introduction: The Struggle for Mexican Maize
In this book, I follow common usage by employing the terms ‘‘geneti-
cally modiﬁed,’’ ‘‘genetically engineered,’’ and ‘‘transgenic’’ inter-
changeably. Some scholars prefer the terms ‘‘genetically engineered’’
and ‘‘transgenic’’ because plant breeding and non-biotech agricultural
crops involve the modiﬁcation of genes without the use of genetic
This includes the production of certiﬁed organic fruits and vegetables.
Certiﬁed organic has risen to 2.3 percent of total production in Mexico,
90 percent of which is for export. ‘‘Mexico Boasts the Highest Number
of Organic Farms,’’ Greenplanet.net, 10 April 2009.
The National Ecology Institute (ine) and the National Commission on
Biodiversity (conabio) sampled maize ears and harvested grain from
twenty-one locations, including two from the northern Tehuacán Valley
in the Tehuacán-Cuicatlán region, where they found evidence of trans-
genic introgression (ine-conabio 2002; Ezcurra, Ortiz, and Sobe-
rón 2002, 280).
Regino Melchor Jiménez Escamilla, ‘‘Estadísticas de San José Miahuat-
lán, Puebla,’’ 25 August 2005 (unpublished local survey).
The pri was founded in 1929 as the Partido Nacional Revolucionario.
It was renamed in 1938 as the Partido de la Revolución Mexicana and
again in 1946, when it was given its current name.
The prd was founded in 1989 by disgruntled members of the pri and
other leftist politicians after Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas, the candidate of a
center-left coalition and son of the famous president of the 1930s, was
denied the presidency through electoral fraud in 1988. The pri candi-
date, Carlos Salinas, was declared president. The prd was formed by a
coalition of smaller left-wing parties such as the Uniﬁed Socialist Party
of Mexico (psum). The psum itself had also been formed through a co-
alition of leftist parties, including the Mexican Communist Party (pcm).
In the late 1980s psum changed its name to the Partido Mexicano
Socialista (pms) before joining other leftist parties to form the prd.