Archivo | febrero, 2004

Sopa de letras

25 Feb

Nuevamente me he atrasado en lo que he querido escribir, que si al folder de las fuentes se le ocurre corromperse, que si el abstracto no sale como uno desea, y así todo va ontribuyendo para que las opiniones se vuelvan mas crónicas históricas.

Al mal paso darle prisa, veamos algunos de los temas pendientes:
Fue cumpleaños de la Sra. Elba Esther Gordillo, lo celebro con una fiesta un tanto extraña pues no se le permitía la entrada a ningún hombre…que no fuera con su amiga Martha Sahagun, y si bien lo básico es preguntarse porque eso no es discriminación y si un hombre hiciera lo mismo si lo es (al igual que un acto de misoginia, depravacion, inseguridad y problemas mentales) también esta la duda de porque Marta y Elba son TAN amigas, son de partidos opuestos, las dos van por la grande y SUPUESTAMENTE Martita es un dulce y Elba una mujer de carácter, ¿Que tienen en común?, ¿Nada?, ¿Ambas son iguales?, ¿Elba es la “débil” y Martita la “agresiva”?, si que hay amistades raras…

Pero ya que estoy en el gustadisimo tema “Martita la Esposita” me recordé a mi misma sobre algo que escuche que sucedió hace un par de semanas, o semana y media, mas o menos, que la “primera dama” fue a decir como dormía con su marido (quien por cierto es el presidente de la república) y dijo en que posición dormían y creo que hasta el tamaño de colchón que necesitaban, y luego el presidente dice que no se pone colorado cuando los obreros le rechiflan…

Continuando con la polaca, esta en boga el niño verde, y he de ser muy clara al afirmar esto:
1_ El Niño Verde es muy babotas
2_ El video que muestra al Niño Verde siendo sobornado con 2 millones de dlls (poco para lo que es Cancun) no es incriminatorio como dicen los medios o como dice el mismo, lo UNICO que se ve es que:
2.1_ El Niño Verde es muy babotas
2.2_ El Niño Verde no tiene un vocabulario ni de sirvienta
2.3_ El Niño Verde no siente emoción ni por 2 millones de dlls (pues estaba muerto del aburrimiento y aburramiento)
2.4_ El Niño Verde nunca dice “si” ni “esta el trato cerrado” ni frase o palabra alguna que lo comprometa realmente.
El escucho, pareció entender el negocio, pero eso fue todo, y en esa mentalidad cualquiera que escuche a un tamarindo diciendo “Va a ser uno de la Sor Juana” ya es culpable de ilícitos.
3_ Los acusadores del Niño verde son tan o mas babotas que el mismo inculpado, lo que es mas, seguramente ninguno de ellos llegara ni a grillo del PRI, pero me temo que el Niño Verde ni esta acabado ni se va a quedar en la baba, es casi seguro, entrara a algún otro partido si es que al verde se lo lleva la fregada.
4_ La grabación de los acusadores del Niño Verde no tiene un vocabulario ni de sirvienta.
5_ La grabación de los acusadores del Niño Verde es bastante incriminatoria.
6_ El nivel politico de todos los jóvenes involucrados es de dar lastima.
7_ Espero que si le quitan el registro al verde saquen de la cámara a esa diputada de 21 años que no sabia ni dar su puesto.

Y ya para finalizar con las miserias he de decir que vi aproximadamente un minuto y 20 segundos de la muy fracasada “telenovela de moda”, la escena era de 5 chicas, como de 19 años, una rusa rubio campesino, una adolescente de senos operados, una anorexica y…alguien más segun creo, se suben todas a una barra de cantina y comienzan a bailar muy sexosas al estilo pelicula-gringa-barata-muysexosa una canción de la abuelolita Britney, con gestos, retorcidos y todo lo que un buen table incluye… era triste su falta de candor, sus expresiones de inocencia y calentura, pero lo mas deprimente era ver las exhalaciones que daban cuando la canción llegaba a la parte del orgasmo fingido, válgame, en este mundo ya no hay temor a lo divino.

Deathstyles of the wealthy

20 Feb

Haiti is said to be the closest place to hell these days, information about a rebellion fighting to overthrow current president Aristide began to appear just a couple of weeks ago, now the rebels are controlling the biggest part of the country, 13 areas in total just a couple of days ago.

Haiti has been suffering from such eruptions of violence for many years now, some have even called it a circle, rebellions come and go, but we’re talking about a poor country, a country with no oil, no gas, no gold, silver, diamonds, and if a country has nothing to fight for, why would anybody say violence in this world is their business?

Haiti is on it’s own, there’s no reason why it should be other way like Syria, Afghanistan, Korea, or even Iraq, the U.S.A. informed they will be sending soldiers to take care of the U.S.A. people working at the embassy, the amount, 4, France said they should be doing something too, but I think they’re still making plans about what they should do, take their time, no reason to go to war very fast, to bomb, to free, no reason to save the masses here, it’s a poor country.

Haiti is torn apart, the government has no military, fights the rebellion with around 1,000 policemen and lately with a paramilitary that uses the traditional methods of cruelty against their opponents and against the news reporters of the world, yesterday a group of news reporters were rescued from being burnt alive by some of those paramilitaries, what’s going to happen today?, tomorrow?, what has been going on there that the “powerful” don’t want to consider “terrorism”?.

Haiti has no “war against terrorism”, just the many implications of it, hunger, fear, murders and a dictator that prefers to kill and see a country in ruins before handing over power, just like Mr. Bush.

But it’s not about how to interfere with sovereign nations, I think Haiti should be left alone, just like any other country in the world, no nation is big, right, important or religious enough to mess around with other nation’s governments or problems, every country makes choices and deals with the consequences, unless of course certain nations prefer to deal with all the world problems, but in that case they MUST be ready to deal with a world of consequences, not the case here so far, and probably not the case here ever.

