Brazil is maintaining their role as a sphere of influence in Latin America. In addition, Brazil has garnered further attention from the GOF (Government of France) as the following cable retells, “[French Ambassador to Brazil Antoine] Pouillieute noted that his government has a complicated relationship with Brazil and had recently decided to make Brazil France's largest and most important embassy in Latin America. His government has upgraded its presence in Brazil to 110 French nationals, thereby surpassing the French contingent in Mexico.”
In a separate cable in which the USG assesses who should be approached to join the Australian Group, a cable explains “The Del[egation] should welcome Brazilian interest in AG membership and inform AG participants that the U.S. would look favorably upon a formal expression of interest in membership.” Whereas for the case of Mexico, “The Del[agation] may not/not support consideration of Mexico for AG membership at this time, but may support an outreach visit to Mexico City.” Cable (09STATE97434) Again, we see that Brazil’s presence in multilateral organizations is desired, while as for Mexico, it has not been ruled out completely but the international community is reluctant to collaborate with the GOM.
The GOM, despite its desire to be a sphere of influence in Latin America, continues to side with the USG on Venezuela. An embassy cable describes: “Calderon volunteered his grave concern over Venezuela President Chavez’ antics and activities generally. He segued into worrying about the growing Iran-Venezuela nexus, offering that these ties could reverberate negatively throughout the region and beyond.” Cable (06MEXICO5607) Moreover, in a separate cable, Calderon voiced that, “Chavez uses social programs, including sending doctors to curry political influence, and there are governors in Mexico who may be friendly to him. Calderon said that Mexico is trying to isolate Venezuela’s through the Rio Group.” And even Calderon recognizes Brazil’s influence in the region. Calderon opined that “Brazil, he said, is key to restraining Chavez but he lamented that President Lula has been reluctant to do so…The U.S. needs to engage Brazil more and influence its outlook.” And lastly, the cable explains Calderon’s desire for, “The U.S. should look at the Latin America from an interconnected perspective.” Cable (09MEXICO3061)
Mexico, like Colombia, continues to fight a war against organized crime and DTOs. Both countries are recipients of USG aid in their struggle to bring peace and prosperity to their country. An embassy cable although, shares the fact that “given FARC’s historical presence in Mexico, questions about its current political activities are reasonable. Mexico invited the organization to set up a political office in Mexico City in 1992. The move was consistent the GOMs relatively benign regard for the organization back then, as well as its traditional interest in playing a mediating role in regional conflicts, including Colombia’s.” (08MEXICO886) This cable confirms that Mexico has consistently sought to influence Latin America but in its attempt to elevate their international profile, they have made decisions that are questionable and even in contrast to the goals of those countries they assist.
Outside Latin America
Mexico, like many other Latin American countries, wants to attract foreign investment. China’s rapid development has increased their international profile and Mexico labors to attract Chinese investment. USG cable explain, “Chinese investment in Mexico’s manufacturing sector is well-positioned to take advantage of access to the United States market under NAFTA as well as serve as a launching pad for exports to other Latin America.” Further, “While Chinese investment in Mexico is up, overall foreign direct investment in Mexico is down from USD 27.2 billion in 2007 to USD 18.6 billion in 2008…ProMexico official Davila told ECONOFF, referring to the oft-cited criticism that China has pursued a strategy of seizing the continent’s huge natural resources while dumping cheap industrial products into Africa’s markets.”(09MEXICO701). Mexico is cognizant of its diminishing attractiveness for foreign investment, but nonetheless continues to aggressively seek new investors world-wide.
Mexico is neither a failed state nor a colony of the United States, but a sovereign nation struggling to legitimize their ability to govern effectively a nation that has been tormented with narco-violence and poverty. In the international and regional forums, Mexico continues to experience a diminishing sphere of influence due in large part to its President, Felipe Calderon’s, inability to govern with a “mano dura” and because he favors a close relationship with the United States over many Latin American countries.
