|Name:||Enrique Peña Nieto|
|Birth Day:||July 20, 1966|
|Height:||in centimeters - N/A|
|Weight:||in kg - N/A|
Mexico's 57th president who began his six year term in 2012, vowing to reinvigorate the country's economy and crack down on the drug wars.
With his PRI party thrown from power 12 years before for corruption, some of his critics feared his ascension meant a return to the bad old ways.
Enrique Peña Nieto was born on 20 July 1966 in Atlacomulco, State of Mexico, a city 55 miles (89 km) northwest of Mexico City. He is the oldest of four siblings; his father, Gilberto Enrique Peña del Mazo, was an electrical engineer; his mother, María del Perpetuo Socorro Ofelia Nieto Sánchez, a schoolteacher. He is the nephew of two former governors of the State of México: on his mother's side, Arturo Montiel; on his father's, Alfredo del Mazo González. He attended Denis Hall School in Alfred, Maine, during one year of junior high school in 1979 to learn English. After living in Atlacomulco for the first 11 years of his life, Peña Nieto's family moved to the city of Toluca.
In 1975, his father would often take him to the campaign rallies of the State of Mexico's governor, Jorge Jiménez Cantú, a close friend of Peña del Mazo. The successor of the governor was Alfredo del Mazo González, a cousin of Peña Nieto's father. During Del Mazo González's campaign in 1981, the fifteen-year-old Peña Nieto had his first direct contact with Mexican politics: he began delivering campaign literature in favor of his relative, a memory Peña Nieto recalls as the turning point and start of his deep interest in politics.
In 1984 at the age of 18, Peña Nieto traveled to Mexico City and enrolled in the Panamerican University, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in legal studies. Peña Nieto's academic thesis was found to contain some improper citations and plagiarism, which stirred controversy in May 2016. Peña Nieto sought a master's degree in Business Administration (MBA) at the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM), based in the State of Mexico.
Peña Nieto joined the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) in 1984, and with a law degree nearly completed, he began earning his own money. During his final years in college, Peña Nieto worked for a public notary in Mexico City, around the same time when his relative, Alfredo del Mazo González, was mentioned as a firm candidate for the 1988 presidential elections. In his twenties, he worked at the San Luis Industrial Corporation, an auto parts manufacturer, and at the law firm Laffan, Muse and Kaye. While still a student at the Universidad Panamericana, he roomed with Eustaquio de Nicolás, the current president of Homex, a leading Mexican construction and real estate company. He also befriended and roomed with Luis Miranda, who occupied several offices during the 1999–2000 administration in the State of Mexico.
In 1993, Peña Nieto married his first wife, Mónica Pretelini (b. 1963) and the couple had three children: Paulina, Alejandro and Nicole. Peña Nieto had two children outside his first marriage; a son with Maritza Díaz Hernández, and another child, with an undisclosed woman, who died as an infant. Pretelini died on 11 January 2007 as the result of an epileptic episode. Pretelini played a supporting role during the campaign of Peña Nieto's governorship. In 2008, Peña Nieto began a relationship with Televisa soap opera actress Angélica Rivera, whom he had hired to help publicize his political campaign for the State of Mexico. The couple married in November 2011. Rivera announced their divorce on 8 February 2019.
After 1999, Peña Nieto went from having low-level secretary positions to higher and more qualified offices. He served from 1999 to 2000 as the Sub-secretary of Government, and as financial sub-coordinator of the political campaign of Montiel Rojas. In 2001, Montiel Rojas named Peña Nieto Sub-secretary of Interior in the State of Mexico, a position that granted him the opportunity to meet and forge relationships with top PRI politicians and wealthy businessmen. After his term concluded, he served as the administrative secretary, as president of the Directive Council of Social Security, as president of the Internal Council of Health, and as vice president of the National System for Integral Family Development – all in the State of Mexico. Under the wing of Montiel Rojas, Peña Nieto formed a group known as the "Golden Boys of Atlacomulco" with other members of the PRI.
