Upcoming Event! Mexico’s Midterm Elections and the Peña Nieto Administration

Collage only_MonochromeWHEN: Monday, May 18, 9:30-11:00am

WHERE: 6th Floor Auditorium, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

Click here to RSVP.

The Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute is pleased to invite you to an event on Mexico’s 2015 midterm elections. On June 7, 2015, more than 86 million Mexicans will have the opportunity to elect 500 federal deputies, 17 state-level legislatures, 9 governors, and more than 300 mayors. This new cohort of legislators will replace the group that approved the major reforms proposed by President Enrique Peña Nieto during the first year of his administration. The new Chamber of Deputies will be crucial for the second half of Peña Nieto’s term in office; finding room for negotiation may prove increasingly difficult as the presidential succession nears.

These elections represent a battle in which the PRI seeks to stay strong despite the President’s low approval ratings. Meanwhile, the PAN and the PRD are trying to overcome internal divisions and emerge stronger. The PRD’s internal challenges became external with the recent founding of MORENA, led by Andrés Manuel López Obrador, which is emerging as a viable option for voters on the left. In fact, MORENA will be competing head to head with the Green Party (PVEM) to be the fourth national political force.


Denise Dresser
Political Analyst and Professor, Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México

Luis Carlos Ugalde
Director General, Integralia Consultores


Duncan Wood
Director, Mexico Institute, Wilson Center

RSVP here. 

Want to know more about Mexico’s midterm elections? Visit the Mexico Institute’s 2015 Election Guide.

UPCOMING EVENT: The Future of the Mexican Left

armando-rios-piterWHEN: Monday, February 23, 9:00-10:30am

WHERE: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington, DC

Mexican political parties across the spectrum face challenges due to recent security breakdowns, issues of corruption, and a decline in public faith in governance. Though not alone in the process, left-wing parties in Mexico, including the PRD, Partido del Trabajo, and Morena, are going through an important period of change, presenting an opportunity for us to reflect on the future of the Mexican left. Will these pressures bring the left together and move it forward, or will they lead to divisions and fragmentation?

Senator Armando Ríos Piter represents the Mexican State of Guerrero. In the Senate, he is secretary of several committees, including Finance and Public Credit; Government; Trade and Industry; and the Special Commission to evaluate Public Finances. He is a member of the Party of the Democratic Revolution, and previously served as a member of the Mexican Chamber of Deputies from 2009 to 2012. During this challenging time in Mexico, Senator Ríos Piter will share with us his vision of the future of the Mexican left and the challenges the country faces.

To RSVP for the event, click here.

A live webcast will be available.

Cardenas leaves Mexico leftist party he founded

11/25/14 The Washington Post 

cuauhtemoc cardenasCuauhtemoc Cardenas, a pillar of leftist politics in Mexico and son of the revered president who nationalized the oil industry, resigned Tuesday from the political party he founded, citing disagreements with its leadership. The 80-year-old Cardenas, who made three failed runs for the presidency, explained his decision in a letter that was made public. Earlier this month, he had urged the Democratic Revolution Party’s national executive committee to resign over the disappearance of 43 college students in the southern city of Iguala. Federal authorities have said the mayor, a member of the party, ordered local police to intercept the students who he feared planned to interrupt a speech his wife was giving Sept. 26. Police allegedly turned the students over to a drug gang and they have not been heard from again.

Read More… 

Main Mexico leftist party on verge of dissolution, leader says

11/16/14 Reuters

Cuahutemoc Cardenaz, Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas SolórzanoThe elder statesman of Mexico’s main leftist party said on Sunday the group was on the verge of falling apart after a series of mistakes and the disappearance of 43 students in a state it runs in the southwest of the country.Three-times presidential candidate Cuauhtemoc Cardenas said the opposition Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), which finished runner-up in Mexico’s last two presidential elections, had lost its moral authority and needed urgent reform.In an open letter published by his office, Cardenas, 80, said the PRD was “on the verge of dissolving, or ending up as a simple political-electoral franchise subordinate to interests alien to those of the broad base of its members.”Cardenas, the son of former president Lazaro Cardenas, a leftist icon who nationalized Mexico’s oil industry in 1938, called on the party leadership to step down to allow a process of reconstruction to begin.

Read More… 

Former Mexico City mayor says it is time to go in new direction

Mexico CIty Cathedral Photo by Flickr user worldsurferGlobal Post, 2/4/14

Former Mexico City Mayor Marcelo Ebrard said in an interview with Efe that it was time to “change the ship’s course” because the policies implemented in Mexico over the past 20 years have failed, opening the way for the left to get a real shot at power in 2018. Ebrard, who is in Toronto at the invitation of the Canadian Council for the Americas, or CCA, said he was “absolutely” willing to be the left’s candidate in Mexico’s 2018 presidential election.

A future leftist government in Mexico should follow the example of U.S. President John F. Kennedy, who sent a man to the moon, and set a “great national goal,” focusing on education, health care, tax reform, technological innovation or youth policy, the politician said. Ebrard, who is the leader of one of the factions within the Party of the Democratic Revolution, or PRD, and served as Mexico City’s mayor from 2006 to 2011, said he demonstrated the effectiveness of his policies in the capital.

Read more…

Mexico energy reform sparks mass protest

energy -drilling_platform_in_seaAljazeera, 2/1/14

Tens of thousands of people have marched in Mexico City to protest against constitutional reforms pushed through by President Enrique Pena Nieto to open the oil and gas industry to foreign investment. An estimated 65,000 people gathered for the protest on Friday in the Zocalo – a main square in the capital city – an official at the Secretariat of Public Safety told the AFP news agency.

The march was organised by the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), the leftist opposition to the president’s ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).

Read more…

Country of the Year? Try Mexico

Christian Science Monitor, 12/15/2013

Mexican Flag XXLLast week’s approval of reforms for the pivotal oil company Pemex caps a year of major reforms that could transform Mexico – and perhaps change the immigration debate in the US.

If an award could be given in 2013 for Country of the Year, Mexico might deserve it. No other country has done more this past year to put reforms in place to transform a nation – and with startling democratic consensus. The latest reform, approved Thursday by elected lawmakers, will allow foreign and private investment in the oil sector for the first time in more than 70 years. The move upends a notion of Mexican patriotism that stated the national identity rests on government monopoly of the petroleum industry.

Read more…

Mexico Contemplates Changing Term-Limit Rule (audio)

NPR, 12/6/2013

MEXICO CONGRESSLawmakers in Mexico are considering a major change to their elections. For more than a century, the country has had the ultimate term limits: nobody can be re-elected.


Mexico’s Lopez Obrador, fiery leftist, suffers heart attack

Los Angeles Times, 12/3/2013

Andres_manuel_lopez_obrador_oct05Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, Mexico’s fiery leftist leader, suffered a heart attack early Tuesday and was hospitalized in stable condition, doctors said.

Lopez Obrador, a two-time presidential contender, former mayor of Mexico City and an increasingly contentious figure in Mexico’s political scene, was “progressing satisfactorily,” Dr. Patricio Ortiz, a cardiologist, said in a brief news conference at the Medica Sur hospital. He will remain hospitalized for two to five days for recovery, Ortiz said.

Read more…

Mexico leftists exit pact, may boost case for energy reform

Global Post, 11/28/2013

jesus zambranoThe head of Mexico’s main leftist party said on Thursday it had pulled out of a cross-party pact on economic reform, which could push the government toward a more radical plan to spur investment in the oil industry wanted by conservatives.

Such a move could herald more intense opposition in the street to President Enrique Pena Nieto’s plans to open up the state-run energy industry to greater private investment.

Read more…