President Carlos Salinas

President Carlos Salinas is an iQ Council Overseer. He was President of Mexico from 1988 to 1994. His presidential term was characterized for an extraordinary impulse to new way of conducting relations with the United States of America The signing in 1992 of the North American Free Trade Agreement –which went into effect in January 1994- represented one of the most important achievements to change a century of history, rhetoric and perceptions. Mexico considered the relation with the USA not as a problem but as part of the solution. And the United States for the first time in its history accepted obligatory rules for its commercial and financial relations with Mexico. The privatization of state-controlled enterprises provided  revenues which were used to pay back domestic debt. Economic reforms in areas such as the financial sector were strengthen by providing full autonomy to the Central Bank. Economic growth was recovered by reducing also the external debt through the so-called Brady Plan. Total debt was reduced to merely 21% of GDP.

Popular participation was promoted through the Programa de Solidaridad (Solidarity Program). Income inequality was reduced and real wages were increased during his administration. A broad program of Education Reform was promoted through the improvement of teachers’ salaries and retraining. Health programs allowed to reduce infant mortality and increase life expectancy. Mexico became a country considered with High Human Development by the United Nations.

To promote democratic processes new electoral institutions were established under the control of civic society. This fostered electoral competition and transparency. The National Commission on Human Rights was created during his administration. New rules for accountability were established. Respect for religious beliefs were ratified in the Constitution and diplomatic relations with the Holy See reestablished after 150 years of having been severed.

Drug trafficking was thoroughly fought during his administration, and leaders of all Mexican cartels were imprisoned and quantities of drugs seized reached historical levels not surpassed yet. International cooperation to fight this scourge was actively promoted.

International relations were actively promoted. Mexico became the first Latin American country member of OECD, as well as APEC. The first Ibero American Summit ever was held in Guadalajara, Mexico in 1991.

Mr. Salinas was born in Mexico City. In 1969 he graduated in Economics from the National Autonomous University of Mexico. He attended Harvard University, where he earned Master Degrees in Public Administration and in Political Economy, as well as a PH. D.  in Political Economy and Government.  He is currently member of the Dean’s Council, Kennedy School, Harvard; member of Museo del Prado International Committee, and Teatro Real Madrid International Committee; and Council Member of Pure Earth, which works to eradicate lead in pottery.

Since 1995 Mr Salinas has published several articles on civic society, international relations and the formation of social capital. In 2000 he published the book Mexico, the politics and policies of modernization, considered by Foreign Affairs “perhaps the most revealing book written by a former Head of State in Latin America.” In 2008 he published La “Década Perdida” 1995-2006. Neoliberalismo y Populismo en México. (The Lost Decade 1995-2006. Neoliberalism and Populism in Mexico). In 2010 he published Democracia Republicana. Ni Estado ni Mercado: La Alternativa Ciudadana (Republican Democracy. Neither the State nor the Market. The Citizens Alternative). And in 2011 ¿Qué hacer?  La alternative ciudadana (What is to be done? A Citizens Alternative). And in April 2017 Muros, puentes y litorales. Relaciones México, Cuba y Estados Unidos (Walls, Bridges and Littorals. Relations Mexico-Cuba-USA). Later that year he published Aliados y Adversarios. TLCAN 1988-2017 (Allies and adversaries. NAFTA 1988-2017).