Mexico News Oct. 17
Posted by the Generals on October 30, 2011, 7:26 pm
Subject: Mexico News DAILY October 17, 2011
Calderón riles the PRI
Development: In a 15 October interview with the New York Times (NYT), Mexico’s president, Felipe Calderón Hinojosa, accused the Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI) of considering going back to making deals with drug trafficking organisations (DTOs).
Significance: This was the first time that Calderón has accused the PRI, which the opinion polls show is on course to win back the presidency in 2012, of returning to the so-called “old practices of corruption” and under-the-table deals with DTOs. The PRI reacted immediately and labelled the President’s comments as pre-electoral attacks and as interference in the presidential succession. The presidency, on the back foot, sent an official message clarifying the comments and claimed that Calderón’s comments had been misinterpreted by the NYT.
• Presidential elections are scheduled for 1 July 2012 and the political parties have to choose their presidential candidates by the end of this year.
• Calderón claimed that some within the PRI back his security policy (which involves deploying the army and marines to support the police) but said that he feared for this policy if the PRI regained the presidency. He also defended his administration’s other efforts against organised crime, specifically the long-term policies such as police and judicial reform.
• The PRI, through its National Executive Committee (CEN), also requested a formal apology and withdrawal of Calderón’s comments. It also accused Calderón of inconsistency, claiming that he speaks highly of security cooperation among state governments inside Mexico but changes his discourse when discussing it abroad.
• Calderón’s comments hark back to the previous pre-election period when the leftwing Partido de la Revolución Democrática (PRD) accused President Vicente Fox (2000-2006) of backing the dirty campaign against the PRD’s presidential candidate, Andrés Manuel López Obrador.
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