Mexico’s old ruling party, Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), is set to return to power after early election results indicate the PRI candidate Enrique Peña Nieto has won the presidential election. Peña Nieto’s chief rival, the leftist candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador, has not conceded, but the PRI has already claimed victory.
López Obrador had received a surge in popularity in the weeks before the vote, thanks in part to a growing national student movement against the PRI’s return. We go to Mexico City to speak with John Ackerman, editor of the Mexican Law Review and a professor at the National Autonomous University, UNAM, in Mexico. “Peña Nieto is pretty clearly the candidate who will give continuity [to] [outgoing Mexican President Felipe] Calderón’s drug war strategies and total subservience to the dictates from the U.S. government, in terms of continuing on with this violent drug war, and particularly having Mexico do [its] dirty work,” Ackerman says. “I don’t know how much longer [the Mexican people] are going to be able to really deal with and have patience for this humanitarian crisis that we’re going through. And so, the good news is that the students are still in the streets. … López Obrador has received basically the same amount of votes as he did six years ago. Fourteen, 15 million people voted for him. And so, this means that there’s going to be a strong opposition.”