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Vicente Fox Quesada


In office
December 1, 2000 – November 30, 2006
Preceded by Ernesto Zedillo
Succeeded by Felipe Calderón

In office
September 25, 1995 – September 25, 1999
Preceded by Carlos Medina Plascencia
Succeeded by Ramón Martín Huerta

Born July 2, 1942 (1942-07-02) (age 67)
San Francisco del Rincon, Guanajuato, Mexico
Political party National Action Party (PAN)
Spouse(s) Lilian de la Concha (divorced)
Marta Sahagún
Alma mater Universidad Iberoamericana
Occupation Businessman; Politician
Religion Roman Catholicism

Vicente Fox Quesada (Spanish pronunciation: [biˈsente foks keˈsaða]; born July 2, 1942) is a Mexican politician who served as President of Mexico from 2000 to 2006 and currently serves as co-President of the Centrist Democrat International, an international organization of Christian democratic political parties.[1]

Fox was elected President of Mexico in the 2000 presidential election, a historically significant election that made him the first president elected from an opposition party since Francisco I. Madero in 1910 and the first one in 71 years to defeat, with 42 percent of the vote, the then-dominant Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).[2]

After serving as president of Mexico for six years, President Fox returned to his home state of Guanajuato, where he resides with his wife and family. Since leaving the presidency, Vicente Fox has been involved in public speaking and the construction of the Vicente Fox Center of Studies, Library and Museum.[3]

Contents

Early years

Vicente Fox was born in Guanajuato on July 2, 1942, the second of nine children. His father was José Luis Fox Pont, a Mexican citizen[4] and his mother Mercedes Quesada Etxaide, was Basque from San Sebastian, Guipúzcoa, Spain. Fox's paternal grandfather was born as Joseph Louis Fuchs in Cincinnati, Ohio, the son of German Catholic immigrants Louis Fuchs and Catherina Elisabetha Flach. The "Fox" surname was changed from the German "Fuchs" during the 1870s.[5]

Fox spent his childhood and adolescence at the family ranch in San Francisco del Rincón in Guanajuato. He moved to Mexico City to attend the Universidad Iberoamericana where he pursued a business degree until 1964, and he earned his diploma in Top Management Skills from the Harvard Business School in the United States. He didn't graduate from the Universidad Iberoamericana until early 2000s[6]

In 1964, Fox went to work for the Coca-Cola Company where he started as a route supervisor, and he drove a delivery truck. He quickly rose in the company to become the supervisor of Coca-Cola's operations, and later in all of Latin America. As the President of Coca Cola , Fox helped Coca-Cola become Mexico's top-selling soft drink, increasing Coca-Cola's sales by almost 50%.[7]

Vicente Fox married a receptionist at Coca-Cola, Lilian de la Concha. They adopted four children, Ana Cristina, Vicente, Paulina, and Rodrigo.[8] In 1990, after 20 years of marriage, Lilian filed for and was granted a divorce.[9]

Vicente Fox married for the second time while in office as President. He married Marta María Sahagún Jiménez (until then his spokesperson) on July 2, 2001, the first anniversary of his presidential election and his 59th birthday. For both, this was their second marriage.

After retiring from Coca-Cola, Vicente Fox began to participate in various public activities in Guanajuato, where he created the "Patronato de la Casa Cuna Amigo Daniel", an orphanage. He was the president of the Patronato Loyola, a sponsor of the León campus of the Universidad Iberoamericana, and of the Lux Institute.[10]

Early political career

With the support of Manuel Clouthier, Vicente Fox joined the Partido Acción Nacional on March 1, 1988. That same year he ran for and was elected to the federal Chamber of Deputies representing the Third Federal District in León, Guanajuato.[10]

Governor of Guanajuato

After serving in the Chamber of Deputies, Fox sought the governorship in Guanajuato in 1991, but lost to Ramón Aguirre Velázquez of the PRI. Following the election, local discontent was so great that the state Congress appointed Carlos Medina Placencia of the PAN as interim governor.[6] Four years later, Fox decided to run again, winning by a vote of 2 to 1; thus, he became the new governor.[10]

