Tag Archives: political cartoon

Calderon, a man of many suits

Mexican cartoonists Antonio Helguera and Jose Hernandez created the above cartoon of President Calderon wearing a variety of suits for his different “special occasions.” By the descriptions of each one, it sounds like these suits are not very appealing to the Mexican people. No doubt that making fun of the president in this way shows that the Mexican populace has lost confidence in him. Calderon initiated the head on military fight against the drug cartels but he does not have the full support of his country. How is the drug war supposed to get any better if Mexican people can’t believe in their own President? Perhaps Calderon should stop the acting, take off all these costumes, and take things at a different angle…listen to what his nation is telling him.


I plan to more or less translate into English each description underneath the cartoons of Calderon and analyze why I believe the cartoonists wrote it.


1.) Well, to start off, the Mickey Mouse character caught my eye first. The caption directly underneath it says, something along the lines of Very Tight Pants, Very High Pants, or Well Swaddled Pants.


Description: designed especially to receive high authority/ranking  officiality from the U.S. government.


Analysis: My way of looking at it is it seems like Calderon wears the pants, he’s the boss here. And his pants are so tight, it’s like to say he’s got the balls to say certain things, or he’s got the guts to because he blames everybody else using their first and last name.

He even blamed the U.S. government about the crisis of the cartels in his country to the point that President Obama personally had to pay him a visit in Mexico to clarify things. So he’s got the tight pants, because he’s got some nerve.


2.) The next one to the left is the burglar looking character of Calderon. The title says “Model Chompiras,” meaning little thief or good for nothing.


Description:  This fine suit inspired by the ideologies of the PAN party, is the one that Calderon used when he took over the presidency.


Analysis: People in Mexico use “Chompiras” for slang to refer to Calderon when they want to say he is good for nothing. Chompiras was a little thief on a television show back in the 70’s in Mexico. But every time he wanted to commit a crime, everything would go wrong, so he was bad at being a thief. So I’m thinking that means the people think that Calderon is such a  “good for nothing” that he even sucks at being at thief.


3.) The next one to the left is the Doctor suit. The title is “Doctor’s Coat.”


Description: this design was created for very special occasions when Calderon needs to show an air of authority like new measures against the common cold or announce when a lady that was raped by soldiers in reality had gastritis.

Analysis: So, I believe the idea is that he got into power to be the doctor of Mexico’s illnesses. He was going to cure all of Mexico’s sicknesses. But actually the only thing he really does is take measures against little problems, the big ones are still there.

In real life, he’s given a speech about the drug war where he’s metaphorically worn a doctor’s coat. I will paste a small passage from an online news article that talks about this speech. It’s all in spanish but if you use google translator most of it makes sense…which is actually what I did. So below you can read some of it.


Here’s the link to a news article addressing this speech.



Calderónmetaphorically put a white coat to speak of the famous war against drugs.

He responds well to Javier Moreno of the country on whether imagined the magnitude of the problem:

‘When I came to the presidency, his reach was no longer tenable. I got to the theater knowing that the patient had a very serious condition, but when opened, we realized it was invaded by many places and had to heal at any cost.

At first strange parallelism. Well, in war and there is blood in the operating room, right? Sometimes a lot … And dead, as we have in Mexico.

Still, Dr. Calderon is confident that the patient-country-cancer drug save.

Note: you did not say that we are winning but not enough, famous phrase from his attorney, assistant operation, Eduardo Medina Mora. The diagnosis of the chief surgeon of the nation state is less optimistic: we will win, he says. When? What cost? After many chemotherapies, radiation, operations? Who knows?

-By Katia D´ Artigues
16 June 2008


So Calderon, to sum it up, believes that Mexico has the right strategy and the exact cure and will of course win this war, while others continue question.