Calderon and Clinton
Even before he was President, Calderon, as seen in the cables, had a strong affinity with U.S. officials. Cable (09PARTO40301) states, “He opened by expressing his admiration for Secretary Clinton, confessing that he attended her 1998 appearance in Davos and submitted the written query, “Would you consider running for President?” Secretary Clinton said she was delighted to see him again, and conveyed her appreciation for his commitment and courage.” This statement came in spite of the diplomatic blunder when “Suggestions by eminent USG officials that Mexico was unable to govern its territory or risked becoming a failed state.” Coincidently, Secretary Clinton, in a Secret-for internal use only cable, sent envoys in Mexico a request to assess Calderon and his Cabinet, nine months after their April 3rd 2009 meeting, asking about Calderon’s leadership style and inquiring about his well-being in the face of his parties losses in the midterm election, the continued War against DTOs, and the economic downturn. Secretary Clinton specifically asks: “What are the relationship statuses of President Calderon’s Cabinet? Do all members get along? Have rivalries, friendships been formed? Have relationships trickled down to the working level staffs of each cabinet member’s office? Has job stress affected any of the security and economic sections of his cabinet members, health? If so, how? What are some ways these members are addressing stress?” (09STATE124636) These two cables serve to show that Secretary Hillary Clinton and Calderon have an established relationship, but that behind his back, she secretly tries to assess his modus operandi.
The most pressing issues in Mexico are the increasing homicides associated with the War against DTOs and organized crime. At the start of the war, it was unclear which government agency would oversee the day-to-day operations. On one side, we see that “Mexico’s military is pivotal to both Calderon’s overall counter-narcotics strategy, and to the evolving bilateral security relationship. Mexicans traditionally have held the institution in high regard (it constantly polls as the country’s most respected.” Cable (08MEXICO1082). In contrast to the military, “The [Ciudad Juarez] city government seems to have an idea as to how to go about purging the force of corrupt elements—the mayor claimed in April 2008 that 99 percent has been corrupted by DTOs—and its continuing with the application of confidence control test such as polygraphs, psychological exams, drug tests, and lifestyle surveys.” Cable (09MEXICO748).
Intellectual property rights (IPR) are very important to USG and they consistently push for institutional reform that would better serve the protection and enforcement of these rights. U.S. Ambassador Tony Garza analyzes how Mexico is in need of investment on human capital to help launch Mexico into another level of development. Garza is critical of the GOM’s inability to expand educational opportunities to the Mexican populace. He writes, “This neglect of education and a general lack of entrepreneurial spirit, perhaps quashed by decades of corrupt PRI rule that prompted dependence on the state, have resulted in a big lag in prospects in an age of globalization where the creation and adoption of technology are keys to improved competiveness.” (06MEXICO2220) Because Mexicans are faced with scarce economic opportunities, many search for opportunities abroad. Ambassador Garza explains, “Mexico’s widespread poverty has nevertheless created the phenomenon of large numbers of migrants traveling legally or illegally in the U.S. to earn a living and support their family.” (Ibid) We begin to see that Mexicans are limited in access to technological resources, and in turn lack the intellectual capital to help advance Mexico’s development. As a result, Mexicans are forced to make tough decisions which include migrate to another region of the country or seek better opportunities in another country such as the U.S.
Mexico’s Wealthy and the Monopolies that Kept Them There
In response to Garza’s observation, it is important to note that many of his observations have a cause and effect relationship that has been influenced by U.S. foreign policy with Mexico. In cable (10MEXICO202)titled “U.S.-Mexico Relations: Progress in 2009, Challenges in 2010), we read that “Our [USG]economic recovery and Mexico’s go hand in hand, and U.S. export-led successes are depending increasingly on partnering with Mexico’s manufacturing capability.” With that said, it is clear that the USG sees Mexico’s cheap labor force as integral to its economic vitality. This is important to note because as long as Mexico continues to provide the manual labor force, the United States will continue to prosper at the expense of the poor, technologically deficient Mexicans.
In a separate cable, Garza explains that “Mexico, a country where roughly 40% of the population lives in poverty, has 10 people on Forbes Magazine’s 2008 list of the world’s billionaires.” (08MEXICO2187)Garza acknowledges that this concentration of wealth “hinders Mexico’s ability to realize deeper levels of competition in key industries,” but fails to mention who should enter and compete in the industries. (Ibid). Throughout the 111 cables, the USG consistently calls for Mexico to open up their markets for private investment because of the inefficiencies and wealth disparity monopolies create.
