Midnight in Mexico: A Reporter’s Journey Through a Country’s Descent Into Darkness

Álvaro Enrigue writes:

On 11 December 2006, Felipe Calderón, the president of Mexico, appeared on television dressed as a military commander and announced that he was ‘declaring war’ on organised crime. It was an unforgettable and grotesque gesture, which won him an invaluable spike in popularity. The news was unexpected: it was the first time his National Action Party (PAN) had used the militaristic liturgy of Mexico’s previous post-revolution governments. And the scene took place little more than a week after Calderón, a Catholic lawyer before becoming a member of Congress, was elected with a promise to be ‘the employment president’ in a country that was ideologically divided but at peace.

(LRB 8 May 2014)