Saturday, 15 February 2020

1994 (Netflix)

The election year of 1994 was a tumultuous one in Mexico; President Carlos Salinas had selected Colosio, who was his hand-chosen leader of the dominant PRI party and later a part of his cabinet, as his successor. Colosio, whose history pointed to the fact that he wanted to reform not only the Mexican government but his party, as well, made people in and out of PRI uncomfortable.

In 1994, director Diego Enrique Orsono takes a look at this tumultuous year, starting with Colosio’s assassination after a rally in Tijuana. Orsono not only interviews Salinas, but many members of Colosio’s campaign, journalists, and other PRI loyalists. He also reaches back to 1968 to see the seeds of reform that were sown by reformists that started to bear fruit during the contested 1988 presidential election, where PRI candidate Selinas was elected and inaugurated despite real evidence that ballots were not counted, that dead people voted, and that other ballots were destroyed. By the following year, the first candidate from the opposition PRN party won the gubernatorial election in Baja California — an election that Colosio took pains to ensure that all votes were legal and counted.

Colosio did not want to take dirty corporate money, nor did he want illegitimate votes to help him get elected. He also felt that the PRI was more of a dictatorial party that impeded democracy, and he sought to reform it. Not only did that make people uncomfortable, but at the same time NAFTA was about to go into effect, an agreement that Salinas helped shepherd into being. As soon as it went into effect on January 1, 1994, things changed.


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