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Mexico: An Overview
Three political parties:
1. PRI (Partido Revolucionaro Institucional) Mexico was a one-party government,
like China and the USSR, from 1920 to 2000 with the defeat of the PRI by PAN
led by Vicente Fox. PRI is run by a corporatist structure. (Pena Nieto)
2. PAN (The National Action Party): Right-wing. conservative opposition group
that now controls Mexico’s government. Pro-Catholic church, pro-business, proUSA and strong in the north. Favored by the growing middle-class. (Pres.
Calderon and Pres Fox before him)
3. PRD (Democratic Revolutionary Party) Left-wing (socialist) opposition party
favored by young people and in the poor south.
1. “Newly industrialized country”: Not a 3rd world nation anymore
2. “Transitional Democracy”: Not advanced yet but on the road to being a full
substantive democracy.
3. Mestizo versus Indian (Amerindian): Biggest social cleavage
4. North versus South: Industrialized north and rural south are very different
5. Roman Catholic Church: Strongest Civil Society in Mexico. Controls issues
like abortion and gay rights.
Authoritarian, non-democrat gov’t, where special
interest groups, opponents of the government, are woven into the political party structure. Business elites,
labor union leaders, workers and peasant leaders are given high government positions. In reality, the
government is run by special interest group members, not politicians. Favored by the poor and uneducated.
Corporatism: (On its way out in Mexico)
a. Secret, behind the scenes conflict resolution
b. Distribution of political favors
c. Massive corruption
d. No pluralism (Elections were not competitive or they are corrupt)
Mexico today: a. Democratization: From one-party control to substantive democracy
b. Decentralization: Free market reforms have created a middle class
c. Globalization: NAFTA has grown Mexico’s GDP
d. Corruption/crime: Drug wars are destroying Mexico’s tourist industry
and have killed over 60,000 people so far since 2007.
The 1911 Revolution: Established PRI as the one-party dictatorship
Political parties: PRI, PAN and PRD
Sexenio: 6 year term for president
Maquiladoras: Economic zones, located close to the USA, created to attract foreign investment
and to increase Mexico’s GDP.
5. Subcomandante Marcos: Famous rebel leader of the poor in the south.
6. Why hasn’t the Mexican economy grown like China’s? “Mexicanization”, “red tape”, lousy
infrastructure, corruption and violent crime (drug cartels).