Category Archives: Politics

How Mexico’s president saw his approval rating plummet to 17%

Marchers in Mexico City express their displeasure with President Enrique Peña Nieto during a February protest, waving flags saying "Peña out." (Jorge Nunez/European Pressphoto Agency)
Marchers in Mexico City express their displeasure with President Enrique Peña Nieto during a February protest, waving flags saying “Peña out.” (Jorge Nunez/European Pressphoto Agency)

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:

Trump bolsters position of Mexico’s AMLO

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.

Protest held at U.S. Embassy to oppose Trump

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.

Trump and Slim meet for “lovely dinner” at Mar-a-Lago

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.

Guiliani made millions in deal with anti-Trump politician

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.

2 candidates, priest charged in political meddling

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.

In Mexico, an emotional response to U.S. election

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,

Pena Nieto says didn’t intend “to screw up Mexico”

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.

In attacking Slim, Trump returns to anti-Mexico theme

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.

Trump accuses Carlos Slim of using NYT to help Clinton campaign

Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim during a news conference at Soumaya museum in Mexico City, June 15, 2016. (Henry Romero/Reuters)
Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim during a news conference at Soumaya museum in Mexico City, June 15, 2016. (Henry Romero/Reuters)

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. 

Ford CEO met with Trump over “infuriating” Mexico comments

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.

PRI Suspends Controversial Veracruz Governor’s Party Membership

Veracruz governor Javier Duarte (R) attends the XXXVIII Session of the National Council of Public Security at the National Palace in Mexico City, Aug. 21, 2015.
Veracruz governor Javier Duarte (R) attends the XXXVIII Session of the National Council of Public Security at the National Palace in Mexico City, Aug. 21, 2015.


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.