Mexican president promises answers on tainted luxury home

November 17, 2014

11/16/14 Reuters 

Ma Ning / New China News Agency

Ma Ning / New China News Agency

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto said late on Saturday the government would next week give answers about a luxury house acquired by his wife that has raised questions about the ethical standards of his administration. Days after the government canceled a $3.75 billion rail contract won in an uncontested bid by a Chinese-led consortium, local media reports identified the property as linking one of the Mexican partners in the group to Pena Nieto. Reports about the house have swelled a recent tide of public anger about the government, which has been under heavy fire for its management of the disappearance of 43 students in the southwest of the country in late September. Opposition lawmakers claimed the rail deal had been fixed. It was won by a consortium including a company called Grupo Higa just before Pena Nieto went on a visit to China.

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Mexico’s reforms built on shaky ground

November 17, 2014

11/15/14 The Miami Herald 

Bernardo Montoya/Reuters

Bernardo Montoya/Reuters

Visiting this country after several months, more than a month after the disappearance and likely murder of 43 students by drug gangs in cahoots with local authorities in the state of Guerrero, feels like arriving in a different country. Only a few months ago, President Enrique Peña Nieto was receiving an award for “statesman of the year” in New York, and his government’s bold energy and education reforms were being heralded by world media as the start of a “Mexican Moment” that would put this country on a fast track to the First World. But now, while Mexico’s economy continues to do much better than that of Venezuela, Argentina or Brazil, Mexicans have suddenly become enraged over the country’s endemic violence, and over a series of new scandals that are widely seen as signs of massive political corruption. Whoever you talk to, poor and rich, agree that the Sept. 26-27 killings in the town of Iguala — alongside new scandals involving possible government corruption in a murky $3.7 billion high-speed train construction bid awarded to a Chinese consortium, and the purchase of a $7 million mansion by first lady Angelica Rivero — have led to Peña Nieto’s worst political crisis since he took office two years ago.

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Mexico Leader’s Woes Follow Him to China

November 12, 2014

10/10/14 Wall Street Journal

Bernardo Montoya/Reuters

Bernardo Montoya/Reuters

Revelations that a mansion used by President Enrique Peña Nieto ’s family was held by a Mexican company whose owner has won big government contracts reverberated from Mexico to China on Monday. Social networks exploded with photos of the first family’s residence, valued at $7 million, as a video about the president’s family home was seen more than 1 million times on YouTube. The president’s office defended the home by saying it wasn’t the president’s property, but rather the first lady’s, who was paying the home in installments. It declined to give more information. But the president’s opponents—including student groups and leftist politicians—called for his resignation and new elections on Twitter using the trending hashtag #Articulo39RenunciaEPN.

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President Peña Nieto’s reputation founders amid failure to find students

November 6, 2014

11/03/14 The Guardian 

Enrique Pena NietoIn February, Time magazine dedicated a cover feature to President Enrique Peña Nieto under the headline Saving Mexico. In June, his tour of Europe saw his wife’s chic wardrobe garner international fans. He returned home from a trip to New York in September clutching a prize as World Statesman 2014. Fast forward just a few weeks to find the White House spokesman, the European parliament and the United Nations high commissioner for human rights all expressing concern about the situation in Mexico. With news from the country dominated by the disappearance of 43 students after they were arrested by police, the pope recently led a gathering in the Vatican in a prayer for the suffering Mexican people.

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Mexico president, missing students’ relatives at odds after meeting

October 30, 2014

10/29/14 Los Angeles Times

Yuri Cortez/AFP/Getty Images

Yuri Cortez/AFP/Getty Images

More than a month after 43 college students were led away by police and never seen again, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto on Wednesday met with relatives of the missing men in a bid to shore up flagging public faith in the search. But the families apparently turned the tables on the normally well-choreographed president, rejecting his proposed approach and refusing to leave his headquarters in Mexico City for more than six hours. Peña Nieto went on TV to promise a 10-point plan to find the students and address other grievances, while the families angrily denounced what they saw as official negligence. “All the powers of state, and they cannot find our children,” a father said at a chaotic news conference after the meeting.

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Missing students and murders eclipse reforms push in Mexico

October 14, 2014

10/10/14 Reuters

Enrique Pena NietoFor nearly two years, President Enrique Pena Nieto has sought to direct the Mexican public’s gaze onto his efforts to open the economy and away from the brutal gang violence that blighted his predecessor’s government. But shocking abuses by security forces are overshadowing his economic reforms and threaten to ruin his efforts to recast Mexico as a country of progress and promise for investors. Two recent atrocities and a brace of political murders have torn the veneer of calm Pena Nieto had carefully built around his economic agenda since he took office in December 2012.

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Enrique Pena Nieto: Mexico Ready to Lead Change Processes in Latin Americ

September 22, 2014

09/22/14 RIANOVOSTI

Enrique Pena NietoMexico is going to lead processes of change in Latin America, which has ceased to be an arena of economic crises, coups and various political issues in recent years, the country’s President Enrique Peña Nieto said during a trip to New York. “Mexico wants to be at the top of these changes, and in the two years that I was in office, we decided to take a deep modernization that will allow us to move [forward] and change the character of our country,” El Universal quoted the president as saying when he was awarded the Citizen of the World prize by US nongovernmental organization The Atlantic Council on Sunday.

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