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The neighbors are fighting again
April 25, 2008 4:42 PM   Subscribe

After the president of Mexico introduced his bill, legislators stormed and barricaded the podium in the House; Senators began fasting in protest. The occupation continues after 2 weeks, with opponents camping out and padlocking the doors of Congress, aiming to run out the clock until adjournment on April 30th. Mexico's top electoral body ordered a TV ad (comparing opposition leader Lopez Obrador to Hitler) off the air. Here in the U.S., little notice: the WSJ calls this "heated debate."

Background: Oil production at Mexico's huge Cantarell oil field is down 8.5% from last year. President Calderon, who narrowly beat Lopez Obrador in a disputed 2006 election, proposes to open Mexico's oil resources to foreign investment, to better drill under the Gulf of Mexico for one thing. Oil resources have been nationalized since March 18, 1935 and are a potent nationalist symbol. Lopez Obrador has been riding this issue back to prominence after a year of quiet following his election loss. He claims that the ruling PAN and the PRI cut a secret deal to limit debate on the bill to 3 weeks, and is demanding 4 months of debate.
posted by msalt (18 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
It involves oil, so our media won't touch the story.
posted by Malor at 5:54 PM on April 25, 2008


In case it wasn't already obvious: welcome to peak oil, folks. It's going to be a really interesting ride.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 6:01 PM on April 25, 2008


Not that this in any precludes discussion of the issues at stake, but the PRD and allied lawmakers ended their takeover of Congress today. Bloomberg. Reuters. AP. El Universal (Spanish).
posted by donpedro at 6:19 PM on April 25, 2008


Oh, they agreed to 71 days of debate. Still not clear what that will look like though.
posted by donpedro at 6:21 PM on April 25, 2008


I am too lazy to make a post that links this to the mexican produced assault rifle, the mexican designed and built UAV, the mexican built armored vehicles, and some mexican politician's desire to change the consitution to allow the mexican armed forces to go play with their guns in other countries (participate in peace keeping missions), which they have not done for almost a century. Looks like someone is starting to realize that the harder it becomes to make big money on oil, the easier it becomes to make it in oil wars.

Oh, I forgot to mention the low intensity oil related civil war/guerrilla/terrorism in mexico.
posted by Dr. Curare at 6:43 PM on April 25, 2008


That's right, baby. My FPPs get results.


Did they just solve this in the last hour? I swear Google news had nothing about it 5 minutes before I posted.
posted by msalt at 6:49 PM on April 25, 2008


They walked out sometime this afternoon, I believe.
posted by donpedro at 7:04 PM on April 25, 2008


And here I thought UAV meant "Urban Assault Vehicle"
posted by Eekacat at 8:07 PM on April 25, 2008


And here I thought UAV meant "Urban Assault Vehicle"

To me and my friends at age 18-19, it meant "underage virgin". Being a Catholic nation, I have no doubt that Mexico designs and produces many underage virgins.
posted by DecemberBoy at 8:50 PM on April 25, 2008


To me and my friends at age 18-19, it meant "underage virgin". Being a Catholic nation, I have no doubt that Mexico designs and produces many underage virgins.

Wouldn't everyone be an underage virgin from the moment they're born, until they have sex or hit 18?
posted by delmoi at 9:05 PM on April 25, 2008


The only way I can make DecemberBoy's comment make any sense, is that in Mexico everyone who is underage is also a virgin, no matter how much sex they've had before. Some people lose their virginity when they turn 18, most when they get married.

Most of my free alcohol and related substances in London came from Mexican middle class, and richer, kids living and working for a year in London, as illegal immigrants, after finishing high school. Most where atheistic promiscuous drunk junkies. I was not surprised to hear that after returning to Mexico, they all regained their their faith, virginity and lack of vices.
posted by Dr. Curare at 9:30 PM on April 25, 2008


Wouldn't everyone be an underage virgin from the moment they're born, until they have sex or hit 18?

This was specifically a term for teenage girls. Think "jailbait".
posted by DecemberBoy at 12:19 AM on April 26, 2008


Wouldn't everyone be an underage virgin from the moment they're born, until they have sex or hit 18?

Depends on where you live. And no, let's not turn this into a debate about age of consent. Just saying it's different in places, that's all.

President Calderon, who narrowly beat Lopez Obrador in a disputed 2006 election, proposes to open Mexico's oil resources to foreign investment,

How is that incompatible with remaining nationalized? Ensure via legislation that a majority--or supermajority, to be safe--is held by the nation, and you're good to go.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 2:00 AM on April 26, 2008


They have huge reserves in deep water and lack the technology to drill for it. They might as well partner with an established oil company that has the technology.
posted by caddis at 6:56 AM on April 26, 2008


They have huge reserves in deep water and lack the technology to drill for it. They might as well partner with an established oil company that has the technology.

Yeah, 'cause de-nationalizing major industries in favor of "foreign investment" has gone smashingly well for the populations of so many countries.
posted by Rykey at 7:44 AM on April 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


It looks like this debate operates on two levels -- the technical one that the last 3 comments are having (what will really work?), and a level of nationalist symbolism.

From what I read, President Cardenas is celebrated to this day for having the guts to throw out foreign oil companies back in the 1930s, and schoolchildren celebrate the event every March 15th (like, maybe, the "I Have a Dream" speech in the U.S.). At the time, women across Mexico were donating their jewelry to raise money for the fight.

The ban on foreign ownership of oil resources is in the Mexican constitution, and President Calderon's first proposal was to repeal that provision. This law is his second try, after that was defeated. So you can see how this might rile folks up.
posted by msalt at 9:49 AM on April 26, 2008


Is fasting more meaningful when it is tasty, delicious Mexican food that is being abstained from?
posted by ikkyu2 at 9:55 AM on April 26, 2008


Yeah, 'cause de-nationalizing major industries in favor of "foreign investment" has gone smashingly well for the populations of so many countries.

yeah, 'cause leaving it in the ground because you don't know how to get it out while your oill revenues plummet in a tough economy works so smashingly well too. Anyway, you don't need to cede ownership to foreign oil companies, just give them an operating contract in which they share in the profits. You will be asking them to take the economic risk by drilling the wells on their own nickel so you will have to offer them a reward of profits on the back end. If you contract them to drill the wells on your nickel with no stake in the profits I predict they won't do a very good job.
posted by caddis at 3:42 PM on April 26, 2008


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