Published: Saturday 7 July 2012
“It’s helpful to remember that Mexico is a rare case in Latin America right now, and that progressives in far more foreboding circumstances have experienced reversals of fortune in the course of a single presidential term.”

In the past dozen years, left parties in a whole lot of Latin America countries—from Argentina to El Salvador—have won elections and taken power. But, so far, Mexico has not joined the list. The country’s most recent presidential elections, held last Sunday, did not change that.

Initial election results show Enrique Peña Nieto of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) prevailing with approximately 38 percent of the vote. (For non-Mexico watchers: the PRI was the party that governed Mexico for some seven decades before one-party rule was shattered in 2000, and it was subsequently thought to be headed for the trash heap of history.)

Progressive Andrés Manuel López Obrador, known as AMLO, of the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) trailed behind Peña Nieto with around 32 percent. Right-wing Josefina Vázquez Mota of the incumbent National Action Party (PAN) garnered only around 29 percent of the vote.

Mark Weisbrot of the Center for Economic and Policy Research had a nice op-ed in theNew York Times arguing that the results reflected nearly a dozen failed years of neoliberal economic policies, enacted by two PAN presidents. ...

Published: Tuesday 29 May 2012
“They are party-less but not apolitical. The supposed apathy and individualism by which the Mexican youth have been characterized has been disproved on the streets and on the web.”

In Mexico City’s daily life — in the shops, taxicabs, cafes and lines waiting for the bus — one could hear conversations between people of all ages saying Enrique Peña Nieto would, without a doubt, win the presidential elections. “Either something huge will happen,” a taxi driver told me, “or he will win.” And when people referred to “something huge happening,” they were referring to violence, or some unbearable crisis.

But it hasn’t happened like that. Far from anything originally expected, it is the Mexican youth and university students who are doing “something huge.” They have altered the political agenda in the country to prove that no one wins an election until the election itself.

The gathering began on May 23 at the Estela de Luz, or Pillar of Light — a monument that has caused much controversy due to the billions of pesos the government invested in its construction. The students appropriated this symbol of corruption to illuminate it with their democratic demands in a key pre-electoral moment.

With only forty days left in the race, the protest was provoked by the manipulation of information and the imposition of a candidate by the corporate and media elites during the hype of the electoral campaigns. In the end, twenty thousand students from different universities, public and private, marched for four hours along the main avenues of Mexico ...

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