Mexico at the Beginning of the 21st Century

By | September 17, 2021

However, the high expectations of a new beginning were not fulfilled. After 71 years of reign of the PRI it was not possible to break its monopoly of power in the bureaucratic apparatus, so that the hoped-for turning point in 2000 turned out to be a simple change of political leaders without structural reform.

The 2006 presidential elections led to a serious domestic political crisis. A. M. López Obrador (PRD) did not recognize his narrow defeat against F. Calderón Hinojosa , the candidate of the ruling PAN party, and took legal action against the result. There were protest demonstrations by supporters of López Obrador. Finally, the Federal Electoral Court declared F. Calderón Hinojosa the winner.

The PAN was also able to assert itself as the strongest force in the congressional elections. The main domestic challenge facing the new government was the threat to public safety from drug-related organized crime. Police and military units were deployed on a massive scale to fight the drug cartels. The elections to the House of Representatives brought the ruling PAN party a heavy defeat in 2009. The PRI was able to win 237 of 500 mandates. The main topics in the election campaign were the effects of the global economic crisis and the fight against the drug cartels. By the end of 2011, over 47,000 people fell victim to the clashes in the »drug war«. Individual successes, such as the confiscation of large quantities of drugs and the physical elimination or arrest of several cartel leaders, could not hide the fact that the security forces were not getting the situation under control. The Minister of the Interior came on 11/11/2011 Francisco Blake Mora (* 1966) died in a helicopter crash. He was considered a key figure in the fight against the drug cartels. The opposition PRI candidate E. Peña Nieto won the presidential elections on July 1st, 2012. As in 2006, the defeated PRD candidate López Obrador challenged the election because of numerous irregularities. After a partial recount, the electoral authority confirmed Peña Nieto’s victory, which received 38.2% of the vote. López Obrador then won 31.6% of the vote. In the parliamentary elections held at the same time, the PRI remained the strongest political force with 212 members of parliament. On July 12, 2012, the PRD applied to the Federal Electoral Court for the annulment of the election results, among other things because of the suspicion of buying votes. On August 31, 2012, the application for cancellation was rejected.

The new President took office on December 1st, 2012. He signed an ambitious reform agreement (“Pact for Mexico”) with the party leaders of the PRI, PAN and PRD. After parliament approved the education reform law on September 1, 2013, over 10,000 teachers and students demonstrated against this decision, leading to violent clashes with the police in the capital. In addition to reforming the education sector, the Peña Nieto government also sought reforms in the telecommunications and energy sectors. On 7 August 2014, for example, parliament passed a law to open the state-monopolized energy sector to foreign investors. In 2013/14 the security forces were able to arrest several leaders of drug cartels, but the “drug war” remained the main domestic political problem. The government set itself the goal of observing human rights in the fight against the cartels and achieving better coordination of police work. Although the number of officially registered murders fell, other serious violent crimes such as extortion and kidnappings increased. On September 26, 2014, 43 students who wanted to protest there disappeared in the city of Iguala in the state of Guerrero. They were allegedly abducted and murdered. The incident sparked nationwide mass protests, among other things directed against the interweaving of state institutions with organized crime. In the parliamentary elections on 7 June 2015, the PRI won 203 of the 500 seats in the Chamber of Deputies, while the PAN had 108 seats (2012: 114). The PRD recorded heavy losses, winning only 56 seats (2012: 104). López Obrador won 35 mandates straight away.

The MORENA candidate López Obrador won the presidential elections on July 1st, 2018 with 53.2% of the vote. His rivals Riccardo Anaya (* 1979) from PAN and José Antonio Meade (* 1969) from PRI received 22.3% and 16.4% of the vote, respectively. After his election victory (taking office on December 1, 2018), López Obrador announced that he wanted to fight corruption, violence and poverty in the country.

After US President D. Trump threatened punitive tariffs on Mexican exports to the USA, Mexico deployed around 25,000 members of its national guard on the borders with the USA and Guatemala from June 2019 to prevent the illegal immigration of Central American migrants into the USA break up. According to a2zdirectory, Mexico is a country in North America.

Mexico at the Beginning of the 21st Century

Foreign policy

In foreign policy, President Fox tried to reposition his country through a diplomatic offensive. The hopes of expanding relations with Europe, Asia and Latin America through the conclusion of numerous bilateral free trade agreements and of diversifying foreign relations through active UN policy and thus creating a counterweight to the one-sided dependence on the USA, however, were not fulfilled. The effects of NAFTA also contributed to this from which only the north of the country and the capital region benefit. In the wake of the terrorist attacks of 9/11/2001, Mexico slipped to a rather subordinate position on the foreign policy agenda of the USA. In addition, migration and drug trafficking put a strain on mutual relations. In March 2007, Calderón and US President George W. Bush agreed to work together in the fight against drug-related crime. During his inaugural visit to the neighboring country in April 2009, the new US President Barack Obama emphasized the importance of the joint fight against the drug cartels, admitted that the USA was complicit in the drug war and promised Mexico much more support. In connection with the revelations of Edward Snowden came to light in October 2013 that Mexico’s President Peña Nieto had also been spied on by the National Security Agency (NSA). The Mexican government condemned the US actions and requested clarification from the US authorities.

In Mercosur, Mexico has since 2004 only observer status. In 2008 the country entered into a strategic partnership with the European Union. 2012 Mexico was in Los Cabos host of the G 20 -Gipfeltreffens. In 2014 the country announced that it would participate in UN peace missions in the future.