An insightful firsthand examination of Mexico from 2000 to the present.
Based in Mexico City, foreign correspondent Tuckman looks at the political and economic arenas of Mexico since the overturn in 2000 of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), its long-term ruling party. When the National Action Party (PAN), led by Vicente Fox, took power, many Mexicans viewed this as a breath of fresh air, bringing change and hope to the country. However, Tuckman reveals that the ensuing 12 years have not lived up to that optimism, with the wheels of democracy slow to move in a country riddled with corporate greed, political corruption and escalating drug wars. The author's concentrated inspection gives readers a close look at the lawlessness of the numerous powerful drug cartels instilling fear in locals, migrating workers and even mainstream media with daily kidnappings and murders of those who stand in their way. Tuckman delves into racial discrimination, global warming and environmental concerns regarding Mexico's large oil fields, as well as the rise in floods and clean-water issues in Mexico City. She also examines the revolutionary actions of the Zapatistas in Chiapas and a flare-up in Oaxaca in 2006 that bears comparison to the uprisings seen recently in the Middle East. Not all is lost, however, as recent presidents have attempted to "regreen" deforested areas, tourism continues to rise, and Mexican food products are found around the world thanks to trade agreements. With the upcoming presidential election, Mexicans are once again hoping for a political leader who can “kick-start the levels of growth required to transform the country from a bastion of poverty and inequality into a burgeoning middle-class nation.”
An important investigation of Mexico's recent political, economic and social past—and its possibilities for the future.