VIEWS: 21 PAGES: 3 CATEGORY: Social Sciences POSTED ON: 6/18/2010
With all congressional seats on the line as well as the government and legislatures of up to ten states, not only do they represent the most important shift in the balance of political power until presidential elections in 2012, they are increasingly seen as a referendum on Calderon's leadership and the viability of PAN at the forefront of Mexican politics. FEW OPTIONS Election time will show whether actions such as shutting down Mexico City for a number of days were a bold move to stave-off mass contagion, or an irresponsible reaction to an unjustified panic fuelled by an alarmist media and international pressure.
THEWORLDTODAY.ORG JULY 2009 PAGE 27 MEXICO: SWINE FLU Rodrigo Delgado Aguilera, RESEARCH ASSISTANT, INTERNATIONAL ECONOMICS, CHATHAM HOUSE Vıctor or Vıctım? i On the verge of crucial mid- term elections, President N SPITE OF ITS CLOSE TIES TO THE UNITED STATES, MEXICO’S role in world affairs now passes largely unnoticed outside Felipe Calderon’s struggling the Americas. There it is overshadowed by the fiery rhetoric of Venezuela’s president Hugo Chavez, which government is facing the fallout seldom fails to make headlines, and the leadership and visibility of Brazil’s President Lula da Silva, undoubtedly from the swine flu epidemic, one of the stars of the developing world. Now this has abruptly unabated drug violence and the changed, although for all the wrong reasons. The swine flu outbreak has unexpectedly shifted international country’s third economic crisis attention towards Mexico at a time when it must also deal with escalating drug violence – which recently led some to label it a in as many decades, the worst ‘failed’ state – and the impact of the global recession. The result is an unappetising list of ingredients ahead of mid-term elections in the western hemisphere. which will test the resilience of President Felipe Calderon’s LO R N E M ATA LO N / B B C ’ S T H E W O R L D THEWORLDTODAY.ORG JULY 2009 PAGE 28 government in the face of growing concern over his ability to believe the government overreacted to the crisis and caved-in manage the country’s plethora of problems. to pressure from the media and abroad at the cost of a further hit to the economy. The economy is already expected to contract at least LO O M I N G E L ECTO RA L D E F EAT ? 5.5 percent this year, according to official forecasts, but an After almost a decade in power, Calderon’s conservative even more severe decline is not inconceivable, perhaps as PAN party confronts the likelihood of its first major bad or worse as the devastating crisis of 1994-1995, better electoral setback in the July polls. With all congressional known as the ‘tequila crisis’
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