Interministerial Commission for the Prevention of Violence is created (Spanish)

February 11, 2013

120px-Flag_of_Mexico_(1)Milenio, 2/11/2013

La Secretaría de Gobernaciónpublicó el acuerdo por el que se crea la Comisión Intersecretarial para la Prevención Social de la Violencia y la Delincuencia, cuyo objetivo es coordinar las dependencias y entidades de la Administración Pública Federal en el diseño y la ejecución de políticas en la materia.

El documento, publicado este lunes en el Diario Oficial de la Federación, indica que la comisión hará las recomendaciones para que las políticas, los programas y las acciones de las dependencias que la integran se orienten coordinadamente a la atención prioritaria de grupos vulnerables y construir una ciudadanía responsable.

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Teachers announce a protest against the educational reform (Spanish)

January 28, 2013


Milenio, 1/27/2013

Members of the Democratic National Executive Committee of  SNTE oppose the proposed educational and labor reform. As a result, they will be organizing mobilizations and manifestations against the amendments at the end of this month in Mexico D.F.

They will also recur to legal resources  because they believe that the reform presents a direct violation to workers and students’  human rights.

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Old Politics and New Government

January 24, 2013


Perspectives on the Americas, 1/23/2013

Mexico has a new government but not a new reality. Problems do not change just because a change in government has taken place. A new government, however, has the opportunity to make its own mark on national politics by exercising effective leadership to produce a change of attitude and, eventually, of reality.

Two characteristics of the new PRI are evident. The first consists of the presence of a team of politicians experienced in governmental functions. The second is the perception that the PRI activists know that the voters have granted them their last opportunity to vindicate themselves and if they fail to deliver satisfactory results, they will be voted out of power in the next election. Both traits suggest that there will be great activism and skill in the PRI’s management of public matters; however, nothing guarantees that they will do the things that are needed to achieve their objective.

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Commentary on Female Participation in Mexican Politics

May 17, 2012

Mexico Institute, 5/17/2012
by Diana Murray Watts and Eric L. Olson

Despite the small strides toward inclusion of women in Mexican politics, there remains much ground to be gained. The election of Josefina Vázquez Mota as the first female presidential candidate to run for a major political party (the PAN) marks a big step toward gender equality in politics. Mexican society as a whole, however, is still hierarchical – the male figure dominates family life, business, and politics. Many are still hesitant to grant women positions of power. For instance, the Federal Electoral Institute (IFE) had to go as far as issuing a warning to political parties for failing to comply legal requirements that 40% of each party’s candidate lists for Congressional seats be reserved for women. While political parties originally responded negatively to the IFE’s warnings, ultimately the parties complied with the legal requirement. However, the mere fact that a legal framework is needed to ensure female participation in politics speaks volumes about the apparent lack of gender equality in Mexico’s democracy.

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Leonardo Curzio: Predictions on Mexican Foreign Policy [In Spanish]

April 11, 2012

Mexico Institute, 4/11/2012

In this article, Leonardo Curzio, renowned journalist and academic at UNAM, lays out the main topics for the national security agenda of Mexico as well as the issues that the country will have to face in the future.

Curzio predicts that Mexico’s relationship with the United States will continue to be the most important axis point of Mexico’s foreign policy strategy. He explains that bilateral cooperation against terrorism should not be left behind, especially when considering the potential for terrorists to occupy Mexican territory as an operational base from which to inflict an attack upon the United States. Furthermore, Curzio argues, the U.S.-Mexico border represents interests that are vital for both countries, including economic, political, military, and particularly demographic concerns. Accordingly, Curzio states that the U.S.-Mexico border will be the most important topic in the Mexican national security agenda.

In terms of the national security agenda, Curzio also points out the importance of keeping an internal security strategy that can ensure political stability through the following elements: democratic governance, political order in the three levels of government, and development of institutional capacity, particularly for migration authorities and the police.

According to Curzio, Mexico is quite alone with its problems. He argues, however, that Mexico’s relationship with the United States should step out of what the sensationalist press says and instead find a position from which the doors of effective and mutual responsibility can finally open.

To read the full text that appeared on the March 2012 Spanish edition of Foreign Policy, click here.

Event Summary: “A Discussion on Mexican Politics with Roderic Camp”

January 22, 2012

Last Friday, January 20th, the Mexico Institute at the Woodrow Wilson Center hosted the event “A Discussion on Mexican Politics with Roderic Camp.” His three most recent works were featured that morning: Mexican Political Biographies, 1935-2009, The Oxford Handbook of Mexican Politics, and Mexico: What Everyone Needs to Know.

Camp has been studying Mexican politics for 40 years, and during that long intellectual journey he crossed paths with Miguel E. Basáñez, currently a Professor at the Fletcher School of Tufts University. Basáñez was also present, acting both as moderator and commentator during the event. He described Camp as: “a synthesis of so much knowledge on Mexico.” Read the rest of this entry »

The Road to July 2012

January 10, 2011

Duncan Wood, Simon Chair in Political Economy, Center for Strategic and International Studies

2011 has started with a number of important changes in Mexico’s political scene. Already we can see maneuvering and the beginning of campaigning from the parties and the likely candidates. With 18 months to go before the election in July 2012, the major actors are preparing electoral strategies, building coalitions and alliances, and feeling out their opponents, in both their own, and the opposing, parties. The latest opinion polls from Mitofsky show that the PRI leads the PAN in the race for the presidency, by a margin of 39% to 19% (with the PRD on a lowly 11.5%), a big lead but one that is beginning to narrow as Mexico’s economy recovers (more on that in a later post). It is important to note that the PRI leads across the four regions of Mexico, even in the traditional strongholds of the PAN (in the north) and of the PRD (in the center and south).

In terms of individuals, at this stage there is a clear front-runner, Enrique Peña Nieto of the PRI, but the gap between Peña Nieto and his rivals is sure to close as the race proceeds. At the moment there is limited national recognition of any potential candidate apart from Peña Nieto and Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO). In the most recent Mitofsky poll addressing individual candidates, from November 2010, Peña Nieto was mentioned by 27% as a preference, showing a huge advantage over AMLO, in second place with 9%. When these two candidates are placed on a hypothetical ballot paper alongside the front runner for the PAN, Santiago Creel, the Mexican public preferred Peña Nieto with 52%, over AMLO (16%) and Creel (13%). All of this is likely to change dramatically over the next twelve months, as the contest for the PAN candidacy heats, with the Finance Minister, Ernesto Cordero, and the Education Minister, Alonso Lujambio, likely to join Santiago Creel in the race. In the PRD, Marcelo Ebrard will consolidate his support to challenge AMLO, and of course we cannot forget that Peña Nieto will be challenged within the PRI, most importantly by Senator Manlio Fabio Beltrones.

Over the next two weeks this blog will feature an analysis of the state of each of the major parties and their potential candidates, examining both the depth of their support, their weaknesses, and likely electoral strategies. However, later this week, we will examine the recent shuffle in President Calderon’s cabinet and its implications for the political balance.


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