Saúl Álvarez dreamed of being the best pound for pound of his time. The judges, however, gave Russian Dmitry Bivol the victory in what was the seventh successful defense of the WBA Super Championship. “Canelo” he wrote in his account: “Boxing is like that, sometimes you win and sometimes you lose, but always with your head held high. I stay with the great fight that we offered to the people. We will fight again and we will win again.” But his haters threw themselves at him all day Sunday to shameful levels, accusing him with half-truths and ungenerous lies. Haters that “Canelo” would defeat, pound for pound, if he found them in a bar.
Enrique Bermúdez, who, I understand, is a national celebrity (although I only place him because of his funny voice), said: “I really don’t understand the happiness of some for the defeat of ‘Canelo’, the same thing happened with Hugo Sánchez. Is it frustration and envy that leads to that? Then I started reading comments and responses and an impressive amount said that Álvarez had no right to be where he is, and that his vanity made him worthy of defeat. Bottom line: The issue isn’t whether I’m good or bad at boxing; he deserved to lose for vain, according to these arguments.
Hate is usually, in Mexico, a more popular sport than boxing. I hate politics, I hate anyone, I hate to argue and to conclude. Personally, I don’t think “Canelo” is Julio César Cávez, but he is a prepared and talented athlete. And he competes knowing that he can win or lose. The claim made to Bermúdez added this fact: that he and other commentators often inflate sports figures and hurt them. But that’s out of ring, that is to say: it is not part of what happens in the stringing. and in the ring what happened is that, in the opinion of the judges, it was not good enough. That he missed. Calling out an athlete for poor performance is part of the show, but wishing him the worst because they don’t like him is part of the hate. And it’s not okay.
That in sports. In politics, very similar scenarios occur. A sector of the population hates the President for what he is and for what he represents; he seems vain to them and no matter how he performs: he had no right to be where he is and is deserving of defeat. He is “López”, and already. Enough that he doesn’t even deserve to give her a chance. He went up to ring defeated –for them– and it doesn’t matter what I do or don’t do. They have all created an image of him that makes him intolerable and it doesn’t matter if they use half truths or complete lies against him: like Hugo Sánchez or like “Canelo”, he is hated and that’s it. Does he have above average achievements? Yes or no; it does not matter: he is hated and then he is punished with contempt. In politics it is clear that this hatred is fueled by frustration and envy because a condition for him to become president is that others were defeated. I do not justify frustration and envy. I only write it because it is there. And every day a Vicente Fox is there to confirm it and someone else becomes the example of the week.
Last Friday, the agency’s verification team Associated Press marked as fake news or “fake news” a rigged cardboard spread by the account of Claudio X. González, father of the Va por México alliance. In the false cardboard, an attempt is made to humiliate the President by making him pass for a monkey at the service of the cylinder identified as Donald Trump. In the original, the latter appears precisely as a primate in the service of Vladimir Putin. The agency verified that the cartoon was published in Canada and never referred to López Obrador. He directly quotes the comment within the tweet published by the son of the tycoon of the same name: “What a pity… It can do a lot to me,” he wrote. Of course it doesn’t hurt. As with the example of “Canelo”, his joy would have been that this fake cardboard was reality.
We will never know if Mr. Equis González manipulated the cardboard to undermine the President, but a quick analysis of his Twitter account indicates that since Peña’s time, when he began to be active in that network, he became his target. He has a preference for the Calderón monero cartons, from the newspaper Reform, who has been an open opponent of López Obrador for some time. There is, in the account of the founder of the opposition alliance, no accusations like this to another Mexican President of the past, but there is a clear inclination to revile AMLO, even before he was a presidential candidate in 2017. In other words: his history allows warn that it is not a surprise that from his account he tries to humiliate the leftist leader. Even – as the world’s largest news agency demonstrates – with falsified information.
Of course it is totally valid that the son of a tycoon, leader of the business sector for decades, is an opponent of López Obrador. And that economic group that he represents is also. More was missing. Mexico is a democracy and we all have the obligation to guarantee the freedom of Claudio Equis to say whatever he wants. The issue is fake news. The businessmen behind him have used lies for years as a manipulation tool and there is the example of the dirty war of 2005-2006. The campaign “is a danger to Mexico” was based on lies and time has made it evident. Contrary to what they would have wanted, the current federal government has conducted itself with total orthodoxy (even more than many expected) and the result is the stability of the peso or consumer and business confidence (according to Inegi indicators) in the midst of a crisis the world had not seen in a hundred years.
However, in politics there is a serious problem with the use of false information or with the concealment of information. When Claudio Equis operated so that his PRI-PAN-PRD-MC alliance would say NO to the Electricity Reform, he was actually defending the interests of his family: Kimberly Clark, who runs his brother, is a beneficiary of the false business partnerships that the Reform allowed. Energy of Enrique Peña Nieto to evade payments to the treasury. Kimberly is part of a fake partnership with Iberdrola. And that is just a minor example, because the historical opposition formation not only defends a sector that benefits from the evasion of payments to the CFE, but in general: it benefited from concessions to exploit national assets (including water) or with tax exemption. Claudio Equis is not a simple network hater who goes out to scold a boxer he doesn’t love, but one who in the past was a beneficiary of the box show’s ads; that he controlled the ring and to the judges and that he passed himself off as an anonymous person in the crowd, one more fanatic; an occasional and innocent commentator when in fact he was arranging the boxing functions from before and with a cigar in his hand.
“Boxing is like that, sometimes you win and sometimes you lose,” said Saúl Álvarez after the fight. Great lesson for all who sell themselves as Democrats.
Claudio Equis and all those who go with him to the resumption of power in 2024 would do well to be honest and transparent; in putting all the chips on the table and saying exactly what moves them. And if someone, with all the information in hand, wants to vote to defend the interests of that elite, welcome: that’s what a democracy is all about. But the fact that they have manipulated information in the past does not give them the right to continue manipulating it today. Let them open their letters (and now I’m going to surprise everyone who knows that I don’t know a bit about sports): play nice, as that term popularized by Pelé since 1977 invites and was the motto of the 2010 World Cup.
Alexander Paez Varela
Journalist, writer. He is the author of the novels Corazón de Kaláshnikov (Alfaguara 2014, Planeta 2008), Música para Perros (Alfaguara 2013), El Reino de las Moscas (Alfaguara 2012) and Oriundo Laredo (Alfaguara 2017). He is also from the storybooks Does not include Batteries (Cal y Arena 2009) and Parachutes that does not open (2007). He wrote President in Waiting (Planeta 2011) and is co-author of other journalism books such as La Guerra por Juárez (Planeta, 2008), Los Suspirantes 2006 (Planeta 2005), Los Suspirantes 2012 (Planeta 2011), Los Amos de México (2007), The Untouchables (2008) and The Suspirants 2018 (Planeta 2017). He was deputy editorial director of El Universal, deputy director of Día Siete magazine and editor at Reforma and El Economista. He is currently CEO of SinEmbargo.mx