Turning pink again

Mexico joins the tide

There was one notable absence from the first wave of the pink tide: Mexico. The second largest Latin American country (by size of population and value of the economy) was at the time following a different political pathway. For decades national politics had been dominated by a virtual one-party state: the Partido Revolucionario Institutional (PRI), which combined authoritarian top-down political control, rigged elections, social and economic conservatism, and, in foreign relations, left-wing anti-US nationalist rhetoric. 2000, the start of the new millennium, was a major turning point in Mexican history since for the first time in decades the PRI was defeated in free elections. Instead, voters turned to Vicente Fox, of the right wing Partido de Acción Nacional (PAN), who was in office between 2000 and 2006. Felipe Calderón, another PAN leader, won the following presidency in 2006-2012. It can therefore be held that while the rest of the continent was swinging left, Mexico under the PAN’s leadership was in fact moving in an entirely opposite direction.

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