As governor, Fox promoted government efficiency and transparency. He was one of the first state governors of Mexico to give a clear, public and timely account of the finances of Guanajuato.[11]

Fox pushed for the consolidation of small firms, promoted the sale of goods manufactured in Guanajuato overseas and created a unique system in which micro-credits with no overdue portfolio were granted. Under Fox, the state became the fifth most important Mexican state economy.[12]

Campaign for President

On July 7, 1997 (three years before the presidential election of 2000), Vicente Fox decided to run for President of Mexico. In spite of opposition within his party, Fox secured his candidacy representing the Alliance for Change, a political coalition formed by the National Action Party and the Green Ecological Party of Mexico on November 14, 1999.

During the course of his campaign a presidential debate was organized. There was a disagreement between the three main contenders, Fox, Francisco Labastida of the PRI and Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas of the PRD, and some of the arguments were broadcast on national television, notably the one on whether the debate should be held that same day or the following Friday.[13] For minutes, Fox kept repeating the word "Hoy" meaning "today", originating the famous phrase "hoy, hoy, hoy!". The other candidates decided to postpone the debate, but Fox used that day's airtime anyway. At first the action brought criticism to Fox, but it soon backfired against his opponents when Fox started using his new phrase to gain new supporters as he campaigned for a better future "today".

Fox's primary voting bloc were the Criollo and Mestizo populace of Northern and Central Mexico.[citation needed] During the presidential debate his main opponent, Francisco Labastida, claimed in a nationally televised debate that Vicente Fox had repeatedly called him a "sissy" and a "cross-dresser".[14] Fox's campaign slogans were "¡Ya!" ("Right now!"), "Ya ganamos" ("We've already won") and "Vota Alianza por el Cambio" meaning "Vote for Alliance for Change".

Amigos de Fox

Amigos de Fox ("Friends of Fox") was a non-profit fund raising group that was instrumental in getting Vicente Fox elected President of Mexico. The phrase was also used as a campaign slogan referring to the millions of people supporting Fox in the 2000 presidential elections.[15]

In 2003, money-laundering charges were lodged against the fund raising group, but were dropped shortly before the July 2003 mid-term elections.[16]

Election results

Vicente Fox on inauguration day alongside two of his children in a mass rally and parade around Mexico City.

On July 2, 2000, (Fox's 58th birthday) he won the presidential election with 43% (15,989,636 votes) of the popular vote, followed by the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) candidate Francisco Labastida with 36% (13,579,718 votes), and Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas of the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) with 17% (6,256,780 votes). Vicente Fox declared victory that same night, a victory which was ratified by President Zedillo. After the final results were announced, President-elect Vicente Fox met with thousands of supporters at the Angel of Independence monument in Mexico City, to address his supporters and celebrate his victory. His opponents conceded the election later that night.

President-elect Vicente Fox received an enormous amount of media coverage, as well as many congratulating messages and phone calls from world leaders including former President of the United States, Bill Clinton.

Fox took office as president on December 1, 2000, marking the first time in Mexico's history that an incumbent government peacefully surrendered power to an elected member of the opposition.

Presidency

See article Fox administration

Public image

Fox with Laura Bush, Marta Sahagún, and George W. Bush, Crawford, Texas, March 5, 2004

During his campaign for president, Vicente Fox became well known for his unique cowboy style and popular charisma. With his trademark boots and “Fox” belt buckle, the president's personal style closely resembled that of many stereotypical "Mexicans". A gifted speaker, Fox usually gathered big crowds throughout his six years as president.[17]

At six foot five, President Fox easily stood out in most crowds, and is believed to be one of the tallest presidents in Mexican history.[18] After his inauguration, President Fox usually only wore suits for formal occasions, opting to wear his signature boots and jeans throughout his many visits around Mexico.[19]

When President Fox welcomed U.S. President George W. Bush to his ranch in Guanajuato, both presidents were wearing Fox’s signature black cowboy boots, prompting the Wall Street Journal to call it “The Boot Summit”.[20]

