CHDS Hosts Hemispheric Forum on Mexico’s Upcoming Presidential Election

January 20, 2012

On January 18, CHDS hosted the third in its series of Hemispheric Forums on the subject of the 2012 Mexico elections and their implications for US-Mexico security and foreign policy relations. Dr. Howard Wiarda, Director of Research and Publications; moderated the event; panelists included Dr. Richard Downie, Director; Dr. Patricia Escamilla-Ham Professor; Ms. Celina Realuyo, Associate Professor; and former US Ambassador Cresencio Arcos, Political Advisor to the Director, CHDS.

After an introduction by Dr. Wiarda, the panelists took turns presenting their opinions with regard to the pressing issues currently facing Mexico during the upcoming Presidential and Congressional elections, including the continuing threat from transnational criminal organizations (TCOs). Other pertinent topics discussed were electoral dynamics, the expectations for reducing violence, and a range of possible security outcomes and their implications for Mexico’s future.

Current news reports place the PRI candidate and former governor of the State of Mexico, Enrique Pena Nieto, as the frontrunner. PRD 2006 presidential runner-up Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is making another bid for the presidency. Polls currently place Calderon ally Josefina Vazquez Mota as the most likely candidate to win the PAN nomination, though attorney Santiago Creel and former financial minister Ernesto Cordero are still in the race. Whatever the outcome of what may be one of the most important elections in recent history, all were in agreement that it will have a significant impact on the level and type of cooperation and coordination between the US and Mexico going forward.

An attentive audience listens intensely to Dr. Richard Downie, Director as he addresses the January 18, 2012 Hemispheric Forum on Mexico’s July 2012 Presidential Elections