A leading source for news and analysis about Mexico and the U.S.-Mexican border.
Mexico City political analyst Denise Dresser opened UC San Diego's biannual Mexico Moving Forward event Wednesday night with a speech about "Mexico Under the 'New' PRI: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly."
At the 22-minute mark of her 38-minute speech, after she said she had now covered the good and the bad and was now moving to the ugly, some wondered what the good had been. The ugly wound up being her talking about Mexico's violence; she said Reforma newspaper's Ejecumometro (Execution Meter) showed the same number of killings in Mexico during the first 100 days of Institutional Revolutionary Party President Enrique Peña Nieto's administration as during the last 100 days of National Action Party President Felipe Calderón's administration.
In her talk at the Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies event, She worried that Mexico's reforms — in energy, communications, fiscal and education areas — may only be creating new cronies and different forms of corruption.
She said, "It's true, Mexico does have a credible narrative for the future but in order to actually write it the PRI would have to become what it has never been, a party capable of creating a new paradigm for economic growth and economic inclusiveness and political representation and at the helm of it a president that sees the reforms beyond the celebration of their approval and is capable of maintaining the reformist impulse alive despite the pressures to quell it. What goes beyond the photo shoot and the applause and the imagery and the cover of Time magazine 'Saving Mexico' that has accompanied the reforms and make sure that their implementation and the elaboration of pending secondary legislation doesn't just amount to window dressing." Time came under fire from many Mexicans for its international edition's cover of Peña Nieto before he recently hosted President Barack Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
And the good? Dresser, in her concluding remarks, did say: "It is exciting to be a Mexican now, even if one does have to coexist with the return of the PRI."
May 2012: Dresser, in USD speech, sees specter of Putinization of Mexico.
September 2012: Dresser sees hope for Mexico in Tijuana speech.
March 2012: Dresser on teachers union leader Elba Esther Gordillo.
December 2011: Her gift list for Mexican politicians.