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Mexican elections prove testy

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Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By The Associated Press
Sunday, July 7, 2013, 10:00 p.m.
 

MEXICO CITY — Elections for governor of a key border state as well as for legislatures and mayorships in 13 other states on Sunday have raised tempers, along with fears that violence may be becoming endemic in local Mexican politics.

At stake is the governorship of Baja California, the first statehouse won by the opposition in 1989. The ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, is looking to win back Baja California, while the conservative National Action Party desperately wants to hold on to the governor's office in a state that is home to key cities such as Tijuana and Mexicali.

A loss in Baja after 24 years in power there could be devastating for National Action leader Gustavo Madero, who has formed a working alliance with PRI President Enrique Pena Nieto to enact key national reforms.

Analysts say defeat could lead National Action to pull out of the alliance, known as the Pact for Mexico, which has achieved reforms in public education and telecom laws but still faces hurdles in energy and tax reform.

“Given the symbolic importance of Baja California for National Action, if it loses this this election, I really think you could see a significant impact on the Pact for Mexico,” said Rene Torres-Ruiz, professor of political science at the Ibero-American University.

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