Published On: Fri, Nov 17th, 2017

COMMENT: Mexico 2018 is not about the Economy

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Macario Schettino, a professor at the School of Government at Mexico’s Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education came up with this editorial piece in which he exposes the difficult situation our country will go through next year. It is worth reading. You can follow Macario on Twitter @macariomx

Emerging media consensus is that Mexico’s Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) will likely name Treasury Secretary José Antonio Meade as its candidate for president in 2018.

Such a move would serve the unpopular ruling party on two fronts: it would muffle inherent opposition to the PRI as an institution (Meade is not a party member), and it would give them an ideal standard-bearer to carry forward their economic message (Meade has been treasury secretary for two parties and is highly regarded by the country’s business elite).

On this second front, the PRI has a decent case to make. The economy is stable, structural reforms seem to be bearing fruit and, NAFTA aside, there are no major storm clouds on the horizon. Will this be enough to shift voters’ focus next July? Unfortunately for the PRI, the answer is probably not. The race for Mexico’s presidency in 2018 looks to be about two things: crime and corruption. Or, put more simply, impunity.

First, the history. No presidential election since the end of one-party PRI rule has had the economy as its focal point. In 2000, the PRI lost the presidency for the first time in 71 years despite GDP growth above 5 percent. A recession sparked by the end of the dot com boom (especially costly for Mexico’s export-driven economy) arrived just as Vicente Fox was settling into office at Los Pinos – but it was political, rather than economic, frustration that carried him there.


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