Entries in Enrique Pena Nieto (4)


Mexico’s New President: Safety a Primary Focus

Susana Gonzalez/Bloomberg via Getty Images(MEXICO CITY) -- As he prepares to take over a country ripe with violence and plagued by drug wars, Mexico’s president-elect Enrique Pena Nieto is promising to focus first and foremost on making the streets of his nation safer.

Pena Nieto claimed victory after a recount on Wednesday. Over half of all ballot boxes were reopened and recounted amid accusations of vote buying. Following the official recount, Pena Nieto was again declared the next Mexican president.

Two days after his victory in Sunday’s election, Pena Nieto told ABC News’ Cecilia Vega in an interview that Mexico’s war on violence can be won, but policy changes must be made.

“We have to emphasize the reduction of violence that our country lives in right now. The policy of fighting insecurity has to have social support and to achieve that goal it’s necessary today to give Mexicans conditions of greater calm and security,” Pena Nieto said in an interview conducted in Spanish and translated into English.

More than 50,000 people have been killed as a result of Mexico’s drug wars since outgoing president Felipe Calderon took power in 2006, a staggering string of violence that has raised concerns in the United States as well. Only days before last weekend’s election, a car bomb in Nuevo Laredo, only miles from the border, injured seven people.

“Look, to obtain security that Mexican society demands goes hand in hand with obtaining results in other fields to precisely have a safe border,” Pena Nieto said. “I would tell them to those who live in the United States in worry and fear that this is the biggest challenge: to recover peace and tranquility for Mexicans and for those who visit us from the United States, to obtain this means to adjust the public safety strategy, secondly, obtain an environment of economic growth to generate jobs and opportunities of self-development. This will allow, or rather avoid, that many people, especially young people, get co-opted by organized crime.”

Pena Nieto also expressed that while US-Mexican relations will certainly be affected by who wins November’s elections in the U.S., he is impartial about the outcome. “I’m completely respectful of the decision that Americans will have over their president,” Pena Nieto said. “I will be respectful towards whoever results elected president of the United States. My interest will be to work a close relationship of increased collaboration, of respect to our sovereignty and above all to set shared goals and above all to be efficient in achieving these goals.”

In terms of Mexican immigration to the United States, Pena Nieto is eager to make remaining in Mexico an attractive option for his people. “For me, one of my major priorities will be to drive structural reforms that will allow Mexico to grow and generate jobs and opportunities for Mexicans,” he said. “In this way, migrating will be an option or a decision and not a necessity for many Mexicans.”

However, in the case of immigrants already in the U.S., Pena Nieto is in favor of amnesty: “If they’ve decided to remain in that country they should have the opportunity of fair treatment and their work be recognized.”

In his campaign for the presidency, Pena Nieto, a member of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), pledged to focus less on apprehending narco-traffickers and more on reducing violence on the streets. However, Pena Nieto emphasized to Vega that certain policies that worked under Calderon will still be continued even after he leaves office.

“Those who suppose we have to reverse or cancel the policy of President Calderon are wrong. I’ve publicly recognized the progress and achievements he’s had in certain areas within the insecurity fight,” Pena Nieto said. “We’d have to strengthen the policy of capacity of civil force of Mexican State to combat organized crime, territorial presence. But also, we have to now in the adjustment of the strategy, increased emphasis in reducing violence. This is what worries Mexicans the most – the fear planted in many Mexicans due to this climate of insecurity. So we’ll have to say, what has worked in this government, will continue. We’ll strengthen actions started by the current government, but we have to adjust the necessary to combat impunity, re-establish the rule of law and regain the tranquility that Mexicans are asking for.”

Pena Nieto will take office Dec. 1 after last weekend’s election saw him win 38 percent of the vote. It signals a return to power for the PRI, a party that ruled for over seven decades before finally being ousted in 2000. Now Pena Nieto, 45, who is married to a soap opera star, will get to work on his ambitious plans to restore safety to a nation rocked by years of bloodshed.

“The policy of fighting insecurity has to have social support and to achieve that goal -- it’s necessary today to give Mexicans conditions of greater calm and security,” he said. “That’s why, the policy of public safety, in order to have social support, has to translate into results and peace of mind that Mexicans expect of the next government.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Mexico’s President-Elect Faces Challenges

Daniel Aguilar/Getty Images(MEXICO CITY) -- Mexico’s Institutional Revolutionary Party is back in power for the first time in 12 years after Sunday’s presidential election, but it wasn’t the landslide that many had predicted.

