Enrique Peña Nieto Biography
Sun Sign: Cancer
Born in: Atlacomulco, State of Mexico, Mexico
Famous as: President of Mexico
Spouse/Ex-: Angélica Rivera (m. 2011), Mónica Pretelini Sáenz (m. 1993; d. 2007)
father: Gilberto Enrique Peña del Mazo
mother: María del Perpetuo Socorro Ofelia Nieto Sánchez
children: Alejandro Peña Pretelini, Diego Peña Diaz, Nicole Peña Pretelini, Paulina Peña Pretelini
Enrique Peña Nieto is the 57th President of Mexico, in office since 2012. Prior to becoming the president he served as governor of the State of Mexico from 2005 to 2011 and announced his presidential candidacy just a few days after leaving office as governor. He is a member of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), the largest political party in the country which had governed Mexico uninterrupted for 71 years until it was defeated by the National Action Party (PAN) in 2000. Since PRI’s regime was marred by corruption, Peña Nieto’s election in 2012 which marked the return of the PRI after a hiatus of 12 years was met with widespread protests across the nation. The newly elected president, however, assured the citizens that his government would be much more democratic, modern and open to criticism. Interested in politics from childhood, Peña Nieto ventured into politics shortly before he qualified as a lawyer. The ambitious young man formally started his career as the Secretary of the Citizen Movement of Zone I of the State Directive Committee of the National Confederation of Popular Organizations (CNOP), one of the three sectors of the PRI. He steadily rose through the ranks over the ensuing years to eventually become the President of Mexico on 1 December 2012.
- Enrique Peña Nieto was born on 20 July 1966 in Atlacomulco, State of Mexico into an upper middle class family as one of the four children of Gilberto Enrique Peña del Mazo and María del Perpetuo Socorro Ofelia Nieto Sánchez. His father was an electrical engineer while his mother was a school teacher.
- He became interested in politics as a young boy as his father’s friend, Jorge Jiménez Cantú, was a prominent politician. His father’s cousin, Alfredo del Mazo González, was also involved in politics and the proximity to these two men instilled a love for politics in the young boy.
- He joined the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) in 1984. Over the ensuing years he juggled his political aspirations with his legal studies and earned his law degree in 1989 from Universidad Panamericana in Mexico City. He received an M.B.A. from Monterrey Technological Institute in 1991.
- During the 1990s he formally started his political career by becoming the Secretary of the Citizen Movement of Zone I of the State Directive Committee of the National Confederation of Popular Organizations (CNOP), one of the three sectors of the PRI.
- From 1993 to 1998, he was the chief of staff for the secretary of economic development of the State of Mexico and the personal secretary of Montiel Rojas, who was the secretary of economic development in the state.
- His political stature grew steadily over the years and he went on to hold high positions such as the secretary of administration (2000–02) and state congressman (2003–04). His thriving political career made him more ambitious and he announced his decision to run for the post of the Governor of the State of Mexico.
- His campaign was successful and he was sworn in as the governor on 15 September 2005. As a part of his campaign, he had signed 608 promises in front of a notary to convince voters that he would deliver results. His administration was able to deliver only 10 of the promises in its first year which disappointed the citizens.
- Peña Nieto was, however, quick to bounce back following one lackluster year and intensified his commitment towards the promised goals. By 2006, his administration had carried out 141 projects, which included building highways, establishing hospitals, improving infrastructural facilities, and creating adequate water systems to provide fresh water throughout the state.
- His overall tenure as a governor was a successful one. His administration saw the construction of major public transport projects and creation of 196 hospitals and medical centers throughout the state among other developments.
- By 2011 he had set his eyes on the president’s office and announced his candidacy for the 2012 Mexican presidential elections. His success as the governor boosted his image and he emerged victorious in the presidential elections and was sworn in as President of Mexico on 1 December 2012.
- Within days of assuming office, he implemented steps to strengthen his country’s security forces to battle the alarming violence that was rampant in several regions of Mexico. He received much acclaim when Mexican marines captured Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán Loera, head of the notorious Sinaloa drug cartel, in 2014. However the president’s image took a beating when the notorious criminal escaped from high-security prison in July 2015. Guzman was recaptured a few months later.
- The economy performed well under his leadership. The automobile manufacturing industry especially thrived with major companies from all over the world expressing their interest in building plants all over Mexico.
- Peña Nieto’s presidency was also marred by several scandals, including his revelation that he had fathered two children with different women while still married to his first wife. He also came under scrutiny in 2014 when it was revealed that his second wife Rivera had purchased a mansion at a discount from a contractor with significant business connections to her husband.
- During his tenure, the Pacto por México was signed by the leaders of the three main political parties in Chapultepec Castle in December 2012. The cross party alliance that called for the accomplishment of 95 goals was appreciated by international experts for effectively passing institutional reforms in the sectors of legislation, education, banking, and telecommunications.
- The auto manufacturing industry expanded rapidly under Nieto's presidency. The president collaborated with Kia Motors in 2014 and announced plans for Kia to build a US$1 billion factory in Nuevo León. Several other prominent automobile companies like Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, and Audi were already building major plants in the country in the mid 2010s.
- In June 2014 he was presented with the Order of Isabella the Catholic, Grand Cross with Collar, by King Juan Carlos I of Spain.
- Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom bestowed upon him the Order of the Bath, Knight Grand Cross, in March 2015.
- He was awarded the Order of the Southern Cross, Grand Collar, by Dilma Roussef in May 2015.
- His first marriage was to Mónica Pretelini in 1993. The couple had three children. His wife died in 2007 as the result of an epileptic episode. Following his wife’s death he revealed that he had fathered two children with other women while still married.
- He dated the Televisa soap opera actress Angélica Rivera for a few years before marrying her in 2011.
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