Peña Nieto was elected to a local deputy position in his hometown of Atlacomulco, State of Mexico, in 2003. Two years later, the governorship of the State of Mexico was sought by Atlacomulco-natives Carlos Hank Rhon, Isidro Pastor, Héctor Luna de la Vega, Guillermo González Martínez, Óscar Gustavo Cárdenas Monroy, Eduardo Bernal Martínez, Cuauhtémoc García Ortega and Fernando Alberto García Cuevas. Peña Nieto was among the crowd, but was not poised as one of the favorites. Nonetheless, in 2005, Peña Nieto was the last man standing, succeeding Montiel Rojas as governor of the State of Mexico. On 12 February 2005, with 15,000 supporters in attendance, he was sworn in as candidate for the PRI.
On 15 September 2005, Peña Nieto was sworn as governor of the State of Mexico at the Morelos theater in Toluca. Among the hundreds of attendees were the outgoing governor, Arturo Montiel; the president of the Superior Court of Justice, José Castillo Ambriz; former governors, members of Peña Nieto's cabinet and party, mayors, businessmen, and church figures. The centerpiece of Peña Nieto's governorship was his claim that he was to deliver his compromisos – 608 promises he signed in front of a notary to convince voters that he would deliver results and be an effective leader. According to El Universal, during Peña Nieto's first year as governor, his administration delivered 10 of the structural promises he had advocated in his campaign – marking the lowest figure in his six-year term.
By 2006, his administration carried out 141 of the promised projects, making that year the most active in the governor's term. The 608 projects Peña Nieto proposed consisted of creating highways, building hospitals, and creating adequate water systems to provide fresh water throughout the state. The most important of these was highway infrastructure, which tripled under Peña's government. By mid-2011, the official page of the State of Mexico noted that only two projects were left. The major projects in public transportation were the Suburban Railway of the Valley of Mexico Metropolitan Area and the "Mexibús", both of which served commuters between Mexico City and the State of Mexico, providing service to more than 300,000 people every day and 100 million a year. Regarding public health services, 196 hospitals and medical centers were built throughout the state and the number of mobile units to attend remote and vulnerable areas doubled. Deaths caused by respiratory diseases were reduced by 55%, while deaths caused by dysentery and cervical cancer were reduced by 68% and 25% respectively. In addition, between 2005 and 2011, the State of Mexico was able to fulfill the requirement of the World Health Organization of having one doctor for every 1,000 inhabitants. The funds for these and all the other commitments were obtained through restructuring the state's public debt, a strategy designed by his first Secretary of Finance, Luis Videgaray Caso. The restructuring also managed to keep the debt from increasing during Peña Nieto's term because the tax base was broadened to the point that it doubled in six years.
On 23 November 2011, Peña Nieto went to a book fair in Casa del Lago, Mexico City. There he presented his book México, la gran esperanza (Mexico, the great hope). He was accompanied by writer Héctor Aguilar Camín, the former governor of Mexico's Central Bank, Guillermo Ortiz Martínez, and the journalist Jaime Sánchez Susarrey. In the book, Peña Nieto argued that Mexico needed to expand its economy to create more jobs, insisting that in the past the country has only created jobs in the informal sector. Additionally, he argued that promoting Pemex (Mexico's state-owned oil company) to compete in the private sector would create more jobs, elevate productivity, and balance wealth distribution across Mexico. Nonetheless, Peña Nieto dedicated the book to his wife Angélica Rivera and to governor Eruviel Ávila Villegas and his family. Peña Nieto said that the return of the PRI marks a new era in Mexico, and that his book served as a starting point to take Mexico "to better horizons."
On 27 November 2011, a few days after the book fair, Peña Nieto was the PRI's last standing nominee for the 2012 Mexican presidential elections. The former State of Mexico governor completed his nomination at an event that gathered sympathizers and politicians. Six days earlier, the senator and preliminary candidate of the PRI, Manlio Fabio Beltrones, withdrew from the race and gave Peña Nieto a clear path towards the presidency. During a book fair a month later, Peña Nieto's public image came into question after he struggled to answer a question that asked which three books had marked his life. Later, Peña Nieto was interviewed by El País and admitted that he did not know the price of tortillas. When he was criticized as being out of touch, Peña Nieto insisted that he was not "the woman of the household" and thus would not know the price.
