In an extraordinary session – more atypical than outstanding – taking place on the midday of October 26th, the Guerrero Congress appointed Rogelio Ortega as the substitute of Ángel Aguirre, former Governor of the state. Ortega, who is a former head of the Guerrero Autonomous University, will occupy the post until the voters choose his Constitutional successor at the elections to be held on July 7th, 2015. The worrying part of this matter is that the new interim ruler has declared his intention of prioritizing the finding of the 43 disappeared Ayotzinapa students, in other words, he showcased himself as a Federal Public Attorney rather than a Governor. In that sense, the governance project of this new Guerrero government is conspicuous by its absence. This has been backed up by the renewed paternalism that the current federal government has enabled in the face of every local crisis with the potential to damage the image of prosperity and calmness that the Peña administration has pretended to cover with the “everything is fine” makeup. Aguirre has left without answering any questions, not assuming any responsibility and protected under the halo of impunity and obliviousness. Therefore, why did Ortega come? The most likely answer is for things to remain the same.
To name an example, a few days after the arrival of Ortega to the state’s capital on October 29th, the Iguala town hall appointed Luis Mazón – substitute of the runaway Mayor, José Luis Abarca, in the 2012 elections, and brother of Lázaro Mazón, former Health Secretary of Guerrero and allegedly, a MORENA candidate for the next Governor election – as Mayor. In a matter of hours, Mazón took oath and, surprisingly, took a leave of his post. The forced disappearances, power abuse and criminal executions occurring in Guerrero and the whole country are as serious as the chaotic political beheadings, which resemble some sort of “witch hunt” caused by the “witches” themselves. Both phenomena showcase a deep crisis of the Mexican State and have a common denominator: the lack of trust derived from an absence of weights and counterweights that will limit the potential for abuse. Some go to enable the entrance of others that, quite possibly and as time goes by – whether it is years, months or even hours – , will end under the mockery, suspicion and smear. Lastly, the luckiest (or most influential) ones will shield themselves with impunity and oblivion to return as if nothing had happened.
The recent lawlessness and impunity cases feed the unspoken suspicions that have existed for several years, perhaps decades, regarding the infiltration and collusion of formal authorities not only within organized crime, but by petty interest that, without being totally criminal, do not represent the nation’s common interest. On the other hand, the several accusations by parties and the forced distribution of responsibilities where everyone is allegedly guilty as well as outraged innocents at the same time, give a terrible image for the general population. Within an environment of collective frustration, Mexico is a bit more than eight months away from facing a federal electoral process and seventeen local elections. Political parties reach this stage with a stained prestige within a flawed and unfinished democratic transition. The federal government has seen its dream of perfection shattered by an increasingly crude reality. At the same time, citizens feel both helpless and abettors, both frustrated and enraged. The most serious issue in this context is that the imagination to find a solution for this crisis from the Government appears to have ended.
Changes come and go, but the vision remains the same. With the exception of instants of extreme crisis – not even a plain crisis as the country has lived for decades, perhaps centuries – the different stakeholders in the state tend to “sit and twiddle their thumb”, led by a reality tide that allows them to navigate but can toss them at any given moment. There is a need for a strategy and this sets questions with very complex answers: which strategy? Who should take the initiative? Who will implement it? However, the most worrying question is: can a real change be generated within an entourage of disbelief experienced by the Mexican State and society?