Mexico’s Governing Party Vows to Stop Using Neuromarketing to Study Voters

11/11/2015 The New York Times

9085212846_3cb274caea_bThe leader of Mexico’s governing party has said that it will stop hiring neuroscience consultants to register voters’ brain waves and read their facial expressions, responding to a political outcry over its use of the tools of neuromarketing to shape its campaign and governing messages.

Manlio Fabio Beltrones, a longtime political boss who in August became leader of the governing party, the Institutional Revolutionary Party, said last week after The New York Times reported on the methods that the party would stick to tried and trusted campaign tools, like polls and political intuition, “the old-fashioned way,” in its future campaigns.

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Mexico: Old Left Party PRD Seeks Coalition in Next Elections

11/3/2015 TeleSur TV

PRDThe proposal has been criticized as a desperate attempt by the party to not lose out to an emerging left-wing rival. The Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) proposed Tuesday to create a coalition of left-wing forces for the 2016 state elections, a move that comes as the part is expected to lose many positions to a more recent and progressive leftist party.

In an open letter to the country’s left-wing forces, the party argued that unity was crucial to address the violence, corruption, and organized crime that have seriously damaged the rule of law in Mexico.

The authors pointed to the fact that left-leaning factions represented over 30 percent of the votes in the 2006, 2012 and 2015 elections.

“We believe that the social and political conditions demand a large electoral coalition able to govern, in which would converge political parties, social organizations and citizens,” stated the party, calling for dialogue with Morena, Movimiento Ciudadano, and the Partido del Trabajo.

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New Report on Judicial Reform by Justice in Mexico

justice in mexico logoBy David A. Shirk and Octavio Rodriguez Ferreira, Justice in Mexico

October 8, 2015

On October 8, 2015, Justice in Mexico launched a new report that provides a deep analysis of the current process of judicial reform in Mexico. The Criminal Procedure Reform in Mexico 2008-2016, by authors Octavio Rodríguez Ferreira and David A. Shirk, analyzes the process of implementing judicial reform in Mexico as well as the impacts of the reform on the federal and state level, as well as some of the past, present and future challenges to implementation efforts. Overall, the authors find that despite obstacles to the reform’s implementation, significant progress has been made and will continue in the years to come.

In 2008 the Mexican Congress approved an eight-year process to improve the criminal justice system, in a reform known as the New Criminal Justice System (Nuevo Sistema de Justicia Penal, NSJP). The NSJP will replace the traditional mixed inquisitorial justice system with a more efficient adversarial model. The new system will be operational throughout the country by June 18, 2016.

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Publication: Mexico’s Moment: The 2012 Presidential Transition

10/2015  by Robert Joyce – Innovation for Successful Societies, Princeton University

Mexico’s 2012 presidential transition tested the durability of the country’s democracy. Outgoing president Felipe Calderón ceded power to longtime political opponents. The new president, Enrique Peña Nieto, had to gather information on government programs, select a Cabinet and top aides, and set priorities—with no guarantee of significant cooperation from his predecessor’s administration. But to the surprise of some Mexicans, Calderón ordered his staff to cooperate by gathering and organizing information to brief their incoming counterparts. The process the two leaders put in place ensured an effective handover and helped pave the way for a landmark political deal early in Peña Nieto’s term. The 2012 transition, only the second between opposing parties in eight decades, followed steps other countries could find helpful for ensuring the continuity of core government functions during transfers of power.

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The pace in Mexico’s fight against corruption is slowing

Financial Times 9/21/2015

In his state of the nation speech in August, Mr Peña Nieto acknowledged that scandals over houses he, his wife and his finance minister had bought from favoured government contractors had caused “anger and indignation”.

Mr Peña Nieto, halfway through his six-year term, seems to be losing the battle for hearts and minds. A Pew Research Center study last month found only 27 per cent of respondents approved of his handling of corruption, a plunge of 15 points from a year ago.

In his speech, the president promised to work with Congress on secondary legislation to implement an integrated approach to fighting graft through a so-called anti-corruption system.

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Mexico’s Peña Nieto acknowledges ‘a difficult year’ and public anger

9/2/2015 LA Times

Bernardo Montoya/Reuters
Via Bernardo Montoya/Reuters

Mexico President Enrique Peña Nieto on Wednesday acknowledged that the nation has experienced a “difficult year” that has generated “anger” and damaged the public mood and trust.

The first half of his presidency has been characterized by a stagnant economy, corruption scandals and horrifying human rights abuses, as well as an agenda of constitutional reforms that have so far failed to deliver.

In his third state-of-the union address, Peña Nieto pledged to focus on strengthening Mexico’s rule of law and on reducing poverty and inequality during the three years remaining in his presidential term. He also said it was time for members of his administration to tighten their belts, promising austerity in public spending.

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Mexican President’s State-of-the-Nation Beset by Doubts

9/1/15 ABC News

12242280414_183b094546_zMexican President Enrique Pena Nieto sent his written state-of-the-nation report to Congress on Tuesday in an atmosphere of rising violence, a falling currency and a slowing economy.

The unenviable circumstances are far different from what he faced during his last report on Sept. 2, 2014, just after he had won passage of a series of energy, education and telecom reforms, a success he said would put Mexico on the path to greater growth.

At the time, Pena Nieto was delivering on his main pledge, which was to reduce Mexico’s drug-war-era violence. But progress there seems to have stalled. Homicides in the first seven months of 2015 were running about 3 percent above figures for the same period last year.

Other numbers are depressing as well. The Mexican peso has fallen 29 percent against the U.S. dollar over the last year.

Pena Nieto’s own approval ratings have fallen as well, from 55 percent in August 2014 to about 35 percent one year later, according to a Buendia&Laredo poll published Tuesday. It had a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.

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