Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Election high

Nick Miroff and William Booth, writing in the Washington Post suggest that drug gangs could destroy Mexican democracy.

Mexico’s 2012 vote is vulnerable to narco threat
With Mexico’s presidential vote and other key elections less than six months away, both the government and its watchdogs fear that the black hand of organized crime will manipulate the process to install puppet candidates as servants of the drug cartels…

Political analysts say that the drug lords could corrupt the presidential race even without having to meddle directly in those campaigns and that their attempts to boost local candidates or suppress votes could contaminate the process at every level.

Such threats appear to put Mexican democracy at a critical juncture, as the country struggles to escape from the decades-long shadow of corrupt, one-party rule…

Despite concerns that drug gangsters will bankroll some candidates while intimidating — or assassinating — others, a package of new laws targeting election-related crimes has stalled in Mexico's National Congress since April…

Mexico's 2012 vote is even more at risk from pernicious influences than the last presidential election in 2006, Vargas said, because the country's mafias have honed their methods of corruption, opting to finance campaigns rather than buy off officials after they are in power…

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