May 14, 2012

Disenchantment may keep Mexico's young voters on sidelines

Los Angeles Times: They are Mexico's "democracy babies" — a generation that grew up just as the nation broke free of decades of all-encompassing one-party rule.

Only 12 years ago, young people flocked to the polls with high hopes as part of what would be a historic ouster of the long-ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI. Now, as the country prepares to pick a new president in July,Mexico's young sound mostly disillusioned by the choices before them, and by joblessness and skyrocketing drug violence that have hit them especially hard.

On paper at least, these 24 million voters under 30 — nearly a third of the electorate — could be a powerful voice for change. But many have come to view the democratic transition as so much blah-blah-blah in the face of a system that remains deeply marred by corruption and filled with politicians who are as self-interested as ever.

"Why go vote? It's only a waste of time. They're all the same — they all lie, they all steal and no one helps you," said 20-year-old Sergio Guerrero, who on a recent day was selling lamb tacos at a street market here. read more

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