Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Irregularities of the Mexico 2012 July 1st General Elections

The Mexico July 1st 2012 elections had a turnout of 63.1%, which is slightly more than 2006 (59%) and about the same as in 2000. After the first count Enrique Peña Nieto (PRI-party) had 18,727,398 votes (39.10%) and won the elections. Andrés Manuel López Obrador (PRD-party) had 3,192,281 (6.67%) votes less: 15,535,117 (32.43%). López Obrador did not recognize Peña Nieto's victory, claiming there had been widespread irregularities. López accused the PRI of spending more than their allotted electoral budget, biased media coverage (Televisa) and vote buying. So how serious are these allegations and what's López Obrador's chance in this rearguard action about the presidency?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Uruguay's Groundbreaking Marijuana Proposal

Uruguay (population 3.3 mil) is known by most people as one of the most economically developed countries in South America and where they produce and eat an awful lot of beef. Beef consumption in Uruguay is now 58.2 kilos/capita/year, while Argentina's consumption has dropped to 53.4 kilos/capita/year. But Uruguay is also the country which became in 2009 the first nation in the world to provide every school child with a free laptop and Internet. And you may be not aware of the fact that Uruguay was the first South American country to legalize same-sex and different-sex civil unions at a national level and to allow gay adoption. And now in June 2012 Uruguay surprised not only Latin America and the US but also the entire World, by announcing a proposal legalizing and monitoring marijuana sales and cultivation, making the government more or less the sole legal seller. Lots of media outlets covered this story, because it can have serious consequences for the US' War on Drugs (WOD). Unfortunately most of the details were left out. So let's dig into this a bit deeper...

Monday, July 2, 2012

Mexico, the 1994 Peso Crisis and its Democratization Process

Now this year the G20 summit has been held June 18-19 2012 in Los Cabos, Baja California Sur, Mexico. Mexico can call itself the 14th economy in the world (2011 IMF GDP figures). While Argentina may be facing a second Peso crisis in the near future - as discussed here - Mexico recovered quite well from its 1994 peso crisis. Meanwhile The Economist did remove Argentina's official figures from their indicators page this year, because it said these figures became unreliable. And because of the expropriation of YPF, as discussed in this blogpost, the WSJ asked itself: "Why not expel a thieving Buenos Aires from the G-20?". Mexico recovered economically quite well from its 1994 Peso crisis and is still doing well. It is worth to take a closer look to this Mexican story.