En la…

20 Feb

Que los últimos hijos del ex presidente, a pesar de los hechos, si tienen madre, y ella recibirá 119 pesos al mes como pensión para alimentarse ella y a sus hijos, por ser las segundas nupcias de un ex presidente, por ser la segunda familia.

Yo no se en donde esta este país en la escala de pobreza, por un lado derroches estúpidos, sin importar tramites de divorcio o pruebas de ADN, cualquier hijo y esposo o ex esposo de ex presidente ya saco para su comida, así de facil, aunque el ex presidente haya dejado al país en crisis, la familia es la familia.

No se los demás pero yo me opongo totalmente, si los hijos necesitan dinero que trabajen para seguirse manteniendo los “piercings” (perforaciones para los de españoles) que llevaran durante los funerales de sus familiares mas cercanos, si quieren casa, comida o estudios que se los ganen como todos los demás y no como se los ganaron sus padres, robando al pueblo.

La Sra. ex tramite de divorcio, ex ex esposa ahora viuda de un ex presidente no tiene moral, lo sabemos, pero que hay de las leyes, los políticos persignados, la raza del señor ex presidente, ¿nadie hará nada?, ¿qué tanta dignidad e impunidad se compra con 119 mil pesos al mes?.

No mucha, espero.

JOLOPO

18 Feb

La noche de anoche ya pintaba mal, después murió el es presidente Lopez Portillo, su muerte como los últimos años de su vida fue un chisme amarillista.

Me sorprendió ver en las imágenes del velorio a los primeros hijos del ex presidente, no eran monstruos como algunos medios de comunicación habían reportado, y una de sus hijas, creo que la menor, era realmente joven y realmente bella.

Pero eso era lo menos sobresaliente, la noticia era la llegada de la viuda, mujer de su segundo matrimonio, las declaraciones de la mujer de que su esposo había sido asesinado en el hospital por los médicos y por sus hijos entre otros comentarios totalmente estúpidos y alarmistas.

El ex presidente fue el responsable directo de la crisis económica mas grande que tuvo el país, se davaluo el peso, su gobierno fue de derroches, excesos por parte de su familia, sus amigos y el mismo, un gobierno que dejo al país en condiciones de pobreza por los problemas bancarios y de tipo cambiario, un aumento inimaginado en la deuda externa, inflación, problemas con la iniciativa probada, etcétera, pero es mi opinión que esos problemas lo debieron haber llevado a un juicio si es lo que los políticos de ahora reclaman como justicia, ¿de que sirve hacer reseñas de los eventos?, ¿se va a conseguir el dinero que se perdió?, ¿se pueden corregir aun esos errores?, si no lo hacen con fines legales que no lo juzguen.

Yo viví parte de esa caída del país, aun no nacía cuando el señor alcanzo la presidencia, pero recuerdo lo que vino después y se que mucho de lo que vivo ahora fue gracias a ese sexenio, y aun así, aun condenando las decisiones de ese gobierno pienso que el señor ex presidente sufrió lo indecible, lo indeseable, una familia que presuntamente no lo quería, que siguieron abusando del poder que su padre ya no tenia, dinero, viajes, lujos, luego el matrimonio con una actriz de cine para adultos, vivieron mas de una década juntos cuando la salud del presidente empeoro se casaron, el no hablaba, no caminaba, mas tarde una operación de emergencia lo llevo al extranjero, ahí sus hijos del primer matrimonio lo reclamaron, regreso con ellos, mejoro notablemente sus salud, dio entrevistas, pidió el divorcio, su esposa dijo que era un mal padre, que sus hijos no hablarían con el, que sus hijos lo odiaban, que estaba mal que era un hombre distinto, el ex presidente dijo que su esposa lo golpeaba, lo insultaba, que no lo dejaba hablar con sus hijos.

Asi pasaron años, ella argumentaba no tener dinero para mantener a sus hijos adolescentes, reporteros decían que esos no eran hijos del ex presidente, los hijos decían que su padre no les contestaba el teléfono, la actriz decía que no tenia dinero que tendría que trabajar que la pensión de mas de 40k pesos mensuales no alcanzaba que sus hijos estaban acostumbrados a un nivel de vida muy alto, el ex presidente se decía pobre, saco un tequila con su nombre para ganar mas dinero, los medios dijeron que era venenoso, que no contaba con medidas de calidad, el ex presidente seguía enfermando, decía que aun era un ser humano, hablaba del dolor de la vejez, su esposa decía que sus hijos lo maltrataban, que no lo cuidaban.

Murió un ex presidente, de el se habla de política pero también de una vida que nunca debió salir a la luz, sus problemas familiares, personales, su muerte fue una perdida para la justicia o el país, pero la forma que murió fue una vergüenza para la institución presidencial y para su apellido Lopez Portillo.

Medianoche

18 Feb

Debo compartir aquí, querido lector, una de las experiencias mas difíciles de toda mi vida, sucedió ayer por la noche, entre las 11:00 p.m. y las 2 a.m.

Estaba ya durmiendo a eso de las 11:30pm, alguien mas había dejado la luz prendida de la sala así que me levante a apagarla, al regresar a mi habitación escuche un grito, al principio pensé que era un grito mas de los vecinos, hace ya unos 5 meses escuche que alguien gritaba y se me heló la sangre, minutos después descubrí que era una broma de vecinos dentro de su propia casa, pero ayer la situación desgraciadamente no fue la misma, escuche la voz de una mujer, tan cerca como junto a mi ventana que no da a la calle, poco a poco fue mas claro y mas fuerte, la mujer lloraba, “Alguien que me ayude por favor, me golpearon(?), Dios mío ayúdame por favor” y varios enunciados en una voz mas baja que yo no pude entender, lloraba, agonizaba, el dolor en su voz era escalofriante, me quede en un estado de parálisis total, escuche que decía “¡Mi primer hijo, mi primer hijo!” y la angustia le desgarraba la voz, pedía ayuda, estaba en muy mal estado y yo tenia que tomar una decisión.

