Mexico's Wasted Chance

How Vicente Fox squandered his revolution and what it means for the future.

Issue: Winter 2005-2006

DID PRESIDENT Vicente Fox, who ended a 71-year one-party regime with his victory in July 2000, waste his chance to reform Mexico? If so, what are the consequences--both for Mexico and the United States?

Mexico is certainly a bit freer today than before 2000. But Fox is already considered a dead force in politics. The old regime's party (the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI) is regrouping and aiming for a return in 2006, corruption has actually increased, and the quality of government has deteriorated. Few significant reforms have been implemented. Some have attributed this to Mexico's presidential system, which pitted a hostile Congress against a weak president. But the reality may be less complex.

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