Mexico in 2018

01/9/2018 The Expert Take

expert I (2)By Luis Rubio

The presidential election of 2018 will be the first to be held in Mexico without an international anchor that guarantees the continuity of economic policy since the era of competitive, democratic elections was inaugurated back in the 90s. That anchor has proven to be key to attracting investment and conferring certainty to the population as well as to investors and hence, to the gradual evolution of the country. This does not necessarily mean that there will be radical changes in the government’s strategy. However, for the first time since NAFTA came into effect in 1994, the decision of how to conduct the country’s destiny will no longer be constrained by international commitments and, thus, whoever wins the upcoming election will have unbound power in this regard. The whole political point of NAFTA -an established framework to work under any electoral scenario- will no longer be there. Mexico is living a completely new political reality.

The rhetorical attacks on trade matters and, particularly, NAFTA that President Trump launched since his campaign in 2016 and his insistence on the possibility of cancelling it, has had a decisive impact on Mexican politics. By eliminating the “untouchable” character of the deal within Mexico, the certainty that emanated from it has also evaporated. Even if NAFTA were to continue (in my opinion, the most likely scenario), the damage already inflicted is enormous- as the high domestic political costs that a withdrawal at Mexico’s behest would have entailed no longer exist.

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UPCOMING EVENT: AMLO, MORENA and the 2018 Mexico Elections

7242410256_9a32bc1771_oWHEN: Tuesday, September 5, 2017

WHERE: Wilson Center, Washington, DC

Click to RSVP

Never before has a Mexican presidential contender received as much international attention as former head of government of Mexico City and three-time candidate, Andrés Manuel López Obrador. With a campaign focused on criticisms of corruption and “neoliberal” policies under the previous three governments, López Obrador and his National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) party represent the Mexican left’s best shot at winning the presidency in recent history. He currently leads the polls in what is sure to be a close race between numerous candidates, to be decided in a single round in July, 2018.

The Woodrow Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute and the Inter-American Dialogue are pleased to welcome López Obrador for an open and frank discussion of his policy proposals and his view on domestic and foreign challenges facing Mexico – including a complicated relationship with Washington.

 Organized by the Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute and the Inter-American Dialogue 

* Please note this event will be conducted in Spanish. Simultaneous interpretation equipment will be provided on a first-come first-serve basis.

Speakers

Introduction

Duncan Wood,
Director, Mexico Institute

Moderator

Michael Shifter
President, Inter-American Dialogue

Panelist

Andrés Manuel López Obrador
President, Movement for National Renewal (MORENA)

Click to RSVP

A Message from the Director: Announcing our 2018 Mexico Elections Guide

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Every six years, Mexicans go to the polls to pick a new President and a new Congress. The country’s democratic transition, though still far from complete, has made impressive strides since the 1980s, and competitive elections and political alternation have become institutions firmly embedded in political culture. Elections give voters the opportunity to choose the individuals and the party that will rule Mexico for the next six years, and since 1997, those voters have shown a deep dissatisfaction with incumbents. During this period, the country experienced a shift from PRI-ista hegemony to divided government in 1997, to successive PAN presidential victories, the second of which was heavily disputed and then, in 2012, a return to PRI control of the presidency and the Congress. Mexicans exercise their democratic rights on a regular basis, and they do so effectively. Though the democratic system is far from perfect, elections matter in Mexico. They are relatively free and fair, determine outcomes, and allow the citizenry to express both their discontent and their preferences.

It thus gives us great pleasure to introduce The Mexico Institute’s 2018 Elections Guide. Since 2012, the Mexico Institute has provided comprehensive coverage of Mexico’s presidential and congressional elections, by curating news articles and opinion polls online, and by soliciting and publishing unique content from our extensive network of analysts and experts. This archived material will now be joined by our coverage of the July 2018 election: we will provide information and analysis of the campaigns and the personalities that will compete to rule Mexico for the next six years. Over the next 11 months, we will track the parties and candidates, as well as the most important issues, domestic and foreign, which will determine voter preferences.

In addition to the content posted on this blog, the Mexico Institute hopes to host the leading candidates as they lay out their ideas and policies. These events will be presented live online as webcasts and will be archived for future reference. We intend to live up to our commitment to non-partisanship and public education by ensuring that all candidates and parties engage in robust dialogue with our audience. To further this, we will be asking you to inform our work with your questions and concerns.

Thank you for following this blog and for supporting our work. The vote that will take place on Sunday, July 1, 2018 presents Mexico with divergent visions of the future, and our staff and experts will provide detailed and impartial information and analysis to help steer you through what promises to be a complex and keenly contested election.

We hope you enjoy the new resource.

Sincerely,

Duncan Wood

Visit the Mexico Institute’s 2018 Elections Guide

Who would be Trump’s ambassador to Mexico?

09/28/16 The Washington Post

8566730507_352f080b34_o (1)Don’t laugh — it’s a serious question.

Who would fill the hardest position in a Trump administration? Not Twitter stenographer. Not presidential hairdresser. We’re talking about the man or woman who is going to get Mexico to pay for The Wall.

Career diplomats have typically filled the post of U.S. ambassador to Mexico since the 1990s. The current ambassador, Roberta Jacobson, was just confirmed in April, but could find her tenure cut short if Trump wins the White House.

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In Mexico, they were hoping Clinton would do better

09/26/16 Los Angeles Times

Trump has attracted widespread hostility in Mexico for his threats to deport immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally, and to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. In the wake of Monday night’s presidential debate, some analysts here were disappointed that Clinton did not do better.

“Clinton wins the debate; the key question is if this first debate stops the momentum of Trump,” Arturo Sarukan, a former Mexican ambassador in Washington, said on Twitter.  “Not yet I think.”

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What Can Mexico Do About Trump?

09/27/16 The New York Times 

Border - MexicoWhen Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal, the Mexican secretary of the economy, came to talk to me last week about trade and the American elections, I didn’t expect him to drag up the old spat between Mexico and the United States over trucks.

Back when it signed on to the North American Free Trade Agreement more than 20 years ago, the United States committed that in the year 2000 it would lift restrictions that kept Mexican trucks from hauling cargo inside the United States, forcing them instead to dump their loads at the border. But when the time came, under pressure from the Teamsters and the union’s allies in Congress, Washington backed out.

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Mexico town women vote locally for first time

09/22/16 BBC News

Elections.JPGWomen in a community in southern Mexico have voted in local elections for the first time, after winning a three-year battle for the right to choose a mayor and councillors alongside their male relatives.

Women have had the vote in Mexican presidential, general and regional elections since 1953, but the persistence of traditional law in parts of Oaxaca state means many towns have men-only voter lists for local polls, El Universal newspaper reports.

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