Despite America's focus on Mexico's troubling drug war and illegal immigration, many believe that the tides are turning for the country. Last year the country had a larger GDP growth than Brazil, and as wages in China rise, the country looks to take a large hold of the world manufacturing market.
A vast country with deeply ingrained problems and unreformed corners, Mexico could yet squander the opportunities that are coming its way. But there are signs that it is beginning to realise its potential. With luck, the dire predictions made by the Pentagon and others may turn out to be as reliable as a misread Mayan calendar.
Preparing to lead Mexico into this brightening future is the party most associated with its past. The Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) ran Mexico without interruption for most of the 20th century, silencing opposition through a mixture of co-option, corruption and occasional violence. Only in 2000 did it give up its grip on power to the conservative National Action Party (PAN), which fielded two presidents in succession: Vicente Fox, a former executive at Coca-Cola, and Felipe Calderon, a lawyer whose father was a founding member of the party. On December 1st Mr Calderon will hand over the presidency to the PRI's Enrique Pena Nieto, who won a clear election victory on July 1st. A handsome 46-year-old with a gift for communication, Mr Pena claims to be the opposite of the crooked party men who ran the country in its pre-democratic days. But will the change be more than superficial?
John Bailey, professor of government and Foreign Service at Georgetown University and the director of the Mexico Project, will also join the discussion.
Part of the conversation: Is Mexico poised to enter a new, prosperous future and how will this change the way America interacts with its southern neighbor?
READ MORE ABOUT MEXICO:
From darkness, dawn (The Economist)
Drugs and violence: A glimmer of hope (The Economist)
The new border: Illegal immigration's shifting frontier (Foreign Policy)
Won't you be my neighbor? (Foreign Policy)
A new leader pushesa different side of Mexico (New York Times)