Pense en despertar a los demás, preguntar que hacer, también pensé en marcar al 060, pero recordé la ocasión en que mataron a mi vecino, justo junto a mi casa, llame 2 veces, llamaron varias personas, en el 060 me dijeron que tenia que salir yo a ver que pasaba, ¿y si era una balacera?, dijeron que no iban a ayudarme, que no podían hacer nada.

Asi que seguí pensando, la angustia era intolerable, mi conciencia me decía que abriera mi puerta y saliera a la calle, preguntarle si podía ayudarla, pero mi sentido común me decía que podía ser una trampa, que podía ser un error, que era un riesgo demasiado grande para mi que no tenia compañía ni ayuda de nadie, una víctima perfecta.

La señora se alejo gritando, los perros ladraban desesperados, tardaron mas de media hora en calmarse después de que la señora desapareció, todo el incidente duro menos de 2 minutos, la señora se alejo gritando, pronto ya no se escuchaba nada, no se oyeron mas voces, seguramente nadie salió a ayudarla.
Después de eso ya no pude dormir, sus gritos de dolor me recordaron a los míos, a los de mi madre cuando estuvo en una situación similar, recordé mis pesadillas, yo caminando por una calle obscura, en la soledad y la desesperación, recorriendo las calles con lamentos que nadie escucha y el saberse en un abismo que nadie ve y nadie oye.

Al amanecer confirmé que varios vecinos habían escuchado a la mujer, todos dijeron que era una trampa seguramente, ¿Y si no lo era?, ¿Y si la mujer realmente necesitaba esa ayuda que pedía?, No puedo encontrar la paz, me imagino que esta misma impotencia la han sentido miles de habitantes de esta cuidad, el distrito federal, el sentir que algo puede estar sucediendo pero replegarse por el miedo a perder la vida propia, y no dejo de imaginar a esa mujer, llorando, suplicando ayuda de Dios, desesperada entre las calles desiertas clamando piedad a los habitantes indiferentes dentro de sus casas.

Busqué en las noticias y no hubo nada lo suficientemente grande como para que lo reportaran, ni los noticieros ni los periódicos ni los pasquines, nada.

¿Sucedió algo esa noche a esa mujer?, ¿Un asalto?, ¿Un asesinato de su hijo?, ¿Violencia domestica?, ¿Secuestro, violación, o todo era una trampa mas de los delincuentes sin escrúpulos?.

So voz era terrorifica, el dolor humano que se expresa así tan pocas veces, y yo no hice nada mas que rezar y rezar a la Virgen, tenia miedo y solo pedí ayuda para la señora, pero no se si mis plegarias fueron escuchadas

Montada en su macho*

12 Feb

La señora Sahagun dio el espectáculo de espectáculos ayer, y no fue con un inesperado arranque de moral para anunciar su renuncia del protagonismo o de sus intenciones de relección, fue para dar una mirada de mujer a la presidencia que ninguna otra mujer pudo haber dado jamás.

Bill Clinton redujo la presidencia a una felación, Marta la reduce así: “Yo le digo mi vida, como todos saben el me dice nombres de animalitos, como cisne, ese me gusta mucho”.

Pero claro, la señora también contó sobre su celebración del 14 de Febrero en privado a media luz en un cuarito aparte de la casa donde tenia preparadas sorpresas, y ya entrados en intimidades dijo que habría un momento en el que estarían solos para celebrar ella y su esposo, quien por cierto es el presidente de la república.

Cuando Sacha Montenegro se peleo con su marido, un ex presidente de la república, el escándalo llegó a avergonzar hasta a los mas ofendidos con el gobierno del señor Portillo, en ese entonces Sacha dijo que había sido un mal padre y un mal esposo por abandonar a sus hijos y a su familia por regresarse con su familia anterior, lo tacho de corrupto y a la primera familia del ex presidente de delincuentes no los bajo, pero sea lo que sea no es tan feo decir ante varias cámaras “El ex presidente es un mentiroso y me mintió a mi como le mintió al pueblo de Mexico” a haber podido decir “Era un poco hombre y no paragüas”.

¿Por qué la diferencia cuando el robar y mentir si es pecado?, No lo se, pero las intimidades son eso, y aunque la vida privada y publica solo son una tal vez al pueblo de México si le interese saber si sus presidentes roban pero no les debe interesar tanto si fornican o no.

Al menos a mi no me interesa, y lo que es más, necesito bloquear esa imagen automática en mi mente de dos personas de la 3era edad teniendo relaciones sexuales el 14 de Febrero en el rancho de la mamá del presidente.

Pero La Sra. va por mas, ya probo la fama que da el morbo, nunca volverá a ser la misma, que si ni siquiera una actriz que se desnudaba en películas y se caso con un ex presidente declaro cosas intimas cuando le fue pedido el divorcio lo que estamos viendo a nadie se le hubiera ocurrido ventilarlo jamás, ¿Qué clase de ser humano va a hablar de su vida intima a un programa de televisión que se transmite a las 9 de la mañana? Supongo que por eso la Sra. no llego siendo la primera dama, se caso con un presidente en funciones a los 60 años, nada mas.

  • CNI Noticias dixit.

Hablando de renuncias

10 Feb

Siguiendo con la familia presidencial, ya hoy fue titular la sugerencia de que si la esposa del presidente quiere contender por la presidencia el señor presidente debe renunciar para que no sea tan obvia la relección.

La señora Sahagun a fuerzas quiere ser presidenta, y quiere el poder, todo, no hay medias tintas, y si con divorciarse o hacer que su esposo renuncie a la presidencia logra “la silla grande” seguramente no ha dudado en hacerlo.

El problema no es como hace ni que hace Marta para llegar a la presidencia de aquí en adelante, lo que es claro es que la señora es esposa hoy en dia del actual presidente, por tanto seria una ilegalidad el que ella contendiera, tanto como si contendiera un hijo, hermano, hermanA, hijA o madre de Fox, tendría ventajas y un nada despreciable apoyo desde la presidencia.

