Political Risk Latin America Blog @PolRiskLatam

It’s the economy…right?

Posted in News and Articles, Political Risk by politicalrisklatam on April 12, 2011

by The Economist – Americas View, April 5th, 2011.

A lot of foreign news coverage of Mexico gives the impression that crime is the only issue under discussion in the country. It isn’t. With a presidential election due in July next year, the main opposition party is making clear that it is going to fight the election focusing on poverty and the economy, not on the war against organised crime.

At a recent press conference Humberto Moreira, the new head of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), repeatedly attacked the record of Felipe Calderón, the president, in tackling poverty. Between 2006 and 2009, he said, 10.1m Mexicans fell below the poverty line—“enough to fill  Azteca Stadium 92 times.” Judging by Mr Moreira’s comments, it looks as if soundbites on poverty are going to be more common in the next 15 months than ones about the 35,000 who have died during Mr Calderón’s assault on the drug runners.

Is it a good idea to base the campaign on the economy rather than security? There is plenty to criticise in both. Mexico’s economy recently suffered the steepest recession in the Americas, shrinking 9.7% in the year to June 2009. The figures from the battle lines are not much better: last year the number of homicides linked to organised crime was more than five times higher than it was in 2007. (continue reading… )



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