Courtesy Reuters

Since the debacle of December 1994, when the peso collapsed and Mexico nearly defaulted on its debt, the country has suffered a series of blows to its self-confidence and stability. Mexico has been through crises before-in 1976, 1982, and 1987-88-but the current situation is far more precarious. The country is mired in its 15th year of economic stagnation, corruption has reached unprecedented depths, public cynicism about government has grown, and political violence has returned. Mexico was never the paragon of middle-class serenity, well-being, and modernity that its champions abroad claimed, but its social cleavages and tensions are more serious than ever.

Nevertheless,

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