Enrique Peña Nieto: Examining the Legacy of the Former Mexican President

Enrique Peña Nieto, born on July 20, 1966, is a prominent Mexican politician who is best known for serving as the 64th president of Mexico from December 1, 2012, to November 30, 2018. Often recognized …

Enrique Peña Nieto
Real Name:Enrique Peña Nieto
Birthday:July 20, 1966
Net Worth:$20 million
Height:170 cm
Occupation:Mexican Politician, Former President of Mexico

Enrique Peña Nieto, born on July 20, 1966, is a prominent Mexican politician who is best known for serving as the 64th president of Mexico from December 1, 2012, to November 30, 2018. Often recognized by his initials, EPN, Peña Nieto began his political career with the Institutional Revolutionary Party (Partido Revolucionario Institucional, or PRI), a Mexican political party that has experienced significant influence throughout the country’s history.

Before assuming the presidency, Peña Nieto held several important positions within the state of México, including serving as the governor from 2005 to 2011. In both his gubernatorial and presidential terms, he faced numerous challenges and controversies, some of which focused on his economic and security policies. Nevertheless, his role in the Mexican political landscape remains significant, highlighting the ever-evolving nature of the country’s governance.

Early Life and Education

Academic Background

Enrique Peña Nieto was born on July 20, 1966, in Atlacomulco, a town approximately 50 miles northwest of Mexico City. He began his academic journey by pursuing a Law Degree from the prestigious Universidad Panamericana, also known as the Panamerican University, in Mexico City. After obtaining his Law Degree, Peña Nieto went on to further his education by completing a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) from the same institution.

Political Beginnings

From a young age, Enrique Peña Nieto showed a keen interest in politics. His family had a politically active background, with his father, Severiano Peña, serving as an electrical engineer and the mayor of the town of Acambay, located in the State of Mexico. Moreover, two of his uncles had served as governors of the same state. This family involvement in politics laid the foundation for Peña Nieto’s own political aspirations and eventual accomplishments, such as becoming the President of Mexico in 2012.

Political Career

Road to Presidency

Enrique Peña Nieto’s interest in politics began at a young age. He joined the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) in 1984, and his political career took off after serving as a public notary in Mexico City. In the late 1990s, Peña Nieto began an ascent through local political ranks, eventually resulting in his 2005 campaign for Governor of the State of Mexico.

His tenure as Governor (2005-11) laid the foundation for his presidential campaign. Peña Nieto was a key figure in the revitalization of the PRI, and in 2012, he became the party’s presidential candidate.

The 2012 Presidential Election saw Peña Nieto face strong competition from other prominent parties. Despite a contested race, he came out victorious with 38.14% of the votes. His presidency commenced on December 1, 2012, marking the PRI’s return to power after being out of the presidency for 12 years.

Reforms and Policies

During his time as the president of Mexico (2012-18), Enrique Peña Nieto implemented several significant reforms and policies to address the nation’s challenges in various sectors.

  • Energy: Peña Nieto’s energy reform aimed to restructure the oil and gas industry, opening it up for private investments and ending the state monopoly held by PEMEX. This reform aimed to increase competition, modernize infrastructure, and boost the economy.
  • Economy: The president’s economic policies targeted market liberalization, foreign direct investments, and fiscal sustainability. He focused on improving thebusiness climate, stimulating job creation, and increasing Mexico’s competitiveness on the global stage.
  • Education: Peña Nieto advocated for education reform to enhance the quality of education, increase teacher accountability, and establish transparent evaluation policies. The reform measures faced strong resistance from teachers’ unions, but progress was made in improving Mexico’s education system.
  • Security: Throughout his presidency, Peña Nieto remained committed to tackling organized crime and drug-related violence. While his administration faced challenges, efforts were made to dismantle criminal organizations, improve law enforcement capabilities, and reform the criminal justice system.

Enrique Peña Nieto’s political career was marked by both successes and challenges; however, it is undeniable that his reforms and policies have left a lasting impact on Mexico’s political landscape and development.


Domestic Policy

During his tenure as the 64th President of Mexico (2012-2018), Enrique Peña Nieto implemented several domestic policies, aiming to address issues such as corruption, security, and education. He introduced education reforms in 2013, which focused on teacher evaluations and a merit-based promotion system. However, these reforms were met with resistance from teachers’ unions, leading to nationwide protests.

On the security front, Peña Nieto implemented a strategy to reduce violence and crime in Mexico, which included hiring more police officers and focusing on key crime areas. However, the overall results were mixed, as violence continued to increase during his presidency.

Foreign Affairs

In the realm of foreign affairs, Peña Nieto’s government aimed to maintain strong relationships with international partners, especially the United States. Relations, however, were strained during the US presidential elections due to controversial statements made by the then-presidential candidate, Donald Trump. Peña Nieto managed to maintain diplomatic relations through regular communication with the US administration.

