The New Face of Mexico

By Jordan, Mary; Sullivan, Kevin | Harvard International Review, Spring 2001 | Go to article overview

The New Face of Mexico


Jordan, Mary, Sullivan, Kevin, Harvard International Review


Vicente Fox's Mexican Revolution

Relaxing in a big leather chair on the family ranch where he was raised, Vicente Fox Quesada sees a new Mexico. When he was born here 58 years ago in this central Mexican farming village that surrounds a little peach-colored Catholic church, Mexico's political dynasty, the PRI (Institutional Revolutionary Party), was already firmly in control of the country. As a youth, Fox played around the family boot factory and drove 500 miles with his brothers to the Texas border to sell broccoli and brussels sprouts, and later when he became the chief executive for Coca-Cola in Mexico, the PRI was always there; it was Mexico's stage, scenery, lights, and director. It seemed as much a part of Mexico as the mighty Sierras and the magnificent sea.

But last July, Fox stole the show. He routed PRI candidate Francisco Labastida, a decent but colorless bureaucrat who recited party dogma to a nation that had heard it all too many times before. Fox was different. At six feet four inches tall--six feet six and a half in his signature monogrammed cowboy boots--he is Mexico's tallest leader ever, and he used that height like a tower from which to lob bombs at the PRI. He called Labastida "Shorty" and played off Labastida's name to call him la vestida, or transvestite. He used farm-hand language and an almost childish impatience to conduct politics in a way Mexicans had never seen. He shocked people--and took a temporary hit in opinion polls--when he petulantly shouted "Hoy! Hoy! Hoy!" at Labastida and a third candidate, former Mexico City Mayor Cuauhtemoc Cardenas, in a live joint television appearance, demanding that the three hold a formal debate "Today! Today! Today!" People were turned off at this new spectacle, but only for a while. By election day, "Hoy! Hoy! Hoy!" was the delirious chant of Fox supporters who turned downtown Mexico City into a fiesta of strangers hugging strangers and believing that the big, rough man who was tough enough to take down the PRI was going to bring something different, something better, to Mexico.

Not long after his election, Fox returned to the quiet of his family ranch, surrounded by an army of siblings--he is one of nine children--and his 81-year-old mother Mercedes to sit for an interview. He was talkative and relaxed but tired from a week of meetings with heads-of-state on a South American tour.

"My vision is a Mexico modernized," Fox said, in a sonorous baritone carrying his fluent English across the grassy inner courtyard of the Spanish-style hacienda. He said he saw a country "with no poor, with human capital, people educated all over Mexico.

"And I see a competitive Mexico worldwide, a Mexico that has inserted itself very positively in globalization," Fox said. "I see Mexico as a growing partner of the United States, a needed, highly needed, partner for the United States.

"That's what I see out of Mexico," Fox said, leaning forward, pushing the point. "I want to make this country a nation."

Limited Time

There is little about Mexico that Fox does not want to change or improve to create his new Mexico. He sees himself as the leader of a new Mexican revolution. In fact, expectations for change are so high that they have become an obstacle Fox will have to overcome. He has promised big improvements on every front: he wants to open borders with the United States, help the poor, overhaul taxes, double foreign investment, improve education and the environment, reformulate the current law enforcement structure to make Mexico tougher for drug traffickers and safer for citizens. And that's only the beginning.

But Fox has two main problems: little time and a strong-willed, uncontrollable Congress. Mexican presidents are limited to a single six-year term, and many of the problems Fox is trying to tackle have existed for generations; it will not be easy, for instance, to lift 40 million people out of poverty when malnutrition and a lack of decent schools and jobs have worked against so many Mexicans for so long. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The New Face of Mexico
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.