1 - PRI CLAIMS PRESIDENCY, AND FIRST VICTIMS
2 - FEDERAL POLICE IN CUSTODY FOR ATTACK ON CIA AGENTS
3 - LABOR REFORM PASSES
4 - CARTEL LEADER ACCUSES CALDERON ADMIN OF CORRUPTION
On December 1, Enrique Peña Nieto claimed Mexico's Presidency for the PRI, after the party was out of power for twelve years. The July election was marred by vote-buying and campaign spending that may have exceeded legal limits by five-fold. The PRI, known for its long history of corruption and institutional violence, also claimed its first victims during the swearing in ceremony when police severely wounded at least two protesters with rubber-covered metal bullets. Police also severely beat one senior citizen who minutes earlier was distributing free books to a line of officers. More than 100 people were arrested, many who were simply walking near the demonstration when police attacked. It appears that much of the property damage, broadcast amply over the mainstream media, was carried out by provocateurs working with police in an effort to discredit the massive demonstration. It was an auspicious start to a six year reign.
The youthful and photogenic Peña Nieto claims to lead a modern PRI, but most Mexicans are not convinced. He won the presidency with 38% of the vote, hardly a mandate in a country where more than half the population lives in poverty. Peña Nieto inherits, and is likely to continue, economic policies that reflect worldwide declines during the neoliberal era, with 3.5% annual growth under former PRI president Ernesto Zedillo, followed by 2.2% growth under Vicente Fox, and 1.9% under Felipe Calderon.