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The Cardinal’s Edifice Complex

18 April 2008

I can’t afford the Guadalajara Reporter, but I did manage to get this leader off their Sunday (13 April 2008)front page:

Jalisco Governor says US Consulate report was ‘false

Jalisco Governor Emilio Gonzalez has accused diplomats at the U.S. Consulate General in Guadalajara of misrepresenting him in a report the mission sent to Washington.
According to the report, Gonzalez told the two U.S. officials that the Roman Catholic Church was backing his bid for governor and urging its 3,000 priests in the state to work on his behalf – an act that would be illegal under state and federal law.

The U.S. Consulate General probably did something underhanded… like read the newspaper. Or attended the Governor’s 24 March press conference. Cardinal Juan Sandoval Íñiguez, at a press conference WITH Governor Gonzalez, graciously accepted the offer of ninety million pesos of state funds, saying “It is in the interest of the State Government” to cough up the dough for the 2 BILLION PESO (200 thousand million) memorial to the losing side in the last great religious war in Mexico. The government won, by the way, which makes you wonder why the state government is putting up the cash.

It also makes a lot of Jaliscenses ask the same question. The State Commission on Human Rights received a record 2,717 official complaints about the “donation”. Last Friday, 1500 citizens, calling themselves the “Citizens Movement for the Defense of Public Funds” took to the streets to complain. Sunday’s El Informador reports that even the head of the Governor’s own party has suggested he listen to the complaints and back off.

So, let’s ask the two billion peso question… WHY?

Cardinal Sandoval — the model for the corrupt bishop in El Crimen de Padre Amaro — has flouted election laws in the past (as well as being accused of money laundering and having ties to narcotics traffickers — but what the hey… he used to be Bishop of Juarez. This monument to the Cristero War martyrs (when something around 18,000 people — mostly poor Jalisco peasants — died along with the idea that Mexico would be under clerical control) is also a monument to the reactionary wing of the Church that Sandoval has encouraged (and the PAN party wing that supports the reactionaries). He’d like to see it finished before he dies, and he’s 75 years old now.

With State funds probably off the table, His Eminence spoke to the press about his “mega-begathon” , brushing off the legal issues by saying “There’s six million people in this state, and only 3000 lawsuits. What’s the problem?”

What’s Spanish for chutzpah?

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Derek permalink
    22 April 2008 8:14 pm

    Chutzpah en espanol es La Concha: Ele tiene mucha concha. Si? No? Pienso que ele tiene much concha.

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