The Current Political Situation in Mexico
Based in Mexico City, noted journalist Laura Carlsen's Americas program is a major source of news and commentary on Mexico and Latin America for English readers (www.americas.org). Her print and broadcast reportage has been featured by Democracy Now!, Pacifica Radio, the New York Times, Washington Post, Huffington Post, BBC and CNN and she is host of the weekly television show, Interviews from Mexico. She is also a favorite speaker here in San Miguel.
Mexico is headed into what may be one of its most tumultuous political campaigns in modern times. The July 1 vote may prove to be a watershed election, with leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador challenging the two major neoliberal parties, PRI and PAN, for the Presidency. AMLO (he is often called by his initials) is leading in the opinion polls in spite of efforts to discredit him. There is considerable anxiety about the months ahead. Will it be a fair election? If AMLO wins will he be able to take office? And if he does, will he be able to govern? And how will Trump respond to the prospect of a Leftist government on the southern border of the US? How will Wall Street respond? These are some of the questions that hang in the air.
On top of all this, is the uncertainty about the future of NAFTA, given that the country’s economy has become strongly oriented to exports and foreign investment and increased violence under the US-Mexican drug war. With continuing widespread poverty, anemic economic growth and a faltering global economy, what would political instability mean for Mexico? And then there is the growing flood of deportees from the U.S., returning to a country with already high levels of unemployment and underemployment. Emigration has long been a safety valve for Mexico with 20% of its labor force working in the U.S.
As the saying goes, “Poor Mexico, so far from God and so close to the United States.”
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