Peña Nieto has had occasional lapses in memory or gaffes during public events or interviews. The most-noted incident occurred during the International Book Fair of Guadalajara on 3 December 2011. On that day, during a question and answer session, he was asked by an audience member to name three books that had influenced him, being only able to correctly reference the Bible. He then "rambled, tossing out confused title names, asking for help in recalling authors and sometimes mismatching" the two others. Other incidents have involved him not being able to recall Benito Juárez's year of birth, being unable to remember the acronym of the Federal Institute of Access to Information (IFAI), changing the date of foundation of the state of Hidalgo, mistaking the capital of the State of Veracruz, mentioning the U.S. presidential candidate "La señora Hillary Trump" (Mrs. Hillary Trump), among others, of varying degree of substantiation or credibility. These have gone viral on social media, especially Twitter and a website that counts the number of days since his last gaffe.
On 1 July 2012, Mexico's presidential election took place. In an initial, partial count issued that night, the Federal Electoral Institute (IFE) announced that based on a fast vote counting, Peña Nieto was leading the election with 38% of the votes. His nearest competitor, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, was just 6 points behind him. The figures were meant to be a representative sample of the votes nationwide; but shortly after this announcement, Peña Nieto appeared on national television claiming victory. "This Sunday, Mexico won," he said. He then thanked his voters and promised to run a government "responsible and open to criticism." At the PRI headquarters in Mexico City, the victory party began. With more than 97% of the votes counted on election day, the PRI had won with about 38% of the votes, just 6.4 points above the leftist candidate López Obrador of the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), who refused to concede to the results and had threatened to challenge the outcome.
Peña Nieto was sworn-in as President of Mexico on 1 December 2012 at the federal congress and later flew to a military parade to formally take control of the armed forces. During his inauguration speech at the National Palace, Peña Nieto proposed his agendas and reforms for the new administration. Before and after the inauguration, in an event that has been labeled by the media as the 1DMX, protesters rioted outside of the National Palace and clashed with Federal Police forces, vandalizing hotel structures and setting fires in downtown Mexico City. More than 90 protesters were arrested and several were injured. Mayor Marcelo Ebrard blamed anarchist groups for the violence. However, there is evidence that agents of provocation worked with the police, paid 300 Mexican pesos (about US$20) for their acts of vandalism, according to media reports. Photos show the vandals waiting in groups behind police lines prior to the violence. Previous protests had been entirely peaceful, but on this occasion, in apparent response to violence, the police fired rubber bullets. The day after his inauguration, Peña Nieto announced the Pact for Mexico, an agreement that he had struck with the leaders of the two other major parties at the time, Jesús Zambrano Grijalva of the Party of the Democratic Revolution and Gustavo Madero Muñoz of the National Action Party, about the government's goals for the next few years. On 1 December 2018, Enrique Peña Nieto left office and was succeeded by Andrés Manuel López Obrador.
In 2012, the president-elect emphasized that he did not support the involvement or presence of armed United States agents in Mexico, but considered allowing the United States to instruct Mexico's military training in counterinsurgency tactics. Beyond that, Peña Nieto promised that no other measures will be taken by the States in Mexico.
On 13 December 2012, a law was approved that included far-reaching security reforms. Mexico's Interior Ministry, greatly strengthened by the bill, was made solely responsible for public security. Part of Peña Nieto's strategy consists of the creation of a national police of 40,000 members, known as a "gendarmerie". The Economist reported that the gendarmerie would have an initial strength of 10,000, but the Washington Office on Latin America reported that it was reduced to 5,000 members and would not be operational until July 2014. The Interior Ministry announced that 15 specialized police units were being formed to exclusively focus on major crimes that include kidnapping and extortion, along with a new task force dedicated to tracking missing persons. Peña Nieto also proposed centralizing the sub-federal police forces under one command.
