The last election, in 2006, was won by Felipe Calderon, Washington's man, followed by persistent allegations that it was rigged. Calderon declared what he calls "a war on drug gangs" and 50,000 dead are the result. No one doubts the menace of the drug cartels, but the real "security issue" is more likely the resistance of ordinary Mexicans to an enduring inequity and a rotten elite.
Unlike in the US and Britain, many journalists, some of them inspired by the rise of the Zapatistas in the 1990s, have thrown off the patronage of the political and business elite and pursue what they call "civic journalism". The second largest newspaper in Mexico is La Jornada, famous for its fearless investigations and campaigns and for surviving mostly on subscriptions; it carries no commercial advertising. Reminiscent of newspapers before they were consumed by corporations, there is nothing like it in Britain; it reflects much about Mexico City that is surprising and enlightened.