Los “obstáculos” pueden quitarse, mañana mismo si Marta lo desea, como quito los obstáculos para casarse aun estando previamente casada, no hay obstáculo para quien no tiene moral ni respeta las leyes, el único “obstáculo” en este caso somos solo nosotros, el pueblo que cree en la no reelección.

Allá en el rancho grande

10 Feb

La noticia principal (incomprensiblemente) de todo el fin de semana Y principio de semana: Ex braseros invaden el rancho “San Cristobal” de Fox.

Opiniones por todas partes, que peligroso, pudo haber pasado lo peor (como me puede explotar el monitor ahorita y matarme o explotar el monitor de mi lector y matarlo), quien lo permitió, los que juegan a la bolita, etc.

Para empezar ya le cambiaron, que ya no es rancho de Fox sino rancho de su mami, osea que era de Fox cuando llevó a medio congreso en camiones o cuando recibió al cardenal para un desayuno, pero cuando lo invaden no es de el, es de su pobre madrecita, que manchados los que entraron, doble mancha.

Luego el asunto de la seguridad, claro, de quererle hacer daño al presidente o a su familia no debe ser difícil, no solo por la inseguridad que impera en el país sino porque además nadie es inalcanzable, una de malas en cualquier momento.

Pero lo que me sorprende son 4 cosas:
1_ ¿Es tan fácil entrar a la casa de campo del presidente Fox?, ¿Ó Fox dio el Bus
hazo con la información que ya tenia y no hizo nada para prevenirlo queriendo así olvidar el tema de Martita y “Vamos Mexico”?.
2_ ¿Por qué tanto escándalo si le hubieran llegado a hacer algo al presidente Fox?, ¿Que hubiera pasado si hubieran dañado o matado a su familia?, ¿Es un ser humano mas valioso, sobresaliente o importante de los que se asesinan, secuestran y violan diario en TODO el país?, Si así lo fuera por ser el presidente, ¿es igual de justo que el tome cartas en el asunto pero en el resto de los crímenes solo el 3% se resuelvan?
3_ Si Fox quiere pintar su raya entre lo publico y lo privado, ¿para que le ha dado tanta publicidad a su vida privada?, ¿por que se ha dejado ver tanto en reuniones meramente sociales en todo el mundo?, ¿Por que los paseos por el Zocalo y las idas a misa si el NO se considera un ciudadano común con los mismos derechos de los demás?
4_ Dice Fox que lo de los ex braseros no es su problema porque no sucedió cuando el era presidente, y ahora, ¿si lo es?, ¿las funciones de un presidente solo conciernen a lo que comienza y finaliza en sus 6 años de periodo?

Fox reitera que el es intocable, que siempre tiene la razón, que puede exigir y usar su puesto para obtener beneficios personales y del congreso pero autolimita sus funciones cada vez mas, el no tiene responsabilidad y mas importante, obligación de hacer nada, y si llega a hacer algo es porque su alma, su corazón y su esposa son muy buenos.

Voy a sugerir esto de manera muy clara, si el presidente Fox no desea solucionar los problemas del país en su calidad de presidente y cree que el puesto no ayuda en nada a solucionar dichos problemas o al pueblo ya que no depende de el hacer algo es fácil ver que debe tomar una decisión, si la silla presidencial no le sirve mas que para gastar dinero en viajes, reuniones, comidas y lecciones de presidencialismo para su esposa el debe irse.

Si el presidente cree que su trabajo no le beneficia al pueblo que el presidente renuncie.

Martita y más Martita

3 Feb

Fue genial, digno de un acto de pura genialidad, sin embargo fue obra de una persona común, demasiado común, parte de los que aun escribimos un poco al mas puro estilo discurso Foxiano “No more acarreados with a torta and a refresco”, y así una reportera de apellido “Silverman” repitió fuerte lo que nadie había querido escuchar.

El articulo, si ignoramos las pobres referencias a intraducibles frases y palabras del castellano, fue soberbio, la descripción de la personalidad Matiana©, la narración realmente descriptiva de los hechos, la visión tan objetiva de como es vista Marta en este país, todo tuvo sentido.

Yo sinceramente dudo de la veracidad de los datos proporcionados por Marta, es mas, dudo que haya datos del todo, dudo de su verdad, dudo de su sinceridad, de su tono conmovedor, dudo mucho, y dudo mas que el periódico Financial Times mienta, porque lo que se comento de las cuentas de “Vamos Mexico” ya se ha comentado por muchos reporteros yy analistas en muchas ocasiones anteriores.
Tantos periodistas serios no pueden estar equivocados.

Martita amaneció con el humor de enfrentarlo todo por primera vez, no sabemos cuanto ni hasta donde pero el que la hayan hecho salir de su perfumado letargo ya es ganancia.
La señora, en un precioso comentario, o mas bien, en una categórica afirmación se defendió en un momento de la entrevista/defensa con Adela Micha y Leonardo : “Lo de Elton Jhon, yo nunca dije que iba a donar todo lo recaudado” haciendo referencia a que se le acusa de SOLO haber donado el 10% de lo recaudado en el evento y esto 15 meses después de realizado.

Señora, nadie la culpa de decir mentiras en cuanto a lo que dono, ¡se le acusa de no haber donado mas que el 10% de lo recaudado!, válgame, no se ayude tanto.

Maravilloso, simplemente maravilloso.

Superb

3 Feb

What is it with newspapers that all of a sudden charge a fee to read the news online, I know, newsreporters eat too, but that’s what publicity is for, isn’t it?
I searched for an article yesterday, on the Financial Times, I found it and was able to read it, today, when I wanted to link to it the article says “Subscription Only”.

My God, one of the best articles I’ve ever read about Marta Sahagun and now it was gone, what am I supposed to do? Forget it? Let the opportunity pass by?
I never (well, rarely) link to or copy information from other sources, a possible mistake, but today I must do an exception, this article already gave material for a front page of different 2 national newspapers, 1 “no questions” emergency press conference, 1 live interview, news media coverage in at least 4 different countries and the list keeps growing.
If the people from the Financial Times consider this a violation of the copyright rights please inform me so and I’ll remove this article ipso facto.

