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Politics & Current Affairs

Party with History of Corruption Returns to Power in Mexico

The Partido Revolucionario Institucional has returned to power after a twelve-year hiatus. Previously, it ruled the nation’s politics for 70 years, allowing drug cartels to operate with impunity. 

What’s the Latest Development?

Enrique Peña Nieto, representing the conservative Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI), seems likely to become Mexico’s next president. The election marks a return to power for the party which ruled Mexican politics for seventy years, winning elections with highly inflated margins of victory, until it was defeated in the 2000 presidential race. The party with the next highest vote count was the leftist Partido de la Revolución Democrática (PRD). “No single issue dominated the campaign—not the drug war or the economy, which is growing but leaving the poor behind and lagging in raising wages.”

What’s the Big Idea?

Memories of the PRI’s corruption, in which it allowed Mexico’s violent drug cartels to operate with impunity, is an especially salient concern given the cartels’ grip over the country’s popular imagination. Ironically, many looking for a change in how the drug war is executed, due to the more than 50,000 drug war-related deaths that have occurred in recent years, turned to the PRI for reform. Nieto also campaigned on improving the economy by broadening sources for public revenue. One plan he has is to open the state’s oil monopoly to private investment.

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