Foreigners are scared of Mexico

Journalist David Frum describes Claudia Sheinbaum as intelligent, but tied to the dogmas of current President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

Two months ago the dollar was at 16.40 pesos, two pesos cheaper than yesterday. Why is the peso losing value? Judging by the vote count, most Mexicans should celebrate the result of last week’s elections.

But reviewing the most influential foreign press among investors provides a dark picture. Are they right? An extreme case is that of The Atlantic, an award-winning and financially successful publication based in Washington DC:

The Failing State Next Door or El Estado Fallido de al Lado, was the title of an article about Mexico written by an author of 10 books, David Frum, a couple of them very critical of the figure of Donald Trump and the damage he causes to democracy.

In his text last week, Frum highlights the irony that as Andrés Manuel López Obrador strengthened the presidential figure, he weakened the Mexican State, which is losing ground in the face of criminal rule in various areas of the country.

“A Mexico that is losing its democracy will also continue to lose authority in the face of criminal groups. For Americans, the big question is: How much authority can the Mexican state lose before it completely fails?” asks Frum, a journalist who was a correspondent in the Middle East, where there are several examples of nations that have lost their governments and, therefore, control and order of the State.

Frum, who says he has interviewed the next president of Mexico, Claudia Sheinbaum, describes her as intelligent, but tied to the dogmas of the current president Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

“Now this powerful presidency will be occupied by a protégé indebted to a predecessor who aspires to control everything behind the scenes. The imminent power struggle between them can only benefit the forces of criminality and chaos that threaten to consume the United States’ southern neighbor.”

The Economist, the most influential in the United Kingdom and probably in Europe, struck a less dramatic but uncompromising tone: Back to the Future was the headline of an opinion piece that highlighted how Mexicans chose this month to return to a one-party government, as the PRI had for more than 70 years.

The text highlights how with that power, López Obrador will have the opportunity to get some bills approved by Congress, himself, in September, because legislators take their seats a month before Sheinbaum replaces him on October 1, but he will have a hard time getting them all through. It will be up to Sheinbaum to do the rest.

“Sheinbaum should resist. That she will confront the man who paved her way to power may seem unlikely. The slim hope is her own record. As mayor of Mexico City she was more international, competent and pragmatic than López Obrador as president,” The Economist explains.

The magazine warns that on election night, Mexico’s next president promised to govern for all Mexicans and work with the United States to support investments and businesses.

“During the campaign she talked about protecting the legacy of her mentor, López Obrador. Sheinbaum would do well to think about her own,” concludes The Economist.

Are these media outlets too harsh on the Mexican political situation? In the first instance, their authors could be overlooking social tools of organization that incomprehensibly provide order in the midst of chaos in Latin countries.

But there will be no way of knowing if these invisible elements of social cohesion will be enough to avoid the pessimistic outcome that these texts warn about. What Congress decides in the following months will provide immediate, forceful signals.

This weekend, the Mexican government boasted of investments of almost 40 billion dollars promised this year, from companies such as Evergo, LT Precision, and Daikin, which exercised them under the good or bad current judicial rules.

Would you change your decision if a reform were to be passed that would make judges those with more capacity or money to campaign? Who would put up that money?

It is true that Sheinbaum will have the destiny of one or two generations of Mexicans in her hands. That destiny does not have to be bad, on the contrary, it can be promising and give investors an option in the face of a troubled world that this year is holding elections in many regions.

Sheinbaum will be torn between the ideology that brought her to power that can be based on idealism, but she will also weigh the scientific pragmatism she learned in school. Claudia’s time is coming.

Source: elfinanciero