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What people think of the proposed tax reform and the political climate in Mexico

By Jade Arroyo

Residents of San Miguel from different sectors of society gave us their opinions on the reforms proposed by the federal government and the current political climate in Mexico.

Angel Miquel, photographer and graphic designer
“I’m not in favor of the reforms, because they would harm the middle and lower classes. From what I have heard, they’re pretty unfair. About the protesters, I believe they didn’t have the right to use violence against them. To repress them in order to celebrate Mexico’s independence is contradictory. I feel that we can be proud of being Mexican, but not of our government or the official celebrations.”
Josefina Valentini, owner of La Ventana coffee shop
“Well, my opinion is a sad one. As far as I know, the reforms do not help the majority of the population. I feel like we don’t move forward; we just keep repeating the same old mistakes and it’s only a cyclic situation: there is no advancement.”

Pedro Quintero, arborist
“I especially disagree with the energy reform; PEMEX shouldn’t be modernized, because I remember the past, and the benefits will go to the elite, not to those who most need them.”
Flor Acosta, teacher and photographer
“I love my country, even if it doesn’t love me back, as Gerardo Enciso said. I believe that there has been a deep cultural situation for centuries; we’re very classist. About the reforms, we’ve never wanted this. That decision comes from “on high,” from those who only see us masses to be exploited. The conflict now is because we’re not a respected society. We’ve grown a shield of resentment, we feel violated but at the same time we’re absent and numbed. All of a sudden we want to scream, but we don’t have the information or empowerment to reclaim what is ours. We feel oppressed, and there’s a culture of hatred. We need a substantial change, to create groups and possibilities for change.”

Patricia Snyder, retired social worker
“When teachers were removed from the Zócalo it reminded me of when they removed people from Wall Street in New York City. I really like the idea that the president wants to create social reform with tax measures. It’s an excellent idea to tax soft drinks to combat obesity, and fuels that effect climate change. I was surprised to learn that 60 percent of Mexicans are part of the informal economy and they don’t pay taxes, so this is a good way of making these people pay taxes and to offer social security, insurance and pensions. I think they’re great ideas; whether they’re true or not, I don’t know. I like the ideals the president has, and he surprised a lot of people because they are so progressive.”

Arturo Morales Tirado, engineer, teacher and activist
“I think the reforms are completely absurd. We are an uneducated society, and we lack information in order to make an opinion.  If we look through history we’ll see that reforms are absurd. Who is going to get the money from oil? There must be equity in the way of obtaining economic resources. These reforms only help those in power. As for the education reform, it’s just a vicious circle to make it a labor reform, without concern for the education of the young.”

Oscar Retana, dental surgeon
“I don’t know much about it, but I don’t trust the media. From what I have heard, I disagree with the tax reform. They’re putting taxes on tuition for children enrolled in private schools. Salaries don’t rise, but life keeps getting more and more expensive. I don’t trust Peña Nieto. He’s only a puppet.”

Mónica Hoth, director of International Puppet Festival
“I believe the country needs a deeper change. Mexico is facing an uphill struggle. These reforms are Band-Aids: they don’t solve the deeply rooted problems.  We need to develop empathy and support.”


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