According to the Financial Times in 2012, Peña Nieto's PRI government, which held just over 38% of the votes in Congress, might have difficulty gaining a majority to pass such reforms, or the two-thirds majority needed to change the Mexican constitution. Pemex was founded through the nationalization of foreign oil interests, and the Mexican constitution bans major outside investments. Changing Pemex could transform the psychology of Mexico's business sector and involve cultural and political changes that cannot be rushed. President Lázaro Cárdenas seized foreign oil company assets in 1938 to form Pemex, which has served as a symbol of national identity.
The auto manufacturing industry expanded rapidly under Nieto's presidency. In 2014, more than US$10 billion was committed in investment in the sector. In conjunction with Kia Motors in August 2014, the president announced plans for Kia to build a US$1 billion factory in Nuevo León. At the time, Mercedes-Benz and Nissan were already building a US$1.4 billion plant near Puebla, while BMW was planning a US$1 billion assembly plant in San Luis Potosí. Audi began building a US$1.3 billion factory near Puebla in 2013. As of December 2014, two years into Peña Nieto's term, total investment in the auto sector in Mexico had reached US$19 billion. The Bajío Region has received the majority of this investment, and with its rapidly expanding aerospace industry has become the fastest-growing region in the country. In February 2014, Time was met with controversy for the release of a cover featuring Enrique Peña Nieto and the legend Saving Mexico (written by Michael Crowley), as the cover article's title inside the magazine. The controversial article praised the president and his cabinet for reforms like opening oil fields for foreign investment for the first time in 75 years (a reform towards which Mexican citizens have shown mixed feelings), ending the Mexican drug wars (which was not completely accurate), and even going as far as saying "the opposition party blocked major reforms that were necessary", that "American leaders could learn a thing or two from their resurgent southern neighbor" and saying Mexicans citizens' "alarms were replaced with applause".
In September 2014, 43 male college students were forcibly taken then disappeared in Guerrero. The forced mass disappearance of the students arguably became the biggest political and public security scandal Peña Nieto had faced during his administration. It led to nationwide protests, particularly in the state of Guerrero and Mexico City, and international condemnation.
In November 2014, an article was published by journalist Carmen Aristegui, indicating that a $7 million "White House" owned by Enrique Peña Nieto and his wife Angelica Rivera, in Lomas de Chapultepec was registered under the name of a company affiliated with a business group that had received government contracts to build a bullet train. The revelation about the potential conflict of interest in the acquisition of the house aggravated discontent about the government. Rivera released a video in which she detailed her income as a former B-list soap opera actress, stating that she was selling the house and that the property was not under her name because she had not made the full payment yet.
The 2014 Mexican comedy and political satire movie The Perfect Dictatorship had a plot based on the real life perceived Televisa controversy, which consisted of Mexican citizens heavily perceiving the news media was unfairly favoring PRI candidate Enrique Peña Nieto during the 2012 presidential election in Mexico.
Peña Nieto invited U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump to visit on 31 August 2016, and appeared with him in a press conference. Peña Nieto was criticized for extending the invitation to Trump, and following the conference, journalist Jorge Ramos criticized Peña Nieto for not using the opportunity to publicly contradict Trump's campaign promise to make Mexico pay for his proposed Mexico–United States border wall, as well as Ramos called Trump's "attacks on Latin American immigrants, his rejection of free trade agreements and his scorn for global organizations." Despite this, Peña Nieto stated on his Twitter that he made it clear to Trump that Mexico would not pay for the wall, only to shortly after get a reply from Donald Trump saying: "Mexico will pay for the wall!"
In 2016, Aristegui revealed in a special report arguing that Enrique Peña Nieto had committed plagiarism on his law thesis, at least a third of it, with 197 out of 682 paragraphs being unsourced or wrongly sourced works.
