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Mexican cinema, one of the most affected by the NAFTA according to UAM

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movies-after-naftaThe growth in the production of film is not enough, say members of the Group of Reflection on Economy and Culture

78 per cent of the Mexican population cannot access the movie theaters.

January 9th, 2014.- Even though areas like the radio, t.v., design, architecture and cuisine of Mexico have benefited in general in the 20 years of the North American Free Trade Agreement, other areas like cinema have been affected with such an economic opening, said members of the Group of Reflection on Economy and Culture (Grecu) of the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana.

For example in 1989, with neoliberal policies already in their peak, in the country 92 movies were produced, but from there started a "precipitous fall" until reaching only nine films in 1997. And even though starting in 2002 a slow recovery started (14 films) and in 2012 seventy four were produced, this growth has been "insufficient" and has been due mainly due to the "movements of civil society".

The movie maker Víctor Ugalde commented:

"It looks like with the current development model, the most benefited ones have been the U.S. cinema, which today covers the screens. We have the worst cinematographic balance of payments, it used to be more or less balanced, with a deficit in some years, good in others, with 10 or 15 percent in variation. We have a balance in the Mexican cinematographic audiovisual of 99 per cent. This is terrifying".

Ugalde clarified that in 1993 there were 103 million spectators and now they add up to 257 million, and that the box office was of 752 million pesos and 20 years later it is of 11 billion 902 million.

He added that with the neoliberal model, 78 per cent of the Mexican population cannot access the movie theaters and that before, with the "popular model", half of the population could enter.

Also, before NAFTA, there were 2 thousand 300 towns with movie theaters and half of the audience watched Mexican cinema. Now, "in the best of the past 20 years", in between 26 and 30 million people saw national cinema, while in the 80s it was an average of 200 million Mexicans.

On January 1st 1994 the NAFTA was put into practice. According to the promoters, the objective was to generate a fast economic growth. However, since 1994 the Mexican economy has registered one of the lowest growth rates in Latin America.

The image shows a protest against the treaty by some farmers.

Headed by Eduardo Cruz Vázquez, coordinator of the Grecu, coming out of the Program of Cultural Economy of the mentioned university to drive the full acknowledgment of the cultural economy as a significant part of the development of the country, the academics, creators and journalists of the group also announced the making of the forum Free movement for culture, treatment and maltreatment of NAFTA, for march 25th and 26th in the UAM Xochimilco and the Senate.

Also, from May to October they will carry out the third edition of the qualification course in business opportunities in culture, as well as another in science and business. And in their website they will reflect and value the special program of art and culture of the federal government, as well as the discussion about the fourth constitutional article referring to a general law of culture.

They said that the forum is seeking to revise and make available the most current information, quantitatively and qualitatively, about what NAFTA has meant for the cultural sector of the country. A lot has been discussed about other areas of the economy in relation to the treaty, but almost nothing about culture, due in part to the scarcity of available information and analysis, besides the difficult access to existing data, pointed out Cruz Vázquez.

To better study it, the Grecu divides the cultural sector into sub-sectors, thematic base of the forum: audiovisual, visual arts, scenic arts, telecommunications and digital media, science and technology, and culture and art of the Ministry of Education, where the National Council for the Culture and the Arts and other facilities are located.

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[readon1 url="http://www.lajornadajalisco.com.mx/2014/01/09/cine-mexicano-de-los-mas-afectados-por-el-tlcan-segun-la-uam/"]Source: La Jornada Jalisco Translated by Rene Tripp[/readon1]