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Mexican Politics in the Time of Swine Flu

Monday, May 11, 2009

TORREÓN, Mexico -- Just as love persisted in García Márquez's masterpiece set during the 19th century cholera outbreaks, politics has not gone on hiatus during the swine flu epidemic that continues to threaten Mexico. While the political consequences of the outbreak have yet to fully crystallize, it's clear that the episode has the potential to scramble the electoral calculus ahead of this summer's elections. The entire lower house of Congress as well as a handful of governorships and state legislatures will be chosen on July 5.

President Felipe Calderón's allies and adversaries are competing to define his government's reaction to the flu, with the former calling it measured and timely, and the latter dismissing it as overheated and late in coming. The narrative that wins out will determine pole position ahead of the elections. ...

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