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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Mexican culture expert sees changes, hopes for best

By Paul Matson and Natalya Engelsen

Rocío del Carmen Dalel Cortés, executive director of the Instituto Mexicano de Español y Cultura, spoke Sept. 11 on The Current Political Scene in Mexico as part of NE Campus’ Hispanic Heritage Month celebration.

National politics in Mexico saw the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) return to power with 38 percent of the vote in a contest with four candidates.

Rocío del Carmen Dalel Cortés spoke to students about the state of Mexico. 
Georgia Phillips/The Collegian

The power of PRI, which had ruled the country with an iron fist for most of the 20th century, came to an end in 2000, four years after the signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement when Vicente Fox, former chief executive of Coca-Cola in Mexico, brought the National Action Party (PAN) to power for the first time.

The presidential term is six years, and the winner cannot run again.

Students are becoming more involved. Universities and colleges are uniting for political as well as social reform. So far, everything is calm, Cortés said.

Cortés said the U.S. and Mexico will have to work together to change the war on drugs as well as the economy. Everyone hopes the new government will try a different direction, she said. The economic situation drives the drug problem. During the PAN presidency under Felipe Calderón, more than 60,000 people were killed in a violent drug war.

Yet not all of Mexico suffers from the violence of the drug wars. Mexico City is comparatively crime-free, and Cuernavaca, Cortés’ hometown, has plans to have at least 2,000 cameras around town to help fight crime.

Private citizens are not allowed to own guns. Cortés said all three political parties are against people owning guns.

Changes are also evident in the diversity of the Mexican congress, which now contains an equal number of men to women. In contrast, Cortés pointed out, fewer women hold seats in the U.S. Congress than do men. Also in Mexico, 40 percent of the engineering jobs are held by women, a higher percentage than in the U.S., she said.

NOTE: Story was corrected from the original version.

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