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Mexico: What are Mexicans Saying About Their President's Annual State of the Union?

On September 1, 2011, the President of the United Mexican States, Felipe Calderón, fulfilled his constitutional duty of presenting a written report of the state of the Union before the Congress, in which he manifests the overall state of the public administration in the country. He did it through the Secretary of the Interior, José Francisco Blake Mora, who delivered the document to the President of the Congress Board of Directors.

The next day, on September 2, the President pronounced a speech from the headquarters of the National Anthropology Museum [es], as his fifth (and second to last) state of the Union. Dulce Ramos [es] of Animal Político (Political Animal), took the task of putting together a compendium of phrases she considered relevant from the leader's speech.

Fifth State of the Union speech. Image from Gobierno Federal (Federal Government) in Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Before the presentation of the document and the speech, Abel Magaña [es] whose opinion was collected by Actualidades México (Mexico's Current Affairs), predicted the purpose of the President's message, and remembered that he was not to present himself at the Congress Palace in Saint Lazaro, as it is usually the case in other states of the Union:

Ahora, el show del V Informe de Gobierno del presidente Felipe Calderón… No hay quinto malo, pero puede haber quinto pésimo… Y una vez más, el presidente Calderón se reunirá con los suyos para magnificar sus logros y cumplirá con el Congreso a través de un propio, pues no hará frente a la crítica de la oposición y menos le dará la cara al país… Ya van cinco años y Felipe Calderón no se para por San Lázaro, luego del pisa y corre para rendir protesta como Presidente de México, gracias a los priístas… Cinco años en que ha rendido cuentas por escrito y a través de un propio que en esta ocasión será el secretario de Gobernación, Francisco Blake, quien llevará el informe a los Diputados y hasta ahí… Cinco años han pasado y Felipe Calderón no ha ido para nada a San Lázaro y ya no lo hará, pues el próximo año hará lo mismo y es posible que tampoco entregue la banda presidencial… Ni falta que hace… De un tiempo para acá, aparecen spots en radio y televisión de los logros de la actual administración.

And now, the V State of the Union show by President Felipe Calderon… They say there's no bad fifth, but there could be a worse fifth… And once again, President Calderon will get together with his peers to highlight his accomplishments and will comply with the Congress through a third person, because he will not face the criticism from the opposition and even less will he face the country… It's been five years and Felipe Calderon will not put a step on Saint Lazaro, after he was almost chased away by priistas (members of the PRI party) when he took the oath as President of Mexico… Five years in which he has taken responsibility only in writing and through a third person, in this occasion, the Secretary of Interior, Francisco Blake, who will take the document to the congressmen and just that… Five years have passed and Felipe Calderon hasn't been in Saint Lazar and he will not go, because he'll pull the same stunt next year and it is even possible he won't even hand over the presidential sash… And there's no need to… From some time now, radio and television ads have been seen to promote the current administration's achievements.

After the speech was aired, reactions were fast among Mexicans. El Insurgente Press [es] described the content of the Mexican President's message:

Felipe Calderón volvió a defender su cuestionada ofensiva militar contra los cárteles de las drogas y afirmó que no es una opción claudicar en esa lucha.

Felipe Calderon defended his questioned military offensive against drug cartels again and he declared that quitting this fight is not an option.

Also, the post made reference to the context in which the fifth State of the Union took place:

La defensa de su gestión ocurre cuando faltan 10 meses para las elecciones presidenciales, para las que es favorito el opositor Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI), y la economía crece lento debido a las turbulencias en los Estados Unidos, socio clave de México.

The defense of his management occurs when we are 10 months away from presidential elections, for which the opposition party, Partido Revolucionario Institucional (Revolutionary Institutional Party) PRI is the favorite to win and when the economy is growing slowly because of the turbulence in the United States, a key partner for Mexico.

Lilia Arellano [es] of Por Esto! Dignidad, Identidad y Soberanía (Because of this! Dignity, Identity and Sovereignty) expressed her opinion of the current administration up until today:

Al llegar a su quinto informe de gobierno, Felipe Calderón se asentó como el mandatario que llevó al país a la tragedia nacional, pues en su gestión se han registrado las peores cifras en violencia, economía y bienestar social. Su administración es una página negra para nuestra historia y tomará generaciones para recuperarnos de sus errores, de la ruptura de la cohesión social del país, de la pérdida de miles de vidas y de la esperanza de la gente a aspirar a una vida mejor.

