Question of Enrique Peña’s Resignation

Hannah Jane Kim

Paseo de la Reforma, or Avenue of Reform, Mexico city’s main boulevard, was filled with protests as Enrique Peña Nieto prepared to celebrate Mexico’s Independence Day. Calls for his resignation were chanted among thousands of peaceful protesters, prior to Mr. Nieto’s ringing of the bell on a balcony of the National Palace to officially begin the Independence Day weekend.

This protest, however, expresses nothing new. Polls show that in a quarter century, Mr. Peña Nieto became the most unpopular Mexican president. Past protests have been much more massive as well. In the 4 years that Mr. Peña Nieto has been president, homicide rates have peaked and the Mexican economy has weakened. Tension among Mexican citizens has continuously grown with every new scandal presented to them.

Within the past two months, resentment towards Mr. Peña Nieto has become more definite, due to the fact that he invited Donald Trump, GOP presidential candidate, to Mexico and treated Trump as if he had already won the presidential election. Paula Escobar, a junior at CVHS, says, “As someone with authority, Peña Nieto does have a duty to treat possible future presidents with respect, but the fact that he treated Trump as if he was already president was ridiculous.” Media reports state than Luis Videgaray, Mr. Peña Nieto’s finance minister and a close associate, was the one to propose the meeting. Videgaray resigned immediately after the accusations surfaced.

But even before Trump’s visit, Mr. Peña Nieto was already facing heat from multiple scandals. In September, 2014, 43 students from a rural teacher’s college disappeared, and the investigation made by Tomás Zerón was criticized by a panel of independent experts. He resigned following this matter.

Recently, evidence that Mr. Peña Nieto plagiarized his undergrad law thesis has also surfaced, which damaged his integrity and further solidified the anger from the citizens of Mexico.

Enrique Peña Nieto was also governor during a police sex abuse case which was recently brought up due to lack of investigation. Eleven women had been brutally raped and abused by police authorities. The efforts to investigate the case were found insufficient. Although Mr. Peña Nieto was not accused for the insufficiency, he had still ordered for the investigation, and disciplinary or criminal action is being called for any authorities who denied justice for the victims.

The rising homicide rates, the falling economy, and all of the new scandals fuel the open disapproval of Enrique Peña Nieto. As the most disliked president of Mexico, Mr. Peña Nieto’s image is extremely fragile, if not already destroyed.