Post-presidential life

Public speaking

President Fox speaking

After leaving office in December 2006, Fox has maintained himself in the public eye by speaking in countries such as Nigeria, Canada and the United States about topics such as the controversial 2006 election and the Iraq War. In Mexico, Fox's busy post-presidency has caused much criticism. Nevertheless, Fox stated:

There is no reason to hold to the anti-democratic rules of those who still live in the authoritarian past…now that Mexico is a democracy, every citizen has the right to express himself, even a former president.[21]

In addition, President Fox has expressed interest in campaigning for PAN candidates in future Mexican elections, an action that would make him the first former president in many decades to do so. Given that President Fox is still well-liked and left office with approval ratings looming 70%, many in Mexico are wondering if his support could result in candidates being elected.[22]

Controversial comments

President Vicente Fox (left) with López Obrador (center) and former México State governor Arturo Montiel (right).
  • In March 2002, 2 days prior to The International Conference on Financing for Development held in Monterrey, NL. México, Fox called Cuba President Fidel Castro to give him instructions that would limit Castro's presence in the country while attending to the summit. He instructed Castro among other things to limit his comments regarding the United States, to arrive, give his speech, eat and leave the country ASAP. This led Castro years later to call Fox as "despicable treacherous".
  • In May 2005, a controversy arose over comments Fox made during a meeting with Texas businesspeople in which he said, "There is no doubt that Mexicans, filled with dignity, willingness and ability to work, are doing jobs that not even blacks want to do there in the United States." This angered many African-Americans in the United States, prompting many black leaders to demand an apology from Fox. The Reverend Al Sharpton requested a formal apology from Fox to the African-American community and called for an economic boycott of Mexican products until an apology was received; he and many African-Americans felt that Fox's comments were insensitive and racist. The Reverend Jesse Jackson, during a news conference concerning Fox's statement about African-Americans, said that he felt that the comments were, "unwitting, unnecessary and inappropriate" and added that "[Fox's] statement had the impact of being inciting and divisive."[23]
  • On May 30, 2005, President Vicente Fox told reporters that the majority of the Juárez killings had been resolved and the perpetrators placed behind bars. He went on to criticize the media for "rehashing" the same 300 or 400 murders, and said matters needed to be seen in their "proper dimension".
  • In 2006 after Evo Morales refused to sell natural gas to willing buyers, Fox said, "Well, they'll either have to consume it all themselves or they're going to have to eat it."[25]
  • In yet another controversial move he decided to cancel the parade commemorating the 96th anniversary of the Mexican Revolution to take place November 20, arguing that it's an obsolete celebration in which nobody wants to participate anymore. Some analysts consider that this is a response to Andrés Manuel López Obrador's alternative presidency assuming to take place the same day. Criticism changes regarding the different sources: while some consider it a smart decision, others view it as a sign of political weakness.[26]
  • On March 8, 2006, in the wake of the murder of Canadian couple Domenico and Nancy Ianiero at a Cancun Mexican resort, Fox said that there was evidence that pointed to Canadian suspects from Thunder Bay, in order to assert that Cancun remained a safe vacation resort. Fox's comments were criticized by the Ianiero's lawyer Edward Greenspan for compromising the investigation, which Mexican authorities had largely mishandled. Quintana Roo attorney general Bello Melchor Rodriguez later stated that the Canadians were never considered as suspects.[27][28]
  • In November 2006, the TV network Telemundo released a video recording previous to an interview with President Fox where he states: "Ya hoy hablo libre, ya digo cualquier tontería, ya no importa, ya total, yo ya me voy," which means "Now, I speak freely. Now, I say any stupidity. It doesn't matter anymore. Anyway, I'm already leaving." Then, during the interview he talked about the violent situation in Oaxaca. The President's office complained about the release of this images and said he was not aware of the camera and microphones being turned on. News agency EFE accused Telemundo of acting unethically, for the video is their intellectual property.[29]
  • In a lecture in the United States, in which he was a keynote speaker, he identified writer Mario Vargas Llosa as a Nobel laureated Colombian, when he is Peruvian (Spanish by naturalization) and not a Nobel Prize winner.[24]

