Mexico - Leadership

During his presidential campaign, Vicente Fox claimed that an end to the PRI's longstanding control of the government would foster change in Mexico. His cabinet appointments have been well received by both opposing parties and the general public because he included individuals with a wide range of political viewpoints. The cabinet members include former PRI officials and many admired professionals. In his inaugural speech, Fox addressed his main concerns of economic growth, poverty reduction and reforming politics, police, and the courts.

Celebrating the first anniversary of his election, Fox suggested the creation of the National Political Pact, an initiative to combat factionalism within the government and institute reform. This initiative is crucial to Fox because his party is in the minority in both governmental houses. Analysts hint that the pact may result in a more democratic and tolerant Mexico, but it remains halted by divisions within and between the parties.

The first piece of legislation initiated by President Fox was the Indigenous Rights and Culture Law, which affords a small amount of autonomy to indigenous communities and promotes the use of local languages and culture. Although a majority passed the bill, states with the highest indigenous populations opposed it, claiming it attempted to appease them without improving their living conditions.

Fox initiated many policies to help combat corruption within both private and judicial sectors. He hopes to not only prosecute past cases of corruption but to prevent future incidents. This includes releasing commission reports to the public to expose former corruption cases.

One of Fox's pledges upon becoming president was to devolve power to Mexico's states, in an effort to promote a stronger federal structure for the country. Although Mexico is federal in political structure, economically resources have only been redistributed in a piecemeal fashion. Fox has argued that if states are to receive more federal funds, they must be more responsible, reforming their administrations and agreeing to submit to independent audits.

Two years into office, Fox began to be criticized for not fully fulfilling his campaign promises, such as eradicating poverty, illiteracy, corruption and crime, and providing more jobs and income for Mexicans. As of mid-2002, however, Fox had made substantial improvements in Mexican society—he allowed international human rights observers into the country for the first time, appointed a prosecutor to investigate the disappearances of anti-government activists in the 1970s and 1980s, arrested many drug kingpins, and improved relations with U.S. law enforcement agencies. He has also made government spending more transparent.

User Contributions:

Comment about this article, ask questions, or add new information about this topic: