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Mexico

Yearbook 2009

2009 MexicoMexico. The PAN (Partido Acción Nacional) government suffered stinging defeat in the congressional, governor and municipal elections on July 5, forcing party chairman Germán Martínez Cázares to resign. In Congress, the party's mandate was reduced from 206 to 143, while the PRI (Partido Revolucionario Institucional) was the big winner and more than doubled the number of congressional seats. President Félipe Calderón thus gained an even greater majority in the Legislative Assembly. The turnout in the congressional elections was low, only 45 per cent. PRI now also controls 19 of the country's 32 states, while PAN has only seven. The PRI continued its successes in the October 17 state elections in Coahuila and Tabasco, where the party won both in most municipalities and in the state parliament.

2009 Mexico

According to countryaah, the government's major defeat in July's election was surprising in light of its resolute management of the pandemic of the so-called swine flu (A/H1N1) that erupted in Mexico at the end of April and then spread rapidly around the world. On April 29, President Calderón announced that restaurants, factories, markets, schools, universities - virtually the entire country - would be closed for five days in an effort to curb the spread of the disease, and Health Minister José Angel Córdova appeared on television every night. The World Health Organization WHO for the first time ever warned that the pandemic rate of spread was at level 5, the second highest level. Before the pandemic sounded, about 400 deaths related to the disease had been identified in Mexico.

Increasing crime was one of the government's biggest problems during the year. In February, an assassination attempt was made on Chihuahua Governor José Reyes Baeza Terrazas, prompting the government to deploy more than 5,000 militants to improve security in Ciudad Juárez, whose mayor even had to reside in the twin city of El Paso, USA. Chihuahua is by far the worst hit state. During the first two months of the year, 381 people were murdered there, representing more than a third of all homicides across the country during the same period.

In October, Mexican and US authorities conducted joint action on both sides of the border against the most powerful Mexican drug cartel La Família, responsible for about half of the 180 tonnes of methamphetamine that is reportedly brought into the United States annually.

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