Married to the job
By Sara Silver
FT.com site; Jan 30, 2004
The villagers of Chapulaco watch the helicopter drift over the fields of cactus-like maguey plants to a clearing beyond the dry-stone wall. Official vehicles wait to transport its elegant passenger and her entourage up the steep cobblestone road, which disintegrates just past the primary school.

Families have assembled on the cement basketball court where Mexico’s first lady is donating bicycles to help nine children from the village reach the secondary school three kilometres away. Bodyguards keep the petite Marta Sahagun de Fox from shaking the hand of each and every one of the villagers. But the rest marvel at her dress, which seems to sparkle. Her scarf is so beautiful they have no words to describe it.

“No-one’s ever come this far to give us this kind of help,” says Avelina Villeda Trejo. Her 11-year-old daughter Soledad is one of those receiving a shiny red bike to get her down the hill to her new school.

Down that hill a group of villagers plants summer tomatoes, hoping as ever that they will bear fruit before the coming of the winter frosts. They appreciate the gift of bicycles, they say, but running water would be better. Then they would not have to collect and boil rainwater to drink. But bicycles are what Mrs Fox has, so that is what they get.

They are among the visible works of the charity she started soon after marrying President Vicente Fox in the summer of 2001. She called it the Vamos Mexico (Let’s Go Mexico) Foundation – from a slogan that was considered by her husband’s presidential campaign but never used.

It closely parallels Forza Italia (Let’s Go Italy), which Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi adopted both as a slogan and the name of his centre-right party. As Berlusconi made a political base out of what began as a football chant and then became a movement financed by his fortune, so Mrs Fox has made a political platform for herself – a widespread perception that has led cynics to refer to her foundation as Vamos Marta.

Senora Marta, as she is sometimes called, is playing with these perceptions. Earlier this month she told Mexico City’s El Universal that a final decision on whether to run in the July 2006 presidential election would require a “long period of arduous reflection”. But the topic is front-page news. And she made this tantalising remark: “You’ll have Marta around for a long time. I think Mexico is now ready to have a presidenta (female president).”

If Mrs Fox does end up running for president, she would be campaigning to be the first female head of state of the world’s ninth-largest economy, whose 100 million people share a 3,000-mile border with the US. Although machismo helped frustrate her attempt to become mayor of her hometown, she is hoping it won’t stand in the way of her quest to attain the nation’s highest office.

Mexico’s political classes have greeted her hints about running for president with frenzy. She is plainly the favoured candidate among the rank-and-file of President Fox’s National Action Party (PAN). But the party’s leaders see her candidacy as a betrayal. In the heady days of 2000, Mr Fox inspired voters to turn their backs on the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), which had ruled Mexico for seven decades.

He promised to modernise the country, make its government professional, fight corruption, promote transparency – and end nepotism. Mrs Fox is a newcomer among Mexico’s rich and powerful. She was married at 17 and raised three children in the small central city of Celaya. To escape an unhappy marriage, she threw herself into politics, friends say, and was noticed by Vicente Fox, then governor of Guanajuato state.

He was impressed by her unsuccessful effort to become Celaya’s first woman mayor and invited her to direct his communications staff. Later she worked tirelessly to help fulfill his presidential ambitio
ns. On the first anniversary of his landmark election victory, she married the handsome president, embodying the soap-opera fantasies of many Mexican women – especially the poor.

Mrs Fox attributes her current status to hard work and her Roman Catholic faith – which holds sway over the hearts, if not the minds, of much of Mexico. Her popularity soared when she and the president violated church doctrine by marrying in a civil ceremony without annulling their previous marriages. During a honeymoon trip to the Vatican – which she threatened to cancel if the Pope’s minders did not grant her a private audience with the Pontiff (they did) – a photographer from the official Notimex news agency captured a choreographed presidential kiss in front of St Peter’s. When the Pope landed in Mexico City in 2002 there were just three chairs on the dais in the presidential hangar. His Holiness sat between President Fox and and his wife. Insiders say it was her idea for the presidential couple to kneel and kiss the Pope’s ring, her eyes streaming with tears. The image created perhaps the most memorable gesture of the Fox administration and symbolically broke Mexico’s long separation of church and state.

Not that such scenes are alien to the president himself. A former marketer who rose to head Coca-Cola Mexico in the late 1970s, Fox used his gift for the grand spectacle to great advantage as he campaigned to oust the long-ruling PRI – performing such stunts as kicking a coffin labelled “PRI” across a stage and waving the banner of Mexico’s patron saint, the Virgin of Guadalupe. Defeating a party so well entrenched was a huge achievement. But after almost three years in power, most analysts agree that this remains his biggest success.

What his administration has not done is forge deals to jumpstart the economy, raise tax collection, revitalise Mexico’s nationalised petroleum and power industries or break up the monopolies and cartels that have a stranglehold on Mexican consumers. For this it needs the help of the PRI, which holds an effective majority in both legislative chambers and which, amid much rancour, voted down Fox’s most public attempt at fiscal reform last month. Similarly, the ministers Fox plucked from the private sector with the aid of corporate headhunters have not had the political experience or nous to cut Mexico’s overweight federal bureaucracy. His administration has also been the victim of some global bad timing. China has displaced Mexico as America’s second-largest trading partner and the downturn in the US economy over the past few years has raised unemployment.

However, Fox has maintained his ability to speak positively and optimistically through it all, and this trait continues to endear him to Mexicans. They swung against his party in mid-term elections last summer, but poll after poll shows that the president himself remains the country’s most popular politician, with an approval rating well above 50 per cent. Mrs Fox is an essential part of his appeal. The president consults her on every important decision and speaks of the “presidential couple”. She is one of a triumvirate of trusted advisers who oversee everything from his schedule to his staff appointments. “The impression Fox gave of being a strong man – moustache, boots, giant belt buckle – is just a facade, since he’s really a weak man,” says Alfonso Zarate, a political analyst at GCI, a think-tank in Mexico City. “It’s Marta who makes him strong.”

