Why Mexico Is Not on the Brink

Issue Date July 2024
Volume 35
Issue 3
Page Numbers 57–68
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This essay contests the narrative of democratic regression in Mexico, arguing instead that Mexicos democracy demonstrates exceptional resilience. Although there have been concerns about intolerance to criticism, centralization of power, and control of independent institutions during President Andrés Manuel López Obradors time in office (2018–2024), Mexicos democratic foundations have remained solid. Mexicos resilience is evident in its ability to conduct mostly free and fair elections, the acceptance of electoral losses by its political actors, the country’s general freedom of speech and association, and the safeguarding of liberal institutions despite polarization and misinformation. This article also explains the reasons behind the victory of Claudia Sheinbaum, the first female president of Mexico, and describes factors that may reduce the likelihood of democratic erosion (a stronger opposition, internal party fragmentation, diminished populist charisma, and institutional constraints) or increase it (organized crime, militarization, and pervasive social injustices) during her presidency (2024–2030). 

About the Author

Viridiana Ríos is a Mexican scholar and author of No es normal: The Rigged Game That Fuels Mexico’s Inequality and How to Change It (2023).

View all work by Viridiana Ríos

Image Credit: Eneas De Troyais