Mexico 10/10/2011

PRI get the campaign ball rolling; eight New Generation members arrested in connection with 32 bodies found Thursday in Veracruz; and Pemex continues to battle with Repsol over board control.


El Partido Revolucionario Institucional (Institutional Revolutionary Party – PRI) has declared that its presidential candidate will be chosen in a transparent and unified manner through an open consultation between its members and sympathisers.

The PRI, which emerged out of Mexico’s revolution as the country’s sole political force and governed for 71 uninterrupted years until 2000, is renowned for its shady political manoeuvrings and opaque internal selection process.

However, in a clear attempt to cast off this reputation and paint itself in a new light ahead of presidential elections next year, the party’s President Humberto Moreira stressed that the first step towards a cleaner, more unified, politics were a transparent internal election process.

The PRI campaign at this early stage is attacking what they see as a failure of the PAN political machine, which has let the nation slide into violent disarray. The fight for a safer, more prosperous Mexico, therefore, lies, according to Moreira, in a cleaner politics.

“We will win to recover the Mexico of our children. We will win to achieve unity; which has clearly been lost by our adversaries”, Moreira told the new PRI national political assembly.

Eight suspects linked to the murder of 32 bodies found in Veracruz on Thursday have been arrested by the Mexican navy.

The eight suspects also stand accused of killing 35 other victims whose bodies have been discovered in the last month in Veracruz.  The accused appear to belong to New Generation, a recent drug gang founded in violent contradistinction to the notorious Zeta cartel operating in the region.

The corporate tussle between Repsol and the state owned Mexican petroleum company, Pemex, continued last week. The Spanish energy company is seeking to halt an alliance between Pemex, which owns near to 10 percent of Repsol, and Sacyr Vallehermoso SA (SYV), which would give the companies a joint stake of 29.8 percent.

The real battle comes down to board votes where Pemex remains underweight given its percentage share. At a time when Mexican oil production is in decline Pemex is seeking the expertise to explore deep water reserves and appears to be holding out hope that Repsol will be able to offer support in this field. However, the response so far, according to Pemex CEO Juan Jose Suarez Coppel, has been startlingly negative.

Correction: The original article stated the date the PRI were voted out of power as 2005. This has been corrected to 2000.