How is it possible that the most important set of governmental reforms in decades has aroused so much enthusiasm abroad and yet so much rejection in Mexico? How is it that, while the groundbreaking reforms were approved by a two-thirds majority of Congress, ordinary Mexicans affirmed in a poll that they believe their country is moving in the wrong direction? asks historian Enrique Krauze, the author of “Redeemers: Ideas and Power in Latin America:”
Some observers have compared the scope of Mexico’s reforms with American legislation to combat monopolies initiated by Theodore Roosevelt early in the 20th century, he writes for the New York Times:
President Enrique Peña Nieto, in the 21 months he has been in office, has set limits on the state’s longstanding monopoly on the extraction, production and distribution of oil, gas and electricity by permitting private investment; he has diminished the power of the telecommunications giants Telmex and Televisa by opening the door to competition; and he has compelled the huge National Union of Education Workers to accept reforms that prohibit the sale or inheritance of teaching positions and that introduce compulsory exams to evaluate teachers.
“Although Mexico has now opened up its economy and operates under an electoral democracy, there remains one reform that could be more vital than all the others: full establishment of the rule of law,” notes Krauze. “Without sufficient judicial controls and punishment for the authors of crime and corruption, the Mexican people will never be able to believe in a better future.”