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      Pena Nieto Sworn In, New Leftist Party Emerges

      Mexico's incoming President Enrique Peña Nieto spreads out his arms after being sworn in at the inauguration ceremony in Mexico City, Saturday, December 1, 2012. (Photo: Alexandre Meneghini)

      By PJRC correspondent Alci

      The era of Felipe Calderon has officially come to a close in Mexico, leaving in its wake 60,000 dead from the Drug War and increases in unemployment and poverty (two realities no doubt helping fuel the conflict itself). After an uneventful week during which Calderon closed his tenure by calling for Mexico to change its name from “The United States Of Mexico” to just “Mexico,” a secretive late night ceremony at Los Pinos saw the presidential sash handed to Enrique Peña Nieto, the winner of the July elections, whose victory signals the return to power of the PRI party. But as Peña Nieto ascends, so do new social movements, student organizations and political parties driven by grassroots activism.

      The shifting scene was evident December 1, during the inauguration as hundreds – including the #YoSoy132 student movement – protested in Mexico City’s streets, some going so far as smashing bank windows and throwing Molotov cocktails at police. Only a few days prior, Peña Nieto’s former opponent Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) presided over the first national congress of his new party, MORENA (Movement For National Regeneration), which he hopes will soon overtake his former party, the PRD, as the authentic, popular alternative for Mexican voters. When AMLO welcomed the ambassadors of both the United States and Cuba, this provoked a spontaneous eruption of applause and chants of “Cuba Si! Yanquis No!” During Peña Nieto’s inauguration, AMLO led a peaceful march protesting the return of the PRI to power, denouncing corruption and calling for a new Mexico.

      Peña Nieto’s cabinet consists of an assortment of technocrats mostly trained at US colleges such as MIT, having the same cut as the technocratic regimes that have taken power in Italy and Greece. Already Nieto is promising to “liberalize” the national oil industry, PEMEX, and has cut deals with the opposition in Congress to “modernize” the education system. As for the Drug War itself, no clear plan has been presented – even after meeting with President Barack Obama in Washington before his inauguration, Peña Nieto was vague about what course he would take. Peña Nieto has a mandate to de-escalate the military offense against the cartels, but is expanding a new “gendarmerie” by 35,000 and continuing promises of police and judicial reform. 

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      Reader Comments (4)

      Tom Hayden, like so many in the USA media and the USA Peace movement, has failed to identify Plan Merida as a Bush foreign War in Mexico. Tom Hayden, like so many, identifies Plan Merida as an inseparable part of a massive unwinnable and domestic policy "War on Drugs" . If Plan Merida is not very stupid specific FOREIGN POLICY idea of the W. Bush war machine team , then Tom Hayden and the North American intelligentsia and the USA media should prove me wrong. Personally I believe that Plan Merida is not about drugs at all, but about USA quest for power through violent intervention in Mexican and Latin American history. Plan Merida is an extention of the intervention policy of the violent School of the Americas. The secrecy of the current security state in Mexico is a W. Bush dream come true, something W. Bush was not able to achieve in the USA. Tom Hayden and all USA tax payers are not funding a "war on drugs " in Mexico. The USA tax payer funds the CIA intelligence behind the Mexican secret security state and the USA tax payer helps empower the Mexican military occupation of Mexican civil society.
      President Pena Nieto has called for review of the Merida Plan he also calls a "War on Drugs". I have respect Pena Nieto as member of my generation who can see the USA intervention. He can also see the MX government corruption and MX impunity and MX economic stagnation. I wish him well. I hope he and the Mexican Congress are able to strengthen the MX justice system, strengthen the Mexican economy, increase peaceful MX inspections of all traffic at the Mexican borders, and make drug education mandatory for all Mexican students. I hope he creates an online public data base of all reported crimes, all missing persons and all deaths in Mexico. Viva Mexico!
      Mexico has a vibrant polictical debate. The sad fact about the USA: both Democrats and Republicans have failed to debate Plan Merida. The USA media has failed to expose the horrors of Plan Merida. Here is the petition I created against Plan Merida:

      December 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCarina Tootle

      Carina, this article does not appear to have been authored by Tom Hayden. It says so at the top that it is by someone named Alci.

      Also, Hayden has previously written on Plan Merida, too, and does not describe it strictly as "domestic policy" as you claim he has. There are aspects of the War on Drugs that are domestic to the U.S., yes, but I am not quite sure where there has been any misunderstanding by Hayden – or anyone for that matter – that funding to Mexico from the U.S. would not fall under foreign policy.

      Alci’s post reads like reporting to me and not as something intended as an exposé. Was that what you were hoping for? If so, I agree.

      December 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJoshua

      Joshua, Your comment was trivial attempt to put me down, lable me as an unneccessary member of the Peace Movement and raise yourself and Tom Hayden up. This is stupid egoism within the PEACE MOVEMENT which does nothing to create any peace. My point is that I BELIEVE there has not been enough USA public resistance to Plan Merida specifically from anyone in the face of 80,000 dead in MX!. Much has been said against the giant domestic and international "USA DRUG WAR" in general. That is great but I beleieve more specific debate is needed on Plan Merida as a specific USA two party government plan begun by W. Bush . OR DO YOU think enough public USA debate and USA media coverage of Plan Merida has occured? You think you have personally done enough? Then get off my back while I attempt to do more. Thanks! Post me a link to what Tom Hayden and PJRC has written on Plan Merida specifically! I would love to read it!

      December 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCarina Tootle

      “This is stupid egoism within the PEACE MOVEMENT which does nothing to create any peace.” - Carina

      Seems like the pot calling the kettle black, no? Wasn’t that the crux of your original comment, calling out someone for an article, which they did not author, for the sake of promoting your petition? (Yes, it was. That’s what you did, and it’s transparent.)

      Wouldn’t it have been more productive for you to write something like:

      “In addition to the above article, along the lines of which I hope to see further coverage, particularly concerning the drug war and Plan Merida, I have an associated petition for readers of this website to sign and share. Thank you.”

      And where do I raise myself up beyond demonstrating passable reading comprehension? Re-read my original response to you and see if it wasn’t written in earnest.

      As for your request:

      December 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJoshua
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