Much of the support for the PRI is based on the image of the "cleanest elections in history" which they were able to project on August 21, 1995. The following facts explains how much money was utilized to manipulate Mexican and international public opinion. As you meet or speak with your Congressional representatives, please feel free to use this information to explain the lack of democracy in Mexico. Please credit the following information to the article by the same name as above by Jon Reed, PR Watch, John C. Stauber, Editor, 3318 Gregory Street, Madison, WI 53711, (608) 233-3346 and contact them before you use it in any public broadcasts or distribution of public materials.
The PRI and Mexican business interests spent over $50 million on public relationsd and lobbying in the US in order to win NAFTA
Mexican law prohibits political parties from spending more than $42 million during a national campaign
The PRI and its wealthy supporters spent $1 billion compared to only $3.6 million spent by the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD)
The PRI uses large transnationals for its public relations; among them are Edelman PR Worldwide and Young and Rubicam, the parent corporation of Burston-Marsteller (henceforth BM) which has yearly Mexican revenues of over $100 million
Emilio Azcarraga Milmo (owner of Televisa and a Mexican billionaire) asked Mexico's billionaires to contribute $50-$75 million for the PRI's image-building campaign
Azcarraga's Televisa pounded homes the major PR message: A vote for the PRI meant stability and continuity, a vote for the PRD meant chaos and civil war
Televisa gave 3 to 4 times more coverage to the PRI's candidates than to other opposition parties, a blatant violation of the country's new electoral law.
Televisa's heavy promotion was influential; only 10% of Mexico's population reads newspapers, and 75% rely on TV for their information.
Other BM clients in Mexico include the Mexican Office of the President, Mexican Businessmen's Council, the Secretary for Commerce and Industrial Development
BM helped the Secretary for Commerce and Industrial Development to arrange a press conference featuring "Indian leaders" from Chiapas who denounced the Zapatistas as "Violent radicals" and asked the Mexican president to protect and support them
The US government declared "cleanest" elections in history including widespread voter fraud, registration manipulation, intimidation, bribery, illegal financial donations, partisan misuse of government resources, distorted media coverage, and misleading polling techniques.
As in 1988 the PRI and government-appointed election officials refused to allow outside observors to compare computer tallies with the actual packets of marked ballots from the country's 90,000 voter precincts
Jeff Hunt, is B-M's executive vice president and managing director for Latin America and claims that although three government agencies are clients of BM, BM "does not get involved in politics..we're not working for the government"
Other clients of BM are: Savimbi's mercenaries in Angola; the government of Indonesia (responsible for genocide in East Timor, and global leaders in rainforest destruction), Union Carbide (notorious in Bhopal, India for the Toxic leak that killed 8,000 people and injured 600,000); Monsanto (toxic PCBs, herbicides and bovine growth hormone);Phillip Morris (tobacco); and the former military junta in Argentina.
Mexico now ranks 4th in the number of billionaires--24 men who together control over 12% of the country's gross national product
These do not include behind-the-scenes billionaires like cocaine and heroin kingpins;
(Compare to the wealth of New York's Rockefeller family with assets of $5.5 billion and Ross Perot $2.4 billion)
These three dozen men--strong PRI supporters control 1/4 of the country's total $361 billion GNP 10% of Mexico's population control 60% of country's wealth According to the World Bank, Mexico now has the most unequal system of income distribution of any industrialized country 66% of Mexico's foreign investment comes from the US