Financial Liberalisation, Banking Crisis and the Debtors’ Movement in México

Geneviève Marchini


Abstract

In the aftermath of the 1982 external debt crisis and in a very restrictive international environment, Mexico abandoned its inward-looking economic model and adopted a more open, export-led and market-oriented stance. Since 1988, the authorities have taken critical steps that induced an increasing level of internationalisation of the economy, and, in 1994, regional integration through the implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). These reforms have led to important transformations in the country’s economic structure as well as in its trade patterns. On the social and political side, they have widened the income gaps between different social sectors and regions, and eroded support for the ruling party, the Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI, Institutional Revolutionary Party).



This paper seeks to understand the emergence of the Barzón movement in 1993-94 a few months after the emergence of the Zapatistas. Unlike the Chiapas rebels, the Barzón didn’t represent poor, indigenous, landless peasants, but rather, heavily indebted small and medium producers.



The paper is divided into five sections. The first reviews the main features of structural reforms in Mexico and their results, to explain the context in which the debtors’ organisation is rooted. The second and third parts of the paper show how financial opening and bank deregulation produced a growing indebtedness among rural producers, industrial SMEs and households, leading to the birth and first steps of the Barzón movement in 1993-94. The fourth section accounts for the explosion of the debtors’ movements since 1995, while the last deals with its successes and failures in defending its membership.

Full Text

PDF

References

Agnor, P-R, & Montiel, P.J, 1999, Development Macroeconomics, 2d ed., Princeton University Press, Princeton.

Aspe Armella, P. 1993, El camino mexicano de la transformacin econmica, FCE, Mxico.

Banco de Mxico 1992, 1993, 1997, Informe anual, Mxico.

Barzonistas: el palpitar de un corazn colectivo, programa de Apoyo a Culturas Municipales y Comunitarias, Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes, Mxico, 2002, available:http://www.conaculta.gob.mx/saladeprensa/2002/05jun/barzonis.htm.

Calva, J.L. 1997, 'Crisis de los deudores, ' in A. Girn and E. Correa (eds) Crisis bancaria y carteras vencidas, UNAM-UAM, Mxico.

Cartn de Grammont, H. 1997, El Barzn Un movimiento social en contra de la crisis econmica o un movimiento social de nuevo cu-o?, Working Paper, IIS-UNAM, Mxico.

Castro Castro, I. 2000, 'El movimiento barzonista en el campo zacatecano: significado y perspectivas, ' in J. Regalado (ed.) Poltica y acciones colectivas en el occidente de Jalisco, ' Universidad de Guadalajara, Guadalajara.

del Castillo, A. 2000, 'El Barzn: la revuelta contra la modernidad en el campo de Jalisco, ' in J. Regalado (ed.) Poltica y acciones colectivas en el occidente de Jalisco, Universidad de Guadalajara, Guadalajara.

del Castillo, Y, 'Au Mexique, des mutations culturelles et sociales sur fond de globalisation subordonne, ' Working Paper, UCL/SPED/DVLP, Universit de Louvain-la-Neuve.

Dubcovsky, G. 1994, Acervos y flujos financieros en una estructura de contabilidad social- Mxico 1980, 1985, 1990, paper presented at the conference 'Ahorro privado, flujos de capital y ajuste econmico en Mxico, ' El Colegio de Mxico, Mxico, 1994

Garrido, C. 1997, 'Actor bancario y poder financiero en Mxico Incertidumbres y desafos, ' in J. M. Ramrez and J. Regalado (eds) Los actores sociales, vol. 4 in E. Gutirrez Garza (gen. ed.) El debate nacional, CUCSH-Universidad de Guadalajara and Ed. Diana, Mxico, 1997, 55-85.

Gavito Mohar, J., Silva Nava, A., & Zamarripa Escamilla, G. 1998, 'Recovery after Crisis: Lessons for Mexico's Banks and Private Sector, ' in Mexico's Private Sector- Recent History, Future Challenges, ed. R. Roett, Lynne Rienner, Boulder.

Kaewthep, K., 'Reactions to Currency Crises in Mxico and Thailand: a Comparative Perspective, ' Working Paper, Project on Latin America and the Pacific Rim, University of California, San Diego.

Kessler, T.P. 1999, Global Capital and National Politics Reforming Mexico's Financial System, Praeger, Westport.

Marchini, G. 1997, Mexique: Crise d'un modle conomique? Un bilan macroconomique, CEMCA & Ministre des Affaires Etrangres, Mxico.

Mestries Benquet, F., El Barzn Asociacin ciudadana, organizacin de productores o movimiento poltico?, UNAM, Working Paper, available: www.unam.mx/rer/Francis.html

Rodrguez Gmez, G. & Torres, G. 1996, 'El Barzn y la Comagro: la resistencia de los agroproductores a la poltica' in H. Cartn de Grammont and H. Tejero (eds) Los nuevos actores sociales y procesos polticos en el campo, vol. IV of H. Cartn de Grammont and H. Tejero (gen. eds) La sociedad rural mexicana frente al nuevo milenio, INAH, UAM Azcapotzalco, UNAM, Plaza Y Valds, Mxico, 1996, 153-179.

Torres G. 1997a, 'El derecho de 'barzonear' y sus efectos polticos, ' in La democracia de los de abajo, eds J. Alonso and J. M. Ramrez, La Jornada, Consejo Electoral del Estado de Jalisco & UNAM, Guadalajara.

Torres G. 1997b, 'Las siete vidas de El Barzn: tensiones en la construccin de una fuerza poltica nacional, '' in Los actores sociales, vol. 4. eds J. M. Ramrez and J. Regalado in (ed) El debate nacional, ed. E. Gutirrez Garza, CUCSH-Universidad de Guadalajara & Editorial Diana, Mxico.

United Nations Commission on Global Governance, Our Global Neighborhood: Report of the Commission on Global Governance, (New York, NY, Oxford University Press, 1995), p. 80.

Williams, H. 2001, 'Of Free Trade and Debt Bondage: Fighting Banks and the State in Mexico, ' Latin American Perspectives, 28 no 4 pp. 101-28. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0094582X0102800403