December 5, 2012
Each morning, we will bring you an assortment of op-ed pieces from major Mexican dailies.
President Peña Nieto will not attend the inauguration today of Miguel Angel Mancera as governor of the Federal District, saying that if he attends one, than he must attend all, and that is not the role of the President. The PRI is more certain that Francisco Arroyo Vieyra Guanajuato will be the new president of the Board of the Chair of Deputies. Lawmakers, led by Manlio Fabio Beltrones, have ruled out the possibility that Héctor Gutiérrez de la Garza, who has been promoted to the position, will occupy the chair of Jesus Murillo Karam. Felipe Calderon is still active on Twitter, though members of his cabinet have since deleted their accounts.
October 19, 2012
Business Insider, 10/19/2012
The most wanted men in Mexico are tumbling. Will crime follow suit? In March 2009 the Mexican government published a list of 37 men believed to be running drug gangs. The alleged bandits were named and rewards of up to 30m pesos ($2m) each were offered for their capture. The government’s normally stodgy official gazette listed the villains by their nicknames: Monkey, Beardy, Taliban and so on. It was a risky decision: the list could have become an embarrassment if its members had remained free.
September 25, 2012
Fox News Latino, 9/25/2012
Felipe Calderón, due to step down as president of Mexico on Nov. 30, said Monday that he will be leaving behind “a stronger nation and a better neighbor.”
The outgoing head of state addressed a meeting of the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington.
His six-year term has witnessed a strengthening of the rule of law and an economic “transformation” based on “financial discipline, economic freedom and increased competitiveness.”
Calderón expressed his wish for bilateral cooperation to continue with the next administrations of the United States and Mexico, warning that “no nation can succeed without the support of its strategic partners.”
August 27, 2012
The Wall Street Journal, 8/26/12
Five and a half years after Mexican President Felipe Calderón initiated an all-out war on the Mexican cartels that run drugs to American consumers, organized-crime rages in Mexico. But it is not limited to narcotics trafficking. Having made a bundle off prohibition, mastered the art of corrupting officials, and provoked a generalized breakdown in the rule of law, other gangster businesses are booming. When the press dares to expose their operations, it gets the El Norte treatment or worse. The paper has reported that 47 journalists have been murdered in Mexico since 2006, 13 have disappeared and there have been 40 attacks against media properties.
The Citizen Council for Public Safety and Criminal Justice (CCSPJP), a Mexico-based nongovernmental organization which tracks homicide statistics, found that five of the 10 deadliest cities in the world last year were in Mexico. The Council has also reported that of the 50 most dangerous cities in the world in 2011, 40 are in Latin America. Last year, for the first time, Monterrey joined that list as cartel violence spiked.
July 16, 2012
The Washington Post/The Associated Press, 07/15/2012
Calderon said 2011 had proved “a climactic point” in drug-related killings, though he did not cite specific figures.
“Today, violence related to rivalries between criminals is declining,” he said. “It is higher than when I assumed the presidency, yes, but I insist it is a phenomenon that comes from the brutality and conflicts between cartels, and not precisely from the government’s actions.”
July 12, 2012
The Texas Tribune, 07/11/2012
Enrique Peña Nieto
Peña Nieto has said he wouldn’t make deals with elements of organized crime. He also says he will continue Calderón’s battle with cartels, which has led to more than 55,000 deaths in the country since 2006. But, he adds, it will be modified. In an interview with The Dallas Morning News, Peña Nieto said the campaign would not undergo radical changes but would focus on tackling smaller pockets of criminals.
Andrew Selee, a senior adviser at the Woodrow Wilson’s International Center for Scholars’ Mexico Institute, said that although the change might sound alarm bells for U.S. lawmakers, it’s not an uncommon practice here.
May 17, 2012
President Felipe Calderón assured that future generations will remember this administration as the first one to battle organized crime.
He was interviewed by journalist Peter Greenberg and assured that in the medium-term Mexico will be one of the safest places in the world.
“This has been the administration that decided to act in order to fight against crime. Future generations will remember that this administration initiated the battle for security,” sustained Calderón.
After Greenberg asked the President to send a message to the United States, Calderón said that the American people should be certain that Mexicans are not the enemy. He also said that Mexico and the United States should reinforce NAFTA and keep a vision of mutual responsibility in relation to anti-crime policies.
May 16, 2012
Letras Libres, 05/2012
Pamela K. Starr
In this report, Starr evaluates the Calderón administration through its successes and failures. She argues that although President Calderón accomplished various changes in public policy these became eclipsed by the failures of this administration. The limited yet significant changes occurred in the areas of fiscal policy, pensions, energy, an almost universal health coverage and macroeconomic stability in a context of international volatility. On the negative side, however, there remain endemic problems such as the increase in poverty, growing dissatisfaction with democracy and the persistent levels of corruption and impunity. The public’s general perception is that Calderón left the country in a worse state than it was five years ago.
The first two years into the Calderón administration, however, made strides in political reforms. Calderón’s first legislative accomplishment occurred in March of 2007 when he obtained a reform to the pension system for government officials. A second legislative reform dealt with fiscal policy through a legislation that reduced the taxes paid by Pemex. The legislation also wanted to impose a tax upon the workers in the informal sector and create a minimum tax for businesses known as the Impuesto Empresarial a Tasa Única. In the fall of the following year, Congress finally approved a legislation that allowed for limited private investment in Pemex.
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April 24, 2012
Reforma, Richard Downie
In this editorial, Downie argues that the key question for the United States in regards to the 2012 presidential election in Mexico is whether or not the new president will continue to fight against transnational organized crime in cooperation with its neighbors to the north and to the south.
Back in 2006, President Calderón decided to step against drug cartels in order to combat corruption and reinstall law and order in the country. After a death toll of 50,000, however, many Mexicans are increasingly weary of Calderón’s politics and thus seek change.
The three presidential candidate in this year’s election offer contrasting points of view on this matter. According to Downie, whoever wins will have four categories of options from which to chose from as a means to reduce violence and tackle illicit drug-trafficking:
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April 19, 2012
The Christian Science Monitor, 4/18/2012
Weeks after Mexican President Felipe Calderón took office in late 2006, he declared a war on drug traffickers, dispatching troops to violent swaths of the country. When the Mexican military went on its first offensive, Operation Michoacan, in the president’s home state, support for Mr. Calderón’s tough stand was sky high.
But six years later, that admiration has faded. Calderón has mobilized tens of thousands of troops and caught many of the most-wanted drug lords. But drug-related deaths, which numbered 2,800 during Calderón’s first year in office, climbed to 15,200 by 2010. As traffickers fight the government – and one another – violence has surged, and spread well beyond the traditional conflict areas on the US-Mexico border. Today, many groups have been weakened, but rely on methods such as kidnapping and extortion to line their pockets.
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