Autobiography

Vicente Fox with former President of The United States George W. Bush and Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper stand in front of "El Castillo" in Chichen Itza, March 30, 2006

Fox's autobiography, entitled Revolution of Hope: The Life, Faith and Dreams of a Mexican President, was released in September 2007, only in English, and only in the United States.[30] To promote its release, Fox toured many U.S. cities to do book-signings and interviews with U.S. media. During his tour, however, he faced protests from Mexican immigrants who accused him of actions that forced them to emigrate and find jobs in the United States.[31] He faced the subject several times during interviews, such as one held with Fox News's Bill O'Reilly, who questioned him about the massive illegal immigration problem of Mexicans into the United States.[32] Finally, during an interview with Telemundo's Rubén Luengas, the interviewer asked Fox about allegations concerning some properties of Vicente Fox's wife, Martha Sahagún. After Fox explained the situation he asked the interviewer not to make false accusations and to prove what he was saying. Luengas said "I'm telling you in your face, I'm not a liar". After this Fox walked out of the studio, calling the interviewer a 'liar', 'vulgar', and 'stupid'.[33] Upon the book's release, many were surprised to read several excerpts wherein Fox was highly critical of United States President, George W. Bush, considered by many to be a close friend of Fox's. For example, Fox wrote that Bush was "the cockiest guy I have ever met in my life," and claimed that he was surprised that Bush had ever made it to the White House. Later, in an interview with Larry King, Fox explained that this was a misunderstanding; what he meant by calling George W. Bush 'cocky' was to say he was 'confident'.[34] Fox also referred to Bush in his autobiography as a "windshield cowboy", due to Bush's apparent fear of a horse Vicente offered him to ride.[35]

Fox Center of Studies, Library and Museum

See: Vicente Fox Center of Studies, Library and Museum

On January 12, 2007,[36] over a month after he left office, Vicente Fox announced the construction of a center of studies, library and museum that has been labeled by the US press as Mexico's First Presidential Library.[37][38][39] The project will be a library, museum, a "center for the advancement of democracy", a study center, and a hotel, and it will be completely privately funded.[40][41] It is expected to be a genuine U.S. style presidential library. It will be built in his home state of Guanajuato, in his home town of San Francisco del Rincón.

While museums are abundant throughout the country, it has nothing comparable to a presidential library where personal documents, records, and gifts amassed by a country’s leader are opened to the public. Fox’s library will be modeled after the Bill Clinton Library in Little Rock, Arkansas,[42] which, according to the former President, will allow Mexicans to enjoy, for the first time in Mexico’s history, the liberty to review the documents, images and records that made up his six years as president.[43]

According to the official website, the construction of the Center is in progress and advancing.[44] Final completion of the library is expected by late 2007.

Centrist Democratic International

On September 20, 2007, Fox was elected Co-President (along with the re-elected Pier Ferdinando Casini) of the Centrist Democratic International at its leader's meeting in Rome. The CDI is the international organization of political parties that counts Fox's party, the National Action Party, as a member.[45]

Statue controversy

Statue of Vicente Fox in Boca del Río, Veracruz.

In October 2007, an announcement was made in the municipality of Boca del Río, Veracruz, that a 3 meter (10 ft) statue of Vicente Fox was to be erected to honor the former president. This aroused much criticism from the opposition Party of the Democratic Revolution and Mexican media towards Boca del Río's mayor, who is affiliated with the National Action Party, of which Fox is also a member.

The statue was put in place amidst protests on the dawn of October 13, 2007. The inauguration was to have been held on October 14, 2007. Some hours after the installation, however, a crowd of about 100 people brought the statue down with a rope, damaging it. The statue was later put back in place for the inauguration, then taken away for repairs.[46]

PAN members accused Veracruz's governor, Fidel Herrera Beltrán, of ordering the attack on the statue, while Fox called him "intolerant." Some sources in the media considered that the installation of the statue was inappropriate, since former President Fox was facing allegations relating to an illicit enrichment scandal.

