A Shallow Glimpse

By Nieto, Alfonso | Harvard International Review, Summer 2005 | Go to article overview

A Shallow Glimpse


Nieto, Alfonso, Harvard International Review


In "Running After a Fallen Fox" (Spring 2005), author George W. Grayson provides an unbalanced description of Mexico and the administration of Mexican President Vicente Fox. The text pinpoints only certain aspects of Fox's performance, ignoring some significant achievements and developments that would have certainly contributed to a more comprehensive and objective assessment of Mexico's political life.

The July 2000 election marked a watershed in Mexico's political history. The country has since gone through a complex process of transformation towards greater economic growth, better social development, and stronger democratic government. Mexican authorities have conducted these changes prudently, guaranteeing stability and good governance.

Instead of recognizing the non-authoritarian exercise of government and the unequivocal decision to respect human rights and civil liberties, some critics have interpreted this as a leadership failure. On the contrary, Mexico is experiencing an unprecedented period of truly democratic debate, with due regard for freedom of speech and of the press.

Furthermore, the Fox Administration is committed to strengthening federalism and respecting the division of powers. The Mexican Congress has become a truly independent branch of government, playing its role of checks and balances and often having different views from those of the Executive Branch. As in any country, interest groups and political forces that feel safer under the status quo frequently oppose change. This opposition has translated into an apparent impasse in the much needed fiscal and energy reforms proposed by President Fox.

Even without the above mentioned structural reforms, which have been stalled in Congress, and despite an adverse international economic environment, Mexico has preserved economic stability. …

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