United States. Congress. House. Committee on Forei.

Expressing the sense of the Congress in support of efforts by the government of Mexico, and the major political parties and concerned members of civic society in Mexico, to reform Mexico's political and electoral processes and ensure free and fair elections : markup before the Subcommittee on the We online

. (page 2 of 2)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

Mr. TORRICELLI. Other members desiring to be heard?

[No response.]

Mr. TORRICELLI. If not, the question occurs on the amendment
from the gentleman from North Carolina, Mr. Ballenger.

Who is in favor, aye?

[Chorus of ayes.]

Mr. TORRICELLI. Opposed, nay?

[No response.]

Mr. TORRICELLL The amendment is adopted. Any further amend-
ments to be offered to the resolution?

[No response.]

Mr. TORRICELLL There being no further amendments, any fur-
ther discussion on the substitute resolution offered by the Chair?

Mr. Ballenger. I would hope that the word could go back to the
people in Mexico, the government in Mexico, that we are sympa-
thetic to the cause, and we are recognizing that they have done a
great deal in organizing for the coming election.

I have never seen better preparation that both you and I saw.
It doesn't guarantee an honest election, but they have gone far and
away further than most any government I have seen in this coun-
try in trying to do this, and I realize that having had at least 40
or 50 years of one party control, it's going to be very difficult to
have a super clean election, but I hope they will accept the fact
that all we are trying to do is encourage them to make it as clean
as possible.

With that, I will conclude.

Mr. TORRICELLL Any further discussion? If not, the question oc-
curs on the substitute amendment, as amended. The Clerk will call
the roll.

The Clerk. Mr. Torricelli.

Mr. Torricelli. Aye.

The Clerk. Mr. Menendez.

Mr. Torricelli. Trust us, trust us.

Mr. Menendez. Is that right?

Mr. Torricelli. Mr. Menendez passes for the moment.

The Clerk. Mr. Oberstar.

Mr. Oberstar. Aye.

The Clerk. Mr. McKinney.

[No response]

The Clerk. Mr. Deutsch.

[No response]

The Clerk. Mr. Wynn.

Mr. Wynn. Aye.

The Clerk. Mr. Menendez.

[No response]

The Clerk. Mr. Smith.

Mr. Smith. Aye.

The Clerk. IVIs. Ros-Lehtinen.

Ms. Ros-Lehtinen. Aye.

The Clerk. Mr. Ballenger.

Mr. Ballenger. Aye.

The Clerk. Mr. Gallegly.


[No response]

The Clerk. Mr. Menendez.
Mr. Menendez. Aye.

Mr. TORRICELLI. The Clerk will report the vote.
The Clerk. The vote is seven aye, zero nay.

Mr. TORRICELLL The resolution is agreed to. Any members with
any further business before the subcommittee?
There being no further business, the committee is adjourned.
[Whereupon, at 1:20 p.m., the subcommittee was adjourned.]






JULY 14, 1994

Good Afternoon and welcoae to today's meeting of the
Subcommittee on the Western Healsphere. Today we meet to consider
H. Con. Res. 250, a resolution expressing the sense of Congress in
support of efforts by the Government of Mexico, and the major
political parties emd concerned members of civic society in Mexico,
to reform Mexico's political and electoral processes and ensxire
free and fair elections. The resolution was introduced on May 17,
by the distinguished Majority Whip, David Bonior, and myself.

The elections in Mexico scheduled for August 21 will be a
defining moment in that country's history. Mexico's entry into the
North American Free Trade Agreement has solidified its claim to be
a modern industrial nation. But the modernization of Mexico can
only be half complete as long as it has a political system that
still does not assure that it is governing by the consent of the

During the past six months, Mexico has made significant
progress in establishing a foundation for free and fair elections.
This progress began with em agreement in January junong the major
political parties to establish rules for cleaning up the voter
lists, for election observation, for more equal access to the media
and for campaign finance reform.

Since January, the Federal Electoral Board has been
strengthened and ftinding has been provided to institute a high-tech
voter registration procedure and methods to conduct spot counts of
the vote on election day. Agreement shave been reached to allow
Mexican non-governaental organizations to join the political
parties in observing the elections. Access to media by the
opposition has improved.

However, fears of possible election fraud remain strong in
Mexico. The largest threat seems to be in the niral areas of the
country where a new approach to elections ~ on that does not
simply validate the PRI — has not yet been embraced.

To counter that threat, opposition political parties have
begun the process of organizing field election observation teams.
The United Nations has also begun training poll workers 2md
observers, and an alliance of non-governmental advocacy groups has
launched an electoral observation effort. It is crucial that these
independent observers receive ample resources and freedom to
fulfill their mission.



During a recent trip to Mexico, many Mexicans complained that
I had no right to comment on their domestic affairs. To this I
answered that nations struggling with democracy should welcome
criticism, taking it as a sign of their strength that they can
respond and debate their choices openly.

