Green parties across the world take pride in promoting ecological progressive values and the belief in Social justice. At the 2001 Global Green Conference in Canberra, Green political leaders founded the Global Greens Charter. This document outlines the founding principals and subsequent objectives that ecological political parties across the globe are to follow. Two of these principles are widely known as ‘Ecological Wisdom’ and ‘Social Justice’. However, the Ecologist Green Party of Mexico (PVEM) has raised eyebrows for its seemingly anti-Green political agenda in recent decades.
Following the electoral alliance between the PVEM and the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) in 2003, many politically informed Mexican citizens hoped that the Green Party would encourage ruling government officials to promote environmental policies. However over the last 20 years, the Green party of Mexico has been involved in various scandals; from aligning with parties that promote anti Green politics to corrupt initiatives that bring personal financial gain to party affiliates.
The party’s controversial policies and disregard for the mitigation of climate issues, have lead many to believe that the PVEM aims only to strengthen its position within the presidential political system.
The Mexican Greens and Human Rights:
In 2009, the Green Party of Mexico re-introduced the death penalty in their ‘Death to Kidnappers’ campaign’ – an initiative that aimed to address the country’s historically high kidnapping rate. However, the call for capital punishment explicitly contradicts the second principle of the Global Green Charter: Social Justice. Following the controversy, the European Green Party formally withdrew recognition of the PVEM as the campaign clearly undermined internationally understood Green values. In a quote to the European Greens (EGP), EGP spokesperson, Phillippe Lamberts, commented on the controversy:
“The PVEM has put itself outside the broad and diverse family of the Global Greens by acting in breach of a basic value which we all share.”
Not only has the ecological party rebuked collectively understood Green values, it has also been caught in various corruption scandals. The party has been accused of being an enterprise that has been run by the Torres Martinez family since the early 2000’s. In the latter 1980’s, Jorge Gonzalez Torres founded the PVEM – a grassroots movement that advocated for the protection of the environment. However after the founder’s son, Jorge Emilio Gonzalez, took over in 2001 the objectives of the PVEM came to embody personal financial gain.
The Green Party of Mexico as a Family Affair:
In 2012, leader of the MORENA party, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO), labelled the Greens campaign to fund private pharmacies as a corrupt attempt to enrich the Torres Martinez family. The allegation was based on heavy speculation that members of the family own pharmaceutical chains across Mexico. This resulted in Obrador unsuccessfully attempting to ban the Ecological Green Party of Mexico from the 2015 mid-term elections.
Despite AMLO’s former criticisms of the Green Party, the PVEM, MORENA and the Labour Party (PT) formed a coalition in 2020, ‘Juntos Hacemos Historia. The alliance formation between the two former foes is testament to the opportunistic nature of the Ecological Green Party of Mexico. In theory, the three parties have conflicting ideological agendas, and therefore should hold little policy overlap. However, if the goal of the Green Party is in fact to gain greater political representation at the cost of pressing social issues, then their objectives are being met.
However in coalescing with MORENA, the PVEM falls short of the first objective stipulated in the Global Greens Charter: Ecological Wisdom. Since 2018, the AMLO administration has used prospective economic prosperity to justify his blatant disregard for the environment.
The Failure to Mitigate Environmental Issues:
In 2018 the presidential elect, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, stated that his administration planned to invest eight billion dollars into the construction of a new oil refinery on the mangrove forests in Tabasco. Mangrove trees create an ecosystem that combats climate change through their ability to absorb carbon at an extraordinarily fast rate. The regressive project proposal came after years of AMLO’s predecessors strengthening the renewable energy sector. The PVEM failed to publicly reprimand the Obrador administration and remained a member of the Juntos Hacemos Historia coalition.
Results of the 2021 Midterm Elections:
The midterm elections that were held on June 6, 2021 were no exception to the former corruption scandals faced by the disputed party. The PVEM’s ally in this election, MORENA, did not win a qualified majority of seats in Congress. The electoral shortcoming is likely a reflection of AMLO’s failed campaign pledge to “transform” Mexico from a drug cartel fuelled economy to a safer and more transparent democracy. However the Green Party emerged from the recent elections as the fourth most powerful political party in Mexico – the party now holds a balance of power in Congress with quadruple the seats it held prior to the election in the lower chamber.
However, this illusion of success lies upon a brutal reality: the most recent round of elections have been deemed the most violent election period in recent Mexican history with 90 politicians dead and hundreds of casualties at polling stations.
Following the violence, the PVEM is facing allegations of using corrupt tactics to accumulate more votes across the South American country. An independent electoral body has accused the Green Party of engaging in campaigning initiatives during the pre-vote period; a phase in which mobilization of the electorate is prohibited.
Although Morena no longer wields overriding power in Congress, the failure of the PVEM to check and balance AMLO’s anti green policies evokes fear that no official in government represents the most pressing threat of the future: climate change.