Three powerful forces fueled this surprising turnaround. First, the conservative PAN failed to deliver. Despite democratic gains, Vicente Fox muddled through his six-year term, and then Felipe Calderón led the country into a murderous drug quagmire costing 60,000 lives and $60 billion over the next six years.The drug war continues to be a nightmare. It would at least help mitigate the horrors in Mexico if the United States would clamp down on the traffic in automatic weapons so actively supported by the NRA and the even more extreme gun enthusiasts acting as flaks for the gun manufacturers as well as just being their extremist selves.
Second, the economy has averaged an anemic 2 percent annual growth for over a decade. Despite an expanding middle class, poverty and inequality remain high. Mexico has no shortage of billionaires — including the richest person in the world — but close to 60 percent of Mexican workers earn less than $14 a day. Many voters seemed to buy into the argument that the PRI, whatever its faults, at least knows how to deliver.
Finally, the PRI ran a slick, effective campaign. It managed to transform its image from the party of the status quo into the party of reform with minimal change to its structure. Enrique Peña Nieto, now the president-elect, provided a fresh face on the podium, obscuring the fact that the old-guard retains decisive roles behind the scenes. [my emphasis]
Narco News TV provides this report, Mexican Elections 2012: When Bribery Doesn't Pay 07/04/2012:
Tim Johnson also reports on vote-buying claims in Did the PRI buy votes with gift cards? McClatchy Newspapers 07/05/2012.
Tags: drug war, enrique peña nieto, mexico