Connect to share and comment
Midterm election campaigns heat up, but voters would rather vote for no one. Government officials are arrested in connection to a tragic nursery school fire. President Calderon blames the US for Mexico's street violence. Unemployment rises and the stock market falls, but the tourism industry is working overtime.
Top News: In June, Mexico’s parties campaigned for midterm elections when voters will elect both houses of Congress, six governors and thousands of mayors and state legislators. There have been some colorful election ads, such as one with a masked wrestler saying he will beat up drug gangs. But the campaign gaining the most attention is the one telling people to vote for nobody. Starting on Interent blogs, the “annul your vote because they are all terrible” movement snowballed this month. The New York Times calls them the “Mr. Nulo” voters.
One reason Mexicans are so disillusioned with all candidates is because of corruption. Mexico may have voted the old all-powerful party out of power a decade ago, but the corruption scandals keep coming thick and fast. The latest shocker involves a nursery fire which killed 47 children earlier in June. Investigations found that the nursery owners were the friends and family members of government officials, who appeared to be turning a blind eye on the lack of safety measures. Seven of these officials were arrested and charged with negligent homicide.
In recent weeks there have also been scandals involving officials on the payroll of drug gangs. President Felipe Calderon growled that he will keep going after any such officials, saying “The future of democracy is at stake.”
“To turn one's head, to act as if you don't see the crime in front of you, as some politicians want to do, is no option for Mexico,” he said.
Calderon also blamed Americans for the violence on Mexico’s streets. A new report in the U.S. found that 87 percent of the firearms in Mexico come from U.S. stores and that the efforts to stop them being smuggled are ineffective. The report led anti-gun activists to renew calls for banning assault weapons.
Money: The bad news that has been hitting Mexico’s economy in recent months kept coming in June. Unemployment on June 24 jumped to 5.31 percent, its worst level since 1996.
Mexico’s stocks also had a bad fortnight, seeing a bumpy series of losses.
But however grim things look, the government still insists that there is light at the end of the tunnel. As the Central Bank cut its interest rate again, it said that it should be one of the last drops before a return to growth.
Elsewhere: Mexico is also hoping that the tourists will come back, after being scared away by swine flu and drug violence. In a mammoth promotion drive, the government is trying to persuade holiday makers across the world that Mexico has great attractions. It has focused particularly on the capital's sites, from its Venice-like canals to ancient pyramids. Reports have identified 10 must-sees in Mexico City that offer a good a cross section of the giant metropolis' greatest features.