First ladies around the world are known for dedicating themselves to raising money for charity, but Mrs Fox decided she needed more. Martita, as she is also known, wanted to emulate the icon of all Latin American first ladies, Evita Peron, by setting up her own foundation to work for the poor. “I want to make history, but not for me,” she told one interviewer. “I want to make history for Mexican women, above all for those who need the most.”

Vamos Mexico was registered as a private charity in line with her husband’s conservative prescription of “co-responsibility” for reducing poverty. “The government cannot do eve
rything and society cannot do it alone,” she says. The first lady’s idea was to use the contacts with Mexico’s conglomerates, multinational corporations and foreign-aid agencies that came with her position to connect “those who have the most with those who need the most”. With an accelerated fundraising machine that is asking for millions from billionaires and spare coins from supermarket shoppers, Vamos Mexico has become one of the most visible – and controversial – parts of the Fox administration’s promised “government of change”.

It lines up to receive donated computers and buses as well as the proceeds from boxing matches (entitled “Fighting for Mexico”), all-star concerts, television appeals and repeated solicitations to business. This month, the first lady has been leading a five-person delegation to ask for help from major New York foundations for its US arm, Vision Mexico. However, the organisation has yet to file financial information with the US tax authorities. In establishing Vamos Mexico, Mrs Fox ignored the warnings of Mexico’s established foundation leaders, who encouraged her to raise funds for government and private charities – as other first ladies had done – and not create a separate charity to compete for scarce donations. However, she was adamant that she did not want to be limited to the traditional role of a political wife in Mexico, that of supporting the government family agency, DIF. “I can, should and will do more,” she said.

She may be doing more, but you can’t tell exactly what, as little independent information is available. The foundation has not made public its audited financial statements since 2001. It gave the Financial Times partial statements for 2002. Statements for 2003 are not due until later this year.

This much is clear: some of the business of her foundation, including press relations, is handled by her personal staff at Los Pinos, the presidential residence, and their salaries are paid by taxpayer funds. Critics say the foundation is a thinly veiled vehicle for promoting her presidential ambitions. Most political analysts view the first lady’s crusade with some cynicism. According to Denise Dresser, a political scientist at Mexico City’s Instituto Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico university (ITAM): “She has a hunger to be and to do, to see and to be seen, to transcend and leave her mark, to use power and to revel in it. It doesn’t matter whether she does this in the name of the nation, the poor or the president.” Nonsense, says Mrs Fox, who argues that she works passionately out of love for her country and to help the Mexicans who have the least.

It all started with a candle in the wind. On October 21 2001, the rhythms of Elton John’s song filled the historic castle glowing above Mexico City’s Chapultepec Park, where Mexico’s elite feasted on lobster and filet mignon at the $10,000-per-plate launch of Fundacion Vamos Mexico. The Castillo de Chapultepec, from which Mexican patriots jumped to their deaths to avoid capture during the Mexican-American War, is a national monument normally unavailable for private parties. But Sari Bermudez, who was promoted from journalist to minister of culture after writing a flattering biography of Mrs Fox, put the castle at her friend’s disposal for the evening. The guests were greeted by protesters. And some executives, who felt they couldn’t refuse the first lady’s request to buy a table for 10, let their children attend instead. Dedicating “Candle in the Wind” to President Fox and Senora Marta, Elton John said he felt honoured to be the first to participate in the Vamos Mexico campaign, expressing his hope that the concert would raise “millions and millions”.

Mrs Fox has repeatedly assured the non-profit world that her foundation would join – and not draw money away from – projects “that really propose solutions to the poverty in which millions of Mexicans still live”.

In fact, only 4.6m pesos (£226,000) of the concert’s proceeds of 72m pesos, were donated that year to “those who need the most”, according to the 2001 aud
ited statements. Organisers spent three times as much on drinks, souvenirs and other trappings for the sumptuous event. Jose Antonio Sosa Plata, the foundation’s director at the time, told the FT there was not enough time left in the year to give away more.

But it is not clear that the foundation gave out much more of the concert’s proceeds the next year, either. In 2002, only 3.2m pesos from direct contributions were distributed to other charities, according to its report for the year 2002. Even if all of those were from the previous year’s concert – and none from that year’s 42.9m in direct donations – that suggests that a maximum of 10 per cent of the money Elton John helped raise that October night actually reached Mexico’s poor 15 months after the concert. The exact amount isn’t clear since the foundation would not make its financial officers available to answer questions about its audited financial statements. The bulk of the funds raised at the concert still seemed to be sitting in the accounts of Vamos Mexico at the end of December 2002 – part of a $6m endowment which, the first lady later told the FT, is in keeping with the “assembly’s mandate to have a solid patrimony which can’t be touched”. Fran Curtis, a spokeswoman for Elton John, said the singer had no comment.

Mexico badly needs a campaign against poverty. The nation has withstood numerous changes in the past decade – the most dramatic being the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement, which sent trade soaring and helped to stabilise the economy. Years of painful fiscal and monetary policies have tamed inflation, which is now below 4 per cent. But none of these reforms has softened the grinding poverty that afflicts half the population. Although Mr Fox promised 7 per cent economic growth and one million new jobs each year during his term of office, per capita GDP has fallen in each of his three years in power.

It is estimated that seven million Mexicans work illegally in the US, but many more are desperate to do so, even if it means risking death to cross the border. Official figures show that, on average, more than one a day died in 2002. Many perished trying to cross the desert. Others suffocated in poorly ventilated trucks. The president claimed credit last year for lifting 700,000 Mexicans out of poverty. But economists say the statistical improvement is largely the result of a fall in the prices of the basic commodities that make up the basket of goods used to define poverty. Nonetheless, many Mexicans still hope for change from the president – and from his wife.

