United Mexican States (Estados Unidos Mexicanos)
Population: 107.5 million (readings;2006); 118.4 million
Area: 761,602 square miles (roughly the size of Texas,
California, New Mexico, Arizona and Nevada
Administrative Divisions: 31 States and 1 Federal
Head of State: President
Head of Government: President
Freedom House Ratings: Political Rights-2; Civil Rights2 (2005); Political Rights-3; Civil Liberties/Rights-3;
Freedom Rights-3 (2013)
Government: Presidential system, Federal
republic, Constitutional republic
Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI)Partido Revolucionario Institucional
Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD)Partido Revolucionario Democratico
National Action Party (PAN)- Partido
Regional diversity caused by geography.
› Deserts in the north, to semi-tropical regions
of the south.
› Rapid urbanization in the center of the
nation (Mexico city), and in the north due to
industrialization causing rural-to-urban
› Difference in economic pursuits
North= export-oriented industries
Central Mexico= heavy industries
› Difference in Culture
North= frontier region, since colonization, thus
rugged individualism, prefers private rather
than state ownership,
Central Mexico= view north as “barbarians of
the north”, support state presence in the
economy and other aspects of life
South= indigenous people, communal land
holding and rejects private ownership of the
› Racial differences
Northerners= Caucasians or people of mixed
European and indigenous heritage (mestizos).
Southerners= of indigenous heritage or mestizo
Mexico and the United States
› Millions of Mexicans travel to United States to
work, visit family members, shop or just
vacation legally or illegally.
› United States’ cultural influence on Mexico is
Many Mexicans look to the US for their popular
culture and for cues about their own futures.
Conquest and Colonialism- long history
of colonialism by the Spaniards (three
hundred years of rule)
national identity formed due to struggle
In 1822 Mexico became independent
Led by Francisco Madero against Diaz’s
Sense of national identity and unity
emerged from the struggle, breaking
down some of the provincialism that had
characterized Mexican society.
Plutarco Elias Calles- proposed creation
of national political party that would
unite all revolutionaries in one political
organization that would resolve the
problem of political succession within its
own organizational structures. National
Revolutionary Party was born (PNR),
predecessor of PRI.
Dominance of a single party, the PRI.
Meta-constitutional power of the
Six-year term in office with no reelection.
Pattern of executive dominance in the
political system that had been firmly
established under Diaz and practiced by
Obregon and Calles.
presidency that could dominate
President has constitutional, metaconstitutional and anti-constitutional
Mexico City dominated the nation
federal government dictated to the
Heavy state intervention in the market
All are captured in a system of interest
representation that channels demands
through the PRI.
The recruitment system of political elites.
The role of the marginalized sector in the
Import-substituting Industrialization (ISI)
› “Mexican Miracle”
› Mexico having the most inequitable distribution
of income in the world
Cities’ population exploded
Rural poor could not be adequately absorbed into
the labor force
Income remained maldistributed
The state developed a large presence in the
economy that threatened the private sector
Reintroduced populist policies of
Cardenas but with some additions
Dela Madrid and Salinas
› Welcoming of foreign investment
› Competitive Mexican exporters
› The poor became poorer
Mexico’s Protracted Democratization
1. Modernization of Mexican Society
2. Policy and Political Failures
- student movement in 1968
- debt crisis in 1980s
- fail response to earthquake
- electoral fraud
Manifestations of Political Change
1. Opposition Parties and Political Reform
Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD)
National Action Party (PAN)
C. Other Parties
2. The 2006 Elections
3. The Media and Civil Society
4. Popular Organizations and Civil
5. Women and Politics ( sa next reporter
na poi tong highlighted part na itey)
THE MEDIA AND CIVIL
SOCIETY and ISSUES IN
State owned television network, Televisa,
and other major stations became
excessively pro-government and pro-PRI
starting from the time of former president
Miguel Alemán (1946-52).
The 1997 midterm elections adopted new
campaign reforms and laws mandating
broadcasters provide equal time to all
major parties contributing to Vicente Fox’s
successful campaign in 2000.
Print media, such as Unomásuno, La
Jornada, Proceso, and Reforma, have
become more critical of the political
system and public policies.
Mexico now has a free critical press,
essential to democracy.
In the aftermath of the 1968 student
movement, Mexico has experienced a
surge in popular organizations and social
In both membership and leadership,
popular movements tend to redress the
gender imbalance otherwise evident in
Mexican public life.
