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Miguel de la Madrid

Miguel de la Madrid
In Zurich 1985
52nd President of Mexico
In office
December 1, 1982 – November 30, 1988
Preceded by José López Portillo
Succeeded by Carlos Salinas de Gortari
Fondo de Cultura Económica
In office
Preceded by Enrique González Pedrero
Succeeded by Gonzalo Celorio Blasco
Personal details
Born Miguel de la Madrid Hurtado
(1934-12-12)December 12, 1934[1]
Colima, Mexico
Died April 1, 2012(2012-04-01) (aged 77)
Mexico City, Mexico
Resting place Iglesia de Santo Tomás
Nationality Mexican
Political party Institutional Revolutionary Party
Spouse(s) Paloma Cordero Tapia (m. 1959–2012)[2]
Children Enrique de la Madrid Cordero
Alma mater National Autonomous University of Mexico
John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University

Miguel de la Madrid Hurtado (Spanish pronunciation: ; December 12, 1934 – April 1, 2012) was a Mexican politician affiliated with the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) who served as the 52nd President of Mexico from 1982 to 1988.[1]


  • Early years 1
  • Presidency 2
    • Domestic policy 2.1
    • Foreign policy 2.2
  • Post-presidency 3
    • Director of Economic Culture Fund 3.1
    • Controversy 3.2
    • Death 3.3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Early years

Miguel de la Madrid was born in the city of Colima, Colima, Mexico. He was the son of the late Miguel de la Madrid Castro a notable lawyer, who died when Miguel was only two, and his mother Alicia Hurtado. His grandfather was Enrique O. de la Madrid who was governor of the state of Colima.

Miguel de la Madrid graduated with a bachelor's degree in law from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and received a master's degree in Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, in the United States.[1]

He worked for Mexico's central bank and lectured in law at UNAM before securing a position at the Secretariat of Finance in 1965. Between 1970 and 1972 he was employed by Petróleos Mexicanos, Mexico's state-owned petroleum company, after which he held several other bureaucratic posts in the government of Luis Echeverría. In 1976 he was chosen to serve in José López Portillo's cabinet as secretary of budget and planning.[1]

He was president after López Portillo. He won the elections that took place on July 4, 1982, and took office the following December.

He was a member of Collegium International, an organization of leaders with political, scientific, and ethical expertise whose goal is to provide new approaches in overcoming the obstacles in the way of a peaceful, socially just and economically sustainable world.


Domestic policy

Miguel de la Madrid (left) with U.S. President Ronald Reagan (center) in Mazatlán (1988).
From left to right: US President Ronald Reagan, his wife Nancy, Mexican President Miguel de la Madrid and his wife Paloma Cordero in Cross Hall, White House, ata state dinner.

Unlike previous Mexican leaders, he was a market-oriented president, and his time in power was one of the most difficult periods of the country because of his predecessors' policies as well as the decreasing demand for oil. Inflation increased on an average of 100% a year, culminating to an unprecedented level of 159% in 1987. Unemployment rates soared to as much as 25% during the mid-1980s, income declined, and economic growth was erratic. All that was a stark reminder of the gross mismanagement and inept policies of the administrations in the 1970s, particularly the financing of development with excessive borrowing from abroad.[3]

First ladies Paloma Cordero of Mexico (left) and Nancy Reagan of the United States (right) with US Ambassador to Mexico, John Gavin, observing the damage done by the earthquake.

During his presidency, de la Madrid introduced neoliberal economic reforms that encouraged foreign investment, widespread privatisation of outdated state-run industries, and reduction of tariffs, a process that continued under his successors, and which immediately caught the attention of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other international observers. In 1986, Mexico entered the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) treaty, following its efforts at reforming and decentralising its economy. The number of state-owned industries went down from approximately 1,155 in 1982 to 412 in 1988.

As an immediate reaction to the economic crisis, de la Madrid first presented the Immediate Economic Reorganization Program (Programa Inmediato de Reordenación Económica) and, a couple of months later, the National Development Plan (Plan Nacional de Desarrollo). Some of the measures proposed were a reduction of public spending, fiscal reforms, restructuring the bureaucracy, and employment protection.[4]

His administration's mishandling of the infamous 1985 Mexico City earthquake damaged his popularity because of his initial refusal of international aid. It placed Mexico's delicate path to economic recovery in an even more precarious situation, as the destruction extended to other parts of the country.[2]

During his administration, an electoral reform was conducted in 1986:

  • The number of members of the Chamber of Deputies being elected by proportional representation (plurnominals) was increased from 100 to 200 and allowed for a better representation of opposition parties.
  • The senate is composed of two senators from each state and two from the Federal District of Mexico. An election of half of its members takes place every three years.
  • The Legislative Assembly of the Federal District of Mexico was created.[5]

Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas and other politicians from the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) announced the creation of the Democratic Current (Corriente Democrática) within the PRI. The Democratic Current demanded the establishment of clear rules for the selection of the party’s presidential candidate. When they failed, Cárdenas and Porfirio Muñoz Ledo left the PRI and joined the National Democratic Front (Frente Democrática Nacional), a loose alliance of left-wing parties.[6]

Galloping inflation, the controversial privatisation programme and austerity measures imposed by his administration caused the ruling party to lose ground, leading up to the controversial elections of 1988. On Election Day 1988, a computer system shut down. That event is remembered by the prase se cayó el sistema (the system crashed). When the system was restored, Carlos Salinas was declared the winner.[7]The expression “se cayó el sistema” became a euphemism for electoral fraud.

