Courtesy Reuters


In July 2006, Mexico will have an opportunity to consolidate its democratic process for the first time in modern history. Only then will it be clear whether the political changes of the past five years have taken hold -- whether the country will go on building democracy and implementing much-needed reforms or instead fall into the sort of periodic crisis that has characterized too much of its past.

The 2000 presidential election was Mexico's first truly democratic national contest in a century, and the victory of Vicente Fox -- a former Coca-Cola executive running on the ticket of

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