The PRI is dead, long live the PRI!
As Mexico hurtles toward a momentous election this July, the storied Institutional Revolutionary Party that dominated the country for nearly a century seems doomed. Sadly, however, while the PRI may implode, the clientelist system it created — and that holds Mexico back — will likely roll on.
Things weren't supposed to turn out this way. President Enrique Pena Nieto was going to be the PRI's savior. After the party's heavy legislative losses and dismal third-place showing in the 2006 presidential race, the photogenic governor used his political lineage, his made-for-TV personal story, and a revitalized party machine to win the 2012 election by some 3 million votes, and make the PRI again the largest party in both houses of Congress. After 12 years out in the cold, the PRI looked as if it was back and had adapted to a more democratic era.