4.) The following cartoon down is the image of Calderon in a Catholic priest outfit. This title says something like: Cassock for the Gala. A cassock is “an item of clerical clothing, is an ankle-length robe worn by clerics of the Roman Catholic Church.” (wikipedia)


Description: Perfect when there are events organized by the Vatican. But the Pope doesn’t feel like coming.


Analysis: The picture here is that Calderon is very moralist (in his speeches). He tends to preach (to the Mexicans) just like the priests would do to a congregation.


He has the custom/tendency to preach to the Mexican people in different public acts as if they were all Catholic. He talks about the Virgin Guadalupe, the Pope, and he quotes Bible verses thinking that all Mexicans are Catholic and belong to his “flock.” But he obviously doesn’t know his own country at all, for not all of them profess the faith of Catholicism.


I’m going to post a portion of a blog post from a Mexican woman who was angered by a speech Calderon gave about Catholicism representing the Mexican people.

Once again, it was all in Spanish, but I used google translator to turn it into English.


After all, many Mexicans, most Mexicans, the Lady of Guadalupe is a sign of identity and unity. We Guadalupe, independently, dare I say, much of the faith, beliefs and non beliefs and, of course, it is for those who profess the Catholic faith, who certainly brings this image as representative of Mexico and the Mexicans. He stressed that the Basilica is a place full of significant events since the appearance of the Virgin to Juan Diego, landmark religious, social integration factor of national unity and cultural diversity “(presidencia.gob.mx).

Who has told so blessed official, who can claim the right to consider ourselves professing the same religion, in this case Catholicism, as if we were his flock?

Obviously, it continues without being in his right mind. He forgot that there are figures in the various percentages of believers, a number of religions and even freethinkers or atheists, we add a not insignificant number whose status is attributed not pleasant nor edifying us.

He continued in his exalted sermon (sorry, in his address substance) noting that:

“… The design is inspired by the papal coat of John Paul II, who is fondly remembered by Mexicans for his message of peace we need.”

Unfortunately I lost the link to this blog, but if I do end up finding it, I’ll edit it into this post.


But this lady’s strong opinion absolutely has some truth in it. Calderon seems to have the fame of being more of a Pope than the real Pope and more be a better Virgin Mary than the actual Virgin Mary, bringing his Catholic religion to the spot light in every opportunity that he can.



5.) Finally the last suit is the Napoleon looking guy. The title says “Straightjacket.”


Description: designed especially for delusions of grandeur. It’s a suit made to order to visit Waterloo City, Chihuahua to let the citizens in that area know that we are winning the war against the drug cartels.


Analysis: Sarcastically saying, like Calderon is actually going to go to Chihuahua and say “Yeah we are winning the war against the narcos”…But the people living there and going through the war in everyday life know it’s not true. But he likes to go around acting like he’s so important like Napoleon. But think about it… what ended up happening to Napoleon?


What other suits can you think of?

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Paresh Nath, The Khaleej Times, UA

Apparently this is showing Calderon changing his mind about which path he would rather take for Mexico. However, I don’t know if this is truly something he would like to do. I don’t know if he wants to do anything at all for that matter.

He seems to be stagnant in his position towards this lately. He lets the Mexican military take care of it while he blames the United States for most of the problem going on. I absolutely agree that the United States plays a role in this but he’s not really doing much to clean up the situation either.

I watched a video from a segment called “Hard Talk” from BBC News.

This video kinda struck a nerve in me that made me decide that I don’t like Calderon very much. But that’s just my own opinion.

This definitely could count as “Hard Talk,” cause there’s some hard back and forth questioning and retorting going on.


I’ve tried to be indifferent towards the Mexican government, but it’s becoming more difficult.

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It’s the fat, blind, drug addicted American’s fault

My original thoughts as soon as I saw this picture were:

-the United States is sucking (in this case snorting) the life out of Mexico because its demand for drugs is a lot more important than it’s care about the lives of innocent people.

