EspañolThe ideas of liberty are spreading across Latin America, bringing with them various proposals and policy changes that aim to create freer societies in the region. Within this paradigm shift, Mexico is no exception, as libertarians in the country prepare to launch their very own political party.
The PanAm Post recently spoke with Francisco Javier Combaluzier, spokesman for the Mexican Libertarian Party, who believes the North American country can achieve a greater level of freedom for its citizens than anyone could have previously imagined.
Where are you in terms of legally instituting the party?
In Mexico, we have to depend more on the law than our own organizational capacity, because the legislation is relatively new, and it does not allow for new parties to emerge until 2020.
Nevertheless, there is a new possibility of introducing independent candidates [before the party is legally set up], and we will participate with many citizens who are joining Mexico’s libertarian movement.
What kind of positions do you expect to campaign for with these independent candidates?
Congress, mostly. Many of Mexico’s structural problems arise from excessive legislation and disregard for the law. We not only have laws that we don’t need, but those that we do are not enforced.
For us to have a free country, I think it’s essential that we start cutting back, and see to it that the laws we do need are obeyed. That’s why [focusing on] Congress is most important in order to ensure the rule of law.
Nevertheless, city councils are the offices that are closest [to the people], and where good libertarian practices can be enacted.
What are the biggest challenges as libertarian politicians in Mexican society?
There are very few of us who call ourselves [classical] liberals or libertarians, primarily because we are not taught to identify with these labels. There is little time devoted in schools to studying libertarian thinkers, philosophers, or economists.
However, after talking to people on social media, we have realized that many agree with our views, despite not being able to identify them as libertarian. In that sense, one of our most important goals is to make people aware that their intuition of how things should be is actually rooted in libertarian principles. That way, they will understand why they shouldn’t be voting for collectivist candidates.
Have you been inspired by any Latin American libertarian experiments?
We have seen that the Costa Rican Libertarian Movement is enjoying some electoral success and is growing, and likewise in Colombia. Over the past few years, some governments in Latin America have been a mix of conservatism and [classical] liberalism, such as that of Ricardo Martinelli in Panama or Álvaro Uribe in Colombia. Those movements can be inspiring for us.
Mauricio Macri is also moving toward liberalizing Argentina, which, for me, is the biggest example of the failure of collectivism.
What is the shape of the broader libertarian movement in Mexico?
There is the Mexican Libertarian Movement, which is very active on social media; they focus on documentation and outreach. However, they don’t believe in elections, and most of them seek to spontaneously bring about anarchism. They believe that small government is a utopian ideal, because the state has a natural tendency to grow.
Some outlets spread libertarian ideas when possible, such as TV Azteca, where analysts Roberto Salinas León and Sergio Sarmiento work. These kinds of projects are very positive for the growth of libertarianism in Mexico.
And then we have libertarians like myself who believe we need to get in elections to achieve a peaceful change. We can’t wait for it to happen spontaneously, or by giving lectures that people may or may not attend. We think that in the next five years we can organize a critical mass of young people who are savvy social-media users, and create a movement that can draw considerable support.
What is your stance on legalizing drugs as a libertarian political platform?
We agree on that issue. Drug use is a personal choice, and should be a matter of legislation. We believe that decriminalization is how we should address marijuana and all drugs.
What aspects of the economy should Mexican libertarians be focused on?
In Mexico, interventionism is excessive, so we believe there should be a divorce between economy and state, beginning with monetary and foreign-currency policies.
The Mexican government has been boasting free-trade treaties, but our main trading partner, by far, is the United States. I think these treaties are like giving aspirin to cancer patients. It’s the state admitting that their overbearing controls don’t work, and that reality has proven them wrong.