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.
May 8, 2013
The Wall Street Journal, 5/7/2013
Mexico’s government and opposition leaders signed an agreement Tuesday to prevent the use of federal antipoverty programs in support of candidates in coming local elections, a condition demanded by the opposition to continue backing the reform agenda of President Enrique Pena Nieto. The deal, signed at a public event at the National Palace, promises to end a political dispute that in recent weeks threatened to derail the so-called Pact for Mexico, an unprecedented accord between the government and opposition to secure legislative support for key economic and structural overhauls.
Tuesday’s agreement was added to the pact, a 34-page document outlining 95 commitments to bolster Mexico’s competitiveness, agreed in December by Mr. Pena Nieto, the conservative National Action Party, or PAN, and the leftist Party of the Democratic Revolution, or PRD. The Congress has already passed overhauls of the education and telecommunications sectors drawn up under the pact, raising expectations among Mexicans and foreign investors that the country can approve long-postponed reforms. A financial sector proposal to bring about more and cheaper bank lending, postponed in late April due to the political dispute, is now expected to be presented as early as Wednesday.
April 25, 2013
Financial Times, 4/24/13
Mexico’s four-month-old administration on Wednesday appeared to overcome its first political crisis after opposition leaders said that they had largely settled their differences with the government. The agreement, which came after an emergency meeting of party heads, appears to put the government’s economic reform back on track in a turnaround that will doubtless ease investor concerns.
Billions of dollars have flowed into Mexico in recent months on hopes that centrist President Enrique Peña Nieto of the Institutional Revolutionary Party will push a series of reforms aimed at transforming Latin America’s second-largest economy into a more vibrant emerging market.
April 24, 2013
Los Angeles Times, 4/23/13
Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto on Tuesday faced the most serious political crisis of his young government, an explosive dispute with rival parties over electoral dirty tricks that could imperil his ambitious reform plans. Peña Nieto’s highly touted Pact for Mexico, a kind of blueprint for his administration’s agenda that had seemed to have won consensus from most major political groups, was on the verge of collapse after fresh reports of vote-buying by the president’s Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI.
The government was forced to cancel a series of public events under the auspices of the Pact for Mexico to avoid the embarrassment of a boycott by the main opposition factions. The first casualty would appear to be a broad reform to overhaul Mexico’s financial sector, which was scheduled to be unveiled Tuesday.
March 21, 2013
Animal Político, 3/21/2013
At least seven same-sex marriage applications have been received by the municipality of Cuauhtémoc, Colima following the mayor’s announcement at a press conference that the local government had granted a civil union to two men – the first case of its kind in the state. The municipality is getting ready to celebrate a marriage between two women scheduled for the first week of April. It has been determined the municipal government’s actions are protected by the federal constitution.
March 18, 2013
Waving party flags and shouting their support, tens of thousands of leftist party members rallied on Sunday against government plans to overhaul Mexico’s energy sector, a preview of the tough road ahead for President Enrique Pena Nieto’s reform push. Organized by the leftist Party of the Democratic Revolution, or PRD, the rally took place on the eve of the 75th anniversary of the nationalization of the country’s oil industry, the historical pivot that gave birth to state oil monopoly Pemex.
Speakers denounced any move to privatize the government-run oil giant, even though Pena Nieto and other members of his centrist Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, have consistently denied any plans to sell or privatize Pemex. “We are being loyal to this historical legacy that has given our oil riches to the nation and we are going to defend it with everything we’ve got,” said Jesus Zambrano, the PRD’s national president, to rousing applause.
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.
December 12, 2012
We are pleased to announce the launch of our new opinion column “The Expert Take” which will feature original analysis and commentary from guest contributors featured exclusively on the Mexico Portal. We invite you to check back frequently for updates to this column.
By Roderic Ai Camp, 12/12/2012
During the era of the pre-democratic PRI in Mexico there existed a long history of national political pacts. Those pacts typically were between the PRI dominated executive branch and the two most influential actors, labor unions and business organizations. In the 1990s, at the highpoint of the democratic transition, the PRI for the first time in its history lost its ability to ensure a two-thirds vote in the legislative branch, preventing it from accomplishing constitutional changes. Consequently, the PRI began negotiating with the opposition; in exchange for support on some legislative initiatives, it agreed to electoral legislation which paved the way for the 2000 electoral victory of PAN. Read the rest of this entry »
December 3, 2012
ADN Politico, 12/02/2012
The National leaders of the PRI, PRD, PAN and along with the President Enrique Peña Nieto signed the “Pact for Mexico” to promote structural reforms and stressed the importance of this national agreement.
The first three initiatives that will be presented to Congress will be on education, telecommunications and fiscal responsibility and public debt for states and municipalities.