Mexican Jews relieved as political crisis winds down

Saturday's peaceful hand over of power showed that Mexico's democratic institutions were strong.

calderon 298.88 (photo credit: AP)
calderon 298.88
(photo credit: AP)
As Mexico's political crisis winds down with Saturday's investiture of Felipe Calderon as the new president, the country's Jewish community shared in the nation's relief and the remaining concerns, Mexican Jewish scholar Judit Bokser-Liwerant told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday. "The whole country is living a special moment in the last 48 hours," said Bokser-Liwerant, an expert on Jewish education and American Jewish communities at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) in Mexico City. The aftermath of the July 2 election, which saw leftist candidate Manuel Lopez Obrador rejecting the election results and attempting to delegitimize the new government, created a situation of "violence and polarization," she said. "Serious people and analysts were worried. The question was, 'How strong are Mexico's democratic institutions?'" But Saturday's peaceful hand over of power, according to Bokser-Liwerant, showed that Mexico's democratic institutions were strong. "The way the government was able to overcome this situation gave us all a sense of tranquility and relative calm," she said. Nevertheless, the relief felt by the community did not eliminate concerns over the "profound challenges" that face Mexican society and the country's Jewish community. "Mexico is facing a very critical situation, with problems of [economic] marginalization, the lack of education, [public] safety and economic development, and permanent social unrest," she said. These problems were not solved, and Mexico's Jewish community shared the general concern exhibited by the rest of the country. "Even though there is a sense of relief, there is uncertainty," she concluded.