Many of the protesters were members of the center-left Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), which governed Mexico for much of the 20th century, until Fox (of the conservative National Action Party [PAN]) won the 2000 presidential election, ousting the PRI from power.[47]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Who's Who at CDI-IDC
  2. ^ Milner, Kate (2000-07-02). "End of era for all-powerful party". BBC News. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/815359.stm. Retrieved 2008-11-28. 
  3. ^ es:CentroFox.org.mx
  4. ^ Martinez, Fabiola (2006-09-01). "Indagará PGR origen de un acta de nacimiento del padre de Fox". El periódico de México. http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2006/09/01/017n2pol.php. Retrieved 2007-06-04. 
  5. ^ Ancestry.com. Cincinnati, Ohio Directory, 1890-91 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: MyFamily.com, Inc., 2000. Original data: Cincinnati, OH, USA: Williams & Co., 1890.
  6. ^ a b "Vicente Fox: President Elect of Mexico". 2000. http://www.elbalero.gob.mx/kids/history/html/bio_foxkids.html. Retrieved 2007-06-04. 
  7. ^ Milner, Kate (2000-07-03). "Profile: Vicente Fox" (in English). BBC. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/813206.stm. Retrieved 2007-06-04. 
  8. ^ BeleJack, Barbara (2001-02-16). "Live, from Guanjuato: It's President VICENTE FOX!" (in English). Texas Observer. http://www.texasobserver.org/article.php?aid=20. Retrieved 2007-06-04. 
  9. ^ Ross, John (March 2001). "Fox, Inc. Takes Over Mexico". Third World Traveler. http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Mexico/Fox_Inc_Mexico.html. Retrieved 2007-06-04. 
  10. ^ a b c Biography of Vicente Fox
  11. ^ Biography of Vicente Fox, United Nations. (accessed January 20, 2010)
  12. ^ Biography of Vicente Fox, United Nations. (accessed January 20, 2010)
  13. ^ Encyclopedia.com
  14. ^ http://us-mex.irc-online.org/borderlines/updater/2000/june30Elect.html
  15. ^ LaRaza.com
  16. ^ AlertNet.org
  17. ^ Salon.com News | Fox is it
  18. ^ BBC News | AMERICAS | Profile: Vicente Fox
  19. ^ Google Image Search
  20. ^ Google Image Search
  21. ^ Wall, Allan. [http://mexidata.info/id1547.html "Fox Redefines the Role of Past Mexican Presidents." (accessed January 20, 2010)
  22. ^ Gonzalez, Enrique Andrade, "The Final Days of Mexican President Vicente Fox" Mexidate.Info
  23. ^ "Mexican leader criticized for comment on blacks," CNN.com, May 15, 2005.
  24. ^ a b "Vuelve Fox a incurrir en error cultural en discurso,", El Universal, México.
  25. ^ "Evo pide a Fox que no trate de humillarlo por presunta negativa a vender gas a México" 24 de Marzo de 2008.
  26. ^ "Cancela Fox, porque son “tiempos democráticos”, el desfile deportivo del 20 de noviembre; PRI considera que cedió la plaza a López 24 de Marzo de 2008.
  27. ^ [1]
  28. ^ [2]
  29. ^ El Porvenir | Nacional | ‘Puedo decir cualquier tontería... ya me voy: Fox
  30. ^ Clock ticking for Allyn on Fox book | Dallas Morning News | News for Dallas, Texas | Arts & Entertainment
  31. ^ Fox reaparece en Los Ángeles; entre protestas, defiende logros - El Universal - México
  32. ^ FOXNews.com - Former Mexican President Vicente Fox Debates Immigration Issue With Bill - Bill O’Reilly | The O’Reilly Factor
  33. ^ Entrevista con Vicente Fox causa polémica - Noticias - KVEA Los Angeles
  34. ^ Polémica por gira de Fox
  35. ^ Vicente Fox: Bush a "windshield cowboy" who's scared of horses | Corrente
  36. ^ AND Fox&siteelnorte Harán realidad a 'Foxilandia' by Grupo Reforma
  37. ^ SignOnSanDiego.com > News > Mexico - Fox gets award for reform in Mexico
  38. ^ http://centrofox.org.mx/cebm_c070413_1.html
  39. ^ MySA.com: Metro | State
  40. ^ Interesa a IP 'Foxilandia' by Grupo Reforma
  41. ^ Callan sobre inversión en 'Foxilandia' by Grupo Reforma
  42. ^ Fox looks to cement his place in history | The San Diego Union-Tribune
  43. ^ http://centrofox.org.mx/cebm_c070129.html
  44. ^ Fox Center.
  45. ^ Portail d'informations Ce site est en vente!
  46. ^ La Prensa Latina » Blog Archive » Derriban estatua de Vicente Fox
  47. ^ Protestors Tear Down Vicente Fox Statue, Statue Of Former Mexican President Destroyed Right Before Dedication - CBS News

