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The approval of the package of widely praised structural reforms in Mexico has not had the effect that observers and policy makers were expecting. In retrospect, the approval of the reforms proved to be an easy step. Turning structural reforms into reality, moving them from paper to implementation, was where the real work lay. This book explores a new hypothesis as to why the approval of Mexico’s groundbreaking structural reforms has not been able to live up to expectations. We argue that the time in which Mexico’s structural lags could be tempered by improving legislation and creating new laws has come to an end. To turn approved structural reforms into tangible benefits for all Mexicans, the country needs to transition to performing a much more complicated task: implement the rule of law. Making sure that rules apply to all and everybody in the same way, independently of income, power, or status, is the most imperative pending task of Mexico. Without the rule of law, approved reforms are, in the best scenario, good intentions that cannot materialize and, in the worst case, selective weapons for discretionary implementation with political purposes.

This book is organized into two sections. The first section analyzes the concrete obstacles that Mexico faces to implement the rule of law. Each of these obstacles is described in a long chapter. The second section provides a series of short personal reflections from ten leading Mexican and U.S. intellectuals on concrete recommendations for strengthening the rule of law in Mexico. More than just policy analysis, each of these ten pieces was conceived as a personal exercise in which the author uses his or her main area of expertise to propose viable recommendations for implementing the rule of law in Mexico, while at the same time revealing some of the personal motivations that drove the authors to focus on their respective area of interest.

About the Authors

Viridiana Rios

Viridiana Rios

Former Global Fellow;
Columnist, El Pais; Instructor of US-Mexico politics at Harvard Summer School
Duncan Wood

Duncan Wood

Vice President for Strategy & New Initiatives; Senior Advisor to the Mexico Institute

Matthew C. Ingram

Assistant Professor, University of Albany, SUNY
Luis Rubio image

Luis Rubio

Global Fellow;
Mexico Institute Advisory Board Member; Chairman, México Evalúa; Former President, Consejo Mexicano de Asuntos Internacionales (COMEXI); Chairman, Center for Research for Development (CIDAC), Mexico

Max Kaiser

Chairman, Anti-Corruption Commission, COPARMEX; Founder,  Center for Integrity and Ethics in Businesses (CIEN)

Luis de la Calle

Mexico Institute, Advisory Board Member and Managing Director, De La Calle, Madrazo & Mancera and former Undersecretary, Ministry of Economy, Mexico;
Managing Director, De La Calle, Madrazo & Mancera and former Undersecretary, Ministry of Economy, Mexico
Alejandro Moreno

Alejandro Moreno

Global Fellow;
Professor of Political Science, Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM); Director of Public Opinion Polling, El Financiero

Daniel Moreno

Director, Animal Politico

David Calderón

Director, Mexicanos Primero
image - Alexandra Zapata Hojel

Alexandra Zapata Hojel

Fellow, Future Tense Now; Expert, México, ¿Cómo Vamos?; Former Adjunct Director General, Mexican Institute for Competitiveness (IMCO)

Alejandra Palacios

Director, Mexico's Federal Commission of Competition

Enrique Betancourt

Director, Violence and Crime Prevention Initiative, Chemonics International

Manuel J. Molano

Deputy Director General, IMCO

Luis Carlos Ugalde

Director General, Integralia Consultores

Eduardo Bohórquez

Director, Transparencia Mexicana
David Shirk

David Shirk

Global Fellow;
Professor and Graduate Director, Department of Political Science and International Relations, University of San Diego; Director, "Justice in Mexico" Project

Dwight Dyer

Senior Analyst, Control RIsks

Félix Velez

Vice President, INEGI

Mexico Institute

The Mexico Institute seeks to improve understanding, communication, and cooperation between Mexico and the United States by promoting original research, encouraging public discussion, and proposing policy options for enhancing the bilateral relationship. A binational Advisory Board, chaired by Luis Téllez and Earl Anthony Wayne, oversees the work of the Mexico Institute.   Read more