Bloomberg – Support for Mexican populist candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is dropping as former first lady Margarita Zavala gains, according to a poll of potential candidates for the nation’s July 2018 presidential election.
Reuters – Mexican presidential hopeful Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has filed a complaint with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights against U.S. President Donald Trump’s planned border wall and his administration’s treatment of immigrants.
By Laura Tillman / Los Angeles Times
In December 2012, when Enrique Peña Nieto took office as Mexico’s president, his approval rating was 54%. It was a modest but respectable showing, considering he’d been elected from a four-candidate field with about 38% of the vote.
The central concerns in the country at that time were violence — measured in homicides, extortions and abductions often linked to drug cartels — and the economy. Peña Nieto, who was the reform candidate of the notoriously corrupt Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, promised to address these concerns and promised that his government would be transparent and accountable to the people.
Now, with Peña Nieto two-thirds of the way into his six-year term, many Mexicans believe he has failed on all fronts and been incapable of meeting the new challenge from President Trump.
His approval ratings in polls have plummeted, even falling below 20%. Though many factors drive polls, here’s a look at some of the significant events that turned public opinion against Peña Nieto:
Oil Price – Four years after Mexico’s energy reforms began, Lopez Obrador, who currently polls in first place to be elected for Mexico’s top public office in 2018, is threatening to derail the liberalization and review any contracts that have been signed since the entire process began.
The Hill – While Trump’s effect on Mexico’s economy has been decidedly negative — JPMorgan cut its 2017 GDP growth estimate from 1.8 percent to 1.3 percent — the country has rallied around opposition to Trump and the defense of its migrants in the United States.
Reuters – The White House is looking into how embarrassing details of President Donald Trump’s recent tense phone conversations with his counterparts in Australia and Mexico were leaked to news organizations.
Bloomberg – By the time the last brick is laid atop President Donald Trump’s Mexican wall, it’s a fair bet that someone more antagonistic toward the U.S. will hold power on its southern side. Especially if that someone is Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. Which, thanks to Trump, looks increasingly likely.
Mexico News – Women in Mexico joined others in Washington, D.C., on Saturday for the Women’s March on Washington, an event that was initially intended to share concern over Donald Trump’s election as United States president. Hundreds turned out in front of the U.S. embassy in Mexico City to express worry and anger over the Trump presidency, carrying signs bearing calls for gender equity, an end to racism, respect for Mexico and other messages.
The Guardian – Donald Trump once described Mexico’s wealthiest man as the string-pulling manipulator who orchestrated a media conspiracy to defeat his election campaign. Carlos Slim has previously scrapped a TV deal with Trump on the grounds that he was a racist. But the two billionaires appear to have set aside those differences, for now at least, sitting down to a meal at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida last Saturday.
Reuters – Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim said that if President-elect Donald Trump succeeds in office, it will be good news for Mexico, and that he would be more worried as an American than a Mexican about the next U.S. government.
Washington Post – Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani was paid millions under a contract arranged by a Mexican politician who is likely to run for president of Mexico in 2018 on an anti-Trump, Mexico-first platform. That could be a conflict of interest if Giuliani is named secretary of state and tasked with renegotiating NAFTA and trying to get Mexico to pay for a border wall.
Fox News – Mexican prosecutors have for the first time brought charges against a Roman Catholic priest for allegedly meddling in politics. Prosecutors accuse the priest and two former mayoral candidates of participating in a Mass at a church in the town of Chiautla, in the state of Mexico. The priest allegedly blessed the candidates, and the Mass was allegedly touted as the opening of their campaigns.
NBC – Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto said NAFTA benefits workers and companies on both sides of the border. He expressed concern that the U.S. could be turning its back on a bilateral trade relationship responsible for moving $1 million worth of goods every minute.
Fronteras – Mexico watched the elections perhaps more closely than any other country, and many reacted emotionally. People in a handful of watch parties cried or argued with each other as results came in. “Well, we are Mexicans, but we care because the U.S. is our first partner in commerce,” said Leonardo Núñez González, a columnist for the Mexico City newspaper La Razon,
AP – Mexico’s increasingly frank president, who is battling low approval ratings, launched a campaign to get people to talk positively about his country. President Enrique Pena Nieto said his administration has made mistakes, but that his efforts were in good faith. “I don’t think any president has woken up and thought, and forgive me for saying it, ‘How do I screw Mexico?’” Pena Nieto said.
NBC – Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump suggested Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim was involved in the publication of New York Times articles about women who have come out and alleged Trump made unwanted sexual advances. In attacking Slim, the Republican presidential candidate is going back to his recurrent theme of condemning Mexico and Mexicans, a tactic that has played well to a base of supporters but has turned off a vast majority of Latinos —including Hispanic Republicans — and other more moderate voters.
By Monica Langley / Wall Street Journal
Donald Trump is broadening his attack against the media to hit globalism and the Clinton Foundation by charging that Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim is part of a biased coalition working in collusion with the Clinton campaign and its supporters to generate news reports of decades-old allegations from several women.
Trump, defiant and enraged in speeches, flatly denied charges he had made inappropriate advances on the women over the past three decades.
He claimed that Slim, as a shareholder of New York Times Co. and donor to the Clinton Foundation, has an interest in helping Hillary Clinton’s campaign, according to a Trump adviser.
Attacking the Mexican billionaire would allow Mr. Trump to hit several targets. He could slam the “failing” New York Times, which he says had to be “rescued” by a “foreigner”—Mr. Slim, the adviser said.
“This is totally false,” said Arturo Elias, Slim’s spokesman. “Of course we aren’t interfering in the U.S. election. We aren’t even active in Mexican politics.” He said the contributions by Slim to the Clinton Foundation were a matter of public record.
CNBC – Ford Motor Executive Chairman Bill Ford Jr. said on Wednesday he has met with Donald Trump to talk about the Republican presidential candidate’s extensive criticism of the automaker’s investments in Mexico. Ford told the Economic Club of Washington that he thought Trump’s criticism of the No. 2 automaker’s foreign investments were “infuriating and “frustrating” because of the company’s extensive investments and employment in the United States. Trump has threatened if elected to impose hefty tariffs on Ford imports from Mexico.
Mexico’s ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, voted on Monday to suspend a controversial governor’s party membership in a bid to root out widespread perceptions of corruption among its ranks.
Citing damage to the party’s image and the strength of corruption allegations leveled against Veracruz state Governor Javier Duarte, the PRI’s seven-member justice commission approved the suspension of him and to six of his aides.
Duarte became the governor of the eastern state, a populous and oil-rich PRI bastion, in 2010 a vote tarred with accusations of electoral fraud.
His time in office became synonymous with widespread drug violence, accusations of graft and multiple journalist killings.
Veracruz is the most dangerous state for journalists in Mexico, with at least 17 journalists murdered there since 2010, Reporters Without Borders says.
Reuters – In some of the first signs of how some investors in Corporate America are bracing for a President Donald Trump, several large investors have expressed concern to Citigroup management in recent private meetings about the impact a victory for the Republican might have on its Banamex subsidiary.