-Haha the artist made the guy fat because Americans are fat, greedy, people who only “feed” their own needs…in this particular situation, their own need for drugs

-the artist didn’t even need to put the words “U.S. drug demand” on the guy’s arm because that message is implicit. He’s already wearing a stars and stripes shirt and snorting up Mexico, which I could only assume would be the U.S.’s drug demand.

-the guy’s eye is creepy and totally not a natural, healthy looking eye, I’m not sure that he’s able to see things clearly and I’m assuming it’s because of the massive amount of intake of cocaine and other drugs. So he’s so blinded by his addiction to drugs, he does not see the implications he’s causing upon Mexico.


I think the artist did a fabulous job creating such a simple cartoon that says so much when one interrogates the image and points out certain observations.

Excellent illustration.

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Where does the line end?


As I was doing some research on the continuous drug violence in Mexico, I came across these maps that I for some reason didn’t think existed. I didn’t know they existed because I was unaware that people knew the exact territories/cities/provinces that each cartel had taken over. I guess I think it’s kinda crazy that the lines are so well-defined, but apparently they are and they’re certainly out there.

So far Los Zetas seem to be the most dominating drug gang in Mexico and are slowly gaining prominence in southern United States as well.

This one goes even more into depth, showing the drug trafficking directions as in what’s coming from where and where it’s leading to, as well as specifying which drugs are the ones being trafficked. It appears that Cocaine is the most popular substance being shipped, and mostly from South America from countries such as Colombia, Venezuela, and Brazil. Latins indirectly assisting their Latin brothers in the murdering of innocent people… for what? For a small sum of money? For a powdery substance that gives you a temporary feel good moment in time?

I had no idea that China also ships drugs to Mexico, this is new news to me. Fascinating to think they are also contributing to this tragic mess. I should change my mission statement from Mexico and the U.S. are both equally to be blamed, to the revised version of Mexico, the U.S., Latin America, and China are all to be partly blamed for the drug cartel violence occurring in Mexico.

Next I’m going to find out that Canada, or Australia, or Africa is contributing. Like where does the line end really?

When the violence is not happening to you or someone you care about, it doesn’t really matter. All we care about is making our money.

Drug Violence Map of Mexico Political Cartoon

This is a political cartoon I found on Google Images dramatically imitating the various “cartel influence” maps that are on the internet. This image, in my opinion, is emitting the message that the violence is spread out entirely through out Mexico and even splattering over into the United States. There are no specific territories, or fine lines where drug cartel influence reigns, because it is affecting everyone all over Mexico and even those in southern United States. On a side note, the artist of the cartoon highlights the state of Wisconsin because of an incident that occurred in 2010 when “federal officials found hundreds of pounds of pot in the forests of northern Wisconsin that were apparently being tended by Mexican nationals.” (http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/opinion/column/phil_hands/article_aefae97e-ad6e-11df-841f-001cc4c002e0.html) Thus is it not only affecting southern United States, but it’s slowly progressing to northern United States as well. An ugly truth that will only worsen if we don’t pay any attention to the issue.

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“Too strong for publication”

This image was created by the famous Mexican cartoonist Jose Hernandez. The title “Nuevo Eslogan” means “New Slogan.” The artist has depicted President Calderon as putting up a sign from the Federal Government that says “In order for drugs not to reach your children… we are killing them for you.” So Hernandez is basically saying that the Federal Government is killing the children of Mexico. According to Monthly Review Magazine the cartoon was “deemed too strong for publication by La Jornada and subsequently widely disseminated in the Mexican blogosphere.”

I can understand why La Jornada would think it’s somewhat intense, because it’s head on dissing the government and Calderon in a non-satirical way. It’s extremely blunt and directing it’s hostility towards Calderon.

