martes, 23 de febrero de 2016

"Mexico is Not a Functioning Democracy" (Foreign Policy, February 23rd, 2016)

Authoritarian leadership, stifled dissent, limited freedom of assembly, and endless violence, are the hallmarks of Mexico under Pena Nieto. It's time for Washington to pull the plug.

John M. Ackerman

The United States is working under the false premise that Mexico is a functioning democracy, one where federal authorities are doing their best to strengthen public institutions and uproot rampant organized crime and corruption. It is thought that crime and corruption stem principally from broken local institutions and social decay. But we need to turn this logic on its head. The real problem is at the top, not the bottom, of the Mexican political system. And the key obstacles reside within the Mexican federal government.

The upcoming U.S. presidential elections, and the ongoing Democratic and Republican primaries, present an excellent opportunity to rethink relations between the United States and its neighbor to the south. Donald Trump has proposed closing the border. Hillary Clinton defends the status quo, grounded in a vicious cycle of complicities between economic and political elites on both sides of the border.

Both of these approaches are dead ends. Instead of isolating the United States further from the Mexican people, the next president should change gears by opening up the bilateral relationship to the active participation of civil society...