Monday, January 18, 2016
Mexico's New Libertarian Party and Liberty
in Latin America
By Elena Toledo
recently formed Libertarian Party will focus on getting candidates elected to Congress. (Thinglink)
The ideas of liberty are spreading across Latin America, bringing with them various
proposals and policy changes that aim to create freer societies in the region. Within this paradigm shift, Mexico is no exception,
as libertarians in the country prepare to launch their very own political party.
PanAm Post recently spoke with Francisco Javier Combaluzier, spokesman for the Mexican Libertarian Party, who believes the North American country can achieve a greater level of freedom for its citizens than anyone could have previously
Where are you in terms of legally instituting the party?
In Mexico, we have to depend more on the law than our
own organizational capacity, because the legislation is relatively new, and it does not allow for new parties to emerge until
Nevertheless, there is a new possibility of introducing independent candidates
[before the party is legally set up], and we will participate with many citizens who are joining Mexico’s libertarian
What kind of positions do you expect to campaign for with
these independent candidates?
mostly. Many of Mexico’s structural problems arise from excessive legislation and disregard for the law. We not only
have laws that we don’t need, but those that we do are not enforced.
to have a free country, I think it’s essential that we start cutting back, and see to it that the laws we do need are
obeyed. That’s why [focusing on] Congress is most important in order to ensure the rule of law.
Nevertheless, city councils are the offices that are closest [to the people], and where good libertarian practices can
What are the biggest challenges as libertarian politicians
in Mexican society?
There are very few
of us who call ourselves [classical] liberals or libertarians, primarily because we are not taught to identify with these
labels. There is little time devoted in schools to studying libertarian thinkers, philosophers, or economists.
However, after talking to people on social media, we have realized that many agree with our views, despite not being
able to identify them as libertarian. In that sense, one of our most important goals is to make people aware that their intuition
of how things should be is actually rooted in libertarian principles. That way, they will understand why they shouldn’t
be voting for collectivist candidates.
Have you been inspired by any Latin American libertarian
We have seen that
the Costa Rican Libertarian Movement is enjoying some electoral success and is growing, and likewise in Colombia. Over the past few years, some governments in
Latin America have been a mix of conservatism and [classical] liberalism, such as that of Ricardo Martinelli in Panama or
Álvaro Uribe in Colombia. Those movements can be inspiring for us.
Mauricio Macri is also moving toward liberalizing Argentina, which, for me, is the biggest example of the failure of collectivism.
What is the shape of the broader libertarian movement in Mexico?
There is the Mexican Libertarian Movement, which is very active on social media; they focus on documentation and outreach. However, they don’t believe in elections,
and most of them seek to spontaneously bring about anarchism. They believe that small government is a utopian ideal, because
the state has a natural tendency to grow.
Some outlets spread libertarian ideas when possible, such
as TV Azteca, where analysts Roberto Salinas León and Sergio Sarmiento work. These kinds of projects are very positive for the growth of libertarianism in Mexico.
And then we have libertarians like myself who believe we need to get in elections to achieve a peaceful change. We can’t
wait for it to happen spontaneously, or by giving lectures that people may or may not attend. We think that in the next five
years we can organize a critical mass of young people who are savvy social-media users, and create a movement that can draw
What is your stance on legalizing drugs as a libertarian
We agree on that
issue. Drug use is a personal choice, and should be a matter of legislation. We believe that decriminalization is how we should
address marijuana and all drugs.
What aspects of the economy should Mexican libertarians
be focused on?
In Mexico, interventionism
is excessive, so we believe there should be a divorce between economy and state, beginning with monetary and foreign-currency
The Mexican government has been boasting free-trade treaties, but
our main trading partner, by far, is the United States. I think these treaties are like giving aspirin to cancer patients.
It’s the state admitting that their overbearing controls don’t work, and that reality has proven them wrong.
Translated by Daniel Duarte.
"Mexico’s New Libertarian Party Aims to Shake Up the Political Arena," PanAm Post, Jan. 11, 2016. Elena Toledo is an educator by trade, a social-media
apprentice, an activist for a democratic Honduras, and a free thinker. Follow her on Twitter @NenaToledo.