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    PAN gangrene

    For years Accion Nacional lived off its militants. Through booting, cooperation and even raffles, these were the ones who supported that organization in times when the State subsidy did not inflate the belly of the PAN. That was not so long ago, if we have to consider that this institution was born in 1939 and it was not until the nineties that it accepted government funds. However, today it can be said that not a few of its main militants today live of party, and that some use it to do business.

    The death of the PRI has been decreed many times, but the tricolor has shown a resilience based on a pragmatism that, certainly, can be confused with cynicism. Being older, from the PAN, on the other hand, it is not common currency to say that he is dead; however, and despite having important governorships and the largest opposition bench in Congress, something is rotten in that body: it suffers from gangrene that, since it is not attended to, advances and will end up prostrating it.

    Such a serious evil has two origins: the way in which its current leaders structured decision-making, and the accusations of corruption that from time to time stain it, including the one that has now fallen on the group that is considered to have the greatest power in the capital of the Republic.

    On the first issue, and contrary to the past, today the PAN is an organization of the bureaucrats who manage it, not of citizens convinced that they have to participate in politics to make governments make the best decisions for society.

    When Javier Corral was still governor, who has been a member of the organization from which he has distanced himself for decades, he denounced that the nomenklatura had kidnapped the party that was born to resist Cardenismo. At least since 2018, the now ex-president of Chihuahua criticized that his partisan house ran the risk of being left in the hands of registers, of those who manage clienteles with which they sell positions and candidacies. His prediction, shared by others, did not deserve reflection by various leaders.

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    Through this control of the list of militants, the national PAN president Marko Cortes is the leader of an organization where a handful of characters –some governors, others legislators and the leader himself– share the cake of charges and orders of the main opponent of Morena. In the previous sentence, a word is missing, one that marked the main demand of that organization for decades: democracy.

    This is going to kill the PAN: that its internal processes went from being stellar moments of debate and deliberation about possible futures – the chronicles of its assemblies as well as the elections of its leaders used to be one of the most vibrant journalistic coverage- – to clique meetings where the leadership monopolizes the positions and excludes the dissidents. And to debate, not to speak.

    So, in terms of internal life, Accion Nacional is stagnant water where oxygen is scarce. And as if that were not enough, to such an unhealthy environment has been added the stench of corruption.

    This week the government of Mexico City has given a blow to the foundations of the PAN building. By issuing the arrest warrant against a former Benito Juarez branch chief, the capital’s prosecutor’s office has made people feel that their investigations into alleged illegal real estate operations will touch more than half-baked collaborators of Jorge Romero’s group, leader of the PAN members in San Lazaro and political chief of the capital’s PAN.

    Ernestina Godoy’s people want to imprison, for the time being, Christian Von Roehrich, local deputy and Romero’s successor in the capital’s mayor’s office that these PAN members have retained for decades and in which nothing moves since the 2000s without Romero’s decision. The fall of this legislator from the capital’s congress will shake up the politics of the city – he is the local leader of the PAN deputies – but above all it will shake the national grid.

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    This new judicial offensive, derived from the opening of a file against various officials last August, will stifle any possibility that the PAN promises to fight against corruption or run a public administration without abuses and prioritizing the good of the citizen. Because of its visibility, because they have retained it for decades, and because they put it up as one of their examples of good government, Benito Juarez will be a shackle that will prevent the entire party from walking.

    Because without prejudging the innocence of those who are currently accused or will be accused in the future for the already famous case of the Benito Juarez Real Estate Cartel, the truth is that the actions of the prosecutor’s office come after years of neighborhood complaints about alleged irregularities in the granting of permits to build real estate that exceeded all kinds of legal limits. So for few it has been a surprise that today it is known that there are dozens of departments and premises linked to those who held positions in that mayor’s office.

    And the coup far exceeds the neighborhood and capital sphere because Claudia Sheinbaum will shore up one of the rungs of her presidential candidacy with this case. With the banner of combating corruption, today he is going for a former mayor, but very soon he may go for Romero, vociferous head of the PAN bench in San Lazaro and one of those designated as a census taker.

    It is better for the head of government that the file is solid and the accusations are founded. If so, it will demonstrate that it has the decision to attack one of the ills that citizens suffer the most, property abuse, and that it is capable of dismantling fraud schemes nested in spaces of power, both qualities that are very profitable in an eventual campaign.

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    National Action has responded with a highly predictable and unprofitable ruse: they accuse the head of government of political persecution. They do not want to realize, because they live inside their padded bureaucratic bubble, that in addition to fighting in the courts they have to convince public opinion of their innocence, which for some time has seen the PAN as a party little given to deal with corruption scandals that erupt when he has access to positions of power.

    That would be the third element that condemns the blue and white. A closed party and in the hands of voters, with the inability to purge characters who had previously had controversial leagues (in his most recent tenure in the capital’s council, Romero was seen as an ally of Mauricio Toledo, a character who fled Mexico due to other complaints of alleged corruption) and above all refractory to a society that demands accountability and not cheap media insults where they present themselves as victims.

    The skein of the Real Estate Cartel has a lot of thread left. Accion Nacional should explain to itself and to the public these alleged abuses and clean them up, even if – if necessary – an operating arm has to be cut off. Otherwise, by now everyone knows what happens when an infected wound is not properly cared for. The PAN, which promoted decency in public life, deserves a different death.

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