May 10, 2013
The Economist, 5/9/2013
On May 7th Enrique Peña Nieto, Mexico’s president, showed off some of the fancy political footwork that days before had earned him the gushing endorsement of his first visiting head of state, Barack Obama. Flanked in the National Palace by leaders of Mexico’s three main political parties, he resurrected an ambitious reform programme that a scandal in his Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) had threatened to derail.
Notwithstanding finger-wagging by opposition leaders, Mr Peña persuaded them to restart a tri-party political pact that is the crown jewel of his five-month-old administration. On May 8th the pact was put into action when the government sent a package of bills to Congress to increase bank lending and competition. Next it hopes to liberalise the state-strangled oil industry and raise taxes broadly. Eventually, as Mr Obama succinctly put it, the aim is for Mexicans to make it through each day without paying a bribe.
February 5, 2013
The Atlantic, 2/5/2013
Mexico City was once feared as being the most dangerous city in the planet. A new network of security cameras, and a focus on community police-work and patrols, have helped entrepreneurs, restaurant owners, and young professionals out of a decade of stalled urban renewal programs, and fostered the emergence of a vibrant nightlife. As street gangs have receded to fringe neighborhoods, crime has fallen, and many late night partiers have a different concern: the fear of being detained at the breathalyzer checkpoints.
Starting in 2000 with the election of leftist politician Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador as Mexico City’s mayor, the city began investing in a series of innovative social programs. Shannon O’Neil, a Mexico expert from the Council on Foreign Relations, explained that Marcelo Ebrard, who was mayor between 2006 and 2012, and his predecessor, Obrador, “went street by street in the Centro Historico and got rid of the ambulantes [unregistered street vendors]. It’s a variant of the broken windows theme.” Ebrard also told the police to focus on ticketing drivers who neglected to wear seatbelts. He installed security cameras throughout the city, and set up the alcoholímetro checkpoints to crack down on drunk driving.
January 30, 2013
During Mexico’s presidential election last year, the leftist candidate furiously complained that while he flew economy class his rival from the former ruling party campaigned in private planes, appeared constantly on television and was dramatically overspending campaign limits.
Enrique Pena Nieto of the Institutional Revolutionary Party won the vote over leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, and election authorities began an investigation into allegations of campaign spending violations. Now, six months later, the electoral body says it has indeed found evidence of violations: by Lopez Obrador, not Pena Nieto.
September 17, 2012
BBC News, 9/16/12
Mexican computer hackers have taken over at least ten government and other websites in a political protest marking the country’s independence day.
The hackers – calling themselves Mexican Cyber Protest – targeted websites of political parties, media organisations and government agencies.
Hacked pages were replaced with a message denouncing the recent presidential election as fraudulent.
September 10, 2012
The Los Angeles Times, 9/10/12
Under a banner declaring “ours is a question of dignity,” defeated presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador announced Sunday in this city’s massive Zocalo main square that he was withdrawing from the leftist parties he has long dominated while also launching a campaign of peaceful resistance to the newly elected government.
Lopez Obrador, who came in second in the July presidential vote, said during a rally that he would not recognize the official results that named Enrique Peña Nieto of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, as the winner…
He said he was leaving the mainstream leftist coalition that had backed his candidacy and would lead a “movement” that he formed several years ago called Morena, or the Movement for National Regeneration, which is dedicated to social and political change. He would decide at a later date, he said, whether to formally constitute Morena as a political party…
If Lopez Obrador does turn Morena into a political party, he could easily be its presidential candidate in elections in 2018, a challenge that would split the votes within the left and further erode its electability.
But his withdrawal also allows the mainstream left to proceed without a figure that was increasingly polemical. Lopez Obrador was at times erratic and confrontational on the campaign trail, and he alienated many of the more centrist voters whom he needed to win the election.
September 4, 2012
Animal Politico, El Palenque, 9/4/12
In this debate forum Marco Rascon, Javier Garza, Javier Trevino, Leonardo Curzio and Tatiana Clouthier (among others) comment on López Obrador’s decision. Opinions range from “AMLO is correct in protesting the TEPJF ruling” to “it is lamentable that the country is revisiting the same situation it was in 6 years ago.”
Follow the rest of the discussion here…
August 31, 2012
Mexico’s presidential runner-up Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has refused to recognise a court ruling upholding July’s election and called for a mass demonstration.
The left-winger said the country’s highest electoral tribunal made an illegitimate decision…
The former Mexico City mayor also called on his supporters to hold a demonstration in the capital’s main square on 9 September.
Earlier, all seven judges on the Federal Electoral Tribunal voted to reject the runner-up’s accusations.
August 30, 2012
Chicago Tribune, 8/28/12
Enrique Peña Nieto
Electoral officials told Reuters the ruling is due by Thursday or Friday, although the court has until September 6 to decide on Lopez Obrador’s charges. Officials have told Reuters privately they do not expect Pena Nieto’s win to be overturned.The court said in a statement it had distributed a draft ruling to its seven member judges, but gave no details.