June 21st, 2024

“America’s Mess with Mexico – A Fareed Zakaria Special,” Premieres Sunday, June 23 at 8:00pm ET on CNN & CNNi

“America’s Mess with Mexico – A Fareed Zakaria Special,” Premieres Sunday, June 23 at 8:00pm ET on CNN & CNNi

Fareed Zakaria examines how America’s influence on its southern neighbor has impacted Mexico’s moves towards illiberalism – and what it means for America’s own future



Mexico’s historic election will send Claudia Sheinbaum, the country’s first woman and person of Jewish faith, to the National Palace as the incoming president, in October.  But marring the celebrations of the impressive firsts were candidate assassinations that preceded the election, and nationwide violence at the polls.  People who have long watched Mexican politics also see warning signs for the ruling party’s commitment to democracy: government restrictions of press freedoms and judicial independence, allegations of marginalization by indigenous people, and intimidation of minority political parties.

CNN’s Fareed Zakaria explores these issues in a new one-hour special, AMERICA’S MESS WITH MEXICO – A Fareed Zakaria Special, to premiere Sunday, June 23, at 8:00pm ET, on CNN & CNN International.  The special will encore on CNN at 11:00pm ET (8:00pm PT).

To understand how the relationship between the United States and Mexico is both “crucial … and complicated,” in interviews with experts, Zakaria discusses how America has been dependent upon Mexico to help manage the mass migration of those fleeing violence and economic hardship.  And, it has been nearly two hundred years since the United States declared war upon Mexico, radically changing both nations’ borders.  Eventually, the two countries were linked through transnational trade – and the drug cartels – that have created economic disparities and cultural disruption.  Mexican politics have also long impacted – and divided – politics in the United States.

Importantly, Zakaria notes, Mexico is America’s top trading partner – even outranking China and Canada.  And, Mexico and America partner on everything from immigration to drug investigations, to water management. However, Zakaria warns, anti-corruption efforts, civil reforms, and democracy itself in Mexico have seemed to be deprioritized by America in favor of stability at the border – and short-term politics.

To explore these themes, interviewed for AMERICA’S MESS WITH MEXICO are:

  • Jonathan Blitzer, journalist; author, Everyone Who Is Gone Is Here: The United States, Central America, and the Making of a Crisis (2024);
  • Peter Goodman, global economics correspondent, The New York Times; author, How the World Ran Out of Everything: Inside the Global Supply Chain (2024)
  • Anabel Hernandez, journalist; author, The TraitorInside the World’s Most Powerful Drug Cartel(2023); and,
  • Shannon K. O’Neil, PhD, vice president, deputy director of studies and senior fellow for Latin America Studies, Council on Foreign Relations; author, The Globalization Myth: Why Regions Matter (2022)

During the June 23 premiere on CNN and CNN International, AMERICA’S MESS WITH MEXICO – A Fareed Zakaria Special, will stream live for pay TV subscribers via CNN.com, CNN OTT and mobile apps. The special will be available on demand beginning Monday, June 24 to pay TV subscribers via CNN.com, CNN apps, and Cable Operator Platforms.  It will also encore on CNN International on Saturday, June 29 at 3:00pm ET.

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Jennifer Dargan, CNN                                       jennifer.dargan@cnn.com