In order to answer the inquiry pertaining the consolidation of democracy in contemporary Mexico, it is important to state the lens that I will use in the development of this analysis. I will analyze the state of democracy in Mexico by looking at the low levels of competence that governmental agencies have exerted in order to protect Mexican citizens against the widespread violence caused by criminal organizations. This way of looking at democracy looks to emphasize the idea of institutional accountability because it references to how well citizens can trace back actions or inaction by the government to protect their interests.
On the grounds of a simplistic definition of democracy, Mexico is fully a democratic state. However, as Andreas Shedler points out, beyond the “shiny surface” of regular elections, Mexico’s struggle with the high presence of drug cartels have lead to an downward trend in democracy overall. This is clear with the case of the forty-three students who were kidnapped in Iguala, Guerrero. The kidnapping erupted discontentment across the citizens who had previously stayed quiet about the high levels of violence. In The New Yorker, Francisco Goldman explains the occurrence of the 2014 kidnapping by stating that “such acts happen because the groups responsible- both the narcos and the police and politicians who are allied with them and protect them- know that they can get away with almost anything.” This demonstrates that the government is not effective in being responsive to the violence and levels of corruption that exist among local governmental entities, such as the one that resulted in the kidnapping in the first place. Shedler also points to this idea of incompetence directly when he claims that the rate of prosecution is virtually zero. Therefore, in almost a domino effect, due to the inability of the government institutions and police to control the widespread organized crime, there is a rise in antidemocratic ideals in society. This can be supported by the 2014 report of the Freedom House in which Mexico was established as a “partly free” nation due to the increasing limitation on the freedom of the press due to media outlets being targets of the drug cartels’ scare mechanism. In essence, the violence and the lack of response by the government are making Mexico more undemocratic.