Mexico. On December 1, a new president took office in Mexico, probably the first genuinely democratic election. Vicente Fox, former Coca-Cola director and candidate for an alliance centered around the right-wing PAN (Partido de Acción Nacional), won the July 2 election by 43% over the ruling party’s PRI (Partido Revolucionário Institucional) candidate Francisco Labastida.
While some of Fox’s election promises – one million new jobs a year, 7% growth within three years and reduced price increases and budget deficits – are considered to clash with the promise of unchanged social welfare programs, but he also has great public confidence. His government consists entirely of non-politicians, including a female Indian minister and a journalist as foreign minister. In an immediate aftermath, he offered renewed dialogue with the Zapatist guerrillas in the state of Chiapas, where a rebellion has been going on since 1994, a personal meeting with leader Marcos and the withdrawal of federal troops from there.
- ABBREVIATIONFINDER: Offers three letter and two letter abbreviations for the country of Mexico. Also covers country profile such as geography, society and economy.
PRI has under different names monopolized political power in Mexico for 80 years – the longest in the world. Through violence, threats and systematic cheating, PRI has won elections after elections and with its corporatist structure has become synonymous with the state itself. Mexico has long been the reason for the term “pseudo-democracy”. However, the end for PRI’s power holdings and its increasing democratization have been predicted and lasted for a long time. Among other things, the opposition has increasingly been allowed to win at local level and in Congress, and this year’s presidential candidate was elected for the first time through open primary elections, previously done by the incumbent president himself through an obscure procedure known as dedazo(‘big index finger’). The party has also been hit hard by an internal power struggle between reform supporters and old party bosses (the so-called dinosaurs) since the 1980s, which was made clear in the mid-1990s through a series of internal political murders.
Also this year’s election campaign was surrounded by rumors of irregularities, and when the opinion figures for PRI candidate Labastida began to decline, the party’s huge machinery was set in motion to assure him the victory. Instead, it marked the beginning of a new era in Mexico’s history.
Another mass grave found
Remains of at least 59 people, mostly young, have been found in unmarked tombs in Guanajuato in central Mexico. At least ten of the victims were women. Guanajuato is characterized by gang-related violence and in the eight months of the year alone, more than 2,200 murders have been registered in the state.
Former Secretary of Defense arrested in United States
Former Secretary of Defense Salvador Cienfuegos has been arrested in the United States on suspicion of drug trafficking and money laundering. Cienfuegos, who was a key figure in Enrique Peña Nieto’s 2012-2018 government, was arrested at Los Angeles airport during a trip with his family. He is accused of using his position to help the infamous H2 cartel act without risk in Mexico. However, under pressure from Mexico, the US Department of Defense and a federal judge decide that Cienfuegos can be investigated in his home country instead, and after just over a month in custody, he is sent home.
Over 77,000 “missing”
The number of people who have disappeared in Mexico, mainly during the war on drugs since 2006, amounts to 77,171. This is shown by new statistics presented by the Ministry of the Interior, which means an increase from previous calculations. Most of the victims are believed to have been victims of drug gangs and organized crime, but the security forces are also behind the murders and disappearances. Almost a fifth of the cases have been registered in the last two years – in 2019 alone, more than 8,000 people disappeared. The total figure is from 1964, but the absolute majority has disappeared since then-President Felipe Calderón began the so-called war on drugs. Previous calculations have shown that about half of the missing were between 15 and 35 years old, and three out of four were men.
Investment plan should give the economy a boost
President Andres Manuel López Obrador presents a $ 14 billion investment plan in collaboration with the business community, in an attempt to revive the crisis-stricken economy. In a first phase, 39 projects in communication, energy and the environment will be launched. According to the government, the plan will create 190,000 new jobs, not least in the energy sector. Almost a third of the money will be used to renovate the oil company Pemex’s facilities.
HD supports referendum on ex-presidents
Mexico’s Supreme Court has expressed support for President Andres Manuel López Obrador’s request for a referendum on whether to open an inquiry into his five closest representatives. Accusations have been made against Carlos Salinas, Ernesto Zedillo, Vicente Fox, Felipe Calderón and Enrique Peña Nieto – presidents between 1988 and 2018 – for, among other things, corruption. According to López Obrador, they enriched themselves while public funds dwindled, public property was privatized and corruption galloped. The accusations have been made by the former head of the oil company Pemex, Emilio Lozoya, who himself is facing trial for corruption (see 11 August 2020). Ex-president Felipe Calderón, in turn, accuses the president of confusing the republic with “a Roman circus”, after which he called for a referendum instead of turning to the judiciary.
According to COUNTRYAAH, the population of Mexico in 2000 was 98,899,734, ranking number 11 in the world. The population growth rate was 1.530% yearly, and the population density was 50.8757 people per km2.