In the brief summary of Carlos Slim Helu wealth, the cable says, “SLIM made it into the big leagues in 1990 when he led a group of investors in buying Telmex from the GOM in a public tender during the presidency of Carlos Salinas,” but stops short of recognizing that the privatization of state-run companies was heavily pushed by the United States. (Ibid) The cable explains how many of Mexico’s elite are self-made, inherited the wealth, or a combination both and “while some in this group have embraced the need for transparency and modern business practices…some of these individuals clearly took advantage of shortcomings in Mexican institutions and their relationships with important political figures to expand their wealth.” (Ibid). In the discussion about what must be done to end monopolies, Garza explains the growing frustration the business community faces in the legal battle. The culture of corruption persists in the courts where Slim, and other members of Mexico’s elite have managed to secure important legal victories that helped preserve their monopolies. Garza writes, “The current administration’s strategy of slowly chipping away at the problem is better than no progress at all, but until it deals with the “Robber Barons” of its time, progress will continue to be limited.” (Ibid)The people most affected by the monopolies are those who have to consume from them. On a separate cable, the Embassy in Mexico City breaks down the monopolies that exist in Mexico.
In the cable titled “Who are Mexico’s Monopolist,” Bassett explains that there are 14 industries that could be considered monopolistic. Before Bassett listed the industries and those who manage them, she writes “At the Monterey Business Summit on October 30, 2006, Bank of Mexico Governor Guillermo Ortiz and other participants (business representatives, academics, President-elect Felipe Calderon transition team members, etc.) underscored the importance of more competition in key sectors such as telecommunications, transportation, construction, and financial services.” (06MEXICO6413) Most of the sectors Ortiz mentions are indeed monopolistic, but Bassett explains, “When pressed by a questioner to name a Mexican company that needs to open up to competition, Mexican Institute for Competiveness head Roberto Newell would only name Coca-Cola and Wal-Mart, to the nervous laughter of the audience.” The audience laughed because they understood that monopolists in Mexico such as Carlos Slim are simply too powerful to challenge.
A different cable brings to light similar views that publicly criticizing a monopolist could have negative implications at the poll. Mexico currently has 2 major television networks: Televisa and TV Azteca. Because these two networks are the only broadcasters, political aspirants need television time to have their message reach the voting population. Cable (06MEXICO7054) says, “Currently, Televisa controls 258 of Mexico’s 455 television stations while TV Azteca controls concessions and 90% of audiovisual content in Mexico,” which would help explain the fact that “candidates depend on Televisa and TV Azteca for advertising during the political campaigns.” Therefore, any politician that openly expresses a desire for a third network, might find their television time significantly reduced. When it comes to radio licensing, the cable notes “Mexico does not have experience in licensing radio and television frequencies an there is no study over the real necessity of a new alternative, or above all of the type of content that should be offered by a third channel,” which further impedes the ascension of another station.
Mexico’s institutional deficiencies in the legal and economic system are overwhelming and have created a significant income disparity among Mexico’s top elite and the poor. Although the poor are consistently associated with limited resources and technological capacity, the cables are contradictory in many aspects. For example, in the mist of economic hardship, Mexicans are amongst the most innovating people in the world. In an attempt to attain a Visa to the United States, Consulate and Embassy cables marvel over the ingenuity and diversification of strategies the people of Mexico employ in their efforts. Mexicans indeed have entrepreneurship evidenced by the “consultancy services” found near the US Embassy. Cable (09MEXICO944) says, “In a recent Fraud Prevention Unit (FPU) investigated a local business purporting to assist Mexicans interested in applying for Nonmigrant Visas. The business had its main in the Sheraton Hotel next door to the Embassy. Using text search, FPU linked the owners to 10 cases in which fraudulent employment documentation had been presented.” Much further along the cable, emboffs (Embassy Official) inform, “Criminal intelligence supports the conclusion that any document necessary for travel be purchased for a price in Mexico.” (09MEXICO944). Ultimately, the cable shows that Mexicans, when pressed between the wall and the sword, continue to find innovating ways to survive or seek better opportunities as seen with their migrations and their ingenuity to meet market demands, even if the demand is for an illegal product.
