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Photo: “US / Mexico Border Crossing”, by Ben Amstutz licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0. Hue modified from the original.

Garza Castillo, Mario Alberto, and Juan Manuel Trak. “Continuities and transformations in the democratization process of the political system in Nuevo Leon.” Latin American Policy 12, no. 2 (2021): 534-553.


This article aims to identify the strengths and weaknesses of democracy in Nuevo León, using as a theoretical framework the concept of illiberal structures and practices at the subnational level. First, we describe the sociodemographic characteristics of Nuevo León. Next, we summarize the democratization process in the state. Third, we analyze the evolution of the electoral competition in the state—the law; election results for governors, Congress, and municipalities; and the role of justice in state elections. Fourth, the article considers whether some nonpolitical actors such as economic elites, organized crime, or gender-based violence influence the democratic process. The fuzzy borders between political and economic elites are the most relevant weakness of democratization in Nuevo León. The cooptation of the public decision-making process by the business elite may be an illiberal structure or practice in the state.

The Illiberalism Studies Program studies the different faces of illiberal politics and thought in today’s world, taking into account the diversity of their cultural context, their intellectual genealogy, the sociology of their popular support, and their implications on the international scene.