By David Agren / Vice News
Over the last year, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has inaugurated an empty soccer stadium, bused friendly partisans in to cheer him during the annual independence celebrations and canceled an appearance at his alma mater after students complained about onerous security.
Peña Nieto arrived at the halfway point of his six-year presidency on Tuesday an unpopular president, struggling to regain the mojo of his administration’s early days after the once-reviled Institutional Revolutionary Party regained the presidency in 2012.
Peña Nieto has spent the past year plagued by corruption and conflict-of-interest scandals, as well as dashed expectations that his administration’s reforms can pay dividends anytime soon.
The escape of crime boss Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán from a maximum-security prison in July only made matters worse.
“His numbers have been lower than any president in recent time,” said Jeffrey Weldon, political science professor at the Autonomous Technological Institute of Mexico.
“[There’s] a tone-deafness,” and “slowness in responding to things that you should have known that you have to respond to,” Weldon added.