Well, the PRI promises to end the violence, but not through crackdowns. They seem to be proposing to accommodate the leaders of the cartels, while still going after street crime. They swear that they’ll still try to arrest the leaders, it just won’t be the focus. It sounds like a return to the PRI of old, really.
I’m not a great fan of the crackdowns, as they seem to have led to the current situation near the Mexico-U.S. border. Anecdotally: since they began, low-quality marijuana has seemed to become much more rare in Texas. However, even if it held true when tested, it would only be a success by degree, there’s no direct evidence that the crackdowns are the cause (e.g., they could have begun growing/importing higher quality). Even if it is the cause, the cost has been very high for Mexico.
Obrador has the position of pulling the military out of the situation, and letting the local police deal with it. He’s also suggested either increasing the strength of the existing national police, or creating a new force. That was what was being done before, and it wasn’t working. His reasoning is that the military is worn out from the fight. I know that every country does not need a military like the U.S. has, and it’s not the type of job your military trains for, but it seems this would be the wrong reason to stop using them.
Vázquez seems to have the position that the current plan should continue for the time being.
Given that, I can understand why a return to the old party and the old way would seem appealing to the populace. Even if they were corrupt, they knew how to play ball with the cartels and keep the problems to a dull roar. The PRI pretty much made Mexico what it was before 2000. Since it seems like they’ve still got the same methods and goals, I don’t see it being a better situation than the last time they were in power.
I have a friend who I could imagine might return to Mexico to vote. If she asked me which she should vote for, I’d advise: If you want to continue fighting the cartels tooth and nail, vote Vázquez. If you don’t, vote for Obrador. Anything would be better than the architects of the current situation, even if I have my doubts about Obrador’s dedication to the democratic process.
If we’re voting on just this subject, and only the 3 leading candidates can be considered, I’d vote Vázquez. If I actually had a vote in the Mexican election, I’d have to buy a case of Maalox.