Enrique Pena Nieto, Mexico’s new president-elect, has an uphill battle on a lot of fronts as he enters office, but perhaps his biggest fight will be convincing the United States that he’s an acceptable president.
To that end Pena Nieto has been issuing statements promising “the advance of many of the issues Americans care about” while downplaying his campaign promise to “bring down the death toll,” which had many American officials concerned that he would end the bloody drug war in northern Mexico.
US officials started making noise about this “concern” about Pena Nieto just days ahead of the election, and this weekend several US media outlets began running stories about Pena Nieto’s party the PRI, which held the presidency for generations, having a history of being secretly in league with drug dealers.
Despite the fretting, Pena Nieto is seen as almost certain to keep the same failing militarized approach to the drug war in place. His diplomatic goal appears to be to get the US to see Mexico as more than just a drug war. That goal, needless to say, is a long way off.