By Terry Sovil from the April 2010 Edition
WHERE DOES THIS NAME FOR Manzanillo’s “main street” come from? Costero (Coastal) Miguel de la Madrid Boulevard is named for Miguel de la Madrid Hurtado. The airport in Colima bears his name as well. Born December 12, 1934 in Colima, Mexico he is a Mexican politician from the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and served as President of Mexico from December 1, 1982 –November 30, 1988. He was preceded as President of Mexico by José López Portillo and succeeded by Carlos Salinas, Ernesto Zedillo, Vicente Fox and currently Felipe Calderón.
His family roots in Colima stretch back to the 18th century. His father placed high importance on education. Miguel de la Madrid received a bachelor’s degree in law from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) in Mexico City in 1957. His duties started to exceed his training so he completed his master’s degree in public administration at Harvard University (USA) in 1965. He worked for the National Bank of Foreign Commerce and the Bank of Mexico, and taught law at the UNAM.
Madrid first entered government service in the Treasury in 1965. From 1970 to 1972 he worked for Pemex (Petróleos Mexicanos). He returned to government service in 1972 filling various economic posts and became minister of planning and budget in from 1976–1982.
Madrid is credited with helping to plan utilization of the oil wealth to promote economic growth. His term in office was filled with difficulties including severe economic crisis and an earthquake in 1985 that caused significant damage to the capital. The economic crisis was an inheritance from previous administrations who borrowed money from international markets. The period was marked by high inflation, increasing an average of 100% a year to 159% in 1987. Foreign debt exceeded 90 billion, one of the highest debt loads in the world. A decreasing demand for oil didn’t help in repaying the crushing debt. Unemployment rates hit 25% in the mid-1980s. Incomes declined while economic growth was sporadic. This pushed thousands of workers to cross the northern border into the USA in search of work.
The peso slipped against the dollar, going from 260 to 380 in the summer of 1985. If that wasn’t enough the earthquake of 1985 hit Mexico City and his administration badly handled it by initially refusing international aid.
Madrid instituted austerity measures that included wage freezes and elimination of over 50,000 federal workers. This had to be done to restore confidence in Mexico by the world banks. He reduced federal subsidies and sold inefficient and unprofitable state-owned businesses. He limited the size of wage increases and tried to reduce imports of nonessential consumer goods. Of course, none of these were very popular with citizens.
Madrid is a member of the Collegium International. This group of leaders with scientific, political and ethical expertise has the goal of finding approaches to a peaceful, socially conscious and financially stable world. He was more highly thought of internationally that he was at home. He refinanced foreign debt with support of his austerity measures by international entities.
He served only one six-year term.
Miguel de la Madrid’s Timeline in History
1981 – Mexico’s Governing Party Picks Presidential Nominee Miguel de la Madrid as its choice to become the next president.
1982 – Ending corruption is Mexican chief’s priority. In addition to the huge economic problem President Miguel de la Madrid takes on corruption in every level of Mexico’s society.
1983 – U.S., Mexico Differ on Latin Fighting and are deeply split over Central America policies.
1984 – Mexican President Miguel de la Madrid rejects Reagan Administration’s approach to Central America in speaking to a joint meeting of Congress.
1985 – Earthquake seriously damages sections of Mexico City and President Miguel de la Madrid encounters a rarity in Mexico — an angry mob seeking missing relatives.
1986 – Reagan raps drugs at a Mexico Summit, expressing concern that Mexico’s history of political stability could be ended by powerful drug-smuggling figures. Regan blamed Cuba and Nicaragua for backing the drug trafficking.
1987 – President Miguel de la Madrid, addressing the nation as he enters his final year in office, says his policies of austerity are pulling Mexico out of its economic crisis while avoiding a predicted social explosion.
1988 – De la Madrid lectures Reagan on drug efforts to halt cultivation and says USA fails to curb consumption. He praises cooperation to restructure Mexico’s $107 billion foreign aid debt. There is disagreement on dealing with Nicaragua’s Sandinista regime. Reagan praises Madrid’s handling of the economy and predicts history will treat him kindly.
Terry is a founding partner and scuba instructor for Aquatic Sports and Adventures (Deportes y Aventuras Acuáticas) in Manzanillo. A PADI (Professional Association of Dive Instructors) Master Instructor in his 36th year as a PADI Professional. He also holds 15 Specialty Instructor Course ratings. Terry held a US Coast Guard 50-Ton Masters (Captain's) License. In his past corporate life, he worked in computers from 1973 to 2005 from a computer operator to a project manager for companies including GE Capital Fleet Services and Target. From 2005 to 2008, he developed and oversaw delivery of training to Target's Loss Prevention (Asset Protection) employees on the West Coast, USA. He led a network of 80+ instructors, evaluated training, performed needs assessments and gathered feedback on the delivery of training, conducted training in Crisis Leadership and Non-Violent Crisis Intervention to Target executives. Independently, he has taught hundreds of hours of skills-based training in American Red Cross CPR, First Aid, SCUBA and sailing and managed a staff of Project Managers at LogicBay in the production of multi-media training and web sites in a fast-paced environment of artists, instructional designers, writers and developers, creating a variety of interactive training and support products for Fortune 1000 companies.