For Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, 2016 was supposed to be a good year. The government had promised that in the second half of his six-year term, which started in 2012, the reforms pushed through Congress during his momentous first few months in office would bear fruit. They’d bolster growth as well as the standing of his Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).
Instead, the Mexican leader finds himself battling problems, including low oil prices and public dissatisfaction with the government’s response to corruption. The measure Peña Nieto said was most important—a plan to improve public education by making teachers more accountable for their performance—has sparked protests in the nation’s impoverished south.