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Subversion 101

22 June 2010

It’s no secret that U.S. government tries to clandestinely infiltrate Mexican political affairs. But I didn’t realize that they advertised on Craig’s List … and that they can’t spell:

This is from Craig’s List for Mexico City:

Program Officer and Intren (DF)

Fecha: 2010-06-19, 11:03AM CDT
Contestar a: [Errors when replying to ads?]

US NGO looking for a Program Officer and Intern for its Mexico City office.

Program Officer must hold Bachelors degree or above and have experience in NGO/International Affairs field. This person will administer programs with Governors, Mayors and State Legislatures.

Intern must have interest in working in NGO/International Affairs field.

Please send CV in English. is, if you’re interested, highlights their work with  “civil society organizations” — although the two mentioned on their site — “Movimiento por Oaxaca” and “Inculca Valore” — either don’t have websites of their own, or are misidentified.  There is a “Moviemiento Ciudadano Por Oaxaca”that does voter registration, and seems to be the group IRI is supporting.  Any number of Mexican organizations work to “Inculca Valore” one way or another.  Most are religious groups or — in one instance — a motivational speaker, but perhaps they are referring to the workshops sponsored by Nelson Vargas — who runs a chain of fitness centers and who came to prominence after his son was kidnapped and murdered.  Vargas — with State of Mexico Governor Enrique Peña Nieto — was involved in a ‘ “Talla Politica Incaulcar Valores” in Huixquilucan, State of Mexico.  Huixquilucan is prominently mentioned in IRI literature as a “model community” and it appears the local administration receives considerable attention from IRI.

None of this is sinister, and information exchanges on ways of registering voters or “instilling values” are — on the face of it — benign activities.  HOWEVER… the IRI — “International Republican Institute” — is a one-hand off agent of the United States government.  It is part of the “National Endowment for Democracy” set up by the Reagan Administration as a political and propaganda arm of the Agency for International Development.  According to the Institute for Policy Study’s “Right Web” (Tracking militarists’ efforts to influence U.S.foreign policy):

The private, congressionally funded NED has been a controversial tool in U.S. foreign policy because of its support for groups that push an agenda closely in line with U.S. objectives and because of its association with efforts to overthrow foreign governments. As the writers Jonah Gindin and Kirsten Weld remarked in the January/February 2007 NACLA Report on the Americas: “Since [1983], the NED and other democracy-promoting governmental and nongovernmental institutions have intervened successfully on behalf of ‘democracy’—actually a very particular form of low-intensity democracy chained to pro-market economics—in countries from Nicaragua to the Philippines, Ukraine to Haiti, overturning unfriendly ‘authoritarian’ governments (many of which the United States had previously supported) and replacing them with handpicked pro-market allies.”

NED works through four core institutes: the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDIIA), the International Republican Institute (IRI), the American Center for International Labor Solidarity (ACILS), and the Center for International Private Enterprise—representing, respectively, the country’s two major political parties, organized labor, and the business community.

IRI, in other words, is run by the Republican Party as a subcontractor to the United States government to “Inculca neo-liberal valores”.  It is a major supporter of the “Global Center for Democracy and Development” — a “club” for neo-liberal and right-wing ex-presidents (Vicente Fox, Alejandro Toledo of Peru, Jose Maria Aznar of  Spain, Carlos Mesa of Bolivia and others) and is widely suspected of clandestine political activity on behalf of similarly minded candidates within Latin America and elsewhere.  IRI is to the State Department as Blackwater is to the military.

The IRI’s board, chaired by John McCain, is composed of old Republican Party leaders, mostly from the first Bush era, or left-overs from the occupation government of Iraq, and a few, like Liz Cheney (daughter of Dick Cheney) from the extreme right of that party.

NED is said to have played a behind the scenes role in Felipe Calderón’s election, and there is no secret that Republican Party operatives were active in both the Fox and Calderón presidential campaigns — whether funded through the IRI or not, I don’t know.

Although IRI claims to have worked with the three major Mexican parties (PAN, PRI and PRD), I find no evidence on the IRI website of any connection to PRD, and to PAN only in the State of Mexico… where, coincidentally, the Governor — from the neo-liberal wing of PRI — is being pushed as the most likely successor to the presidency in 2012 — with the assistance of Nelson Vargas, whose anti-crime citizen’s organization has been cynically used by the present administration in an attempt to delegitimize the PRD and left-wing alternative solutions to political and economic problems.

There’s probably nothing very derring-do, or overtly illegal about IRI’s program director job.  There may be a labor law problem with hiring an “intern”: in this country workers are workers, even if they are students and also receiving academic credit from some institution.  “Interns” are usually unpaid, or paid only a stipend and are outside the normal labor market.

Then again, maybe an “intren” is something entirely different, or — being in the business of subverting foreign governments — the IRI don’t need no stinkin’ labor regulations.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Maggie permalink
    22 June 2010 11:40 am

    Oh darn, I guess I don’t qualify for that job.


  2. Tio Foncho permalink
    22 June 2010 4:00 pm

    Hmmmm. Since it is illegal, under Mexican law, for foreigners to meddle in the internal political affairs of Mexico, one would have to wonder how a “subersive” organization like IRI could be allowed to exist in Mexico. I mean, are the Mexicans THAT stupid?

    Just a little bit of reading leads to the discovery that the IRI was invited into Mexico by Vicente Fox’s PAN party right after he was elected. This was done as the National Action Party (PAN) significantly increased its international activities to promote democracy. As a matter of fact, In 2006, PAN joined with IRI to train political party representatives and civil society groups from Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Venezuela. So then, PAN and IRI are partners.



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