Foreign policy

In 1983, the Contadora Group was launched by Colombia, Panama, Venezuela and Mexico to promote peace in Latin America and to deal with the armed conflicts in El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Guatemala.[8]


Director of Economic Culture Fund

After completing his term, Miguel de la Madrid, a major neo-liberal, he became director of the Fondo de Cultura Económica (FCE) in 1990. During his tenure as head of FCE implanted modernization programs in production and administrative areas, it incorporated the most advanced of the book publishing and graphic arts, and maintained the openness and plurality features in the publication policy of the company.

On September 4, 1992 inaugurated the new facilities, located in Picacho-Ajusco road number 227. Surrounded by gardens, plus offices, host cultural unity Jesus Silva Herzog, the Gonzalo Robles Library, which houses the growing publishing history of the Fund, and the Seller Alfonso Reyes.

On the international scene in 1990 of the existing facilities were remodeled subsidiaries. With this, the presence of the Economic Culture Fund acquired a larger projection in the Americas: September 7 of the same year the subsidiary in San Diego, California was founded, the June 21, 1991 Seller Azteca opened its doors in São Paulo, Brazil, in 1994 FCE facilities were inaugurated in Venezuela, and in 1998 another subsidiary was established in Guatemala. This Thus, the FCE reached a significant presence in Latin America with nine subsidiaries: Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Spain, United States, Guatemala, Peru and Venezuela.

Regarding the national project, new libraries opened. In this period opened six Mexico City

In publishing field, under the direction of Mr. De la Madrid 21 new collections were launched: in 1990, Keys (Argentina) in 1991, A la Orilla del Viento, Mexican Codices, University Science and Special Editions of At the Edge of the wind; in 1992, Breviary of Contemporary Science (Argentina) and New Economic Culture, in 1993 Library Prospective, Mexican Library, Library Cervantes Prize (Spain), and History of the Americas Trust and Cruises, in 1994, Word of Life and Indians A Vision of America and the Modernization of Mexico; Files, Sunstone (Peru), Entre Voces, Reading and Designated Fund 2000; Encounters (Peru) History of Mexico, and five periodicals: Galeras Fund, Periolibros, Images, Spaces for Reading and the Fund page.

During his administration the FCE received several awards, among them: in 1992, FILIJ Book Award (CNCA) to children's books, in 1993 Golden Laurel Award (Department of Culture of the City of Madrid) in 1993, honorable mention Juan García Bacca (Peruvian Cultural Association) Award, and Gold Aztec Calendar (Mexican Association of Radio and Television). In 1994 and 1995 Award Book Bank of Venezuela for children's books.

As for the awards received as an individual in front of FCE stresses that the Spanish Council for Latin American Studies, distinguished De la Madrid for his contributions to the development of reading in the Spanish language, received in 1997 the IUS Award by the Faculty of Law of the UNAM, and in 1998 the government of France awarded him the Academic Palms in rank of Commander for his contribution to cultural development. In 1999, Mr. De la Madrid received the medal Picasso Gold (UNESCO), for their work on the diffusion of Latin American culture.


On May 12, 2009 accused Carlos Salinas de Gortari of stealing money from the secret account and that his brother Raul had links to the drug trade. But then through a public letter recanted, claiming not to mentally process the answers to the questions posed. That same month, Carmen Aristegui, where CNN in Spanish, he read out a letter written by the same president Miguel de la Madrid Hurtado. That same morning, interviewed on his radio program.


De la Madrid died on April 1, 2012, at 7:30am in a Mexican hospital apparently following a lengthy hospitalization for complicated chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which led to acute renal failure and cardiac arrest.[9]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d Encyclopædia Britannica (2008). "Miguel de la Madrid".  
  2. ^ a b Ortiz de Zárate, Roberto (10 May 2007). "Miguel de la Madrid Hurtado" (in Spanish).  
  3. ^ Duncan, Richard; Harry Kelly (21 June 2005). "An Interview with Miguel de la Madrid".  
  4. ^ Rivera Ayala, Clara (2008). Historia de México II. Cengage Learning Editores. p. 381. 
  5. ^ Delgado de Cantú, Gloria M. (2003). México, estructuras política, económica y social. Pearson Educación. pp. 123–124. 
  6. ^ Foweraker, Joe (1990). Popular Movements and Political Change in Mexico. Lynne Rienner Publishers. p. 129. 
  7. ^ "1988: La caída del sistema". CNN. Retrieved 26 October 2013. 
  8. ^ Rivera Ayala, Clara (2008). Historia de México II. Cengage Learning Editores. p. 387. 
  9. ^

External links

  • Biography by CIDOB (in Spanish)
Political offices
Preceded by
José López Portillo
President of Mexico
Succeeded by
Carlos Salinas
Party political offices
Preceded by
José López Portillo y Pacheco
PRI presidential candidate
1982 (won)
Succeeded by
Carlos Salinas de Gortari
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