MEXICO CITY – Mexico, a stagnant and violence-plagued country in recent years, finally began to overcome its malaise in 2013, thanks to an activist president and a coalition of political parties determined to move the country forward. But, alongside substantive changes, there is considerable uncertainty and hyperbole. It could hardly be otherwise.
The situation resembles that of 20 years ago – almost to the day. When the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) among Mexico, Canada, and the United States entered into force on January 1, 1994, it seemed that Mexico was poised for a true takeoff. But a series of events – the Zapatista uprising in Chiapas, the assassinations of a presidential candidate and the incoming president’s chief aide, and the collapse of the currency – shook Mexico that year, underscoring the depth of the challenges it faced.