Zedillo received a politically turbulent country, just the worst economic crisis the nation had seen in decades detonated. This led Zedillo to the conclusion that, to avoid new political or economic breakdowns, he had no other options other than a genuine political opening, not the simulated or cosmetic version of his predecessors. He brokered a democratic pact with all of the parties (the so-called "Barcelona agreements"). The IFE obtained autonomy (with respect to the government) and party consensus and earned enormous credibility. There was a new electoral law that carried us to full competitiveness. Triumphs of the PRD in the capital and in Zacatecas were accepted, as were the PAN's in Yucatán, Jalisco, and Querétaro. Zedillo admitted the defeat of the PRI in the lower house in 1997. And, in 2000, peaceful change took place for the first time in our history.To me, there's no question whatsoever, basically for the reasons Crespo mentions. Zedillo may have been politically cornered, but he didn't have to accede to any of the above measures (indeed, there was much pressure on him from within the party to resist more forcefully). And these were historic accomplishments, adding up to a contribution arguably greater than any Mexican president's since Lázaro Cárdenas. I'm often surprised that Zedillo's legacy isn't more positive. Perhaps as the memory of the economic crisis fades.
Crespo also writes:
When one remembers that the PAN governments have not been radically different from the PRI, some panistas mention that there is no comparison between the political damage provoked by the PRI and that which can be blamed on the PAN. Which leads me to think that, maybe, this is due to the fact that we are assessing 70 years of priista regimes against only nine of PAN governments. But, should the PAN remain in power 70 years as the PRI did, who knows how the balance for the PAN would end up.First of all, Fox and Calderón arguably have not been radically different from Zedillo and Salinas (and that's certainly not an open and shut case, especially when you take into account the Salinas years), but to say that the PAN has not been radically different from the PRI over the length of its rule willfully overlooks the PRI's most shameful episodes. Second of all, arguing that if the PAN clung to power for 70 years, it would be as bad as the PRI is a bit like saying if I owned a home, I'd be a homeowner.