Mexico´s Next Chapter

On sunday, Mexicans turned out in large numbers to vote for change, a change in priorities and approach, and a generational change focused on can-do governing. I am honored that, in me, Mexicans saw that opportunity for change and a new direction. There may be considerable hand-wringing in international community that my election somehow signifies a return to the old ways of my party, the Institutional Revolutionary Party or PRI, or a diminished commitment in Mexico’s efforts against organized crime and drugs. Let’s put such worries to rest. This campaign was about two things. First was the improvement of economic conditions for millions of struggling Mexicans whose daily lives have been touched by the anemic economic growth, which the Mexican National Institute of Statistics says averaged 1.7 percent between 2000 and 2010. Second was an end to the polarization that has paralyzed our politics, making impossible urgently needed reforms in the energy sector, labor markets, education and social security, to mention a few. We cannot postpone those changes any longer. (source: Enrique Peña Nieto – NYTimes – 03/07/2012)

To those concerned about a return to old ways, fear not. At 45, I am part of a generation of PRI politicians committed to democracy. I reject the practices of the past, in the same way I seek to move forward from the political gridlock of the present. My generation’s objective is not ideology or patronage, but measurable success at liberating Mexicans from poverty. That is how I governed the State of Mexico, the country’s most populous, from 2005 to 2011. I will govern with pragmatic realism and a clear, long-term strategy. Developing countries like India, China and Brazil have shown the way to significant and lasting poverty alleviation through institutional reforms and economic policies focused on growth. It’s time for these improvements to come to Mexico. I want to address issue of organized crime and drug trafficking head-on. There can be neither negotiation nor a truce with criminals. I respect President Felipe Calderón for his commitment to ending this scourge; I will continue the fight, but strategy must change. With over 60,000 deaths in the past six years, considerable criticism from human-rights groups and debatable progress in stemming the flow of drugs, current policies must be re-examined. Indeed, I’ve proposed initiatives that will result in a marked increase in security spending and have set as a public goal slashing violent crime significantly. What must be improved is coordination among federal, state and municipal crime-fighting authorities. I will create a 40,000-person National Gendarmerie, a police force similar to those in countries like Colombia, Italy, France, to focus on most violent rural areas. I will expand federal police by at least 35,000 officers and bolster intelligence-gathering and analysis. I will consolidate the state and municipal police forces and provide greater federal oversight, to crack down on corruption within their ranks. I will propose comprehensive criminal law reform. I have already sought out the advice of Gen. Óscar Naranjo, who recently retired as Colombia’s national police chief and is one of the world’s top crime fighters.

But for these security measures to have a long-term impact, the international community must understand two things. First, these efforts must be married with strong economic and social reforms. You can’t have security without stability. Second, other nations, particularly the United States, must do more to curtail demand for drugs. I hope our neighbors will join us not only in confronting crime and drugs, also on many other issues of mutual concern. We should build on the North American Free Trade Agreement, which took effect in 1994, as an engine of growth by further integrating our economies through greater investments in manufacturing, finance, infrastructure and energy. I similarly intend to start a new era of economic and political cooperation with Asia-Pacific region, and strengthen our relationship with European Union. And as the world’s largest Spanish-speaking country, Mexico has a large role to play, economically, culturally and politically, in Latin America and Caribbean. Last but not least, I would welcome the implementation of comprehensive immigration reform in the United States. Experts agree that there are now more Mexicans coming back to Mexico than those leaving my country to find jobs in United States. This new reality should make the immigration debate in the United States less divisive. In 2000, the eyes of the world were on Mexico as the PRI, for the first time in seven decades, transferred power peacefully to a different party. Since then, Mexico has evolved considerably, becoming more modern and dynamic. However, this period has also included plenty of missed opportunities, with important political and economic reforms left undone. Achieving our country’s full potential is my mission as Mexico’s next president. 


Acerca de ignaciocovelo
Consultor Internacional

2 Responses to Mexico´s Next Chapter

  1. Emiliano Zapata: What can I say, dearest colleague. It was expected that he win weeks ago, even months ago. As I told you weeks ago, I did not favor any one of the 4. We need a strong statesman, not a cheap polititian as always, and those 4 put together did not make 1 good choice. But he has won. So what to expect? What I think is that since he faced such strong opposition and since he really does not have the majority of Mexicans behind him (after all, he allegedly won about 39% of the 70% who voted!), he must do a great job and face our challenges with determination and intelligence (maybe this last thing is too much to ask). And the FIRST thing he must do (and which will show where he is headed) is in the choice of his cabinet. That is CRUCIAL for ANY politician. That was precisely Lincoln’s success (believe me, Peña is NO Lincoln, by FAR) in that he chose the BEST men for his team and for the job, THE BEST, regardless of political affiliation or rivalry (read, for example, Doris Kearns Godowin’s book A Team of Rivals). That will be the FIRST indication of what he plans to do, how he plans to govern and what his REAL COMMITMENT is towards repairing what’s left of this country. I myself have little faith anymore in our political system, but I am open to surprises. Time will tell.

  2. A report by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to be released Thursday concludes that Mexico’s deployment of its military to fight organized crime has been ineffective and may have increased sensational killings by fragmenting crime mafias into warring bands. The report was written to help guide the U.S. Congress in its strategic partnership with Mexico’s president-elect, Enrique Peña Nieto, who has suggested that his administration will focus more on reducing the violence that has left 60,000 dead, rather than capturing or killing crime lords and seizing the cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana headed to the United States, the most voracious drug consumer in the world. The report acknowledges the efforts of departing President Felipe Calderon and sees progress in the maturing relationship between the U.S. and Mexican governments, even as it questions Calderon’s core strategies. Overall, the report offers a somber assessment of the drug war raging south of the U.S. border and concludes that it will take years, and perhaps a generation, to reform Mexico’s undertrained, ineffective, often-corrupt police and courts. “Mexico’s presidential transition provides a new window to discuss and debate the best security strategies to deal with the serious violence plaguing Mexico,” Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.), chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, said in a statement. “As the political landscape continues to change in both countries, this report underscores the importance of continuity in two critical areas — judicial and police reform” (…..)


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