Su gobierno fracasó en cada uno de los rubros que se propuso como detonantes económicos; la creación de pequeñas y medianas empresas naufragó; el despilfarro propagandístico tratando de difundir logros que no existen es ofensivo.

As we get to the fifth state of the Union, Felipe Calderon stated himself as the leader that took the country to a national tragedy, because it was under his term that the worse violence, economy and social welfare figures were met. His administration is a black page in our history and it'll take generations to recover from his mistakes, the social cohesion rupture, the loss of thousands of lives and the hope of people for a better life. 

His government failed in each of the items it proposed as economic take off platforms; the creation of small and medium companies shipwrecked; the waste in propaganda trying to spread accomplishments that don't exist is offensive.

Marcial Martínez [es] wrote her point of view about the state of the Union keeping in mind the upcoming elections and made a reference to the exercise of citizen contact that will be held with the help of Google:

Entre más se acercan los tiempos electorales, más populistas se ponen nuestros gobernantes. Hace unos días fue Marcelo Ebrard quien abrió un espacio para responder las preguntas más populares que le hicieran los ciudadanos. Ahora toca el turno a nuestro mandatario Felipe Calderón, quien realizará la misma práctica el próximo 5 de septiembre como parte de este quinto informe de gobierno.

Pregúntale al Presidente, es un espacio donde cualquier ciudadano con una cuenta en Google (Gmail) puede mandar una pregunta a nuestro mandatario. Como serán demasiadas preguntas las que reciba, solo responderá las más populares. No habrá censura a preguntas (al menos eso espero) ya que no será la página del Gobierno Federal quien recibirá las preguntas y realice el conteo de votos; sino será una plataforma de Google llamada Moderador. De ahí la necesidad de tener una cuenta en Gmail.

The closer the elections are, the more populists our government leaders become. A few days ago, Marcelo Ebrard opened a space to answer the most popular questions citizens made to him. Now, it is the turn of our leader Felipe Calderon, who will have the same excercise next September 5. as part of his fifth state of the Union. 

Ask the President is a space where any citizen with a Google account (Gmail) can send a question to our mandatary. Since there will be a lot of questions, he will only answer the most popular ones. There will be no censorship to the questions (at least I hope so) since the official web page of the Federal Government will not be the recipient and they won't be in charge of counting the votes; the responsability will fall on the Google platform, called Moderator. Therefore, the need to have a Gmail account.

Twitter worked as an expression forum for the Mexicans who wanted to share their opinion on the message delivered by the President for his annual report. Manuel Espino (@ManuelEspino), former President of PAN (National Action Party) and leader of the Volver a Empezar [es] (Starting Again), mentioned the President's intention of keeping the current strategy running:

Ya nos lo advirtió Calderón, sostendrá su estrategia fallida anticipen “hasta el último día” de su mandato. Sordera presidencial? (sic)

We were warned by Calderon, he will keep up with his failed strategy until “the last day” of his term. Presidential deafness?

Beder Almeida (@BederAlmeida) described what happened with the annual Presidential report:

El quinto informe de gobierno es lo mismo, solo aumenta el número de casas, hospitales, panteones, funerales, gente muerta y así. #Mexico

The fifth state of the Union was the same, there was only an increase the number of houses, hospitals, pantheons, funerals, and death people, and so on. #Mexico

Users like Kathia Bustamante (@KathBustamante) took the opportunity to show some hope:

Viendo el “Mensaje con motivo del Quinto Informe de Gobierno”. Vamos México, el cambio está en ciudadanos con fé, hagamos un país diferente.

Watching the “Message reagarding the Fifth State of the Union”. Go Mexico, the change comes from citizens with faith, let's make a different country.

Meanwhile, Suzel NG (@SuzelNG) congratulated the President:

Viendo fragmentos del quinto informe de gobierno. México saldrá adelante!! Felicidades por la determinación d mi presidente @FelipeCalderon (sic)

Watching fragments of the fifth state of the union. Mexico will thrive!! Congratulations on the determination of my President @FelipeCalderon [sic]

There is no doubt that the main characteristic of the second to last annual report of the President's actions was the diversity of  reactions among citizens.

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