Monday, June 23, 2014

Fooling Mexican Fans

By FRANCISCO GOLDMAN, NYT, JUNE 22, 2014

The day before the Mexican soccer team’s thrilling underdog tie with the World Cup favorite, Brazil, last week, the lead editorial of the news site SinEmbargo was titled, “Ready for your Clamato and Gatorade?” — common hangover remedies. “In about three weeks, when you wake from your World Cup dreams,” the editors wrote, “remember that when the soccer fest began, the country was on the verge of monumental decisions. If upon waking, you realize that the country’s energy reserves have been cheaply sold off or whatever else, don’t bother protesting because this is a chronicle foretold.”

To debate and pass laws that could open Pemex, the nationalized oil company, to foreign investment, the Mexican Congress scheduled legislative sessions from June 10 to 23, dates precisely coinciding with you know what. Final passage might be pushed back, but it originally looked like it was supposed to happen on Monday, when Mexico plays Croatia to decide which country advances to the elimination rounds.

For weeks, critics of President Enrique Peña Nieto and his political party, the PRI, have been denouncing this ploy to hide the historic reforms behind World Cup fever, it being taken for granted that almost no one will be paying attention to whatever happens in Congress.

(More here.)

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