Security is the nation’s most visible problem and will be the next president’s greatest challenge. Violence not only threatens the safety of Mexican citizens, but also government effectiveness, the way the world perceives Mexico, and how much investors are willing to invest there. Despite a military-led effort by President Felipe Calderón, heartily backed in morale and muscle by the United States, drug violence has surged, resulting in 50,000 deaths under Mr. Calderón’s administration.
Mexico needs to put more resources into revamping its judicial system and creating a trustworthy police apparatus that is not only more effective at investigating crimes but is one that society trusts. “As long as prosecutions are ineffective, slow, and corrupt, it affects so many areas of life in Mexico,” says Eric Olson, a Mexico expert at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.