Americans seem more willing to legalize marijuana. How does that affect Mexico's drug war?
Personally, I'm against legalization. But without a doubt, it opens space for a rethinking of our drug-war policy.
You've pledged to cut the number of drug-related murders in Mexico 60,000 in the past six years in half.
I want to bring a much more coordinated approach to combatting and preventing the violence. Our law-enforcement and judicial systems have a very low level of effectiveness: only 2 of every 100 violent crimes result in convictions. But remember that without better economic opportunity you can't have better public security and vice versa.
Does the new Hispanic-voter muscle in the U.S. give you more leverage with Washington?
I believe immigration reform is a commitment of President Obama's government, especially now that it gives him a chance to respond to the great demand expressed by Hispanic voters for better cross-border mobility. We can finally start moving beyond what is sometimes a monothematic relationship due to the drug-war issue.
How can you lower Mexico's 45% poverty rate?
The socioeconomic contrasts that persist in Mexico are unacceptable. We've got to promote more business competition, raise our low levels of bank credit and restore peace and tranquillity in Mexico.
More competition requires less corruption, which robs Mexico of about a tenth of its trillion-dollar GDP each year.
Mexico is now a strong electoral democracy, but we also have to build a democracy that produces better results. To combat the social cancer of corruption, I'm proposing that an autonomous anticorruption institute be built into our constitution.
Your party, the PRI, once ruled Mexico as a corrupt dictatorship. Have you modernized the PRI enough to modernize Mexico?
Yes. To get elected in Mexico today, you have to compete, and I can't do that by being manipulated by anyone. If we don't produce results, we can't compete. But in its 83 years, my party has also proved that it can produce results.
How can the PRI confront the business monopolies it once coddled and that suffocate Mexico's economy today?
I'm pushing legislation to strengthen the government's monopoly-busting organs. The only way to realize economic opportunity is greater competition.
Toward that end, you've proposed allowing private investment in Mexico's inefficient, state-owned oil industry.
This is a big energy reform that will require a constitutional amendment. It's a sensitive issue, but if we're going to realize our potential, we have to let the private sector in.
Has Anglica Rivera, your telenovela-star wife, helped make you a better communicator?
She's a wonderful, very independent role model. But I genuinely enjoy being among people. I'm not a politician who likes to read the public from a distance. You can't take its temperature that way.
Can you make Mexico a diplomatic leader in the western hemisphere again?
Mexico got distracted, in part by its security crisis. Our future international leadership will depend a lot on how well we improve our internal circumstances. Mexico will be back.