Like other controversial first ladies – including Argentina’s Eva Peron – Marta Sahagun is despised by many in the elite. They see her as an uneducated, provincial woman whose ambitions outpace her capabilities, who trades her control over the president’s schedule, staff appointments and decisions in return for favours for friends and contributors to her foundation. But among Mexico’s poor and middle class, Mrs Fox remains exceedingly popular. Supporters of her husband’s PAN party name her as their preferred candidate, according to a poll conducted this month by the Mexican think-tank GEA. Only Mexico City’s mayor, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who is considered the left’s president-in-waiting, wins more potential votes in a field of likely candidates.

The first lady’s good works are publicised constantly. Mrs Fox appears on television shows distributing food to hurricane victims and bicycles to rural schoolchildren. She prints parenting guides; she comforts battered women in shelters and handicapped children in orphanages; she delivers computers to schools and medical equipment to hospitals. The president’s office publishes her speeches. The government news agency Notimex pumps out her photographs.

Her image is as pervasive as that of the president. Ever conscious of the media, Mrs Fox replaced the author’s introduction to a drug addiction guide with her own photograph and plasters her foundation’s logo on the donated bicycles and on kits to help rural midwives make births more sanitary. She invites celebr
ity magazines to her birthday parties and wins cover space with saccharine interviews about her love for her country and her husband – who is oddly absent from the photo spreads. But she gives limited access to the mainstream press and is angry when the coverage is less than flattering. After a book suggested that her sons have exploited their mother’s position to accumulate unexplained wealth and have used presidential aircraft for shopping trips, the first lady took her denial not to the mainstream news programmes, but to a popular morning talk-show hosted by a clown named Brozo, who uses humour to address topics considered to be too sensitive for other media. The attorney-general announced that he saw no reason to investigate.

In practice, the foundation’s policy of “connectivity and linkages” means that Vamos Mexico relies on other foundations to carry out its programmes. It often works with two other organisations, creating a financial triangle that makes it hard to trace the foundation’s exact contribution to any project, says Sara Murua – who, as a legislator for the opposition Democratic Revolution Party, helped write Mexico City’s charity laws.

This was the case with the bicycles-for-schoolchildren programme, involving both the foundation of the TV Azteca television station – which held an on-air fundraiser for the foundation – and the Telmex Foundation, which matched donations peso for peso. The telephone company then used its staff, offices and trucks to secure and distribute most of the bicycles. As at Chapulaco, Mrs Fox was the public face of the project, but her foundation leaned heavily on the two well-established foundations to complete it.

Other charities, including smaller service organisations for orphans and the blind, have seen their sources of funding dry up – in part because so many businesses feel obliged to donate to the first lady’s foundation. But most charities are afraid of complaining publicly for fear that they won’t get any money from Vamos Mexico either.

In a paper entitled “Vamos Mexico or How to Monopolise Philanthropy”, Veronica Baz of Mexico City’s Centro de Investigacion y Docencia Economica (CIDE) suggested that the almost 6,000 registered charitable organisations in Mexico were right to complain that the new foundation would eat up resources. “The borders of Mexican philanthropy are probably a zero-sum game,” she wrote. “What Vamos Mexico receives is probably what other organisations would have collected. With what right does the president – or his wife – make one of these organisations their own personal monopoly, bringing all the influence of Los Pinos (the presidential complex) in its favour?”

Sosa Plata, the political communications expert chosen as the foundation’s first director, denies that Vamos Mexico is crowding out smaller charities. “Fundacion Vamos Mexico isn’t taking money away from anyone,” he said in a telephone interview. “It has its own resources, and it’s not necessarily through habitual donors, so that’s why we have commercial alliances.”

Most of Mrs Fox’s donors do not appear to be doing it for the publicity, unlike the bulk of donors to Mexican charities. The foundation refuses to name the 93 individuals who donated an average of $40,000 each in 2002, and the first lady sees no potential conflict of interest in accepting money from companies regulated by, or doing business with, the government, such as Telmex or Coca-Cola. “From the start of the foundation’s activities, a recurrent request from several donors has been not to reveal their names or the institutions they represent,” according to the foundation’s answers to my written questions.

However, the partial 2002 financial statements that Mrs Fox gave to the FT last May show that of the 153m pesos the foundation raised over its first 15 months, only 46m (or 30 per cent) had been donated to charities. Another 34 per cent, or 53m pesos, was consumed in overheads – not counting the staff on the presidential payroll or the donated goods and services the foundation use
d. By contrast, the Mexican Centre for Philanthropy recommends that community foundations give out 80 per cent of their income in donations, spend just 10 per cent on overheads and set aside 10 per cent as a financial cushion. When asked repeatedly if the overhead rates weren’t high for a foundation that provides connectivity and linkages, Mr Sosa Plata said that all the foundation’s expenditures were approved by its board.

This is not to suggest that the first lady shows any sign of having something to hide. In April last year she made a call for legislation to make charities transparent. “We face this head-on and we have no fear of accusations,” she said while visiting a home for street children. In late May she appeared at the prestigious Asturias Club, dressed in scarlet silk, for her own exercise in transparency.

In announcing Vamos Mexico’s annual report for 2002, which contained no audited financial statement, she said she wanted to answer lingering questions about what the foundation was doing and deal with reports that it had just fired its director and dozens of staffers. Yet she did not entertain a single question. Instead, velvet ropes and a bevy of presidential security guards kept her at a distance from all but her staunchest supporters, including the wives of Mexico’s richest men and the directors of social service agencies eager for a slice of the foundation’s charity.

A disembodied and anonymous female voice, speaking in the royal “we”, welcomed visitors and invited Marta Sahagun, as president of the Fundacion Vamos Mexico, to the podium. Describing herself as a fortunate woman with a marvellous opportunity to work on behalf of those who suffer, she made a speech at times breathtaking in its force, a reminder of the conviction that helped elect her husband three years earlier. “To not take advantage of a situation like this would be frankly unforgivable,” she said. “For this reason, I perform my professional duties with love and out of conviction. I assume total responsibility for the cause in which I believe.”

