Talk:Carlos Salinas de Gortari

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Incomplete article[edit]

I find this article very incomplete about the life and times of Salinas. There is a lot more to him than what is written here. I do believe, as many educated Mexicans do, that the economic situation Salinas created by the end of his term was so bad, and he put the country in such a fragile state before leaving office, that a crisis was imminent after he left office. It is not fair to blame President Zedillo for the brunt of the crisis like the article suggests. It has also been said that Salinas' Finance Minister, Pedro Aspe, abandoned his post at the end of the Salinas administration, leaving the Ministry in disarray and with nothing concrete to guide the incoming Minister to understand the difficult situation he was inhereting, which very few Mexicans knew about. It is said they did not communicate and there was no "passing of the torch", which led to the December blunders. In any event, the truth will be hard to learn as only a few insiders know what really happened. Was it Jaime Serra Puche (not a Zedillo crony, as mentioned in the article, but the person who negotiated NAFTA for Salinas) and his lack of experience? Or was it Aspe and his disregard for the Mexican finances at the end of his term? In any event, we cannot help but to ask why such a huge devaluation was so necessary in the first place and why a President would leave his country, without warning, in such precarious condition. Maybe it was political. Maybe a devaluation at the appropriate time would have hurt NAFTA and the possibility of the PRI winning again a new term in office (but if that's the case, then we were seriously lied to, and very unfairly). One thing that remains a puzzle to many of us is why, if Mexico had money and was doing everything so well, with such great policies--as some would like to think--was the country in such a fragile condition? Many of us still want to know what happened to the many millions of dollars that the government earned when it privatized probably close to hundreds of income (and non-income) producing government companies (some very expensive) during the Salinas administration as part of his neo-conservatism policies. Where is that money? If someone could show some paper trails and prove it went into our government and not the hands of a few I would--and am sure many Mexicans would too--feel much better about Salinas. As of now that proof is missing. The problem with Salinas is that his policies were generally good ones, but he grossly failed to deliver. And oh! surprise... it turns out his brother is suddenly a multi-millionaire many times over. Who else made millions? Surely others did. Accumulations of wealth as the ones we evidenced in the news right after Salinas left office can hardly be a one man show. Did the President? Or was he so blind he did not know? Unlikely (his brother's ranch in Puebla was apparently huge). Where is the money? How much of our money does he really have to travel around the world like he does? We don't know. They don't tell us. The true rage many Mexicans feel against Salinas is a consequence of many things. He equals no other Mexican president in modern history in that regard (and we've had some really bad Presidents). It's part of the Mexican historical cycle of betrayal (beginning with the Spanish and La Malinche, Santana and the sale of the North, Madero and his weakness to reform anything, and Echeverria and his massacre in Tlatelolco). But this one hurt Mexico badly because this time, unlike in the past, we believed him. Mexicans don't lend their trust lightly. Not with our history. Salinas sold and resold us the idea that Mexico would be part of the first world, and Mexico--and the world--believed him. But it was not to be. We never even came close. But maybe we can't complain. At least a few of them did.

Andres Hurtado (November 2005)

I think user Andres Hurtado's concerns are largely valid and I have made a few edits, which I hope go in the right direction.
1. I've added some balance to the discussion about the December Mistake. Yes, it happened (barely) under Zedillo, but the economic conditions that made it almost inevitable were created under the Salinas administration. We can discuss this. I found this interesting analysis that purports to be by Mr. Dornbusch analysis by Dornbusch (ironically a Salinas favorite and former Professor) that, I think, puts the nail in the coffin on this subject.
2. I created a category "Scandals" under which I've put several bullets, including the December Mistake, the Inconvenient Brother (an evaluation of Mr. Salinas' president is not complete without a full discussion of the exploits of Mr. 10%) and what I called the "Aborted Colosio Succession". I have not had time to start writing anything on these last two topics and I'll try to do so in the coming days. Any takers?
3. On the Colosio succession. For starters, there is the whole rarefied political climate created by Salinas' apparent Buyer's Remorse syndrome after designating Colosio the PRI candidate (remember all that talk about Colosio resigning or "becoming sick"?). Obviously, Colosio's subsequent murder makes this look at least strange. Let's face it, the suspicion was in the air about Salinas' (or Raul's) involvement in the murder, and I think this needs to be discussed in the article, although I would argue this needs to be done with balance, reporting this only as suspicions. On the other hand, the Colosio assasination had clear consequences to Salinas' Salinato aspirations because it broke the chain of dedazo succession. Some political analysts (my father, for one) have argued that this is the genesis of the PRI's electoral defeat in 2000 (the thesis being that this allowed Zedillo more freedom to break the unspoken code about not messing directly with a former president's family, which caused Zedillo to become Salinas' enemy number one and led Zedillo to be open about a PRI defeat).
4. The Salinato aspirations. I have not even started discussing this but I need that it definetely merits a mention. Again, the discussion needs to be balanced and objective.
--Gustavo 07:44, 3 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

As of January 11, 2005, I consider this article is biased and incomplete. The famous or infamous "December's Mistake" was made under President Zedillo's rule. I don't think it should be half of Salinas's article!

