chapter  4
40 Pages

La Docena Trágica: 1970-1982

WithJames M. Cypher

The twelve-year period that followed the stabilized growth era is known in Mexico as la docena tragica. During two successive presidential sexenios, socioeconomic problems reached an acute level. One important manifestation of the shift toward the offensive on the part of the business associations was the creation of the Consejo Coordinator Empresarial in May 1975. Mexico began taking a renewed interest in its oil fields in 1971, when President Luis Echeverria increased funding for exploration. Giving free reign to the oligopolists and monopolists who controlled the productive and distributive apparatus of the private sector meant that the state would forfeit control over prices. The state's generosity to business knew few limits in the petroboom period. According to the Plan National, Mexico should use its newfound oil wealth for the benefit of national producers. The growing disequilibria brought on by the cumulative mismanagement of the oil boom reached an acute stage in mid-1981.