Earlier in this section, I mentioned IPR, of which I would like to further touch upon. We know that Mexico has a series of monopolistic industries that impede the free market competition that as a result, produces lower prices for consumers. We also know that Mexico had/has institutional deficiencies that facilitated the creation of monopolies, in addition to advancing the income distribution among the Mexican population. In addition, we also know that the economic situation in Mexico is affected by that of the United States. The scarcity of opportunities forces many Mexicans to seek economic opportunities elsewhere, and to achieve that goal, Mexicans through ingenuity and innovation, create a market for counterfeit documents. The use of technology to falsify and fabricate extends past documents and into the pharmaceutical and entertainment industries as well. Since Hollywood, and the United States as a whole, is a leader in the entertainment industry, the USG has a vested interest in protecting IPRs. Similar, the protection of the pharmaceutical industry is important to the USG because of the amount of research invested in the production of pharmaceuticals.
Cable (06MEXICO2220) elaborates on Mexico’s IPRs, “Although Mexican government official under the Fox Administration increased their dedication to protecting intellectual property, the scope and scale of IPR abuses across multiple industries continues to outpace their efforts. The International IP Alliance estimates over $1.5 billion in trade losses in 2005 for sound and video recordings, business and gaming software, and books. The textile industry is also extremely hard hit by trademark piracy.” Again, we see that Mexicans find ways to meet market demands for goods, even though they are counterfeit. Conversely, while the Mexican population find knock-offs as an alternative, the GOM seeks to curtail violations of IPR. In cable (07MEXICO6229) we read, “Mexican IPR officials have been keen to highlight their increasingly active role in the international arena, stressing their willingness to join Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) negotiations and their push-back against Brazilian efforts to undermine IPR in the international health organizations.” As a response, the USG organized various events such as workshops to further educate Mexican judges and officials on IPRs. The cable expresses, “These exchanges are proving very useful in advancing U.S. interest in Mexico, particularly with regard to raising IPR consciousness among Mexican judges.” (Ibid.)The GOM, because of its efforts, could experience more foreign investment if they are able to prove they respect the IPRs, but if coupled with Mexico’s labor laws, which the USG said needs to be revised, may be only half the solution. Overall, we see that Mexico has institutional problems it needs to revise in order to attract investment and economic growth, but we also see the growing demand for employment in Mexico. The next section of this paper will focus on the overview of findings.
In Mexico, Cablegate served as a catalyst to create diplomatic tensions between the GOM and the USG. Such was the scandal that on March 19th, 2011, U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Carlos Pascual, decided it was in the best interest for the USG if we relinquished his title as Ambassador in an effort to calm the waters over the storm his cables, revealed by Wikileaks, created when the GOM and its people read their content. The GOM continues to received attacks from both domestic and international actors who perceive Mexico as a failed state who is increasingly losing their sovereignty to the United States of America.
Findings in Brief
The GOM continues to fail its people in providing formal sector employment. Instead, the GOM’s failed War against Drug Trafficking Organizations (DTOs) further exacerbates the poverty Mexicans live in by not providing employment as an alternative to both the DTOs and informal sector. What we see instead is that the GOM seeks to destroy all informal sector jobs because it is in these informal sectors where DTOs and other criminals conduct business and entertain themselves. When the GOM dismantles these illegal employment centers, they do not offer job opportunities for those who have been displaced by the government’s crackdown of these businesses. It is important to note that it was the scarcity in employment opportunities that drove many Mexicans into the informal employment market in the first place.
To make matters worse, the nation’s poverty rate increased in 2008. The escalating prices of food continue to pit Mexicans between fight or flight. Many Mexicans leave the country in search of employment opportunities in the United States or abroad. Calderon’s War against DTOs has generated over 30,000 fatalities since 2006 and as a result, the people of Mexico no longer feel they are safe in their homes. Many resort to self-imposed curfews, avoid traveling or going out to public places, leave the country, or join the DTOs.
The USG has 9 different Consulates in addition to the Embassy in Mexico City who process visas for the people of Mexico, who at times, resort to various levels of corruption with the goal of attaining a coveted visa to the United States. In these Consulates and at the Embassy, the Wikileaks cables describe some of the extreme measures Mexicans undertook but failed and they describe the different tactics of investigation the USG employs to stamp out any application that consisted of fabricated information.
Despite USG’s efforts to assist Mexico on the fight against organized crime, Mexico’s lack of strong institutions coupled with a culture of corruption continue to exhaust the USG and GOM’s ability to make significant progress for a peaceful democratic Mexico. The Merida Initiative, which since its creation, has expanded to included Central America in the War against DTOs, but no real progress will materialize as long as the DTOs continue to terrorize the population while at the same time, continue to recruit from Mexico and Guatemala’s poor and vulnerable communities.
