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An “attempted quasi-coup”?

11 June 2014

Photos of a drawn-looking Enrique Peña Nieto have been circulating lately (at least on the Mexican left) revising rumors that the President is extremely ill. Carlos Loret de Mola… a right-leaning Televisa journalist, first made the issue a national one last August when he suggested the President’s treatment for what was reported as a thyroid condition was possibly a cover for cancer treatments. Mexican media does not report, nor does the government comment on, presidential health, but it was known that Peña Nieto had been treated for a pre-cancerous prostate when he was Governor of Mexican state.

When AMLO had a heart attack last year, there were plenty of rightist twits (er… “tweets”) wishing the guy a speedy death, so I can’t blame the guy for tweeting:

“I don’t believe it, and don’t wish it on him. But, it would give us a way out [presumably of the political and economic situation in Mexico at present] if he had to resign for health reasons.”

AMLO is a master snark-a-teer and to add insult to injury, posted a photo of himself playing baseball. Presidential spokesman, Eduardo Sanchez Hernandez responded in kind, asking if AMLO could run 6.3 miles in 53 minutes and one second (as Peña Nieto was reported having done recently).

EPN-drawnI donno.. maybe Peña Neito is ill, or maybe all that running is just making his face look thinner, or maybe he’s on some weird diet, but to go as far as “El Universal” and claim it was an “attempted quasi-coup” (designed to do what? Force congress to pick an interim president… who surely would not be AMLO?) is a bit rich.

For the record, the only time a president has resigned for reasons of health, was in 1932, and it was a “soft coup” of a sort. It’s complicated (like everything else in Mexican political history), but with Obregon’s assassination in November 1928, after he had been elected to a six year term, but had not yet assumed office, Congress… as the Constitution calls for… apppointed Emilio Portes Gil as “interim president” only to serve until the next federal election in in 1929. Pascal Ortiz Rubio was elected, but he was in extremely poor health…mostly the result of surviving an assassination attempt by Catholic terrorists on his way to his own inaugural ball.

While Ortiz Rubio probably had what is today called Post-Traumatic Stress among other ills, his removal from office was more due to his political independence from the then-controlling Calles machine than any serious concerns for his health. Reportedly Ortiz Rubio only learned how ill he was when he read in the newspaper that he had resigned for health reasons. Which… prudently … he did.

With Peña Nieto having sewn up support from his own party, as well as most of PAN, and a good chunk of PRD, it’s hard to imagine a scenario like this again. However, if he is, indeed, extremely ill, I’d expect a situation more like that during the latter part of the Lopez Mateos administration when the president’s health had seriously deteriorated but the rein of government was under the direction of Gustavo Diaz Ordaz, at the time Secretario de Gobernacion (interior minister or home secretary) and Lopez Mateos’ successor in 1964.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Michael permalink
    11 June 2014 7:24 am

    AMLO = Andrés Manuel López Obrador
    I had to look it up.

  2. Hugo permalink
    12 June 2014 11:19 pm

    “Presidential spokesman, Eduardo Sanchez Hernandez responded in kind, asking if AMLO could run 6.3 miles in 53 minutes and one second (as Peña Nieto was reported having done recently).” He was probably running together Roberto Madrazo and then that distance in such short time would be no problem at all. Remember Madrazo beat the world record in the Berlin marathon…until he was discovered.

  3. 24 June 2014 8:14 am

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