A Mexican pope? - Nah
A Mexican pope? - Nah

We can’t really say we expected this. Most people didn´t. John Paul II was so steadfast in his conviction that he would die being Pope, that everyone sort of expected Benedict XVI to do the same thing. After all, the last abdication of a pope was no less than six centuries ago. He didn’t, though, and today he announced he’ll abdicate on February 28. It hasn’t even been three hours and already people are speculating about who his succesor will be. So do we: why not elect a Mexican pope?

We’ll just pretend everyone knows that the pope gets elected from the joint cardinals. It isn’t actually a formal rule (every Catholic male in his right mind could be elected), but for the last seven centuries only cardinals made it to the post of Pontifex Maximus. So who are Mexico’s potential popes?

There are currently four Mexican cardinals: Norberto Rivera Carrera, Juan Sandoval Íñiguez, Javier Lozano Barragán and Francisco Robles Ortega. But who are they really? And are they anything close of being elected Pope?

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A Mexican pope? - Nah
Traffic light against pessimism?

It´s an interesting new initiative; ´México cómo vamos?´ (MCV), a new monitor of economic activity in the country bent on promoting development to push Mexico into economic powerhouse-status. Launched two weeks ago, it´s worth visiting their website and see for yourself what they´re up to. One of the more creative parts of the website is the ´economic traffic light´, a series of indicators following a benchmark set by MCV to see how Mexico is dowing - ´cómo va´.

Obviously, initiatives such as this one are seldom able to actually change anything for the better. No government official will listen to MCV and think: ´Hey, this sounds good, let´s do this!´. But there is an important aspect of MCV that I personally really like: their optimism.

Mexico is a country plagued by pessimistic thought, lack of self-confidence and a rather warped image of self. No news there. Three weeks ago, when attending the birthday party of a friend, an architect asked me: ´You travel a lot. Tell me, is there even a country in the world that is worse off than Mexico?´. I was unable to convince him that there are countries in the world where there is more crime, less growth, more poverty and less development. He just wouldn´t accept it, not even in the case of Honduras, the most violent country in the world.

Without disregarding the overreported problems Mexico has, MCV could do some good by emphasizing dry numbers that could counteract the endemic pessimism, simply by pointing out the numbers and indicating that certain solid goals could actually make the country better and aren´t impossible to achieve.

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A Mexican pope? - Nah
AMLO´s overly ambitious corruption proposal

Earlier this week, at the closing event of Hidalgo´s state campaign, PRD´s Andrés Manuel López Obrador reiterated his plan to create a special attorney general´s office to fight corruption, if elected. Cleaning up corruption has been one of the most important points on his agenda; mr. López Obrador claims he could gain some 800 billion pesos (60 billion USD) simply by effectively going after dirty money.

Sounds simple enough, but the most remarkable thing about his proposal is not that former panista Manuel Clouthier would lead said office. Mr. López Obrador has consistently failed to elaborate his plan.

After all: how does one get 60 billion dollars worth in corruption in six years? What would Clouthier´s mandate be? How many people would work for the office? And what would it all cost? Laudable as the proposal may be, it´s hard to imagine how such an ambitious plan could work.

There are roughly two kinds of corruption. First there is the bluntest kind: public officials receiving cash payments in return for privileges.Think of the enveloppe full of cash going around in Culiacán eacht time a new head of police is appointed. It´s a relatively simple kind of dirty money. Fighting this kind of corruption is difficult, but there are plenty of methods to do so: raising the salaries and level of education of, say, police officers would be a good place to start.

(Image by Bacsa)

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Headlines
Traffic light against pessimism?

Traffic light against pessimism?


It´s an interesting new initiative; ´México cómo vamos?´ (MCV), a new monitor of economic activity in the country bent on promoting development to push Mexico into economic...
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Economy
Traffic light against pessimism?

Traffic light against pessimism?


It´s an interesting new initiative; ´México cómo vamos?´ (MCV), a new monitor of economic activity in the country bent on promoting development to push Mexico into economic...
More
Opinion
The Israeli-semantic conflict

The Israeli-semantic conflict


One thing that always occurs to me when I’m watching the news in Mexico, is the way Israel is being treated. Not that Mexican media are overly biased in favor of or against Israel, but the terminology used in their reports strikes me as odd.
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Culture & Religion
A Mexican pope? - Nah

A Mexican pope? - Nah


We can’t really say we expected this. Most people didn´t. John Paul II was so steadfast in his conviction that he would die being Pope, that everyone sort of expected Benedict XVI to do the same thing. After all, the last abdication of a pope was no less than six centuries ago. He didn’t, though, and today he announced he’ll abdicate on February 28. It hasn’t even been three hours and already people are speculating about who his succesor will be. So do we: why not elect a Mexican pope?
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Mexico & the USA
On politics, elections and illegal immigration

On politics, elections and illegal immigration


As I write this article Rick Santorum has just beaten Mitt Romney (we wrote about his family a while back) in both Missouri as well as Minnesota. Although no delegates were at stake there, it does make the race for GOP nomination more interesting. It would have been rather boring to see Mitt Romney trample his fellow GOP contenders just like that anyway. For now, Santorum gets to wear the momentum hat for a while and who knows what the next primary will bring us (Maine, with 24 delegates).
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Central America
To legalize or not to legalize.... part 1046

To legalize or not to legalize.... part 1046


As we wrote earlier we do not support legalizing drugs. It just doesn’t seem to be the solution. If you can’t control it, just legalize it? Wouldn’t want to be living in Mexico when they decide to legalize killing people, because they can´t stop it… However, I do support discussing the problem. It has been brought up numerous times. Former Mexican president Vicente Fox did it, after retiring. Colombia’s Juan Manuel Santos said he would consider supporting it, if everyone else would. And now there is Otto Perez Molina, Guatemala’s recently installed president.
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