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Ernesto Zedillo
President of Mexico
2000–2006
Succeeded by
Felipe Calderón
Preceded by
unknown
Co-President of Centrist Democrat International
2006–present
Succeeded by
incumbent
Party political offices
Preceded by
Diego Fernández de Cevallos
PAN presidential candidate
2000
Succeeded by
Felipe Calderón

Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Vicente Fox Quesada (born 1942-07-02) was the President of Mexico from 2000-12-01 until 2006-12-01.

Unsourced

  • Change will not come from above, it will come from below, from the small and medium size businesspeople..
  • I am the guardian of power, not its owner.
  • Mexico doesn't deserve what has happened to us. A democratic change is urgent, a change that will permit us to stop being a loser country.
    • While campaigning for President
  • There's no doubt that Mexican men and women full of dignity, willpower and a capacity for work are doing the work that not even blacks want to do in the United States.
    • In a meeting with Texas businessmen, in what he claims was a misunderstood defense of Mexican illegal workers in the US.
  • We are a nation in which freedom is alive in the squares and streets, in the daily work of the communications media, in the open relationship between the governing and the governed.
  • To be united, to be friendly, pays and pays well
  • I have the boots well placed in the ground, and I see reality up front, never giving it my back
    • Speech at swearing-in ceremony
  • Comes y te vas.
    • Translation: You eat, and then you leave.
    • Said to Fidel Castro, when inviting him to the Summit of Monterrey
  • I hope one day the Holy Ghost lights our way so we can approve IRS and budget Reforms
    • Said two days before the elections, about the challenges for his successor.
  • We Mexicans believe in the force of the law, not in the law of force
    • Said during his Sixth State of the Union, while the opposition used force to block congress and prevent him from speaking at the palace.
  • Gracias mi rey
    • Translation: Thank you, my king
    • Fox's reply when King w:Juan Carlos I of Spain called to congratulate him after winning the elections on July 2000
  • I did a lot of mischief while I was a little boy, and I continue to do it now that I am President
    • To children on Children's Day, in April 2001
  • ¿Y yo por qué?
    • Translation: Why me?
    • When asked his opinion about a legal conflict between two Mexican TV networks
  • Se sienten ñañaras.
    • Translation: It feels like butterflies in the stomach
    • When asked by an 11-year-old girl how he felt about being President
  • PEMEX is like the Virgin of Guadalupe, they are symbols for Mexicans that must be handled with care
    • Explaining, during his campaign in March 2000, why he wouldn't privatize PEMEX.
  • He has a good foot for kicking, but he doesn't have a good brain for talking
  • First class, or like the youth would say, very cool
    • On his opinion of the actions of the military in Chiapas
  • Jose Luis Borgues
    • Trying to refer to Jorge Luis Borges
  • Jesus Christ himself lost one of his twelve apostles, here we lost one too and I'm sorry
    • Trying to downplay the resignation of one of his cabinet members
  • Tenemos que eliminar el tabasquismo.
  • Translation: We have to eliminate 'Tabasquism'
    • This play on words was a mistake by President Fox during non-smoking day, in which the President was trying to say that Mexico had to eliminate tabaquismo. Tabasco is the home state of political opponents Roberto Madrazo and Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, and so the quote has been interpreted as an attack against them.

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