In 2016, a report by the Open Justice Society Initiative claimed that there are "reasonable grounds" to believe that both the Mexican army and drug cartels had committed crimes against humanity during the Mexican Drug War. The report accused both Peña Nieto and his predecessor Felipe Calderón of "almost completely failing" to ensure accountability for the actions of the Mexican army, and of denying or minimizing the scale of the atrocities. In June 2018, human rights organizations presented documents alleging slayings, tortures, rapes and forced disappearances to the International Criminal Court, and called on them to investigate.
In August 2016, Peña Nieto's approval ratings dropped to 23 percent (74 percent said they disapproved of his performance), which newspaper Reforma revealed to be the lowest approval rating for a president since they began polling in 1995. The approval decreased to 12% by 19 January 2017.
Peña Nieto enacted a massive public education reform that would tame the powerful teachers' union, Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de la Educación (SNTE), improve standards, centralize the process for hiring, evaluating, promoting and retaining teachers, and crack down on rampant corruption – such as wages for non-existent "ghost teachers". Five years after its signing, the plan has barely affected standards: Mexico still ranks last in education among the 35 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries and the Secretariat of Public Education spent more money on communications (2,700% more on communications in 2017 than was budgeted) than on teacher training.
In December 2017, the Law of Internal Security was passed by legislation but was met with criticism, especially from the National Human Rights Commission, accusing it gave the President a blank check.
Peña Nieto and Trump were to meet on 26 January 2017, until Trump wrote on his Twitter account: "If Mexico is unwilling to pay for the badly needed wall, then it would be better to cancel the upcoming meeting". This directly led Peña Nieto to cancel his visit to the U.S. president. In an interview with Aristegui Noticias, Washington periodist Dolia Estévez said she obtained access to part of a one-hour phone conversation between the two presidents the day of the scheduled meeting. She stated, "Trump humiliated Peña Nieto," and said that the conversation only lasted 20 minutes; she also explained that the speech was prolonged to an hour due to translation efforts because Peña Nieto does not understand English. While many media outlets praised Peña Nieto for cancelling the visit with Trump, Forbes Mexico stated that despite showing support towards Peña Nieto for cancelling such event, "that shouldn't translate in forgiveness to what happens within our country [Mexico]" adding that "a state incapable of bringing credibility and stability could not grow", and that more than Trump, the thing keeping Mexico from prosperity was the corruption within the Mexican government.
A December 2017 article of The New York Times, reported Enrique Peña Nieto spending about 2 billion dollars on publicity, during his first 5 years as president, the largest publicity budget ever spent by a Mexican President.
During his tenure as president, Peña Nieto has been accused of failing to protect news journalists, whose deaths are speculated to be politically triggered by politicians attempting to prevent coverage of political scandals. On 29 April 2017, The New York Times published a news report titled "In Mexico, 'It's Easy to Kill a Journalist'", which covered the high rate of deaths and disappearances of journalists in Mexico and declared Mexico had become "one of the worst countries in the world to be a journalist today."
On 19 June 2017, The New York Times in conjunction with news reporter Carmen Aristegui, and even backed by a Televisa news reporter Carlos Loret de Mola, reported that the Mexican Government uses a spyware software known as Pegasus, to spy on targets such as Mexican News reporters (and their families) and Civil Rights Leaders (and their families) using text messages as lures. Since 2011, the Mexican Government invested $80 million worth of spyware. Pegasus spyware infiltrates a persons cellphone and reports every detail of their messages, e-mails, contacts and calendars.
By March 2018 in the dawn of the next presidential election, the PGR made official an investigation regarding PAN's candidate Ricardo Anaya laundering money. Ex-chief of FEPADE (the Mexican government's branch focused on political crimes), Santiago Nieto, whom the previous October had been controversially removed from his job as chief of FEPADE, coincidentally right after starting an investigation regarding illicit campaign money from the 2012 presidential campaign, received by Peña Nieto and would be president of Pemex, Emilio Lozoya Austin from the Brazilian conglomerate Odebrecht. The ex-chief of FEPADE, said that the accusations towards Anaya were minor in comparison to Odebretch and Peña Nieto scandal, adding also the same opinion about the money lost by SEDESOL, to corrupt governors from the PRI such as Javier Duarte and César Duarte Jáquez (both whom were later arrested), all while PRI's presidential candidate Jose Antonio Meade was the man in charge of SEDESOL (the scandal is known as "La Estafa Maestra (The Master Robbery)" and about $435 million pesos were lost).
