Vargas Llosa laments the prospect of the return of the ‘old’ PRI

Peruvian writer Mario Vargas Llosa was interviewed by Reforma, while at the Guadalajara book fair.  He said:

It would be a grave hurt if Mexico were to go back to being the monopoly of a party as absolutely corrupt as the old PRI; it would be a harm for Mexico, which is today an imperfect democracy, as are all those in Latin America, but still a democracy at the end of the day. …I would call it masochism, collective masochism, if [the triumph of the PRI] were to occur and if it were the same PRI that the Mexican people rejected in various elections. …My hope, and I believe that it is the hope of all Latin Americans, because what happens in Mexico weighs on the rest of the continent, is that the perfection of democracy does not stall and does not go backward. …In Mexico today there is political liberty, institutions function, there is freedom to criticize, there is political diversification that constitutes enormous progress from the perfect dictatorship. That not all the reforms that need to be done have been carried out is very lamentable, but there has been progress without doubt.

In 1990, Vargas Llosa was invited by Octavio Paz to speak at a conference in Mexico, and infuriated then-president Carlos Salinas by saying that Mexico (and not Cuba or the Soviet Union) was the ‘perfect dictatorship.’

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