A model for Mexico

Monday, December 3, 2012
Russ Jones (OneNewsNow.com)

Mexico's president-elect, who was inaugurated Saturday, has pledged to make economic growth and job creation the centerpiece of his administration. -- an administration that will undoubtedly impact U.S.-Mexico relations.

Pena Nieto, 46, and his Institutional Revolutionary Party have pledged to focus on economic growth as a way to reduce drug trafficking that plagues his nation. He plans to gather the police and security apparatus under the control of the Interior Department and create a new national anti-corruption commission.

O'Neil, Shannon K. (CFR)Shannon K. O'Neil, senior fellow for Latin American studies at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), suggests the United States is an example for Mexico to follow. While there are significant drug concerns in the US, she notes that the associated violence connected to the drug trade is not as severe in America as it is south of the border.

"We don't have a war on drugs in the United States, but we have, for lack of a better term, some sort of regulation and containment policy that we use here that we keep it from getting violent," O'Neil suggests. "There may be some lessons for Mexico in terms on the waiting on states deals with this so insidious problem that is not going to go away."

While the new administration has proposed an aggressive platform, O'Neil points out that political reform is noticeably missing from Pena Neito's agenda.

"Political reform has been shunted, and there I mean re-election, I mean election of outside candidates -- a lot of things that people have talked about that would be beneficial for rejuvenating and opening up and making Mexico's system more accountable," the senior fellow offers. "I don't think those are going to be on this long list."

Pena Nieto met with President Barack Obama last week at the White House, where he expressed hope in broadening Mexico's profile beyond drug violence and border turbulence.

The Mexican government reports 56,561 deaths since December 2006 related to drug gangs and organized crime.

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