Shortly after his inauguration in 2012, President Nieto announced a major package of reforms to revitalise Mexico’s stagnant economy. The PRI administration introduced new education, energy, political, fiscal and telecommunications legislation. However, many of the reforms soon became open to influence from informal actors, primarily the business elite, who undermined their fundamental objectives.
The assassination of Gisela Mota, Mayor of Temixco, highlights how her political status was used by criminal networks to secure a favourable operating environment.
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With less than three weeks remaining before the polls open for Mexico’s latest round of elections, this assessment identifies the main candidates and their associated risks.
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Despite impressive gains in the peace negotiations, the government and the FARC will struggle to meet the 23rd March 2016 deadline set by President Santos. When a deal is eventually signed, Colombia will not have achieved a uniform ‘national peace’. In fact, short term levels of violence will likely spike in the immediate aftermath, primarily because FARC elites will face obstacles in channelling the terms of any negotiation to the sub-factions that operate in isolated rural areas.
Armed vigilantism is becoming more evident across Mexico. They are a product of public distrust in the government’s ability to fulfil law enforcement duties, as well as its failure to prevent and punish acts of violence against local communities. Some movements operate well-organised, complex leadership structures in a uniformed manner, while others are smaller, less formal and more opportunistic. Most are well armed.
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The Colombian government is close to a final peace deal with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Many commentators believe that a final peace accord will fuel investor confidence in Colombia as a potential economic ‘powerhouse’ in Latin America. However, the country’s volatile and intricate criminal underworld may be about to experience another transformation that could further complicate the ability of foreign companies to safely navigate certain sectors.