<i>"The Name of Our Country is América" - Simon Bolivar</i> The Narco News Bulletin<br><small>Reporting on the War on Drugs and Democracy from Latin America
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Miss Universe 2007 Cancelled in Oaxaca

Bureaucrats and Businessmen Point Fingers Over Who Is to Blame


By Eliza Ruiz Jaimes
Noticias de Oaxaca

March 29, 2007

There will be no Miss Universe 2007 pageant in Oaxaca, said Javier Pérez Chavarría, state president of the National Chamber of Restaurant and Food Industries (Canirac, in its Spanish initials). “This is another blow to the economy since this event was hoped for to reactivate the tourism industry with force,” he said.

The pageant’s presentation, pushed heavily by the state government and its tourism secretary, was canceled because the conditions to conduct it could not be guaranteed. In a talk with Tourism Secretary Rudolof Elizondo Torres, the restaurant owners’ representative said, “this confirms that the conditions don’t exist to hold this event. The federal government told us that it was ready to help with the reactivation of the local economy in the state, but the federal government didn’t free up the aid for the state.”

On Tuesday, Oaxaca Governor Ulises Ruiz Ortiz told the daily Excelsior columnist Francisco Garfia Arsenal that it was Donald Trump (who owns 50 percent of the rights over the pageant) that demanded $1.5 million dollars to bring the event to Oaxacan territory. According to Ruiz Ortiz, this amount of money is what impeded the celebration of Miss Universe’s 2007 regional costume competition in the archaeological zone of Monte Alban. “That’s what those guys asked for,” the governor told Garfias.

For Pérez Chavarría, though, it is the social conflict that continues in the state that made the event impossible, and impeded the necessary promotion of Oaxaca. A grand promotional impact had been hoped for the tourist attractions within the state, which would have jump-started the tourism industry again, because this pageant is viewed by millions of people throughout the world. The state restaurant owners’ president added that the federal government “is not supporting this in any way, in contrast to what (ex-president) Vicente Fox Quesada had promised. There is no commitment to the urgent rescue of tourism, to recuperate the economic affluence that the state had before the social problem broke out.”

Other kinds of events have also been stalled: conferences, conventions or other activities that contribute to economic growth as the federal government had promised. “That’s why we continue calling on President Felipe Calderón to provide the conditions in which the state tourism industry can rebound and channel the support for its reactivation.”

State tourism secretary Beatriz Rodríguez Casasnovas maintained that such organization counts on all the infrastructure required to host an event of international stature, that it already has the historic places and important natural sites including beaches that have made Oaxaca world famous.

Now the organizers of the Miss Universe 2007 pageant will seek a different place for the regional costume competition.

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