Economic Measures

Peña Nieto’s government implemented various economic measures, aiming to boost the country’s growth and GDP. One such measure was the “Pact for Mexico,” a set of over 90 policy reforms agreed upon by the three main political parties in Mexico. The pact aimed to address key issues such as education, telecommunications, and fiscal policy.

Major economic reforms included:

  • Tax Reforms: Changes to Mexico’s tax system to increase government revenue.
  • Telecommunication Reforms: Encouraging competition in the telecommunication market and reducing high costs.

Energy Sector

One of the most significant reform efforts during Peña Nieto’s presidency was in the energy sector. The government sought to modernize Mexico’s state-owned oil company, Pemex, by opening it to foreign investment and competition. While these energy reforms were seen as a necessary step to revive Mexico’s oil industry, they were controversial due to concerns about the privatization of natural resources.

Overall, Enrique Peña Nieto’s presidency was marked by attempts to address key issues in Mexico, such as corruption, security, and education. However, progress was mixed, and his administration faced considerable challenges and controversies during his term.

Controversies and Challenges

Corruption Allegations

During Enrique Peña Nieto’s presidency, several corruption allegations arose involving his close associates and members of his political party. Key figures like Luis Videgaray and Emilio Lozoya faced scrutiny for their alleged inappropriate dealings. One major scandal revolved around the Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht, which later admitted to having paid millions in bribes to secure contracts in Mexico. Lozoya, former head of the state oil company Pemex, was accused of receiving some of these bribes.

Human Rights Issues

Another significant challenge during Peña Nieto’s tenure was addressing human rights issues. Mexico faced increasing violence and crime, often linked to powerful drug cartels such as the Sinaloa Drug Cartel led by Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán. The government’s approach to fighting drug cartels came under criticism for its lack of effectiveness and for further endangering the safety of citizens. In some instances, security forces themselves were accused of committing human rights abuses, adding to the public’s lack of trust in government institutions.

Approval Ratings

Enrique Peña Nieto’s presidency was also characterized by low approval ratings. This can be attributed to the numerous scandals and controversies surrounding his administration. His wife, Angelica Rivera, was involved in a scandal known as “Casa Blanca,” where she acquired a luxurious mansion from a government contractor, causing widespread outrage and raising questions about potential conflicts of interest.

As a result, Peña Nieto’s popularity suffered. Here is a summary of some factors affecting his approval ratings:

  • Corruption: Involvement of close associates in corruption controversies and allegations.
  • Human Rights: Criticism of the government’s approach to fighting drug cartels and addressing human rights abuses.
  • Personal Scandals: The Casa Blanca scandal involving Angelica Rivera, and its negative impact on public perception.

In conclusion, Enrique Peña Nieto’s administration faced numerous controversies and challenges during his tenure as Mexico’s president. These factors significantly affected his approval ratings and his administration’s ability to effectively govern the country.

Personal Life


Enrique Peña Nieto was born on July 20, 1966, in Atlacomulco, Mexico. His father, Gilberto Enrique Peña del Mazo, and his mother, María del Perpetuo Socorro Ofelia Nieto Sánchez, raised him with a strong interest in politics. During his presidency and before, Peña Nieto became a father to four children: Alejandro Peña Pretelini, Diego Peña Diaz, Nicole Peña Pretelini, and Paulina Peña Pretelini.

Marriage and Relationships

Peña Nieto has been married twice in his life. His first marriage was to Mónica Pretelini in 1993. The couple had three children together: Alejandro, Nicole, and Paulina. Unfortunately, Mónica passed away in 2007.

After Mónica’s passing, Peña Nieto eventually found love again and married his second wife, actress Angélica Rivera in 2011. Together, they share a child named Diego Peña Diaz. However, their relationship faced some challenges, and the couple filed for divorce after Peña Nieto left the presidency in 2018.

Throughout his personal life, Enrique Peña Nieto has faced various ups and downs. However, he remains committed to his family and values his role as a father to his children.


Legal Proceedings

After leaving office in 2018, former President Enrique Peña Nieto has faced several allegations and legal proceedings. Mexican prosecutors have initiated investigations related to money laundering and illicit enrichment. These investigations have brought forth testimonies and evidence that could potentially lead to charges against the former president. However, no formal charges have been filed as of now.

Public Perception

During Enrique Peña Nieto’s tenure as president, Mexico experienced a decline in public trust due to numerous controversies and scandals. His approval rating at the end of his term was reportedly quite low. Since leaving office, the perception of Peña Nieto has not improved significantly, and the legal proceedings mentioned above further tarnish his reputation.

It remains to be seen how the ongoing investigations will impact the former president’s legacy and whether or not Enrique Peña Nieto will face any jail time. In the meantime, the public’s perception of his post-presidency period is marked by a mix of controversy and apprehension.

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