Stewart Scott

Enrique Pena Nieto will be sworn in as Mexico's next president Dec. 1. He will take office at a very interesting point in Mexican history. Mexico is experiencing an economic upturn that may become even more pronounced if Pena Nieto's Institutional Revolutionary Party administration is able to work with its rivals in the National Action Party to enact needed reforms to Mexico's labor, financial and energy laws.

Another arrestor to further expanding Mexico's economy has been the ongoing cartel violence in Mexico and the dampening effect it has had on outside investment and tourism. Pena Nieto realizes that Mexico's economy would be doing even better were it not for the chilling effect of the violence. During his campaign, he pledged to cut Mexico's murder rate in half by the end of his six-year term, to increase the number of federal police officers and to create a new gendarmerie to use in place of military troops to combat heavily armed criminals in Mexico's most violent locations.

According to Mexico's El Universal newspaper, Pena Nieto is also proposing to eliminate the Secretariat of Public Security and consolidate its functions, including the federal police, under the Secretariat of the Interior. This move is intended to increase coordination of federal efforts against the cartels and to fight corruption. The federal police are under heavy scrutiny for the involvement of 19 officers in the Aug. 24 attack against a U.S. diplomatic vehicle in Tres Marias, Morelos state. This incident has long faded from attention in the United States, but the investigation into the attack remains front-page news in Mexico.


Stewart Scott

Stewart Scott is a security analyst for Stratfor.