My hope is that the resolution we are considering today will
be taken as it is intended — not as a critique, but as an
encouraging word from the United States in support of free and fair
elections in Mexico. To eliminate any doubt about my intent, I
will offer an en bloc amendment that will remove several clauses
from the original resolution that may have been viewed as an effort
simply to criticize Mexico for its past.

I have also eliminated a provision from the body of the
resolution that calls for full-scale international observation of
the election. I am satisfied that the current framework, under
which the United Nations will support impartial Mexican observers,
will achieve the same objective without posing a threat to the
Mexican notion of sovereignty.

What we have before us, then, is a resolution that describes
the importance of free and fair elections to the furtherance of a
close relationship between the United States and Mexico, and that
cites the important progress that has already been made in
reforming the electoral process.

The resolved portion of the resolution expresses the support
of the Congress for the continued efforts of the Mexican
government, its political parties, and civil groups to ensure free
and fair elections; urges full implementation of the reforms
enumerated in the January Agreement for Peace, Democracy, and
Justice; and endorses the efforts of the United Nations to provide
technical assistance to domestic observers.

This resolution is offered in the spirit of neighbors looking
to improve the community in which we all live. I hope my
colleagues will support this resolution and work with me to secure
its approval by the full House.


103d congress
2d Session

H. CON. RES. 250


August 10 (legislative day, August 8), 1994
Received and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations


Ex{)ressing the sense of the Congress in support of efforts
by the Government of Mexico, and the major poUtical
parties and concerned members of civic society in Mexico,
to reform Mexico's political and electoral processes and
ensure free and fair elections.

\\niereas the United States and Mexico share a common bor-

\\nicreas the people of the United States and the people of
Mexico have extensive cultural and historical ties that
bind together families and communities across national


Whereas a close relationship between the United States and
Mexico, based on mutual respect and understanding, is
important to the people of both nations;

Whereas the North American Free Trade Agreement, which
is designed to increase trade, promote expanded economic
activity, and enhance cooperation on issues of mutual in-
terest among the United States, Canada, and Mexico, en-
tered into force on January 1, 1994;

Whereas the implementation of the North American Free
Trade Agreement presents new opportunities for an even
closer relationship among the United States, Canada and

Whereas this relationship will be furthered by free and fair
elections in Mexico on August 21, 1994;

Whereas Mexican leaders from across the political spectrum
and representatives of civic society recognized the need
for political and electoral reform and have taken steps to
achieve these goals;

Wliereas recent reforms being implemented in Mexico seek to
overcome previous assertions of electoral irregularities
which have been highlighted by civil demonstrations and
political unrest;

Wliereas in Januan,^ 1994, Mexico's major political parties
joined together in an agreement, known as the Agree-
ment for Peace, Democracy, and Justice, designed to re-
form Mexico's electoral system and to establish proce-
dures for free and fair elections;

Wliereas the Federal Electoral Institute has invited rep-
resentatives of the United Nations to provide technical
assistance and financing to domestic Mexican election ob-


servers who request this support to help foster their inde-
pendence, nonpartisanship, and objectivity; and

Wliereas the spirit of the North American Free Trade Agree-
ment facihtates cooperation in achieving high standards
of democracy: Now, therefore be it

1 Resolved hy the House of Representatives (the Senate

2 concurring), That the Congress —

3 (1) expresses its support for efforts undertaken

4 by the Government of Mexico, the major poUtical

5 parties, and civic groups to reform Mexico's poUtical

6 and electoral processes and for their ongoing efforts

7 to ensure free and fair elections;

8 (2) welcomes steps taken in recent months by

9 the Mexican Government and the nation's political

10 parties to increase the impartiality of the Federal

1 1 electoral authorities, review the accuracv of the voter

12 registr}^ list, ensure fair media access, and reform

13 campaign finance practices, in accordance \vith the

14 commitments enumerated in the January 1994

15 Agreement for Peace, Democracy, and Justice, and

1 6 encourages continued progress on electoral reform;

17 (3) applauds the invitation extended by the

18 Government of Mexico, with, the concurrence of the

19 major political parties and concerned members of

20 ci\ic society, to representatives of the United Na-

21 tions to provide technical assistance and financing to


1 domestic Mexican election observers, and encourages

2 representatives of the United Nations to work closely

3 and directly with Mexican observers during the elec-

4 toral process;

5 (4) takes note of the efforts of the Mexican do-

6 mestic observer groups to encourage citizen partici-

7 pation throughout the electoral process and to con-

8 tribute to the success of this process by serving as

9 monitors during the August 21, 1994, presidential

10 and congressional elections;

11 (5) welcomes the opportunity made available by

12 the Mexican Congress for international visitors to be

13 present during and to witness such elections; and

14 (6) expresses the hope that the efforts of the

15 Government of Mexico, the major political parties,

16 and concerned members of civic society to reform

17 the electoral process will be successful, and lead to

18 elections that are accepted by all parties as fair and

19 valid.

