Mexico’s President-Elect Tours Latin America
By Dialogo September 18, 2012
Enrique Pena Nieto, Mexico’s president-elect, initiated a tour to six Latin American countries, from September 17 to 24, with an agenda stressing security, trade and immigration.
Pena Nieto’s schedule includes Guatemala, Colombia, Brazil, Chile, Argentina and Peru.
By heading first to Central America, the new leader aims to assure those impoverished countries – a source of many migrants heading north in search of a better life, and sometimes preyed on by drug cartels for kidnappings – “they will be a priority in practice, and not just in words,” said Rafael Fernandez de Castro, head of international studies at the Autonomous Technological Institute of Mexico.
“There are two chronic problems: abuse of migrants in transit and developing our southern border so it will stop being a no man’s land,” Fernandez de Castro added.
Pena Nieto, a 46-year-old attorney and an ex-governor of populous Mexico state, hails from the Institutional Revolutionary Party, which ruled for 71 years with a mix of patronage, repression and corruption before losing the presidency in 2000.
He is to take office December 1 and has pledged, among other things, to quell the drug-related violence ravaging the country.