La Jornada – The corruption of science in Mexico

We live at the height or the pinnacle of corruption in the world. Use and abuse of political and economic power, knowledge, or hierarchical position. The list includes businessmen, magnates, bankers, public servants, presidents and prime ministers, kings, princes and princesses, priests, bishops, archbishops, diplomats, deans, sportsmen, arts and sciences, etc. This phenomenon coincides with the highest concentration of wealth in history represented in automobile profits, oil, coal, nuclear, mining, food, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, agrochemicals, biotechnology, cement, tourism, minerals, telecommunications, weapons, and others. To achieve this, the corporate power was putting at its service the scientific and technical knowledge of each branch, and this entailed the creation of an army of specialized researchers, capable of efficiently manipulating the bits of knowledge, without questioning its ethical implications or dangers to humanity. or planetary environment. This technological science was achieved with obedient researchers by imposing a dogma: “All scientific and technical knowledge is morally good, since there is only one pure science that serves development, peace and humanity.” In recent decades, companies have not only consolidated their scientific and technological bodies, but have also been penetrating, sharing and putting at their service the sciences implemented from public and private universities, technology institutions, and government institutions (see the case of the United States): https://www.ucsusa.org/resources/heads-they-win-tails-we-lose).

In Mexico, the three decades of neoliberalism, and the scandalous collusion between political and economic power, not only left a devastated country, but also created corrupt regimes that have disrupted many of the country’s institutional areas. Science was no exception. This was a combination of institutional actions with the roles played by elite academics who implemented, promoted and/or approved those actions. The Director of Conacyt at the morning conference on October 20, 2020 listed the major diversions of public funds towards science and technology that did not benefit the country between 2000 and 2013. The report presented science mafia, where he shows how the Science and Technology Advisory Forum became a civic association for a group of academics to usurp public jobs to take advantage of Conacyt money for 16 years, about 50 million annually (https://lamafiadelaciencia.projectpoder.org/).

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In a recent letter (https://critical awareness 2021. WordPress.com) about 400 academics denounced: “The current Law on Science and Technology, published in 2002, underwent eight reforms that allowed for the rapid privatization and liberalization of public resources; the common pattern was to commodify knowledge subjects and products, and to manage funds through 65 trust funds, one obtained percent of them on 40 percent of these resources.The letter reveals the non-refundable transfers of one million dollars that Konsett has made in the past to companies and organizations, such as Intel (200 million pesos), Cummins (61 million pesos), Volkswagen (132 million) , Nemak (104 million) and even giant Monsanto (20.8 million), as well as private universities.

One notable act of collusion between the neoliberal government and corporations was the 2013 appointment by e Peña Nieto of Francisco Bolívar Zapata (FBZ) as Head of Science, Technology and Innovation Coordination in the presidency. FBZ is the scientist who has led the defense and introduction of GM crops in Mexico and is responsible for the Ministry of Agriculture and Environment to join forces with Monsanto, Syngenta, Dow and Vail to grow GM corn and soybeans. These attempts were halted by a legal claim completed by a group of 53 people and 20 organizations on July 5, 2013, and the neo-liberal government litigating against them for companies using public resources.

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