Published: Monday 2 July 2012
The next president won’t take office until Dec. 1, leaving a five-month period during which Mexico is expected to intensify its drive against the drug cartels.

 

In the wake of Mexico’s presidential election Sunday, analysts are expecting Mexico to launch a major “blitzkrieg surge” against the drug cartels during current president Felipe Calderon’s lame duck period.

 

The next president won’t take office until Dec. 1, leaving a five-month period during which Mexico is expected to intensify its drive against the drug cartels.

 

To the Mexican electorate – exhausted by six years of being affronted by the daily body count that was the product of Calderon’s militarization of the drug war – PRI candidate Enrique Peña Nieto promised to change strategy, and work to reduce violence.

 

“The task of the state, what should be its priority from my point of view, and what I have called for in this campaign, is to reduce the levels of violence,” he said in several interviews, by way of explaining his intention in shifting Calderon’s hard line against the various drug organizations operating throughout the country.

 

In private, however, Peña Nieto quietly reassured American officials that they could count on Mexico’s continued cooperation in current efforts to continue the war on drugs. A senior Obama official told reporters that Peña Nieto had assured the White House that “he is going to keep working with us.”

 

To make matters more complicated, Peña Nieto and Calderon have been working together, mindful of the opportunity presented by this lame-duck period – between July 1 and Dec. 1 – which affords Mexico the time frame to intensify military strikes against the drug cartels before the ...

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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