After a political tsunami last week in the U.S. we have hit the July 4th recess in government otherwise known as campaign doldrums. South of the border in Mexico, yesterday marked the culmination of months of campaigning, ending with the Presidential election. The PRI (Institutional Revolutionary Party), the party which had ruled Mexico for 71 years and was ousted from the presidency in 2000, has made a comeback. The PRI had become a corrupt and heavy-handed institution. For the last two 6 year terms, candidates from the opposing Party, PAN (National Action Party) have been elected president. The era of the PAN presidency ends with yesterday’s victory of Enrique Peña Nieto, who now returns the PRI to power.
Mexico is of crucial importance to the U.S. Their problems are our problems and vice versa. Immigration, drug trafficking, narco violence, gun control, trade, and border security are but a few of the big issues that require joint cooperation. To put things in perspective, Mexico is our second largest export market and our third-largest trade partner. Every day there are over $1.25 billion worth of two way trade and about one million legal border crossings between the US and Mexico. Today, as election results are announced, Peña Nieto and the PRI will be the big winners of the day. Let us hope it is also a win for the Mexican people and US-Mexico relations. For more analysis on the Mexican presidential elections, please check out these pieces on Politic365: Mexican Elections: Peña Nieto, PRI and a Legacy of Mischief, Dr. Jason Johnson Reports from Mexico on the Presidential Election, Enrique Peña Nieto and Mexico’s Future, and 5 Reasons Americans Should Care About the Mexican Elections.