Mrs Fox said her goal in releasing the 2002 annual report, was “to leave completely clear the origin and destination of the funds we raised”. Unfortunately, the poorly photocopied document was a jumble of erroneous maths, misspellings (Sahagun was spelled Sahun) and financial obfuscation, such as failing to distinguish between cash and in-kind donations. The impressive slide presentation claimed collaboration with companies such as Banamex, owned by Citigroup and the country’s biggest bank, which turned out to involve a contribution to a disaster account at the bank. It also listed collaboration with the phone company Avantel, whose work was to create and maintain a web portal.

After the foundation had refused requests for interviews for months, the first lady herself did eventually accede. I was invited to the presidential cabin amid the manicured gardens of Los Pinos. Dispensing with formalities, she shared the living room sofa with me. Perched on the ledge behind was a photograph of the presidential couple riding a single horse, her face shining behind the president’s like a sliver of moon.

“OK! But I want you to be very clear because the fundamental mission of Vamos Mexico isn’t about collecting millions of pesos. That’s not the fundamental mission,” she said slowly, enunciating every word as if I didn’t understand Spanish very well. “The fundamental mission is to add to the efforts of other organisations – and I say ‘add to’ because we are neither the first, nor the only, nor the best. We are joining those who have been promoting social participation, those who have been doing it. I have been pushing more and more the model of connectivity and linkages and that’s not about money.”

To her credit, Mrs Fox did hand over the audited statements for 2002, minus the numerous footnotes. These showed that the foundation used 40 per cent of that year’s 81.3m pesos in donations on overheads – administration, fundraising and operations. Other charities received essentiall
y all of the 38.4m pesos in donations from “commercial alliances” – half of the amount coming from a bus company, which donates used vehicles to be equipped as computer labs. Just 7 per cent of the 42.9m pesos raised in direct, presumably cash, donations was passed along.

When I told her that the audited financial statements were not on the internet, she turned to an aide in shock. “How strange!” she said. “This document isn’t on the website? Because this has to be on the website. When did you last check the page?” (The statements were still not there when this article went to press.)

Mrs Fox looked at the floor for much of the interview. “Why the investigation?” she asked, smiling. “Is this simply a journalistic task, or is there clear intention to be able to determine something, or what?” She laughed when I explained that examining the accounts of a large charity was within the scope of an FT journalist’s work. I showed her a minor 60-peso addition mistake in the paragraph-long section “Transparency and Submission of Accounts”, whose figures didn’t match a chart breaking down corporate alliances. She promised to put me in touch with an accountant or even the auditor the very next morning, or as soon as I could give her a list of questions.

As it happened, anonymous answers to my written questions were slipped under the door of the FT’s office weeks later in an unmarked envelope. Whoever at the foundation provided the answers always referred to the unaudited annual report and refused to answer questions about the audited statements. Auditors KPMG did not respond to my telephone or e-mail requests to clarify their accounting policies – in particular, to explain why they had changed their accounting method between 2001 and 2002, dispensing with breakdowns of what comprised operating, administration and fundraising expenses. The day after I asked Coca-Cola about its $2m collaboration with the first lady, one of her aides at Los Pinos phoned the FT’s bureau chief in Mexico (who happens to be my husband) to ask if I was doing journalistic work or had some other mission.

I was asking for good reason. For years, Coca-Cola had donated $1m a year to a Mexican trust which it set up and operated to build dormitories for indigenous students who lived too far from school to commute during the week. It seemed odd to me that the company needed to pass its double-sized cheque through the accounts of the foundation’s US arm, Vision Mexico, only for it to be deposited with its own trust. A company spokesman suggested this was because the foundation could then attract new donors to the Coca-Cola project. However, he could not name any. In November, the Latin America editor of the FT received a call in London from Baroness Patricia Rawlings, a Tory shadow minister for foreign affairs in the House of Lords, to relay the first lady’s fears that the story might be biased and to ask about our plans to publish it. The first lady’s personal secretary then called the paper’s Mexico office and the British Embassy to ask for the contact information of the owner of the FT (which is a subsidiary of the publicly quoted Pearson group).

With her presidential ambitions now further in the open, Mrs Fox may have to work harder to explain the foundation’s fuzzy accounts. There is already some antipathy towards her among senior figures of the PAN. Party leader Luis Felipe Bravo Mena has simply said she would not be a candidate. German Martinez, the party’s joint leader in Congress, said: “President Fox doesn’t give the orders in the next presidential election.” He added that Mrs Fox should wait her turn. Other PAN politicians and some officials of the Roman Catholic church have said she is under-qualified and should serve first as a governor or senator – as Hillary Clinton has done – before running for president.

But Miguel de la Madrid, Mexican president during the 1980s and now an elder statesman of the PRI, made the point most clearly. He said President Fox should persuade his wife to desist, as running “would be equivalent to a re-elect
ion”. This is strong language in Mexico. “No re-election” was a slogan of the Mexican Revolution. Governors, members of congress and the president are all limited to one term.

Yet whatever the strength of opposition from Mexico’s traditional power-brokers, her foundation has already given Mrs Fox an independent platform which could make her the next outside candidate to win her party’s nomination – just as her husband did. Like him, she has grasped that the new model of Mexican politics means an individual power base can be more important than paying party dues.

Alfonso Zarate of the GCI think-tank says the first lady’s popularity does not surprise him. “Mexican political culture has no democratic base and so people expect charitable acts to benefit her. What they like is that she does visit the pueblos and gives them something.”

Doubters should talk to the villagers in Chapulaco. “President Fox? We only see him on television, but his wife actually came,” says Azucena Villeda, one of the women in the village, taking a break from sifting the volcanic rock used to provide drainage for the tomato plants. These will thrive in the greenhouse until winter winds penetrate the holes in its plastic walls.

Sara Silver is an FT correspondent in Mexico