News / Americas

Amid Violent Drug War, Mexicans to Choose New President

Mexicans to Pick New President Amid Violent Drug Wari
|| 0:00:00
X
Greg Flakus
June 28, 2012 11:48 AM
Mexican voters go to the polls Sunday to choose a new president in the midst of a drug war that has cost more than 50,000 lives in the past six years. Opinion polls indicate voters hope to reduce crime and give the economy a boost by electing the candidate of the party that dominated the country for more than 70 years, often with a heavy hand. Critics say that would lead to more corruption and authoritarianism. VOA's Greg Flakus has more from Mexico City.

Mexicans to Pick New President Amid Violent Drug War

Greg Flakus
MEXICO CITY - Mexican voters go to the polls Sunday to choose a new president in the midst of a drug war that has cost more than 50,000 lives in the past six years. Opinion polls indicate voters hope to reduce crime and give the economy a boost by electing the candidate of the party that dominated the country for more than 70 years, often with a heavy hand. Critics say that would lead to more corruption and authoritarianism. 

Campaigning around Mexico came to a close with lots of noise..

Ruling party candidate Josefina Vasquez Mota is upbeat, even though she trails in the polls.

Leftist candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is also behind in the polls, but claims they are wrong.

The polls favor Enrique Pena Nieto, the candidate of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, known here as the PRI, which ruled Mexico for decades.

Pena Nieto says the PRI has changed since losing power in 2000 and presents himself as the old party's new face.

But some young people do not buy that.

Members of the movement Yo Soy 132 or “I am 132,” which refers to 131 students at a private university posted a video on YouTube several weeks ago that has rallied support from students all over Mexico.

Their movement portrays the PRI as a criminal organization.

 “The PRI is using everything it has: narcotics trafficking, organized crime, all the money it has gained from corruption, to win the elections,” said Sergio Sanchez Navarro, one of the leaders.

But widespread violent crime is one reason many voters favor Pena Nieto.

Just this week gunmen killed three federal police officers in a busy terminal of Mexico City's International airport.

Pena Nieto promises in a campaign add that appears on his web site to reduce the violence. “As president of Mexico, I will commit myself to restoring tranquility,” he said.

But security analyst Alejandro Hope, of the Mexican Competitiveness Institute, says a new president is likely to follow the current anti-crime strategy. “No candidate yet has offered a radically different vision of how to deal with the security situation in Mexico,” she said.

Although some Mexicans believe the PRI will be able to work a deal with drug cartels to reduce violence, Hope says that is not likely.

“There has been a multiplication of gangs, so it is a more unstable environment," he said. "It is not like you can strike a deal with one big kingpin somewhere, and that is it.”

Many Mexican voters have already scaled down their expectations.

 “It is important to change the government because jobs are scarce,” stated laborer Roman, explaining why it is time for a change.

Business owner Maria says she favors the leftist Democratic Revolution Party. “I think we need a change, something different. We already tried the other two parties, let's try the third,” she said.

But surveys show as many as 20 percent of voters are undecided, and that includes  Pedro, 18. “I am thinking of not voting because there is no party that has convinced me,” he said.

Many Mexican voters say that no matter who wins the election, they believe it will take a long time to resolve the nation's problems, especially that of violent crime.

You May Like

WHO: Anti-Ebola Efforts Should Focus on West Africa

Official says WHO is 'reasonably confident' countries bordering those hardest hit by the Ebola outbreak are not seeing the virus crossing their borders More

South Sudan Crisis Threatens Development

Economic costs and lost development opportunities in South Sudan have erased what little progress the country has made since independence in 2011 More

Ukrainian PM Warns: Russia May Try to Disrupt Sunday Poll

Arseniy Yatsenyuk orders full security mobilization for parliamentary election to prevent ‘terrorist acts’ from being carried out More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid

More Americas News

Canadian Shooter's Mother ‘Mad’ at Son

Susan Bibeau told the Associated Press that part of her "wants to hate" estranged son Michael, who killed a soldier in Ottawa
More

Canadian Couple Accused of Spying in China Held in Near Isolation

Treatment of the couple, who are being held without charge at a remote facility in the border city of Dandong, has seriously strained China's ties with Canada
More

Mexico Governor Resigns After Student Disappearances

Students from a rural teachers training college went missing after a confrontation with police in the town of Iguala on September 26
More

World's Highest Ice Age Settlements Discovered

The settlements, 4.5 km above sea level in the southern Peruvian Andes, were inhabited at least 12,000 years ago
More

Haiti Cholera Victims Seek Damages from UN in US Court

Plaintiffs blame a contingent of Nepalese peacekeepers for bringing disease to their nation after 2010 earthquake
More

Video Canada Capital Tense as Parliament Reopens

PM Harper says Wednesday's shooting, along with another incident this week that led to a soldier's death, are grim reminders that Canada is not immune to terrorism
More