Mexico's Election and the Continuing Revolution

June 24, 1970

Report Outline
Presidential Campaign and Current Issues
Mexican Herita and the 1910 Revolution
Basic Political and Economic Factors

Presidential Campaign and Current Issues

Certainity of Victory for Government Candidate

Every six years, the voters of Mexico go to the polls in a ritualized imitation of a free election. The exercise has been likened to a Mexican hat dance, because the outcome is never in doubt. This year, on Sunday, July 5, the winning candidate for President will be 47-year-old Luis Echeverria, now Minister of the Interior in the Cabinet of outgoing President Gustavo Diaz Ordaz. Echeverria is the hand-picked selection of a small coterie of ex-Presidents and high officials of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), He has opposition only from a group of tiny minority parties, chief among them the conservative National Action Party (PAN).

Mexico is not a democracy as the terra is understood in this country. The PRI is an all-powerful, monolithic organization. Nomination by the elders of the party is tantamount to election by what would be an astounding electoral majority in the United States. But if Mexico is not a democracy, neither is it wholly a totalitarian state; the government is omnipresent—in economic as well as political life—but it is not omnipotent; freedom lives side by side with repression; progress and pretense go hand in hand.

The PRI is a uniquely Mexican institution which has given the country several decades of stability, rapid economic growth, and a sense of national dignity and pride. It embraces nearly all social sectors: peons, labor, civil servants, co-ops, small farmers, small businessmen, professions, youth and women. The PRI excludes only big business, foreign interests, the military and the Roman Catholic Church, and they are informally consulted by party leaders.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
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Sep. 23, 1977  Mexican-U.S. Relations
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Oct. 21, 1970  Chile's Embattled Democracy
Jun. 24, 1970  Mexico's Election and the Continuing Revolution
Apr. 02, 1969  Economic Nationalism in Latin America
Jul. 19, 1967  Guerrilla Movements in Latin America
Dec. 28, 1966  Militarism in Latin America
Oct. 20, 1965  Common Market for Latin America
Aug. 04, 1965  Smoldering Colombia
Jun. 23, 1965  Inter-American Peacekeeping
Dec. 11, 1963  Progress of the Alianza
Oct. 05, 1962  Arms Aid to Latin America
Dec. 13, 1961  Land and Tax Reform in Latin America
Jul. 26, 1961  Commodity Agreements for Latin America
Jan. 11, 1961  Revolution in the Western Hemisphere
Feb. 10, 1960  Inter-American System
Feb. 10, 1960  Inter-American System
Jan. 13, 1960  Expropriation in Latin America
Jul. 02, 1958  Economic Relations with Latin America
Mar. 02, 1954  Communism in Latin America
Jun. 20, 1952  Political Unrest in Latin America
Sep. 18, 1950  War Aid from Latin America
Oct. 31, 1947  Arming the Americas
Jul. 24, 1946  Inter-American Security
Jan. 02, 1942  Latin America and the War
Jul. 10, 1941  Export Surpluses and Import Needs of South America
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Jun. 25, 1940  Politics in Mexico
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Oct. 10, 1939  United States Trade with Latin America
Apr. 07, 1938  Protection of American Interests in Mexico
Mar. 04, 1936  Peace Machinery in the Americas
Sep. 27, 1933  Trade Relations with Latin America
Oct. 16, 1928  Pan American Arbitration Conference
Jan. 12, 1928  The Sixth Pan American Conference
Jan. 10, 1927  American Policy in Nicaragua
Dec. 27, 1926  Relations Between Mexico and the United States
Regional Political Affairs: Latin America and the Caribbean