The party’s candidate and now the president-elect, Enrique Peña Nieto, was declared the winner with 38 percent of the vote -- more than six percentage points ahead of his closest rival, leftist candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador -- but many observers say the lack of a landslide means Peña Nieto has his work cut out for him.

The Institutional Revolutionary Party had been in power for 71 years before it was kicked out amid claims of rampant corruption.  Many voters are wary of Peña Nieto’s ability to carry out his plans for reform, and remain worried about handing power back to the PRI.  In Sunday’s presidential vote, three out of five voters cast ballots for candidates other than Peña Nieto.

Carlos Ramirez, a Mexico analyst for the Eurasia Group, tells the Los Angeles Times that Peña Nieto’s “mandate is clearly weaker than expected.”

Peña Nieto’s party does not have a majority in Mexico’s legislature and will have to negotiate any new reform proposals with Lopez Obrador’s leftist Democratic Revolution Party and outgoing President Felipe Calderon’s National Action Party.  To make matters worse, Obrador has refused to admit defeat and says he will wait until the final results are in and a legal review is performed before conceding.

The U.S. State Department congratulated Peña Nieto Monday on his win and expressed confidence that Mexico and the United States would continue to work together on important issues like the ongoing drug wars.

During his campaign, Peña Nieto expressed a desire to shift the focus of Mexico’s war on drugs away from targeting cartel bosses and stopping drug smugglers heading to the U.S. to instead concentrating on making Mexico’s streets safer for its citizens.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Violence Rocks Mexico on Eve of Elections

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(MEXICO CITY) — On the eve of a presidential election, Mexicans awoke to headlines and gruesome photos of a car bomb blast that injured seven people.

The images from Friday’s bombing in Nuevo Laredo, just a few miles away from the U.S.-Mexico border, are just the latest example of the bloodshed that has rocked this country.

More than 50,000 people have been killed in Mexico’s drug wars. With corruption and crime running rampant, it’s not just Mexicans looking to a new president to curb the violence in this troubled nation. The United States is also keeping a watchful eye.

In addition to a nearly 2,000 mile-long border connecting the two countries, Mexico and the United States share billions of dollars in trade.

The United States offered $1.6 billion in aid to fight Mexico’s drug war — a plan that included sending troops into the streets and a crackdown on cartel bosses.

But that strategy could shift under a new president.

On the campaign trail, frontrunner candidate Enrique Pena Nieto has promised to lessen the focus on catching narco-leaders and blocking the drug flow into the United States and instead concentrate on curbing violence that affects Mexicans.

Nearly all polls point to a victory by Pena Nieto, a young, telegenic heartthrob who is married to a soap opera star.

Early returns are expected Monday evening.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Mexican Presidential Candidate Has His Own Rick Perry ‘Oops’ Moment

MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images(GUADALAJARA, Spain) -- Apparently Rick Perry’s now-famous brain freeze was felt across the Mexican border.

If you thought the Texas governor’s “oops” moment at last month’s GOP debate in Michigan was the worst case you’ll see in a presidential race this year, there’s a new contender: Enrique Pena Nieto's lapse last weekend at a press conference at the Guadalajara International Book Fair.

When asked what three books had influenced him the most in his personal and political life, a question that even audience members described as “facil” (easy), Pena Nieto stumbled and bumbled his way through an answer that was filled with mistakes and at times virtually incoherent.

Pena Nieto said he read “parts of” the Bible as a child and then cited a number of novels, at one point asking for help in recalling the names of the authors, help he sorely needed since he incorrectly identified some of them.

“When I read books the titles don’t really sink in,” he acknowledged.

At least Perry blanked on the names of the three federal agencies that he would eliminate as president, not on something as basic as his favorite books, but both gaffes are likely to haunt the candidates.

If Pena Nieto -- who leads in the polls -- and Perry -- who trails far behind current Republican frontrunners Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich -- both manage to emerge victorious in their respective elections, the two would inevitably end up working together. Last week in New Hampshire Perry even said that if he were elected president, he would request a meeting with the Mexican president-elect to discuss the relationship between the two neighboring countries.

A few reporters snickered: if a Perry-Pena Nieto meeting did take place, would the two be able to remember what topics to discuss?

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio