Mexico's Domestic Decay: Implications for the United States and Europe

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This report was originally published by the Finnish Institute of International Affairs on January 26, 2023. Reprinted with permission. 

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) has challenged Mexico’s democratic institutions, including the electoral commission INE, and relies on the military to run sectors of the economy and to provide internal security.

Recognizing the continuing strategic importance of its southern neighbor, the United States is attempting to “friend-shore” American industry to Mexico despite trade disputes.

Mexico’s economic convergence with the United States is giving way to ideological divergence. In the past year, Mexico has called NATO’s stance on Ukraine “immoral” and openly aligned with the leftist, anti-U.S. dictators of Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela.

Mexico’s internal development and shifting external stance could spark a return to a United States focused on the protection of its 19th-century borders instead of its 20th-century global footprint.

European attention to the future of Mexico can help diversify the country’s trade and other partnerships, as well as shine a light on its democratic decay.

This report was made possible with funding from the Finnish Institute of International Affairs.