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Economic Development of Central America Econ. 4200 - Spring 2004 – Dr. Taylor - page 54 / 153

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Even today, paramilitary bands and local police controlled by political bosses or landowners routinely threaten an/or kill peasant activists. The further south you go in the country, the more acute this problem (Chiapas).

Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) controlled the federal government from 1929 to 2000; and set policy and controlled all levers of political power.

Paternalistic and all-powerful, the state controlled the bureaucracies that directed the labor unions (powerful), peasant organizations, student groups, and virtually every other dimension of organized society.

Even though the PRI lost the presidency in 2000, it remains the most powerful political party.

The PRI lost power because a series of economic crises alienated the upwardly mobile middle-class.

In 2000 Vicente Fox headed a coalition of parties that adopted the name Alliance for Change and promised Mexico’s electorate “Revolution of Hope”… he promised to be a “citizen president”.

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