O co chodzi?
On July 23 the voices of the marginalized poor rang through the streets of Mexico City. The focus of their anger was the Mexican government’s ongoing attempts to reform the country’s energy sector.
(…) The government is still trying to piece together some coherent process under which it will privatize Petróleos Mexicanos (PEMEX) and the Comisión Federal de Electricidad(CFE).
(…) The most objectionable part of these laws, and the focal point of the protests, is the provision which allows for the government’s forcible seizure of land for oil exploitation, regardless of a community’s concerns or protests.
The government’s fervor for these changes comes in response to PEMEX’s declining oil production and its inability to explore for new reserves over the last several years.
(…) these reforms will diversify government revenue sources, increase the development capability of Mexico’s energy sector, and assure affordable energy for Mexicans, all the while preserving legitimate landholders’ and indigenous rights.
(…) a key selling point for the privatization is the promise that this change will benefit both private investors and the Mexican people. Still, it is hard not to conclude that the former is going to gain the most from this change.
There are questions about the government’s credibility in handling the privatization in a transparent and democratic manner.
(…) Given Mexico’s disastrous prior experiences and truly breathtaking levels of corruption in the nation’s previous rounds of privatizations, one might have hoped that they would take somewhat more care this time. Much in Mexico, not just the energy sector, is in need of reform.
(…) So although it remains unclear as to whether these reforms will benefit the average Mexican, it seems fairly certain that they will benefit the Mexican oligarchy, a well-connected, but underdeserving and too often criminal lot.
(…) Meanwhile, peasant and indigenous populations have plenty to lose. Their lands, livelihoods, and way of life now stand at great risk. Protestors are particularly concerned about what happens to quality of that land when fracking or drilling occurs on it.
It is important that natural resources like oil are used to benefit the greater good of the Mexican people. However, the current structure of reforms does not allow for the peasant and indigenous communities to have their say, while any profit from privatization could easily be funneled off into oligarchic coffers. If the Mexican government really wanted to pursue meaningful reform for the betterment of Mexico, then it would have to start with itself.
Tekst autorstwa: Patrick Burchat, Research Associate at the Council on Hemispheric Affairs, opublikowany tutaj.