It is unlikely that a far-right party or candidate will flourish in the country. We are favored by our secular practice in politics and a Catholic tradition that has been rather tolerant.
Something doesn’t add up with the fact that the Conservative Action Political Conference (CPAC) was held in Mexico City, in a country where there really isn’t a tradition or an ultra-conservative movement. In fact, the person who leads this movement in the country, Eduardo Verástegui, is an actor, also known as a stripper.
The event brought together the top brass of the extreme right, Bannon, the original ideologue of Trump, the former president himself, José Antonio Kast, the former Chilean presidential candidate, the Argentine economist Javier Milei, the Bolsonaro family, among others. There was also Santiago Abascal, the leader of the far-right Spanish party Vox. With his party, with which, by the way, the PAN already had some flirtation, which they later regretted. Not surprisingly, Abascal, whose favorite photo is the one in which he caresses the helmet of Hernán Cortés, bases his demagogic rhetoric on frankly supremacist ideas about the conquest of Mexico.
Actually, Vox’s connection to Mexico goes further. Miguel González, a journalist for El País, recently wrote Vox, the Business of Spanish Patriotism. In one of the chapters he documents how El Yunque, the ultra-Catholic Mexican organization, assumed to be the heir to the Cristero movement, was one of the original sponsors of the ultra-nationalist party. In the chapter called The Party and the Sect, González documents how multiple Vox leaders and candidates have had close ties to the obscure Yunque.
It is unlikely that a far-right party or candidate will flourish in the country. We are favored by our secular practice in politics and a Catholic tradition that has been rather tolerant. Now, the organization of the event in Mexico is not free. Mexico is a nation with notable progress in the progressive agenda, in the legal interruption of pregnancy, in equal marriage, in respect for the community of sexual diversity, in the gender equality agenda and even in the discussion about the drug legalization.
The expressions of the ultra-right in Mexico have been in the minority, even when the right wing governed, but they have influenced public policies and have been able to delay or diminish the advances of the progressive agenda. It seems to me that this is the objective of holding a convention of this magnitude and characteristics, to try to show strength and make its agenda visible in a country where it has precisely lost relevance.
In this sense, the Alliance for Reproductive Justice recently published a report precisely to warn of the risks of the CPAC meeting in Mexico. This platform is the one that, for decades, has carried out a strategy in the United States, especially against the reproductive rights of women, which culminated in the decision of the court of that country to reverse, in some way, the decision of protect the right to legal termination of pregnancy.
Since a few years ago, this organization has also carried out actions to reverse the progress of rights throughout the world. Verástegui, for example, has already received financing through this channel to film films against abortion. What can be expected is that the actions of the CPAC to influence the Mexican public agenda will continue, which implies a risk for the advancement of the agenda in favor of the country’s rights. Although it is true that the summit is not very strong, it can be worrying and, furthermore, it can only mean the first step towards what these far-right organizations want on the continent.
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