HEY. The Decembers mistake and then the terrible crisis was originated by Salinas government. The effects were hidden to the mexicans due to ellectoral motives, so the PRI could remain in the power with Zedillo. Thats why, just AFTER Zedillo´s victory the crisis appeared, and even worst. SAZL

President Salinas was far from perfect, but this article, now, only shows part of the bad things some Mexicans associate with him. In the future, it would be fair to mention some of the great accomplishments he made possible, which is why some Mexicans, as I do, think he was one of the best PRI party presidents of Mexico. RobertoRogel 09:50, 11 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Thankfully, I can say that here as well. Salinas was a good president (in my humble opinion). However, the December Mistake was mostly because of Salinas. Before I touched it (in July?) it was described as Zedillo's mistake. Which in my opinion is not fair to him. --Vizcarra 05:50, 8 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

As a Mexican, I can say this president was as good and bad as the others that came from the PRI. But he has been victimized.

What i can say is that he didn't win the elections and every Mexican knows that.

Salinas: Angel or Devil?

When Salinas was a kid, he and his brother actually in jail, killed a servant. At the time, their father was influential and rich... they said it was an accident.

When two members of the staff of Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas (the one who won those elections against Salinas) were murdered, when 500 members of the opossition party PRD (Cárdenas party) were murdered, when the husband of Salinas sister was murdered (that's the reason for his brother being in jail), when his brother sold thousands of pounds of contaminated (radiactive) milk to kids, just for the money he or they both got, thousands of mexicans understood they had a criminal mind since they were kids.

Salinas is the one that sold government enterprises at the cheapest prices, (the TV companies were sold to a man named Salinas Pliego, that was born in... the same state than the former president, the telephone company TELMEX was sold to Carlos Slim, who only bought a minimum percentage, nowdays he is the richest man of Latin America and thousands of mexicans say that the real owner is Carlos SaLINas), Salinas was the creator of FOBAPROA. FOBAPROA saved the banks Salinas sold from bankrupcy, it´s actual cost for Mexico is 100 thousand million dollars!

In the article, Salinas' book is mentioned with an english title that is different from the spanish one. If Salinas' book was translated to English (or other languages, for the matter) please add an entry to the references section. Asereje 06:33, 12 Dec 2004 (UTC)


Deleted this section: but his low popularity and the changing times make his permanent return to Mexico unlikely, and his political career looks irremediably over.

As of 2005 Salinas lives full time in Mexico and is becoming more and more visible in the public political arena in preparation for the 2006 election.


Devaluation is measured in dollars, not in local currency. That is, if the peso had devaluated, say, from 1 MXP to 2 MXP per dollar, it is a devaluation of 50% (in dollar terms, it REDUCED its VALUE, that is DEVALUED, from 1 USD to 0.50 USD, i.e. 50%).


Among other things, "Suspicions later grew as the Mexican Congress voted (the majority of the opposition included) to destroy without opening the electoral documentation that could prove otherwise." caught my eye. I never realised Mexicans were so angry they would "vote to destroy!" This needs to be reworded.

- Darkhawk (10 Mar, 2006, 17:45 EST)


I edited the article and added some economics stuff related to the economic crisis. While I agree with Andrés Hurtado that the article was incomplete and provided a positive view of Salinas and ignoring his mistakes and responsibility in the crisis, his comments and questions do not by themselves constitute a proof of Salinas corruption and inept handling of the economy. Raising questions is not enough. That is why I provided economic data of Salinas mistakes and inept macroeconomic policies that can be verified. I might agree with what he is saying, but this is supposed to be an encyclopedic article, and we need verifiable data.

Therefore I eliminated comments such as "and helped drugdealing mafias in northern Mexico to smuggle large quantities of expensive drugs into the US Market, therefore creating within the Mexican government the biggest net of corruption that the country saw in the 20th. Century. After his presidency he would try to become the UN's Minister of Economy, but the international community realized what he had done in Mexico and denied him the post without second thoughts. Critics and studies in Mexican politics and economy in the last decade have demonstrated that Salinas de Gortari stole from Mexico around 80 billion USD.

