Carlos Salinas de Gortari

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Carlos Salinas de Gortari (2006)
NAFTA signing :
Salinas, George Bush and Brian Mulroney in the background (1992)

Carlos Salinas de Gortari (born April 3, 1948 in Mexico City ) is a Mexican politician and was President of Mexico (1988-1994).

Salinas studied at the Universities of Mexico and Harvard . In 1978 he received his doctorate in political economy .

From 1971 to 1974 Salinas worked in the Mexican Ministry of Finance. From 1979 to 1981 he worked in the budget and planning ministry. Salinas became the campaign manager of Miguel de la Madrid when he ran for president in 1981 . After de la Madrid's election victory, he became budget minister.

In 1988 Salinas succeeded de la Madrid in the presidency. His election was overshadowed by a scandal. When the opposing candidate was surprisingly ahead after the first votes were counted, the computer system inexplicably collapsed. After a few days, Salinas was determined to be the winner. The election papers were destroyed a few years later.

In December 1992, Salinas, US President George Bush and Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney signed the North American Free Trade Agreement ( NAFTA ).

Salinas' policy ensured an economic upswing through strong influx of international capital, but for political reasons he kept the currency, the Mexican peso , strongly overvalued. Numerous areas of the economy were privatized, which did not happen without corruption and self-enrichment of the ruling class.

During his term of office, the Zapatista uprising ( EZLN ) fell, which, contrary to the advice of employees, he did not suppress through a massive military operation , but rather contained it by driving the rebels to remote villages.

According to the constitution, Salinas was not allowed to run for another term as president in 1994. On August 25, Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de León was elected President. A few months earlier, on March 23, 1994, PRI candidate Luis Donaldo Colosio was murdered at an election rally in Tijuana . One month after Zedillo took office, the currency collapsed ( tequila crisis ), which led to a massive economic crisis, which his successor chalked up. This, as well as the uncovering of the machinations of Salinas' brother Raúl, who had earned a three-digit million dollar amount from deals with drug cartels and had the general secretary of the ruling PRI party killed in an assassination attempt to cover his actions , led Salinas to pursue himself Ireland fled into a kind of self- imposed exile .