Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Mexico is not a failed state

Enrique Krauze, the editor of the magazine Letras Libres and the author of Mexico: Biography of Power, is perturbed by much of the reporting in the US about Mexico. Krauze's message was repeated by US Secretary of State Clinton on her trip to Mexico last week.

This is a reminder that the journalism we read is limited in perspective and that we ought to look for supplemental ideas.

The Mexican Evolution

"AMERICA’S distorted views can have costly consequences, especially for us in Latin America. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s trip to Mexico this week is a good time to examine the misconception that Mexico is, or is on the point of becoming, a “failed state.”...

"It most assuredly will not. First, let’s take a quick inventory of the problems that we don’t have. Mexico is a tolerant and secular state, without the religious tensions of Pakistan or Iraq. It is an inclusive society, without the racial hatreds of the Balkans. It has no serious prospects of regional secession or disputed territories, unlike the Middle East. Guerrilla movements have never been a real threat to the state, in stark contrast to Colombia.

"Most important, Mexico is a young democracy that eliminated an essentially one-party political system, controlled by the Institutional Revolutionary Party, that lasted more than 70 years. And with all its defects, the domination of the party, known as the P.R.I., never even approached the same level of virtually absolute dictatorship as that of Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe, or even of Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez...

"Our national institutions function. The army is (and long has been) subject to the civilian control of the president; the church continues to be a cohesive force; a powerful business class shows no desire to move to Miami. We have strong labor unions, good universities, important public enterprises and social programs that provide reasonable results.

"Thanks to all this, Mexico has demonstrated an impressive capacity to overcome crises...

"This may be the most serious crisis we have faced since the 1910 Mexican Revolution and its immediate aftermath..."

See also:

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

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home