Mexico: How Much Has Changed

January 24, 2014

Mexico BricksThe Huffington Post, 01/23/2014

There are those would say that present-day Mexico is an example of the famous phrase of Giuseppe di Lampedusa (about Sicily of the Risorgimento) that everything has changed so that everything may go on just as it was. And others say that Mexico has not changed at all. I disagree with both views. I have been a witness — from various perspectives — to my country’s political life for almost fifty years and I am quite sure of one thing: Mexico has really changed.

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Op Ed: Mexico’s critical, fragile compromises

November 15, 2013

The Globe and Mail, 11/15/2013

MEXICO CONGRESSJust about everything except the mouths of politicians seems to the paralyzed in the U.S. political system, especially Congress. Getting one big thing done seems next to impossible.

In Canada, the government can get things through the Commons and Senate, courtesy of its majority in both houses. But negotiate with the opposition parties? Are you crazy?

In Mexico, by contrast, something remarkable and controversial is unfolding. In less than a year, President Enrique Pena Nieto and his party are negotiating with both other parties in Congress on an array of reforms that would leave the legislatures of Canada and the United States breathless.

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Mexico’s Theology of Oil – Op Ed

November 5, 2013


The New York Times, 10/31/2013

In almost every country, the availability and exploitation of oil are essentially economic issues — every country, that is, except Mexico, where it is a matter of secular theology. For many Mexicans, the question of whether to open the national oil industry to private investment is much more than a practical decision: It is an existential dilemma, as if permitting foreign investment were to bargain away the country’s soul.

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Enrique Krauze Wins the Caballero Bonald International Essay Competition [in Spanish]

September 24, 2012


Mexican historian Enrique Krauze was declared the winner of the Caballero Bonald International Essay Competition on September 20th in Madrid.  The prize comes with 20 thousand Euros, and is for his essay “Redeemers: Ideas and Power in Latin America” (Redentores. Ideas y poder en América Latina).Read More…

I am the People [Opinion in Spanish]

August 13, 2012

Letras Libres, August 2012

In this article Krauze discusses López Obrador’s potential effects on Mexico should the Tribunal rule in his favor.  He says if this occurs it will damage Mexican democracy because AMLO does not believe in limited personal power, which is why he fundamentally is not a liberal but a populist, a caudillo in the style of Porfirio Díaz.  He says that the thinks this of López Obrador because of his rhetoric regarding the law (that is a way for the bourgeoisie to dominate the proletariat) and because for him the “people” are those who follow him, not everyone in the nation who has the right to vote.  He says that this might be worse than the PRI’s long time in power because they had some limits on personal power, in that they had institutional limits on the amount of power a president could have even if he went too far with his own personality cult…

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A Stronger Future: Policy Recommendations for U.S.-Mexico Relations

July 11, 2012

Mexico Institute, 07/11/2012

The Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands and the Wilson Center seized the opportunity provided by simultaneous election years in the United States and Mexico to convene a high-level retreat of preeminent political, business, academic, and media leaders from the two countries in March 2012. From this retreat emerged a fresh set of ideas to take the bilateral partnership to a new level that are put forth in the report, A Stronger Future: Policy Recommendations for U.S.-Mexico Relations.  The report presents recommendations to enhance regional competitiveness; reform the U.S. immigration system; more effectively fight organized crime and strengthen public security; further educational exchanges; increase energy cooperation; and develop ports of entry that strengthen trade and border security.

To download report click here.

For a video from the Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands from A Stronger Future: Policy Recommendations for U.S.-Mexico Relations click here.

Mexico’s Strengths Still Peak Through Gloom: Enrique Krauze

December 29, 2011

Enrique Krauze, Bloomberg, 12/29/2011

The news from Mexico, in recent years, has most often been bad. For a while, it was largely reports of corruption, electoral fraud and economic crisis. These days, it’s all about crime and insecurity.

The country hasn’t been given sufficient credit for the good news it has generated since the 2000 elections broke the 71-year hegemony of a single party: the Institutional Revolutionary Party, better known as the PRI. Neither the international press nor we Mexicans have fully acknowledged what has been achieved or maintained. Still, Mexico’s dark image is valid, up to a point, but it’s only a fragment of the truth.

Corruption in government, for instance, has by no means disappeared. Yet in stark contrast to the long period of PRI domination (1929-2000), it has greatly diminished at the federal level, thanks to the 2002 Federal Law on Transparency and Access to Public Information. Mexico is now a democracy, with a true division of powers, full democratic freedoms and elections supervised by an independent electoral institute.

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Op-ed by Enrique Krauze: Can This Poet Save Mexico?

October 1, 2011

The New York Times, 10/1/11

SOMETHING amazing is happening in Mexico. A few weeks ago, a 14-bus caravan, which had been traveling under the leadership of Javier Sicilia, a poet and the founder of the Movement for Peace With Justice and Dignity, arrived here after a 10-day trek around the country. Its every move was followed by the national media, and thousands showed up to greet its return.

The caravan was organized in protest against the onslaught of drug-related violence that has cost my country 40,000 dead and at least 9,000 unsolved “disappearances” since 2006 — a few weeks ago, 35 bodies were left on a busy highway in Veracruz.

It was just one part of a larger awakening of civil society here, which can be seen in the strengthened investigative efforts of the press, a more aggressive application of anticorruption laws, and the formation of voluntary associations, focused on everything from the environment to poverty.

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Consenso contra el crimen

September 4, 2011

Reforma, 9/4/11


No existe un consenso nacional de repudio al crimen organizado. España tardó en construirlo, hasta que la escalada de crueldad por parte de ETA convenció a la inmensa mayoría de que era necesario manifestarse clara y públicamente contra esa organización. También Colombia
tardó en construirlo, hasta que los crímenes de jueces y candidatos presidenciales tuvieron el mismo efecto. Gracias en parte a la cohesión que les dio ese acuerdo, España está muy cerca de doblegar a ETA y Colombia ha reducido a niveles manejables su problema de criminalidad asociada al narcotráfico y la guerrilla. En México, el no contar con un acuerdo semejante nos debilita y confunde como sociedad, mientras fortalece a los criminales y a sus cómplices políticos. Tarde o temprano llegaremos a él, pero es necesario que no ocurra demasiado tarde, cuando las tragedias recientes se hayan generalizado y multiplicado.

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Interpreting the Latin American Soul- Enrique Krauze’s “Redeemers”

August 26, 2011

The New York Times, 8/26/11

Enrique Krauze is a well-known historian in Mexico. He is also a documentary filmmaker and television talking head renowned for his mellifluous basso voice, a publisher of elegant coffee-table books and a canny operator within the upper murks of Mexican politics. He is the editor of a glossy highbrow magazine called Letras Libres.

There are corners of the Spanish-speaking universe in which he is omnipresent, and even a few corners of the English-speaking universe in which his byline is hard to miss. I have been following his work for decades. I subscribe to his magazine. Occasionally I contribute to it. He has always seemed to me a keen and judicious political observer, worldly and instinctively liberal.

But now it occurs to me that he is also marked by a rare and attractive gift for noticing the several ways that, under the bright sun of the imagination, the kingdom of politics and the kingdom of literature sometimes merge.

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