IPS Security Consultans
IPS Security Consultans
Mexico and Latin America

Mexico Focuses on Reforms and Security

Mexico will continue to see a flurry of legislative activity in the third quarter, likely including the country's most ambitious attempt at energy reform in decades. While energy reforms will be presented and negotiated in the coming three months, they are unlikely to be passed until the fourth quarter of 2013 or even early 2014. Because the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party lacks a simple majority in both houses of Congress, these reforms will need the support of at least one other major party. The National Action Party is likely to partner with the Institutional Revolutionary Party to pass the reforms, but it will use its crucial support to exact concessions and try to shape the reforms according to its own designs. Mexico's other major party -- the Democratic Revolutionary Party -- will vociferously oppose the reform and encourage social unrest within limits to try to block the government's efforts.

The Mexican government will continue consolidating control over the country's security agencies at the federal level and attempting to recast the drug cartels as a law enforcement problema rather than a military issue. However, there will not be a significant reduction in military operations in areas with high levels of violence. Any additional military deployments will occur only if the security situation in a particular region significantly deteriorates and threatens key commercial routes, as was the case in Michoacan in the second quarter, when the military was sent in to quell violence associated with organized crime and self-organized citizen militias.

Though we failed to highlight this trend in previous forecasts, Mexico is becoming more independent from the United States in its strategy to manage internal security. This became evident with the Pena Nieto administration's subtle but significant move in the second quarter to restructure the U.S.-Mexico intelligence relationship and centralize control in Mexico's Interior Ministry.


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