Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Friday, March 27, 2009

Religion in Mexican politics

Iran is not the only country in which religion plays a political role. In Mexico, the relationship between politics and religion has been contentious.

There's a long history behind religious criticism of PRI politicians in Mexico, like that reported below. It was the revolution that barred the Catholic Church from direct political involvement. Calderon's PAN party has promoted more church-friendly policies, especially in education.

Mexican church: Ex-ruling party blocks drug fight

"Mexico's Roman Catholic Church launched an unusually harsh criticism of the former ruling party on Sunday, suggesting the group may be blocking anti-drug efforts.

An editorial posted on the Archdiocese of Mexico's Web site did not mention the Institutional Revolutionary Party by its full name, but cited legislators describing the 'revolutionary party as an obstacle to taking stronger measures to combat drug cartels.'...

"The editorial suggested the PRI opposes reforms currently before Congress to enable the seizure of drug traffickers' property.

"'The question arises automatically, is it because of financial interests or base political concerns?' the unsigned piece read. 'In either case, the answer is alarming.'...

"Restricted by law from becoming directly involved in party politics, the Catholic Church has long avoided any direct reference to political parties..."

See also: Mexico Inches Toward Closer Church Ties

What You Need to Know -- a study guide for AP Comparative Government and Politics

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