"The United States and Mexico have a close and complex bilateral relationship as neighbors and partners under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Although security issues have recently dominated the U.S. relationship with Mexico, analysts predict that bilateral relations may shift toward economic matters now that President Enrique Peña Nieto has taken office. Peña Nieto of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) defeated leftist Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador and Josefina Vázquez Mota of the conservative National Action Party (PAN) in Mexico's July 1, 2012 presidential election. As a result, the PRI, which controlled Mexico from 1929 to 2000, retook the presidency on December 1, 2012. Some analysts have raised concerns regarding the PRI's return to power, but President Peña Nieto has pledged to govern democratically and to forge cross-party alliances. The outgoing PAN government of Felipe Calderón pursued an aggressive anticrime strategy and increased security cooperation with the United States. Those efforts helped Mexico arrest or kill record numbers of drug kingpins, but 60,000 people may have died as a result of organized crimerelated violence during the Calderón Administration. Mexico's ongoing security challenges overshadowed some of the Calderón government's achievements, including its successful economic stewardship during and after the global financial crisis."
CRS Report for Congress, RL32724