May 6, 2015

MEXICO: Nepotism in Mexico: 88 families dominate. They have held 455 federal legislative positions during the last 81 years

Inherited power: the grandson of the jailed teachers' union leader.

Mexico News Daily
written by Staff
Tuesday May 5, 2015

Just 88 families have held control over 455 federal legislative positions during the last 81 years, a period in which when reelection to the legislature has been prohibited, according to an investigation by El Universal.

The 230 legislators belonging to the 88 families that have dominated Congress since 1934 have passed reforms and formed new parties that have served to extend their stay in office. Many of those families have candidates in the current election, and some already have the seats belonging to their clan assured.

It isn’t personal pledges, popularity or alliances that grant them access to their posts. Their political worth lies in their lineage, the family names, known to the general public, that open the doors of Congress and to greater political power. Among them the Rojo-Lugo, Batres, Vicencio, Sansores, Monreal, Alcaine, Manatou, Martínez, Ortega and Padierna families.

The monopoly of representation enjoyed by the revolutionary families, and their prolonged regional chiefdoms, was previously unified under the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). Some of that power was quietly transferred to the National Action Party (PAN) and Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) in the 1980s and 1990s, culminating with the PAN’s presidential victory by Vicente Fox over the PRI’s Francisco Labastida Ochoa in 2000.

At the tail end of the subsequent pluralization process, new parties emerged, such as the Ecological Green Party of Mexico (PVEM) under the Martínez family and the New Alliance (Panal) under the Gordillo family.

In the PRI, the marriage between Javier Rojo Gómez and Isabel Lugo Guerrero in Hidalgo in 1925 led to seven federal legislators holding office for 45 years between 1937 and 2015. In addition, the house of Fabela-Del Mazo-Peña has created four governors and the current president.

The PAN’s powerful Calderón-Zavala family emerges from the marriage of former president Feilpe Calderón and Deputy Margarita Zavala. Both owe their political power to their fathers, former deputies Luis Calderón Vega and Diego Zavala Pérez.

Five members of the Vicencio family, a union between legislators Abel Vicencio Tovar and María Elena Álvarez Bernal, held 18 posts between 1964 and 2006, with more than 57 total years in office.

Several families from the PRD, including the Ortega Martínez, Monreal, Batres Guadarrama and González Yañez families have each held office between 10 and 20 years.

The PVEM’s Francisco de Paula Agundis Arias and Verónica Velasco Rodríguez were both deputies and senators, bringing their brothers into the fold. The five have held office for a combined 30 years. Alejandro, Francisco’s brother, is running once more this year.

The Gordillo family dominates Panal. Elba Esther Gordillo Morales, former leader of the National Education Workers’ Syndicate, or SNTE, who is in prison on charges of embezzlement and organized crime allegations, has both a daughter and a grandson in the legislature. Together, the family has over 28 years of parliamentary experience.

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