INTERNET UPDATE: CHECK OUT THE NEW SITE

“Letters From Mexico” and the Oaxaca Newsletter will now be based with Mexico Connect. We are delighted with the help and generosity of David McLaughlin and Camille, his partner. It seems pretty clear to me that being on a Mexico oriented site (and not just any site: one of the top three on the Net) will mean a lot more readers (and hopefully more subscribers to this newsletter).

The Dream Machine will continue to carry us, as well. They have survived the current crisis, and come out all the stronger for their struggle. The new ISP will carry them with their own domain, so nothing in the old address will change.

As with all new arrangements, some things have changed. The biggest change for me is that I now have a deadline: a fresh article prepared for the first of every month. There will be more than one most months, but at least one.

So, for those of you who haven’t yet been informed:

http://www.mexconnect.com/letters_from_mexico/lettersindex.html is the new address, and stan@mexconnect.com is the new mailbox.

BOLSA FALLS, BUT SO DOES NYSE: LITTLE CHANGE IN PESO

Perhaps the most interesting piece in this story is that while the peso and the dollar are bound together in unbreakable chains, and while movements in the US stock markets are generally reflected in similar undulations back home, this particular tumble has been credited to quakes in the Japanese exchanges. I don’t exactly understand how this stuff works, but from what I gather heavy Japanese investments in Mexico and other central and south American countries have brought with them heavy influence on the Bolsa. As Mexico continues to seek Japanese investment this problem may increase.

PRI IS VOTED OUT OF LEADERSHIP OF CHAMBER OF DEPUTIES:

This is the big news of the day, and it’s implications are enormous for he political future of Mexico. Yesterday, in a meeting attended by delegates from each of the top five parties, the PRI lost the right to appoint the top two officials in the lower house of government for the first time in 70 years.

The PRI enjoys a plurality in the chamber. Many thought the PAN would make a deal with the PRI to keep the chamber “conservative” and split the spoils between them, effectively freezing out the PRD. In fact, the PRI ended up walking out in frustration while a coalition of the two major opposition parties, and two other smaller delegations, maintained a rock-solid united front.

The result, so far, has been the appointment to the top position of President to the PAN and the secondary position of Director to the PRD. These positions will rotate between the four parties every six months. The coalition will be holding meetings monthly to make other changes.

The PRI still controls the Senate and the Presidency, so the millenium has not quite arrived, but the fact of the changes is not as significant as the durability of the coalition that created them.

The other leitmotif running through this story is the political durability of Porfirio Muñoz Ledo, who led the PRD delegation and will be the first Director of the new chamber. It is no secret that he and PRD co-founder Cuauhtemoc Cardenas, the mayor-elect of Mexico City, have loathed each other for years. Rivals for just about every party post and major elected position, they recently fought over who the PRD should run for governor in Michoacan, and came close to an out-and-out break during the endorsement campaign in MexCity. Muñoz Ledo was deposed as party leader by Lopez Obrador last year. Nonetheless, there he is: the second most powerful Perredista in the new government after Cardenas. Listen for the bell to ring for round x.