What Mexico’s President Must Do

December 11, 2014

12/10/2014 The New York Times

Enrique Pena NietoThousands of young people have been marching in the streets of Mexico since the kidnapping and murder of 43 students (now confirmed by the DNA of a burned body) from a college in Ayotzinapa in the state of Guerrero. According to Mexico’s attorney general, the crime was committed by professional killers working for a narco- gang and under the orders of the former mayor of the town of Iguala, who was a member of the leftist Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD). Although most of these criminals, including the mayor and his wife, have been arrested, the student protesters are blaming the Peña Nieto government of the centrist Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and questioning its legitimacy. They are even demanding that the legally elected president resign from office.

Although most Mexicans may not support so extreme a demand as resignation, the popularity level of the president has sunk quite low, and not only because of the slow response to this atrocious crime. The suspicion of a conflict of interest over his wife’s partial purchase of a luxury mansion has further clouded the situation for Mr. Peña Nieto. Distrustful of government and fed up with the violence and insecurity unleashed by the drug cartels, Mexicans feel a profound moral and political resentment at a situation that those of us who struggled for the coming of democracy at the turn of the millennium never expected to confront. While there have been incidents of violence among the protesters, most of the demonstrations have been peaceful but intensely angry. And their anger is justified.

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Democracia a diferentes velocidades

November 18, 2014

11/17/14 La Silla Rota

Andrew Selee, Vicepresidente Ejecutivo del Centro Woodrow Wilson en Washington y colaborador del Instituto México.

andrew-selee-nprCuando los académicos hablaban de la democratización unos años atrás, siempre parecía como si fuera un carro automático, en que un país pasara por etapas más o menos comunes desde iniciar con las elecciones competitivas (arrancando en primera) hasta consolidarse como un país moderno y plural (a toda velocidad, con el estado de derecho, transparencia y rendición de cuentas). Hoy sabemos que las democracias se parecen más bien a carros manuales, en que hay que ir, con mucho esfuerzo, cambiando velocidades poco a poco, para ir acelerando hacia una sociedad en que los ciudadanos se sienten fielmente representados y en control de su gobierno. Y en el caso mexicano, y quizá de cualquier país grande, la democracia ni siquiera se parece a un carro manual, sino más bien una autopista con muchos carros manuales, cada uno en su propia velocidad, algunos acelerando muy rápido y otros estancados o quizás hasta echándose en reversa.

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Latino Voters and the 2014 Midterm Elections

October 20, 2014

10/16/14 Pew Research

yo voteA record 25.2 million Latinos are eligible to vote in the 2014 midterm elections, making up, for the first time, 11% of all eligible voters nationwide. But despite a growing national presence, in many states with close Senate and gubernatorial races this year, Latinos make up a smaller share of eligible voters, according to an analysis of Census Bureau data by the Pew Research Center.1 Since 2010, the number of Hispanic eligible voters has increased by 3.9 million. Their share among eligible voters nationally is also on the rise, up from 10.1% in 2010 and 8.6% in 2006 (Lopez, 2011), reflecting the relatively faster growth of the Hispanic electorate compared with other groups.

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Mexico conservatives replace congressional whip following party scandal

August 13, 2014

08/13/14 Fox News

panMexico’s conservative National Action Party has replaced its congressional minority leader after he and other party leaders were seen on a video dancing with escorts.

The party is known as the PAN and has often taken moralistic positions, like banning public kissing in one city it governs.

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House passes $694 million border bill

August 5, 2014

08/02/14 CNN

Capitol Cherry BlossomsIn a late-night vote after a bitterly partisan debate, the House of Representatives passed a $694 million border bill Friday, but the measure has no chance of becoming law.

The vote was almost entirely on party lines, 223-189, with just one Democrat, Texas Rep. Henry Cuellar, voting for it. Four Republicans opposed the legislation.

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California governor to meet with Mexican president

July 28, 2014

07/27/14 Associated Press

shutterstock_182486318Gov. Jerry Brown travels to Mexico for three days of meetings starting Monday and will discuss immigration in separate sit-downs with President Enrique Peña Nieto and Central American diplomatic and religious leaders.

The governor’s office announced Sunday that Brown will meet privately with Nieto on Monday about topics including immigration. It comes amid a trade mission aimed at increasing direct investments in California, promoting university exchanges and forming environmental partnerships to combat climate change.

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Politician gunned down in western Mexico

July 28, 2014

07/27/14 Fox News Latino

PRI logoThe leader of the governing Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, in Nuevo Urecho, a city in the western Mexican state of Michoacan, was gunned down by hitmen suspected of being on the payroll of a drug cartel, state prosecutors said.

Arturo Alejandro Ramos was walking down a street Friday night in Zuracuaretiro, a city next to Nuevo Urecho, when he was shot, the Michoacan Attorney General’s Office said.

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