The hegemony of the PRI
The successors of Cárdenas were able to continue the work of industrialization of the country while minimizing, thanks to the political and social control achieved through the dominant party, the negative effects of rapid economic growth. The party, reorganized and renamed in 1946 Partido revolucionario institucional (PRI), consolidated its monopoly on the political life of the country, while the presidency of the Republic alternated between its right and left representatives. In the 1950s and 1960s the party effectively favored the interests of the commercial and industrial sectors. The malaise of the rural population gave rise to serious unrest, violently repressed by the army (1966-67), which was followed by student protests that broke out in the capital on the eve of the Olympic Games (1968).
In foreign policy, Mexico followed an independent path in those years. The presidency of L. Echeverría Álvarez (1970-76) tried to reduce economic dependence on the USA and together with Venezuela Mexico took the initiative to create a Latin American economic system (SELA), free from US conditioning (1975). The discovery, in the 1970s, of new oil and natural gas fields seemed to open up prospects for development, but at the beginning of the new decade the collapse of oil prices and the rise of international interest rates caused the Mexico in a very serious financial crisis, to which were added the consequences of the violent earthquake that struck the capital in September 1985. In foreign relations, the Mexican government sought to enhance economic cooperation with the US. The greater openness to foreign investment, the launch of a privatization program and the government’s austerity measures cost the PRI a significant loss of consensus among the middle and popular classes and among the trade unions; the populist sections of the party formed in 1986 the group Corriente democrática (CD), headed by C. Cárdenas, son of General Lázaro. Expelled from the PRI, Cárdenas accepted the candidacy for the 1988 elections creating the Frente democrático nacional (FDN). The dominance of the PRI was for the first time questioned: its candidate, C. Salinas de Gortari, was elected with only 50.7% of the votes, a decline confirmed by the contemporary political consultations.
In December 1988 the government, employers and trade unions signed a Pacto para la estabilidad y el crecimiento económico, renewed in the following years; Salinas then tried to regain support by promoting a campaign against corruption, crime and drug trafficking. In the 1991 legislative elections, the PRI increased its support. Salinas made some changes to the 1917 Constitution: in February 1992 a process of privatization of the ejidos was started; at the same time, restrictions on the Catholic Church were abolished. On the international level, in 1992 the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was signed, which provided for the creation of a single market between Mexico, USA and Canada. In 1994 the Ejército zapatista de liberación nacional (EZLN) rose up in Chiapas in the name of the rights of the Indians and a more equitable distribution of the land, starting a movement of armed resistance that continued until 2005, under the leadership of the subcomandante. Marcos. The insurrection and assassination of the PRI presidential candidate in March accentuated the country’s financial crisis, which continued despite Mexico’s admission to the OECD. The elections of August 1994 brought E. Zedillo, also from the PRI, to the presidency. For Mexico history, please check areacodesexplorer.com.
The affirmation of the PAN
In the second half of the 1990s, the worsening of the economic situation could only be stopped thanks to the granting of a large loan by the USA and the main international credit institutions. In exchange, the Mexican government had to undertake to accelerate the privatization program in some strategic sectors and to introduce new austerity measures during 1995, which further reduced their support among the popular classes. In terms of internal security, Zedillo continued to alternate military repression in Chiapas with difficult negotiations with the insurgents. In the 1997 legislative elections, the PRI failed to win an absolute majority of seats. The erosion of consensus culminated in the defeat of his candidate in the 2000 presidential election, won by V. Fox, of the Partido de acción nacional (PAN), the traditional right-wing opposition, which placed among its priorities the adoption of further liberal measures and the achievement of a political solution to the question of the Indians.
In the 2003 legislative elections, the PRI returned to being the most voted party, but in a context of political fragmentation that hindered the economic and social reforms promised by Fox. Summer of 2006 new presidential elections were won by measuring from the PAN candidate F. Calderon, who announced a program to combat corruption and organized crime. Between 2006 and 2007 there were new controversies with the US following the Washington decision to strengthen protection measures along the southern border in order to stop illegal immigration. However, the US has shown its willingness to collaborate with the Mexican government in the fight against drug trafficking, the activity of which has been accompanied by a dramatic increase in violence (7,000 deaths in 2009). On the domestic front, the presidential consultations held in July 2012 saw the affirmation of the PRI exponent E. Peña Nieto, who won 38% of the votes against 31% of his opponent, AM López Obrador of the Revolution Party democratic, taking over from Calderón as President of the Republic and bringing the Revolucionary Party back to power after the 2000 defeat. In the mid-term administrative and legislative elections held in June 2015, in which there was a turnout of less than 50% of those entitled to vote, the PRI obtained the majority of seats, retaining control of the lower house but not being able to count on an absolute majority.
The left in power: AM López Obrador
Despite the launch of a plan of institutional and structural reforms in a liberal sense in the energy, training, telecommunications, taxation and security sectors, the difficulties due to the internal situation and a complex global macroeconomic situation have progressively eroded popular consensus. of government forces, and in the presidential elections held in July 2018 AM López Obrador, leader of the left and founder of the Movimiento Regeneración Nacional (Morena) movement, was elected to lead the country, which in the first round of consultations obtained over 53% of the consents. In the legislative elections held in June 2021, the president’s party lost the majority in the House, keeping the absolute majority only thanks to the alliance with the Green Party and the Labor Party.