Popular movements heavily emphasized
socioeconomic issues, human rights, and
The National Human Rights Commission
was created to address police abuse
and political violence and the Civic
Alliance, a nonpartisan network of
organizations, sought to protect the right
of free and fair elections.
When the PRI had a near total monopoly
on legislative seats and executive
appointments, women’s issues received
relatively little attention in national politics.
Personalism in the 1970s and 1980s meant
that women in public office were family
members or mistresses of high officials.
In 2002, Mexico passed an electoral reform
requiring all parties to present women in 30
percent of their congressional candidates.
Chiapas, an economically backward
state where political violence and
caciquismo, the rule of local despots
(caciques), reached notorious levels.
The Zapatista National Liberation Front
found sympathy for their cause in both
Chiapas and around the Nation forcing
them to rise against the government
during the North American Free Trade
Agreement’s coming into effect.
Although the Congress eventually
passed a law to protect the interests of
the Mexicans of indigenous heritage and
permit self-rule for indigenous groups,
Zapatistas rejected the government’s
overture as a sham.
Vicente Fox’s administration published
government documents describing PRI-led
human rights violation against guerrillas and
students in 1971 and the 1968 student
Fox signed a transparency law that makes all
government information publically available.
Despite these gains, Mexico continues to have
an imperfect human rights record because the
years of political corruption have created an
attitude of impunity and disregard of the law
by the police and local officials.
SUPPORT OF THE DISADVANTAGED FOR
EDUCATION AND FREEDOM OF
Population (2006, estimated): 190 mn
(world’s fifth most populous state)
Known cities like São Paulo (almost 18mn
inhabitants) and Rio de Janeiro (more than
The largest tropical rainforest: The Amazon
Area: 3.29 million square miles
Most industrialized of the South American
Why did democracy fail in Brazil? How
could the military manage to rule for two
An elite-controlled (trapo, military,
technocrats) political, cultural, economic
and social system in Brazil preferred
whatever form of government would best
protect their vested interests. In this sense,
there was no real and strong movement to
fight against the prevailing system.
Consequently, to keep them in power, they
subjugated the masses by making sure that
income, participation and education are
low so as to keep them dumb and
powerless. In the process, current
authoritarian regime is maintained where
the elite rules and the mass is subjugated.
#vested interests, #hegemony, #class
struggle, #dumbing of the public,
#political participation and awareness,
#power relations, #violence of images,
#Marx’s concept of ideology, #Engel’s
concept of state
As a country, Brazil is endowed with a
huge size and a vast amount of natural
resources, rendering it the potential to
play a crucial role in world politics in
general and Latin American politics in
particular. But the waves of bringing
about democracy in Brazil have been
spasmodic and interspersed with violent
political revolutions and subsequent
The opposition fought for democracy on
two fronts. The first was electoral arena, in
which an opposition party sought to deny
victory to the government’s allies and that
party was the Brazilian Democracy
Movement (MDB) which later changed its
name to the Party of the Brazilian
Democracy Movement (PMDB). The
second front consisted of non-electoral
arenas where grassroots organizations and
the organized labor movement fought for
the democratization of local government
and labor relations.
Brazil’s transition to democracy included the writing of a
new constitution which was completed in 1988.
The lengthy new constitution drafted by the Constituent
Assembly which was designed to introduce a
parliamentary regime in Brazil that would have
increased the powers of the legislature was defeated
significantly by the military and the incumbent president
at that time, President Sarney.
Brazil’s institutional structure is roughly patterned on the
U.S. Constitution’s principle of separation of powers
wherein the president is both head of state and head of
The bicameral Congress consists of the Chamber of
Deputies, the lower house with 513 members drawn from
the country’s 26 states and the Federal District of Brasilia,
the national capital; and the Senate, the upper house,
which has 3 representatives from each state and the
Federal District (81 total). Members of the Chamber of
Deputies serve 4-year terms; senators serve 8 years. The
powers of the two houses are evenly balanced, with
both possessing the right to initiate legislation and review
the federal budget. Congress may also override
presidential vetoes. The Supreme Court has the power
of judicial review. Each state is headed by a governor
and a Federal District with a unicameral state legislature.
County-level governments called municipios are the
main institutions of local government.
A politician seeking office for the first
time would benefit from the help of
political patrons who might tell his
followers to vote for an individual. Once
a politician has gained a congressional
seat, she must figure out how to reward
those who have voted for her. This
system strongly encourages pork barrel
politics and clientilism.