In Mexico, the Makings of a Political Crisis

An alliance of governors underscores historical tensions in the country.

A showdown is brewing in Mexico between the central government and a group of 10 state governors, known as the Federalist Alliance, who have closed ranks in recent weeks as they raise their demands for funding and reform. It’s tempting to see this as a garden variety tug of war over money, considering the economic downturn from the coronavirus pandemic. But in a country like Mexico, in which the relationship between the state and central governments is a long-standing existential issue, it has the makings of a political crisis. 2020 was always going to be an economically difficult year for Mexico. It was in recession even before the virus hit. The economy posted a weak performance in 2018 and contracted slightly in growth (from -0.2 to -0.6) in the last three quarters of 2019. Oil prices were low and production had fallen, there were restrictions on government spending, and there was a high debt-to-GDP ratio. The pandemic simply aggravated these problems. As the national health and ensuing economic crisis took hold, some state governors began to question the central government’s response, calling for additional funds and fiscal stimulus. In some ways, it was a fairly typical display of the political […]

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Allison Fedirka
Allison Fedirka is the director of analysis for Geopolitical Futures. In addition to writing analyses, she helps train new analysts, oversees the intellectual quality of analyst work and helps guide the forecasting process. Prior to joining Geopolitical Futures, Ms. Fedirka worked for Stratfor as a Latin America specialist and subsequently as the Latin America regional director. She lived in South America – primarily Argentina and Brazil – for more than seven years and, in addition to English, fluently speaks Spanish and Portuguese. Ms. Fedirka has a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and international studies from Washington University in St. Louis and a master’s degree in international relations and affairs from the University of Belgrano, Argentina. Her thesis was on Brazil and Angola and south-south cooperation.