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  • Author: Duncan Wood
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Although security is commonly seen as the defining issue in Mexico's upcoming presidential election, the country's economic development ranks a close second in voters' minds. On July 1, despite the pervasiveness of the drug war in the political and social discourse, voters will make their decision based largely on the perceived successes and failures of 12 years of rule by the National Action Party (PAN). This is partly because the three main parties have currently presented minor differences in tackling the security problem and partly because the Mexican economy continues to show such a dramatically uneven development pattern. Of particular importance are continuing high levels of inequality manifested in Mexico's society, a direct result of an economic system that, despite its current vitality, still offers little opportunity for upward mobility for most citizens.
  • Topic: Security, Democratization, Development, Economics, Narcotics Trafficking
  • Political Geography: Mexico
  • Author: Mariano Ruiz-Funes
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: A country's economic competitiveness can be analyzed on two closely interrelated levels: microeconomic com-petitiveness and competitiveness in attracting investment. The first level (microeconomic competitiveness) relates to goods and services offered in the country and refers to competition arising from goods and services that are produced in another country. That competition takes place in international markets (export competitiveness) as well as in the domestic market (with imports).
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Latin America, North America, Mexico
  • Author: Armand Peschard-Sverdrup
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: When looking at the ramifications of the war in Iraq on the Western Hemisphere, it is clear that the conflict will have the greatest impact on the two nations with which the United States shares borders—Mexico and Canada. From a national security standpoint, these nations' immediate proximity to the United States automatically heightens the threat to their own national security, particularly because we seem to have entered an era in which the use of weapons of mass destruction—be they nuclear, chemical, or biological—poses a viable threat. From a U.S. homeland security standpoint, the shared border transforms both of our friendly neighbors into possible platforms from which rogue elements could stage attacks or enter the United States to threaten our homeland.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Canada, Latin America, North America, Mexico
  • Author: Luis Rubio
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Mexico's President Vicente Fox chose a rather awkward time to take a stand supporting a multilateralist approach in foreign policy. Even though a multilateral approach matches neatly—almost naturally—with the country's history, taking such a visible stand after the events of September 11 entailed huge risks that nobody in Fox's cabinet could ignore, even if, in retrospect, few truly understood what the actual risks were. Yet, oblivious to that fact, the government pushed ahead. Even after President George W. Bush had decided not to pursue a vote in the UN Security Council on a follow-up resolution that would have de facto authorized the use of force in Iraq, the Mexican government found it necessary to state that it would have voted “no.” The critical question is less whether this constitutes an approach to foreign policy that is new for Mexico than whether the administration truly understands the implications of its newfound ways.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Latin America, North America, Mexico
  • Author: Armand Peschard-Sverdrup, George W. Grayson
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: On March 9, 2003, the citizens of Mexico state (Edomex) will elect 124 municipal government officials and 75 members of the state legislature. Although local contests, these elections have attracted national attention for several reasons. First, with 13 million inhabitants Edomex is the most populous of Mexico 31 states–with approximately 4.5 million more citizens than Mexico City. Second, Mexico state also boasts more than 8 million voters, the most of any state and 12.55 percent of the nationwide total. Third, Mexico state is a microcosm of the country–with (1) a vibrant manufacturing sector, (2) one-third of its income arising from agriculture, (3) a small indigenous population, (4) a plethora of middle-class residents who work for the government, own small businesses, or practice professions such as medicine, dentistry, accounting, and teaching, and (5) poor people who eke out a living in Chalco, Texcoco, and other sprawling slums contiguous to Mexico City. Fourth, Edomex is an arena of intense political activism, involving the country's three major parties: the once-hegemonic Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), the center-right National Action Party (PAN), and the nationalist-left Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD). In addition, the Mexican Green Ecological Party (PVEM) boasts its largest support base in the state, while several new or small parties will also compete in the upcoming election. These include the centrist Convergencia, the leftist Workers' Party (PT), the right-wing Social Alliance (PAS), the conservative Party of the Nationalist Society (PSN), the reform-oriented México Posible (MP), the Mexican Liberal Party (PLM), Citizens' Force (FC), and the Citizens' Parliament (PC). Fifth, the importance of the state means that any major Edomex politician who distinguishes himself will wind up on the short list of contenders for the presidency in 2006. Finally, the outcome of the Mexico state balloting will provide an insight into the relative strength of contending parties as they prepare for the July 6 election of 500 members of the Chamber of Deputies and six governors (Campeche, Colima, Nuevo León, Querétaro, San Luis Potosí, and Sonora).
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Latin America, North America, Mexico