Instead, what we see in Mexico is that the growing gap between the rich and the poor has been solidified due to neoliberal policies the US pushed on Mexico and as a consequence, produced a society of “haves” and “have not’s.” Furthermore, like Ambassador Garza wrote, “Fundamentally, Mexico is a land of privilege (or lack thereof) rather than opportunity.”(06MEXICO2220) The USG continues to push an agenda for free market policies, stronger intellectual property rights, more cooperation on counter-terrorism efforts, and a more influential role in regional and international affairs. The USG’s involvement with Mexico has deteriorated Mexico’s sphere of influence in the region. Mexico continues to lose ground to Brazil in the Latin American region.
Australia. Government. Chair. The Australia Group. Web. 15 Mar. 2011.
"Cablegate: 250,000 US Embassy Diplomatic Cables." Weblog post. Web. 17 Mar. 2011.
(06MEXICO2220); (06MEXICO6413); (06MEXICO7054); (07BRASILIA64); (07MONTERREY472); (08MEXICO886); (07MEXICO6229); (08MEXICO1082); (08MEXICO2187); (09MEXICO133); (09MEXICO160); (09MEXICO701); (09MEXICO748); (09MEXICO944); (09MEXICO3061); (09MEXICO3195); (09PARTO403010); (09STATE97434); (09STATE124636); (10MEXICO141); (10MEXICO202)
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Industry Company CEO/ChairmanoftheBoard/Owner Market Share %
Airlines Aeromexico Andres Conesa 39.7
Mexicana Caston Azcarraga 36
Beer Grupo Modelo Carlos Fernandez Gonzalez 65.2
Cerveceria Cuatemoc Moctezuma Jose Antonio Fernandez Carbajal 43
Bottling Coca-Cola FEMSA Jose Antonio Fernandez Carbajal 70
Pepsico Oscar Cazares 15
Bread Bimbo Daniel Servitje 67.8
Broadcasting Televisa Emilio Azcarraga Jean 56
TV Azteca Ricardo Salinas Pliego 38
Cablevison (Televisa) cable TV Emilio Azcarraga Jean majority of market
SKY (Televisa) satellite TV Emilio Azcarraga Jean majority of market
Cement Cemex Lorenzo Zambrano 87.6
Holcim Apasco Pierre Froidevaux 12.4
Energy PEMEX Luis Ramirez Corzo
Federal Electricity Comisn (CFE) Alfredo Elias Ayub
Luz y Fuerza del Centro (LyFC) Luis de Pablo Serna
Financial Services BBVA Bancomer Spain
Banamex Citigroup USA
Scotiabank-Inverlat Canada together-90ofmarket
Glass Vitro Adrian Sada Gonzalez 73.8
Hospitals Grupo Angeles Olegario Vazquez Aldir 67
Mining Penoles Alberto Nailleres
sodium sulfate 90
Grupo Mexico German Larrea
Railroads Ferromex John Kelly Joseph 58
Ferrosur owned by Carlos Slim's Empresa Frisco 15
Kansas City Southern Michael Harverty 27
Telecomunications Telmex owned by Carlos Slim's Grupo Carso 90
Telcel (Radiomovil/America Movil) owned by Carlos Slim's Grupo Carso 80
Tortillas Gruma-Grupo Maseca Roberto Gonzalez Barrera 73
Minsa Juan Jaime Petersen 15
Patents and Trademarks
The following maps will breakdown the number of patents and trademarks issued to individuals in the Latin American countries.
From north to south, Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay have the largest percentage of registered trademarks by their residents. The countries with the lowest GDPs as seen in previous maps are the Central American countries and the Caribbean. Similar, they have the lowest percentage of registered trademarks by residents.
The countries with the highest GDP, Mexico, Chile, and Argentina have high percentages of trademarks registered by their residents.
Patents and Trademarks
Besides Cuba, all the Latin American countries have higher percentages of nonresidents registering for patents. In the trademarks map, we saw that a large percentage of trademarks were registered by residents. This map percentage of patents registered by nonresidents is extremely high in Haiti and Panama. Cuba is an anomaly but a closer look reveals an almost even 37 registered patents by residents and only 33 by nonresidents.
Copyrighted Dr Olga Lazin, 2012.