Mexico Massacres Dim Pena Nieto Limelight as ‘Lawlessness’ Looms

October 27, 2014

10/24/14 Bloomberg

Duncan Wood

Duncan Wood

While the student disappearances and Tlatlaya killings probably won’t stop companies from investing in oil projects and auto plants in other parts of Mexico, they show the weakness of the nation’s local governments, said Duncan Wood, director of the Mexico Institute at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington. “This highlights one of the major weaknesses in Mexico, which is the weakness of institutions,” Wood said in a telephone interview. “You can have all the reforms you want on the economic level but until we have institutions at the state and local level that can really apply the rule of law, Mexico is going to be held back in its development.”

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A challenge for Mexican president as parents wait for news of missing students

October 16, 2014

10/16/14 The Christian Century

mexico-securityIn fact, in his nearly two years in office Peña Nieto has rarely spoken about violence—an issue that consumed President Calderón’s agenda, including a public crackdown on organized crime and drug cartels. The former president’s approval rating wavered as he often found the media message spinning out of his control. Pena Nieto has taken a markedly different approach, at least publicly. “The conversation about organized crime changed significantly when Enrique Peña Nieto took over,” says Duncan Wood, director of the Mexico Institute and the Wilson Center for International Scholars, a Washington-DC-based think tank. Peña Nieto has deemphasized security as a feature of the “Mexican reality,” and focused on the country’s economic potential, Wood said.

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Mexican police accidentally shoot German student, Guerrero on edge after officer killed

October 15, 2014

10/13/14 Latino Fox News

youth with handgun“Iguala is just one example of the level of decay in state and municipal security institutions,” Duncan Wood, director of the Mexico Institute at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, D.C., told the Washington Post. The problems in Guerrero have sparked nationwide protests over what is seen as corrupt state and local governments having allied themselves with a criminal gang in order to suppress civil disobedience.

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Energy Reform Series – The Expert Take

August 14, 2014

cover ER seriesOn Monday August 11, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto enacted the secondary legislation of the energy reform, composed of 9 new laws and amendments to 12 existing ones. With this action, a new chapter in the economic development of Mexico begins.

Read two articles about Mexico’s Energy Reform. First, a piece written by Jesús Reyes Heroles on energy reform and democracy. Second, Pedro Valenzuela and Duncan Wood assess the energy reform and its process following the enactment of the secondary legislation. Also, the Mexico Institute charts the course of the energy reform beginning in 2012, when Enrique Peña Nieto, then-Candidate for the Mexican Presidency, made the commitment to reform the energy sector by 2015.

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Mexico in 2014: Can Peña Nieto Consolidate Reform?

January 3, 2014

Enrique Pena NietoBy Duncan Wood

CNN, 1/3/2014

Last year will go down as an extraordinary, historic year in Mexico. A number of structural and political reforms that had been pending for 15 years were approved by the country’s Congress addressing education, labor markets, telecoms competition, financial regulation, fiscal affairs, elections rules and energy. The government of Enrique Peña Nieto remained the darling of international investors throughout the year, and received record levels of foreign direct investment in the first year of its mandate, by following through on his promised reform agenda and delivering the legislation needed to prepare Mexico for a more competitive global economic environment. His ruling PRI (Revolutionary Institutional Party) showed coherence and unity throughout the year, and the other major parties agreed to work closely with the PRI to secure legislative progress.

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Op-Ed: Hello 2014: For Mexico, the hard work starts now

January 3, 2014

Mexican Flag XXLBy Duncan Wood and Christopher Wilson

FT Beyondbrics, 1/3/2014

We will look back on 2013 as a truly historic year for Mexico. The scale of the reform process that was undertaken and largely achieved by President Enrique Peña Nieto is astonishing by comparison not only with other countries around the world today, but also in the context of recent Mexican history. For 15 years Mexico had seemed condemned to endure one of the less palatable elements of democratic systems, legislative gridlock. However President Peña Nieto, through a combination of determination, hard bargaining and political skill, has managed to work with the congress to pass a series of major reforms that do much to put Mexico on the road to modernity and competitiveness.

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Op-Ed: NAFTA and Open Regionalism

January 2, 2014

120px-North_America_(orthographic_projection).svgBy Christopher Wilson and Duncan Wood

Excelsior, 1/2/2014

With the North American Free Trade Agreement completing 20 years, it is a good moment to reflect and look toward the region’s future and its place in the world economy.

It is important to recognize that NAFTA was a first-generation free trade agreement, originally conceived in the 1980s, and for that reason it was very limited.

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