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Mexico’s golden boy

Enrique Peña Nieto has inspired hopes that Mexico's economic potential will finally be achieved. But will his dreams be realized?

Maybe it's because of his movie-star looks and those of his glamorous actress wife. Maybe it's because the Brazilian boom is running out of steam. Maybe it's because potential investors in Latin America are looking for a new star.

Whatever the cause, Mexico and the recent victor of its presidential election have become box-office hits in the international media. 

Mexico, of course, has a very old star of investment in Mexico. And Peña Nieto, the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, has been a much older star in the politics of Latin America. 

For 70 years up to 2000, the PRI ruled Mexico under what was famously described as "the perfect dictatorship" -- benign to its opponents when they accepted a few fistfuls from its pork barrel, brutal to those who stuck to their principles.

Yet two successive governments of the pro-business National Action Party, or PAN, have left the nation with almost 12 years of economic stagnation and a level of violence that has no parallel in Mexico the Revolution a century ago.


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