During Enrique Peña Nieto’s successful campaign for president and during the first months of his administration, beginning in December 2012, he vowed that his government would end the close relationship between Mexican and United States security programs, halting the “perp walks” of captured drug lords and their lieutenants before television cameras.
A Peña Nieto government, he declared, would concentrate on recharging Mexico’s economy to secure its rightful place among the world’s middle-class nations.
Reality swiftly chewed apart such fantasies. First signs came quickly: U.S. security forces helped the new administration capture or kill several drug cartel heavyweights or their top lieutenants. Parading captured “capos” before the public media returned dramatically. And by last month the equally dramatically uncharged Mexican economy was sagging badly.
Mexico’s central bank governor, Agustin Carstens, said May 23 that the nation’s economy will expand only 2.7 percent this year, rather than the government’s forecasted 3.9 percent, a number that had been widely viewed with skepticism.
The just ended first quarter growth for 2014 was 1.8 percent, Mexican officials said. This comes on the heels of the administration-embarrassing expansion of just 0.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013. However, Reuters news agency reported Monday, June 2, that the economy grew only 0.3 percent in the first quarter of 2014.