Another right for prosecuted people is the "fuero", which Peña Nieto is also the first president in the history of Mexico to request. This right is exclusive to political figures, and is the right to be protected against legal trials and accusations of corruption committed during their time in office. Through this, he legally delayed any progress in the investigations against him, until the end of his presidency in December 2018, when the investigation will be allowed to continue.
On 7 June 2018, The Guardian's Jo Tuckman reported about dozens of computer files – forwarded to The Guardian by a source who worked with Televisa but has not been possible to confirm the authenticity of the documents – suggesting that Televisa sold favorable coverage to Peña Nieto when he was governor of the state of Mexico and developed a dirty tricks campaign against López Obrador ahead of his first bid for the presidency in 2006. Televisa and the PRI suggested that the documents were false. On 5 February 2013, a joint statement of both The Guardian and Televisa was released, in an attempt to absolve differences between both parties.
In the 2018 presidential elections, the lack of popularity and credibility of Peña Nieto's government, is perceived to have caused his political party the PRI, to suffer its most monumental defeat, getting the least percentage of votes in the history of the PRI. The candidate José Antonio Meade, and the political party did not win majority of votes within any of the 300 voting locations around the 32 states of Mexico, losing to other political parties. The PRI was also defeated, on each of the nine elections for state governors where MORENA won five, PAN three, and Citizens' Movement one. The presidency of Mexico went to Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, from MORENA. The PRI also lost to MORENA in Atlacomulco, the hometown of Enrique Peña Nieto.
In 2020, happened the arrest of Salvador Cienfuegos who was the Secretary of Defense during Enrique Peña Nieto's presidency, was arrested by the United States government. The arrest was done by the Drug Enforcement Agency, adding another loss of credibility for the former president, as well as further credibility to the accusations of corruption towards Peña Nieto. The other important general of said president, went into hiding shortly after.
By 2020, Lozoya had been captured by the Mexican government. On his trial statements, he testified against Peña Nieto and Luis Videgaray (the former Minister of Finance during Peña's government). He detailed that following Peña's orders, he acted as the middle-man between Peña Nieto and Odebretch, stating that Peña Nieto's presidential campaign benefited from illegal campaign funds provided by Odebretch, in exchange for future favors. According to the triangulation investigations that proved Lozoya guilty, he received $10 million from Odebretch. During his trial, Lozoya described the payments for facilitating the exchange as a middle-man. Lozoya and Videgaray are featured prominently in spots from the 2012 presidential campaign. Mexican journalist Carlos Loret de Mola described being contacted by Peña Nieto's state, and being told the former president described himself as "unaware of Lozoya's corruption". Loret de Mola also sayed Peña Nieto was already in contact with his sucessor, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, to declare his version of the events. Loret de Mola said that Peña Nieto was "going to get lost within his own lies", during the trial.
In 2020, successor president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, asked Mexicans if they would like to see former Mexican presidents face trial against allegations of corruption. Which was deemed constitutional by the Mexican court and laws, however people will vote to decide on a survey in 2021, before any trial actually happens. According to a different survey by newspaper "El Universal", 78% of Mexicans asked wanted the former presidents of Mexico to face political trial, and Enrique Peña Nieto is the one they wanted to be incarcerated the most.
Enrique Peña Nieto has a total of four children. Enrique Peña Nieto has been married twice, first to Mónica Pretelini Sáenz then, following their divorce, to actress Angélica Rivera. In 2019, Enrique Peña Nieto began dating model Tania Ruiz Eichelmann.
Currently, Enrique Peña Nieto is 56 years, 0 months and 29 days old. Enrique Peña Nieto will celebrate 57th birthday on a Thursday 20th of July 2023. Below we countdown to Enrique Peña Nieto upcoming birthday.