I’m not going to say Hernandez is right or wrong, because I feel like since I’m not living in Mexico, I can’t really know everything that’s going on first hand, so I can’t choose to blame an entire government that’s not ruling over me; because it could just be one person, or a group of people and not the entire government, but I just don’t know. I try to be an objective person in most of my dealings, and this image certainly does not embody that. I do however, have to give props to Hernandez for being bold enough to convey his true thoughts on the subject and be willing to stand up for something he believes in. And I will say that the Mexican government is at fault for many things and I somewhat agree with Hernandez, but there are also many other factors that are involved as well.

Overall, I feel that this has a strong message to portray, and it’s important that people are exposed to it. This is not a joke, this is real.

Cartoon Source: http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/2010/hernandez060510.html

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No More Blood!

The image on the left designed by Alejandro Magallanes is the logo for the “No More Blood” campaign.

This image has been utilized everywhere in Mexico, in protests, as graffiti, and anywhere on the streets as a new plan of action encouraging change developed by a group of famous Mexican political cartoonists.

Together these cartoonists are focusing all of their new cartoons towards the bloodshed of the nation, and the creator of this campaign Eduardo Del Rio hoped that the campaign would “change the media discourse on the issue of drug war violence.” Changing the discourse would mean being able to reveal the importance of the severity of this issue in Mexican’s personal lives.  If that’s all people talk about, then that’s all that’s going to be in the minds of the people, which may result in taking action in any way that they are capable of.

The main storyline that the government and police had been broadcasting was that “90 percent of the dead were linked to organized crime. Innocent murder victims were often downplayed as ‘collateral damage’.”

However, back in March, 7 young adults were murdered, one of whom was the son of the famous poet Javier Sicilia. This is when public opinion began to change from it just being “collateral damage.” A week after the death of his son, Sicilia instigated a nationwide protesting movement condemning the drug violence and the government’s methods towards the whole situation.

It’s a sad idea that someone has to die, particularly in this case, a famous poet’s son has to die, before he or anyone else would take any action to start an uprising against this terrorism. Why haven’t they done this before? Perhaps people are afraid, afraid to be silenced by getting killed. But it’s definitely better late than never.

Antonio Helguera explains that sometimes people find it difficult to understand what’s going on in politics, especially if they don’t have knowledge on the history of the subject. So what he’s discovered through his own experience is “that when I opened newspapers, the key to unlocking the messages were the cartoons. If you go by what the newspapers tell you directly, the messages are empty. Cartoons provide the keys to decode these messages.”

He said that the messages they’re trying to implement has nothing to do with making fun of the victims, but that they “focus our ridicule on the creators and promoters of this war. I’m referring to (President) Calderon and the secretaries of the armed forces and marines, the chief of the federal police and all those people. It’s against them.”

The above image is referencing President Calderon’s visit to Standford University in May of 2011. A small aircraft flew over the university whilst he gave a commencement speech carrying a banner with the “No more blood” logo saying “40,000 dead! How many more?” The cartoon portrays Calderon responding something along the lines of “soon they’ll stop harassing me about the 40,000 dead because soon there will be 50,000 dead.”

In connection, José Hernández believes it’s the cartoons that could be the dominant style of education and be the gate to the eye opening alertness that will hopefully lead to a larger result of the “No More Blood” campaign; he asserts “because a society that’s informed and organized is less susceptible to manipulation and abuse.”

Let’s hope that this message can be spread across the border to the United States as well. The more people that know about it, the more we can do to help stop the continuation of these murders. I think it’d be a great idea if they started some kind of non-profit organization for this, perhaps create merchandise such as t-shirts and other items that people could purchase in support in order to spread the message further and educate others on the subject. I’m planning on creating my own t-shirt with the logo. It’s such a unique logo, it’d spark the interest of people to ask me about it, which I then could educate them about the issue, and perhaps even encourage them to do the same as me and start a ripple effect. We could start a “No More Blood” revolution!

Article Source: http://www.pri.org/stories/arts-entertainment/arts/cartoonists-fight-bloodshed-in-mexican-drug-war6002.html

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