Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Monday, January 09, 2017

Facing external and internal crises

Porfirio Díaz was head of state and head of government in Mexico for most of the 35 years after 1876. Today, he's best remembered for saying, "Poor Mexico, so far from God and so close to the United States." Mexican leaders might be repeating that phrase today.

For Mexican Leaders, a Turbulent Start to the New Year
Six days into the new year, Mexico already has little to be happy about.

Looting in Mexico City
This week a jump in gasoline prices unleashed widespread protests that spiraled into looting. The country received an ominous warning that President-elect Donald J. Trump’s protectionist rhetoric could have concrete effects when Ford Motor canceled a $1.6 billion investment. The peso fell to its lowest level ever…

Protests continued on Thursday, as demonstrators blocked highways and gas stations. Scattered looting continued, and marches are planned for this weekend to demand a reversal of the price increases…

Uncertainty has roiled Mexico as the government waits to see how far Mr. Trump will go to keep his campaign promises to renegotiate or tear up the North American Free Trade Agreement, deport Mexican migrants and build a border wall.

On Tuesday, Ford announced that it was canceling its planned investment to build a small-car plant in the state of San Luis Potosí…

In response to the Ford announcement, the peso sank to a record low, prompting the central bank to intervene in markets on Thursday. The peso’s recovery proved short-lived after Mr. Trump took aim at Toyota…

Talk of economic sobriety sits poorly with Mexicans, disgusted by a series of political scandals. “This is a government with a terrible record of corruption,” Mr. Romero said. “State, federal — everything smells of corruption.”…

The gas-price increase was approved last year by Congress as part of an austerity budget designed to insulate Mexico from the market uncertainties of Mr. Trump’s rise… “The incredible thing is that the government didn’t expect the reaction,” said Ignacio Marván, a political analyst at CIDE, a Mexico City university…

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