The Mexican Institutional Revolutionary Party, also known as the PRI, ran the country for much of the twentieth century, but starting in 2000, the control shifted to the National Action Party, the PAN. The PRI is now remembered for being corrupt and working with drug lords.
When a PRI candidate emerged as the frontrunner in Mexico’s presidential elections this summer, a question emerged as central to his campaign: Would electing a PRI candidate signal a step forward, or a return to the past?
Diana Washington Valdez is a Pulitzer-nominated journalist in El Paso who has covered the drug cartels in that area for years. She said that regardless of which party ran Mexico — the PRI or the PAN — El Paso and the neighboring Ciudad Juarez across the border saw continuing drug violence. But lately, she says, things have been getting better.