Passed the House of Representatives August 8,




3 de agosto de 1994


Segundo persodo de sesionea


Exprwando la opmi6n del Congww en apoyo do lot eafUwzoi del Gobiemo d« Mexico do lo»
partido. poI f ticoj principalea y de 1m miombro* inuresado* do la sododad civil do M6xico por
reformar lo« proce«»6 polf ticoe y oloctoraloo de eea naci6n y por awgurar eleccionos librw o

3 de agosto de 1994


Expresando la opini6n del Congreso en apoyo de los esfuerzos del
Gobierno de Mexico, de los partidos politicos principalea y de los
miembrofl interesados de la sociedad civil de Mexico por refontiar
los procesos politicos y electoralea de esa naci6n y por asegurar
elecciones libres e imparciales.

Considerando que Estados Unidos y Mexico comparten una frontera

Cunsiderando que el pueblo de los Estados Unidos y el pueblo de
Mexico tienen cxtensos lazes culturales e hist6ricos que vinculan
a familias y coniunidades de los dos lados de la frontera;


Confliderando que una relaci6n estrecha entre Estados Unidos y
Mexico, baaada en el respeto y en la comprensi6n mutuos, es
importante para los pueblos de lafi dos nacioues;

Considerando que el Tratado de Libre Comercio de America del Norte,
que tiene el prop6sito de aumentar el comercio, de fomentar una
mayor actividad econ6mica y de realzar la cooperaci6n en
cuestiones de interfes mutuo entre Eatados Unidos y Mexico,
entr6 en vigor el lo, de enero de 1994;

Considerando que la ejecuci6n del Tratado de Libre Comercio presents
nuevas oportunidades para una relaci6n aun m^ estrecha entre
Estados Unidos y M6xico;

Considerando que tal relaci6n 3er6 profundizada por elecciones libres
e imparciales en M6xico el 21 de agosto de 1994;

Considerando que los lideres mexicanos de todo el espectro politico
y representantes de la sociedad civil reconocieron la necesidad de
una reforma politica y electoral y han dado pasos para lograr
esta meta;

Considerando que las recientea reformas que se est^n realizando en
Mexico pretenden subsanar previaa aseveraciones de
irrcgularidades electorales que han sido resaltadas por
manifestaciones civiles y por conflictividad politica;

Considerando que en enero de 1994 los partidos politicos principales
de Mexico convinieron en un acuerdo, conocido como el Acuerdo
por la Paz, la Democracia y la Justicia, diseflado para reformar
el sistema electoral de Mexico y para establecer procedimientos
para elecciones librea e imparciales;

Considerando que el Institute Federal Electoral ha invitado a
representantes de la Organizacibn de las Naciones Unidas a
proporcionar asiatencia t6cnica y financiamiento a lo3
observadores nacionales de las slecciones mexicanas que
requieran esta aaistencia para ayudar a fomentar su
independencia, imparcialidad politica y objetividad; y

Considerando que el csplritu del Tratado de Libre Comercio facilita
la cooperaci6n en el logro de altas normas de democracia:

Por lo tanto, resuilvase en la Cdmara de Representantes (con el
Senado de acueixio) que el Congreso—

(1) expresa su apoyo a los esfuerzos realizados por el
Gobierno de Mexico, los partidos pollticos principales y grupos
civiles por refonnar los procesos politicos y electorales de Mexico
y a sus continuos esfuerzos por asegurar elecciones libres e

(2) aplaude los pasoa dados durante los tiltimos meses por el
Gobierno de Mexico y los partidos politicos nacionales para
incrementar la imparcialidad de las autoridades electorales:
federalcs, revisar la exactitud del padr6n de votantes, asegurar
el acceso equitativo a los medios de comunicaci6n masiva y
reformar las pr^cticas financieras de las campanas, de acuerdo
con las obligaciones enumeradas en el Acuerdo por la P&z, la
Democracia y la Justicia de enero de 1994, y alienta ei progreso
continue en leis reformas electorales;


(3) aplaude la invitaci6n del Gobierno de Mexico, con la
confortnidad de los partidos pollticos principales y miembros
interesados de la eociedad civil, a representantes de la
Organizaci6n de las Nacionea Unidas a proporcionar asistencia
t^cnica y nnanciamiento a los observadores nacionales de los
comicios mexicanos y alienta a los representantes de la
Organizaci6n de las Naciones Unidas a trabsyar estrecha y
directamente con lo8 observadores mexicanos durante el proceso

(4) toma nota de los esfuerzos de los grupos de observadores
nacionales por fomentar la participaci6n ciudadana en todo el
proceso electoral y por contribuir al 6xito de dicho proceso
sirviendo de monitorea durante las elecciones presidenciales y
congTGsionaies a desarrollarse el 21 de agosto de 1994;

(5) aplaude la oportunidad ofrecida por el Congieso de
Mexico a los visitantea internacionales para presenciar y ser
testigos de dichas elecciones; y

(6) expresa la esperanza de que los esfuerzos del Gobierno de
Mexico, de los partidos pollticos principales y de los miembros
interesados de la sociedad civil por reformar el proceso electoral
sean exitosos y conduzcan a elecciones que sean aceptadas por
todos los partidos como imparciales y vAlidas.


3 9999 05903 797 6

ISBN 0-16-046514-1

9 780160