Mexico Institute in the News: Mexico’s Election Draws Eyes From Across Border
The Texas Tribune, January 7, 2012; reprinted via The New York Times; The Monitor, January 8, 2012
"...The PRI’s Enrique Peña Nieto, the former governor of the state of Mexico, is the presumed front-runner. The leftist Party of the Democratic Revolution, or PRD, will field Andrés Manuel López Obrador of Tabasco, who in 2006 lost the presidential election to Calderón. Calderon’s own National Action Party, or PAN, is choosing between Santiago Creel, a Mexican senator and former minister of the interior; Josefina Vázquez Mota, a former member of Mexico’s Chamber of Deputies; and Ernesto Cordero, the country’s former finance minister. Vázquez Mota, a former campaign manager for Calderón who is vying to be the country’s first female president, will most likely be named the party’s nominee on Feb. 15.
Schwebel said it is important to Texas businesses that the winner maintain Calderón’s economic policies and a consistent plan to combat organized crime, which has contributed to more than 50,000 homicides in Mexico in under six years...
Eric Olson, a senior associate at the Mexico Institute of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C., said that all of the candidates have vowed, in varying ways, to rein in the military’s role in the drug war and to instead rely on civilian police forces.
But it is unclear how quickly that can happen, Olson said. The relatively small ranks of the federal police force and the inherent weaknesses of the local and state police forces — and the government's limited ability to bolster them with honest officers — could delay the shift.
“I think there’s just bound to be a transition period, and the question is how soon that takes place... My hunch is that it will be a slow process.”..."