Mexico Politics

By | March 22, 2021

Mexico History & State

Independence Day: 16.09.1810

Head of State / Head of Government: Andrés Manuel López Obrador

Political system: Presidential republic, multi-party system

Democracy Status Index (BTI): 6.1 / 57th of 129 (2018)

Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI): Rank 138 of 180 (2018)

Consolidation of the one-party system

President Lázaro Cárdenas (1934-1940) implemented some of the demands of the revolution by nationalizing a tenth of the national territory and distributing it to landless peasants. He nationalized the oil, which was in the hands of foreign corporations, supported the formation of unions. He promoted the formation of corporations in all socio-politically relevant sectors. In the following decades, publicly-directed umbrella organizations served to control industrial workers, farmers and teachers. The PRI was thus in control of public life. Mexico had a de facto one-party system in which the president chose his successor every six years with a tap of the finger. Opposition from Congress or the population was not to be expected, since the separation of powers did not in fact work. Efforts by members of the opposition to improve the position of the working class and farm workers were not tolerated during the reign of the PRI and were immediately crushed by force.forcibly disappear. In contrast to many other Latin American countries, there was no military dictatorship in Mexico in the second half of the twentieth century, but the PRI regime is known as the so-called Dictablanda (“soft dictatorship”).

Mexico is a country located in North America according to timedictionary. Already in 1965, is the presence of leftist guerrillas who still sometimes more, sometimes less in appearance occurred documented. Student demonstrations (1968, 1971) were brutally suppressed. The decade-long retention of power of the PRI was spurred on by the import-substituting economic system. The influence of foreign countries on domestic affairs was reduced to very regulated economic relations. It was only through the oil crises from 1976 and the inability to pay off foreign debts in 1982 that the economic system was transformed into an export-oriented one. An opening, not only in economic aspects, but also in socio-political issues, was initiated. The party system was modernized.

Civil society, uprising in Chiapas and political opening

In the rainforest of the southern state of Chiapas, left-wing intellectuals, city guerrillas and indigenous leaders formed the “Zapatista Army of National Liberation” (Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional or EZLN) in 1983), which did not appear in public until eleven years later. When the Free Trade Agreement with the United States and Canada, known as NAFTA, went into effect on January 1, 1994, the EZLN occupied five district capitals of the state of Chiapas. The government’s military operation was not long in coming, but ended in February with a ceasefire and initial talks between government representatives and the EZLN. The efforts of the EZLN to enforce the self-determination of the indigenous peoples, contrary to the bill negotiated in 2001, were only included in the constitution in a very mild form.

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador as a souvenir on a street market

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador as a souvenir on a street market

Start of the democratization process

Independent parties slowly emerged despite political obstacles. The right-wing conservative PAN (Party of National Action) only managed to win a majority in the House of Representatives in 1997 and the presidential elections in 2000 with Vicente Fox Quesada.

The now “center-left party” of the Democratic Revolution PRD emerged from the amalgamation of several small, left-wing parties and disappointed PRI politicians. From 1997 to 2018 the PRD appointed the mayor of Mexico City. Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the incumbent President of Mexico, stepped down in 2005 to run for the 2006 presidential election. According to official accounts, the PRD lost half a percentage point to the PAN candidate Felipe Calderón Hinojosa in these elections. Although the allegation of electoral fraud was in the room, the request for a new vote count was not granted.

The reputation and popularity of President Calderón and the PAN declined rapidly with the drug war that began, which was expressed in the PAN’s electoral defeat. After two PAN presidencies, which were disappointing in many ways for the population, the PRI candidate Enrique Peña Nieto was elected with 38% of the vote in July 2012. He took office on December 1, 2012. As in 2006, the left opposition accused electoral fraud.

In the course of this election, a new student movement was formed, which ostensibly opposed Enrique Peña Nieto and for a democratization of the Mexican media landscape, and which also campaigned for the recounting of the ballot papers. The movement was called # yosoy132.

In 2014, the left-wing group MORENA (Movement of National Regeneration), founded in 2010, was approved as a party. Your presidential candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador won the 2018 election with over 50 percent of the vote. He took up the presidency on December 1, 2018.

Drug war

Shortly after taking office in 2006, Felipe Calderón sent the military to several cities with the aim of ending drug trafficking, which has been growing since the mid-1990’s. It soon emerged that high-ranking military personnel and sections of the police were involved in the drug deals and benefited from them. The drug war officially started in 2006 between the military, police and cartels, but also between the drug cartels for control of the drug market, has claimed more than 100,000 lives so far. The numbers are rising steadily, which has led to increased protests by victims’ relatives against the drug war.

Further explanations on the subject of the drug war are given in the Domestic Policy section.

Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador when he took office

Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador when he took office