Mexico’s President is short on time, as he’s set to step down as his five year, ten month tenure ends in December, lets see all of what he accomplished.
1. He will be the least popular president of Mexico’s post revolutionary history
As of October of last year, Peña nieto had an approval of merely 16%. This was driven by various blunders and scandals like the state sponsored murder of 43 students in Guerrero, the three billion dollar corruption scandal around Veracruz, the white house scandal around his wife, other scandals linked to infrastructure spending amongst a variety of issues.
2. He delegitimized the army and opted for the Navy in fighting the drug wars
Peña Nieto had an arms length relationship with the Mexican Army, who was the centerpiece of previous President Calderon’s security strategy, at a point a scary amount of bases even reveled against him by staffing the Mexican flag upside down; a sign of despair for the nation.
3. He’s going to step down in a country with the highest rate of violence since 2000
2017 and 2018 are going to be the most bloody years of 21st century Mexican history, in the case of 2018 it’s set out to be the bloodiest year ever since statistics are recorded.
4. His reforms were revelatory of larger problems within the nation and there’s little indication that they’ll remain.
Labor, economic,telecomunications, financial, tax, energy, electoral, judiciary, social security, and educational reforms were all passed under the watchful eyes of Enrique Peña Nieto as executive and presumptive leader of PRI, and the compromising strategy of Ricardo Anaya. In a nutshell Peña Nieto changed the country’s very structure, and we can thank some of his reforms for many good things:
1.Delegitimizing a corrupted teachers union.
2.opening the telecommunications sector to real competitiveness by forcing anti-trust rulings on TELMEX.
3.Improving the quality of judiciary procedures significantly
4. We celebrated historically clear and independent elections in 2015 and 2018 under the watchful eyes of the reformed INE that got rid of IFE.
5. The creation of unemployment benefits and retirement benefits for workers registered under social security.
However, Obrador is against the Energy reform and the Educational reform and will probably seek to change those parts of the constitution significantly.
5. Under his watch we made historical advances in LGBTQ+ rights, women’s rights, and Marihuana rights.
It was under Peña Nieto that gay marriage was enacted at the Federal level thanks to his request that marriage law was revised in 2016 and also by the supreme court justices he chose that decided in 2015 that marriage discrimination laws were unconstitutional.
It was also under Peña Nieto that transgender individuals had their gender recognized by Federal Authorities like the Foreign Relations Secretariat, that started issuing passports with the owners preferred gender thanks to state laws that allowed for the first time for legally binding gender change.
Peña nieto also passed positive discrimination acts that forced political parties into having more female candidates and included in them equal labour laws.
It was also thanks to Peña Nieto’s supreme court justices that marihuana was recognized as a medicinal drug, and he also encouraged efforts to decriminalize it for up to 28 grams, but those failed. Right now Mexico is two trials away (amparos bajo la suprema corte de justicia de la nacion) from legalizing recreational use of marihuana.
6. Under his watch Mexico’s economy tanked, but tax enforcement increased more than double
Tax enforcement more than doubled during his presidency, starting at an average of 11,000 pesos per capita to more than 22,000 pesos per capita (this was adjusted to reflect changes in the value of the USD dollar), Mexico remains a country with pathetic tax enforcement as on average six out of ten Mexicans are not registered into the Social Security apparatus nor pay taxes on their income.
It’s not to say it’s a win, the top tax rate in Mexico is for little under 150,000 USD per year and it’s only 35%; the tax rates failed to move up as the value of the dollar doubled, as such the tax burden was shifted significantly towards the poor. This was not helped by a sluggish performance by the Mexican economy that hit primarily the middle class.
7. He’s the second youngest president to have ever served.
Peña Nieto was swept into office at a ripe 46 years of age, however he was beat by Carlos Salinas who entered at 40.
8. He’s very probably the last of his kind.
The Atlacomulco Group (which refers to PRI politicians born in the city of Atlacomulco having widespread popularity) is dead and buried, as this election showed PRI lost everything in their home state of Estado de Mexico; the famed group of governors and Presidents is probably reaching its last stance as Del Mazo barely got elected for governor of the same state. As PRI is defeated a structural reform of their party comes to mind, and the aging Atlacomulco group is very much in trouble.
9. Everyone is happy to see him go.
Our nation is enduring a political ecosystem in which impunity is a given, violence is part of everyday life, and inequality is a thing of discomfort but not worthy of trying to fix. Obrador might’ve only been elected with around 54% of the vote, but his party carried 24 states for senate and 211 seats of the chamber of deputies; they represent 70% of the elected deputies and his initial approval rating will be much higher than Peña.