Anger and Scandals Down in Mexico

A year ago, President Peña-Nieto of Mexico was looking great.  He had passed significant energy and education reforms.  He was praised for working with opposition parties and getting things done.  He seemed like the right guy for Mexico's complex political and economic system.

What a difference a year can make!

Today, there is anger over the deaths of 43 students, apparently victims of drug gangs.  The mayor of Iguala, the place of the crime, and his wife were recently arrested for connections to cartels.  There are media reports that several mayors and politicians have cartel ties, too.  There are calls for President Peña-Nieto's resignation and serious concerns that he is losing control of the country.

Add to this the other scandal regarding his wife's luxurious home.    She has apparently decided to sell the controversial home, but the damage is done.  

Mexican journalist Jose Carreno-Figueras believes that this is the straw that broke the camel's back for Mexico:

The Mexican government does not appear ready to fall, not even close.

But it seems to be in a defensive situation, maybe waiting for the tempest to wane so that it can regain the political initiative.

It is, in many ways, a crisis of confidence. It is as if all the problems that were not attended to through history were appearing together: the impunity allowed to wrongdoers, the politicization of justice, the corruption, the perceived interaction of different levels of authorities with organized crime, the inefficiency of the police... and on and on.

In other words, the wrongdoers appear to get away with murder. Right or wrong, there is the feeling that the whole system is compromised.  The authorities do not appear to be able to control the violent gangs that have plagued the country for the last 10 or 15 years even if they claim that a big part of the violence has been the result of the breakdown of the major drug cartels.

Mexico's political system will survive this terrible storm.  Nevertheless, my contacts tell me that the money from illegal drug sales is compromising police and government officials.  And so far the cartels are winning, especially in the smaller towns.

P.S. You can hear CANTO TALK here & follow me on Twitter @ scantojr.

A year ago, President Peña-Nieto of Mexico was looking great.  He had passed significant energy and education reforms.  He was praised for working with opposition parties and getting things done.  He seemed like the right guy for Mexico's complex political and economic system.

What a difference a year can make!

Today, there is anger over the deaths of 43 students, apparently victims of drug gangs.  The mayor of Iguala, the place of the crime, and his wife were recently arrested for connections to cartels.  There are media reports that several mayors and politicians have cartel ties, too.  There are calls for President Peña-Nieto's resignation and serious concerns that he is losing control of the country.

Add to this the other scandal regarding his wife's luxurious home.    She has apparently decided to sell the controversial home, but the damage is done.  

Mexican journalist Jose Carreno-Figueras believes that this is the straw that broke the camel's back for Mexico:

The Mexican government does not appear ready to fall, not even close.

But it seems to be in a defensive situation, maybe waiting for the tempest to wane so that it can regain the political initiative.

It is, in many ways, a crisis of confidence. It is as if all the problems that were not attended to through history were appearing together: the impunity allowed to wrongdoers, the politicization of justice, the corruption, the perceived interaction of different levels of authorities with organized crime, the inefficiency of the police... and on and on.

In other words, the wrongdoers appear to get away with murder. Right or wrong, there is the feeling that the whole system is compromised.  The authorities do not appear to be able to control the violent gangs that have plagued the country for the last 10 or 15 years even if they claim that a big part of the violence has been the result of the breakdown of the major drug cartels.

Mexico's political system will survive this terrible storm.  Nevertheless, my contacts tell me that the money from illegal drug sales is compromising police and government officials.  And so far the cartels are winning, especially in the smaller towns.

P.S. You can hear CANTO TALK here & follow me on Twitter @ scantojr.