The year 2010 will mark a double celebration for Mexicans: the bicentennial of its independence from Spanish rule and the first centennial of the Mexican revolution that gave way to its modern political life. However, amidst the celebration, the country is facing one of the most challenging times in its modern history.
Despite the fact that Mexico has achieved a successful transition into a multi-party system that allows for political succession, it is also evident that after the year 2000 — when the PRI was voted out for the first time in 70 years — Mexico still requires profound institutional renovation. Democratic development in Mexico has revealed the limitations and insufficiencies of the old forms of governance.
On the economic front, 2009 has been a year in which Mexico has sunk into a deep economic crisis as a result of its profound dependence on the U.S. economy. NAFTA facilitated the concentration of economic activity in a few exporting activities and a few exporters. The result is that the U.S. recession has hit Mexico much harder than any other country in Latin America. Unemployment is rampant, thousands of small and medium companies have gone bankrupt, and millions have joined the ranks of poverty.
Moderator: Sarah Anderson, director of the Global Economy Project at the Institute for Policy Studies.
Note: Part of the discussion will be in Spanish. Translation will be provided. To attend, please contact Manuel Pérez-Rocha, tel: 240-838-6623, email: manuel (at) ips-dc (dot) org.