The United Mexican States, commonly known and referred to as Mexico, is a federal Republic comprising 31 states and a federal district–the capital of the country. The government is divided into three powers: the executive, conferred to the President; the judicial, vested in the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation; and the legislative, entrusted in the Union Congress which is composed of senators and deputies representing each state of the federation. In the present political scene, there are three primary parties: the National Action Party (PAN), the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), and the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD).
As in most republics, politics in Mexico are often quite controversial. In fact, the lastest presidential elections, which took place in 2012, were characterized by multiple aggressions towards journalists, bloggers, activists, and even bystanders who defended electoral transparency, as did the members of the movement “#YoSoy132” (literally, “I am 132”). Between May and July of that year, universities invited the various presidential candidates to debate with the students. Students protesters demanded transparency and fairness in elections, uncensored media, the end of corruption… a true democracy. In fact, the notion of a “perfect dictatorship” is often discussed, considering the PRI has been in power for almost 80 consecutive years.
Andrés Manuel López Obrador, also known as AMLO, was the head of the resistance movement who first questioned the transparency of the election results. After the 2012 elections, he demanded that the votes be recounted (and they were, though to no avail). Still today, when there is an election, most people don’t trust the results.
Another controversy is the recent disappearance of 43 former students as they were joining a demonstration in the capital. The State was declared guilty of these disappearances and the mayor of Guerrero (from where these students came) was dismissed.
Mexican political life will always be relatively controversial, though the biggest controversy may lie in this question: what is left of real democracy when fundamental constitutional guarantees are contested every day; when journalists, defenders of human rights, citizens, and politicians are killed every week with no justice?
by Wendy T.