While you may or may not agree with these sentences, there are no proofs of that. They are a stark accusation of Salinas involvement in drug-dealing and corruption. Did the UN knew of his drug-dealing and was it the cause of his rejection? I doubt it. Moreover, I've never heard of serious "studies" that "demostrate" that Salinas stole from mexico 80 billion USD. Not only is this statement ambiguous (who did he steal it from? The International Reserves which had barely reached a peak of 25 billion in 1994?). If he had indeed stolen that amount from Mexico, that would make him the richest man in the world (Bill Gates's fortune is 50 billion as of 2005). That amount in itself would have paid half of Mexico's external debt); it is a ridiculous estimation. --J.Alonso 17:16, 6 April 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hey F***head.. guess what.. he Is richer than bill gates. "*gasps*" he Is the RICHEST man in the world, he treacherously STOLE from a COUNTRY. "O RLY?" he FLED his country to ireland, where he hired the PIRA as bodyguards "NO WAI!" invesitgators, journalists, etc. (people with enough brains/balls to do so) who probed his alleged involvment with all of these nefarious dealiings met with MYSTERIOUS and UNTIMELY "accidents." politicians, media, and mexicans in general are forced to play nice with this two-faced, unrepenting, human stain lest they should suffer politically/financially, or worse yet, lest they should "disappear." next time get your precious "verifiable" facts straight or better yet, ask any LITERATE person with a connection to mexico. Lue3378 (talk) 11:43, 15 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

as further proof, one salinas croneys, Carlos Slim Helú, the telmex guy, is now oficially the world's second richest man. Lue3378 (talk) 19:57, 20 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Ballot burning[edit]

I modified a little a sentence were it stated that most of the opposition parties supported the burning of the ballots of the 1988's election. In fact, the government was supported by only one opposition party, the National Action Party. user gchavez77

Salinas's childhood[edit]

One of my professors mentioned that President Salinas and his brother accidentally killed one of their servants when they were children, and someone commented on it in another section of this page. Should this be mentioned in the article? I'm giong to look for good sources for it, but it is also a controversial topic, so I thought I should bring it up here. Academic Challenger 08:34, 5 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Yes I've heard it too. I think it could be added as an anecdote, but it bears no relation to the development of his political career--Alonso 17:15, 5 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Actually I think it did have an impact on his political career. In many countries, including the United States, someone who had that kind of experience in the past would have no chance of success in politics. Academic Challenger 00:53, 6 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Like you said... in many [other] countries. During the PRI-era, I doubt that would have made a difference. After all, even his "victory" in the 1988s election is contested. But I might be wrong, if you do find info about the incident do add it. --Alonso 03:29, 6 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]


This part of the article was extremely supportive of his presidency being very partial in its argumentation and not encyclopedic at all in the language or in the way it was presented. Case in point: It is claimed that "he reformed" the electoral system, when in reality initiatives came from congress. I will procede to eliminate that whole "accomplishment" if there is no opposition in the next few days, because the IFE's characteristics that are mentioned are result of a series of reforms that were made throught the years, it did not happen, as the article might suggest, by a single reform that "he" pursued. Also as the statistics offered about devaluation and inflation included background stats to make Salinas' economics stand out, I included statistics of the days immediately following his tenure, that even out this shameless propaganda piece to give perspective about what happened during his presidency and how lasting these "possitive" numbers really were. The article even includes ridiculous speculative claims, like this statement: "Renegotiated the external debt again thanks to the Brady Plan. Had he not accomplished the renegotiation, Mexico would have defaulted in 1989-1990." This of course comes without any back-up study or outside analysis of any sort. This is hardly material worth of encyclopedia and it reads as what Salinas would like on his own homepage. Any speculative claims have to be backed up by a cause-effect study that would determine what the outcome would be. That is the only way some legitimacy would be granted to something of that nature. I also changed some small, bits and pieces here and there that make the articles redaction extremely informal. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:05, 16 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

His new book[edit]

Salinas has recently written a new 600-page book entitled "La Decada Perdida". Why is the book not mentioned in the article? (talk) 04:38, 22 May 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Put it in the article. You can add it into a "list of books authored by him" WhisperToMe (talk) 00:22, 24 July 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Cleanup and removals[edit]

When I came across this article, it was highly critical of Salinas, filled with unsourced criticisms and negative allegations. Per WP:BLP, this is not acceptable: criticisms of living people must be supported by reliable sources. I have removed large parts of the article to comply, and created a discussion on the biographies of living persons noticeboard. In the meantime, the negative content should not be restored to this article unless sources can be provided. Robofish (talk) 12:41, 1 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Time to End Article's Silence over Raul Salinas[edit]

It is absurd for the article to be totally silent over the Raul Salinas financial scandal. It was one of the issues that helped cast a shadow over Carlos Salinas's Irish exile (itself barely hinted at in the present article). I have tried to fill the gap using language extracted from the longer WB article on Raul -- i.e., this language has been found acceptable by WP users in that location. Nandt1 (talk) 23:24, 2 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]