Upcoming Event! Mexico’s Midterm Elections and the Peña Nieto Administration

May 11, 2015

Collage only_MonochromeWHEN: Monday, May 18, 9:30-11:00am

WHERE: 6th Floor Auditorium, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

Click here to RSVP.

The Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute is pleased to invite you to an event on Mexico’s 2015 midterm elections. On June 7, 2015, more than 86 million Mexicans will have the opportunity to elect 500 federal deputies, 17 state-level legislatures, 9 governors, and more than 300 mayors. This new cohort of legislators will replace the group that approved the major reforms proposed by President Enrique Peña Nieto during the first year of his administration. The new Chamber of Deputies will be crucial for the second half of Peña Nieto’s term in office; finding room for negotiation may prove increasingly difficult as the presidential succession nears.

These elections represent a battle in which the PRI seeks to stay strong despite the President’s low approval ratings. Meanwhile, the PAN and the PRD are trying to overcome internal divisions and emerge stronger. The PRD’s internal challenges became external with the recent founding of MORENA, led by Andrés Manuel López Obrador, which is emerging as a viable option for voters on the left. In fact, MORENA will be competing head to head with the Green Party (PVEM) to be the fourth national political force.

Speakers

Denise Dresser
Political Analyst and Professor, Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México

Luis Carlos Ugalde
Director General, Integralia Consultores

Moderator

Duncan Wood
Director, Mexico Institute, Wilson Center

RSVP here. 

Want to know more about Mexico’s midterm elections? Visit the Mexico Institute’s 2015 Election Guide.


Mexico’s Congress Passes Anti-Corruption Law

April 22, 2015

Reuters, 4/22/2015

Enrique Pena NietoMexico’s Congress has approved an anti-corruption law that could help relieve pressure on President Enrique Pena Nieto’s scandal-plagued government.

The law, passed late on Tuesday night, strengthens oversight of public officials and designates a special prosecutor to tackle corruption. It comes after several previous efforts to pass anti-graft measures failed.

The reform will give new powers to Mexico’s existing Federal Audit Office and the Public Administration Ministry (SFP), as well as creating a special court to oversee all corruption-related issues.

Read more…


Mexico’s President Rolls Out Plan to Save Endangered Porpoise

April 17, 2015

The New York Times, 4/16/2015

Peña Nieto

Peña Nieto

MEXICO CITY — President Enrique Peña Nieto and his top military commanders flew to a modest fishing village in Mexico’s far northwest on Thursday and made a promise to protect a small porpoise called the vaquita that is on the edge of extinction.

Standing near the dock where the fishermen of the village, San Felipe, unload their catches of shrimp, corvina and sierra, Mr. Peña Nieto ordered the Mexican Navy to take charge of the effort to halt the illegal fishing that has reduced the number of vaquitas to fewer than 100.

Read more…


Mexico Upset by Presidential Appointments for Key Posts

March 3, 2015

ABC News, 2/3/2015
Enrique Pena NietoPresident Enrique Pena is being criticized for having a possible conflict of interest in his nominations for attorney general and Mexico’s highest court.

Critics are blasting his choice of Arely Gomez to replace Jesus Murillo Karam as attorney general because she’s the sister of top Televisa news executive Leopoldo Gomez. He denied Tuesday he had any influence over his sister’s career.

Read more…


Mexico Leader Under New Scrutiny

January 21, 2015

1/20/2015 The Wall Street Journal

Bernardo Montoya/Reuters

Bernardo Montoya/Reuters

A few weeks after taking office as governor of the State of Mexico in late 2005, President Enrique Peña Nieto purchased a property in an exclusive golf club from a businessman who helped transform this sleepy town into a popular resort known for its Roman-style thermal baths.

Roberto San Román Widerkehr, the seller of the weekend residence and developer of an exclusive golf club here, also founded a local construction firm which went on to win more than $100 million in public-works contracts during Mr. Peña Nieto’s time as governor from 2005 to 2011, according to documents viewed by The Wall Street Journal…

But the transaction is another example of the extensive personal links between politicians and businessmen from Mr. Peña Nieto’s home state that led to accusations by politicians and others of influence peddling that are roiling his administration. The public outcry risks distracting the government from implementing economic overhauls and damaging his party’s support before midterm elections in June.

Read more…


In Mexico, History is Repeating Itself

January 16, 2015

By Tim Padgett, 1/15/2015

Yuri Cortez/AFP/Getty Images

Yuri Cortez/AFP/Getty Images

When Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto visited President Obama on Jan. 6, hundreds of Mexican Americans demonstrated outside the White House. Hundreds more picketed at Mexican consulates across the U.S. It was an unusual display of solidarity with Mexicans south of the border, who have taken to the streets almost daily since September—when 43 college students were massacred by narco-gangsters—to denounce corruption and violence in their country.

Peña Nieto’s approval rating, which hovered above 60 percent two years ago, has plummeted into the 30s as marchers call for his resignation. That’s a dramatic fall considering how ardently U.S. and international boosters lionized him when he took office in December 2012. Then, it seemed like every financial gazette on the planet was declaring Peña Nieto’s Mexico “the Aztec Tiger.” New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman said it was poised to become a “more dominant economic power in the 21st century” than China.

Read more…


Obama Pledges Mexico’s Pena Nieto Drugs Support

January 9, 2015

1/6/2015 BBC News

President Obama visits Mexico President Enrique Pena NietoPresident Barack Obama has promised the US will stand alongside Mexico in its fight against drug-related violence.

The vow came after talks with President Enrique Pena Nieto in the White House, in which the two discussed the recent disappearance of 43 Mexican students.

The US president said his country would be a “good partner” to its neighbour in the fight against drugs and associated problems.

“Our commitment is to be a friend and supporter of Mexico in its efforts to eliminate the scourge of violence and drug cartels that are responsible for so many tragedies inside of Mexico,” he said.

Read more…


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