By Katherine Corcoran / Associated Press
As he heads to Washington on Monday to meet with Barack Obama, Enrique Pena Nieto leaves behind a year that was hardly what he had envisioned.
The Mexican president and his team started 2014 carrying out a slew of newly passed reforms, from breaking up telecommunications monopolies to opening the nation’s energy sector, earning him international plaudits, including a Time magazine cover with his image above the caption “Saving Mexico.”
Then came a 1-2-3 punch of scandals: Soldiers killing 22 civilians in a questionable “shootout”; the abduction and presumed murder of 43 college students, allegedly at the hands of local officials and police in league with a drug cartel; and revelations that Pena Nieto and his treasury secretary live in luxury homes built and financed by a favorite government contractor.
Pena Nieto’s meeting with Obama at the White House on Tuesday comes amid what was supposed to be “Mexico’s moment,” a new era of transparency and reform.