Updated 12:00 PM EST, Sat, Nov 28, 2020

Mexico's President Failing in Fight Against Corruption?

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Mexicans feel that President Enrique Pena Nieto's so-called "war on corruption" has been an ultimate failure, now that the Mexican president is half-way through his six-year term. The country still has a huge corruption problem, despire the Mexican government's "best" efforts to contain it.

According to Forbes, things aren't looking good for Mexico, as it has been ranked the 95th most corrupt country in the world as per the Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index. Many events have shed light on the Mexican government's weak spots.

Mexico still has continuing questions over the 43 missing student activists in Ayotzinapa. Many complain that the government is putting little to no effort into conducting investigations.

Even President Nieto himself was not safe from being a person of interest in the country's corruption scandal, with the president's purchase of extragavagant luxury homes under the names of him and his wife Angelica Rivera came to light. 

Since Nieto's involvement in the widespread political scandal, his popularity ratings have significantly dropped, with Mexicans becoming even more disillusioned of his political agenda to reform Mexico. In September 2015, Nieto's ratings dropped to 44 percent from 2014's 51 percent.

In order to satisfy public interest about the purchases of the lavish homes, he appointed close friend Virgilio Andrade as Secretary of Public Function and ordered him to conduct an investigation on the possible conflict of interest he was accused of, instead of having a transparent investigation from an independent body. It came as no surprise to many Mexicans when Andrade declared that his boss was "not guilty."  

This year did not start well for the 49-year old president, as he refused to have accountability, per The New York Times. The publication talked of the Mexican president "whitewashing scandals."

2015 was also the year when Mexicans took to the streets to protest the ongoing corruption. As far as many Mexicans are concerned, President Nieto is failing his agenda of fighting corruption, as the issues have become somewhat of an Achilles' heel to his administration.

Drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman's highly publicized arrest and escape from a maximum security prison also became a source of "embarrassment" for Mexico, as it exposed the country's weak public systems, including the judiciary and the police force. The feared drug lord bought his way to freedom for a second time with a series of bribes. 

Analysts say that should President Enrique Pena Nieto not step up to deliver on his promises, Mexico's deep-rooted corruption might impede it from reaching its full potential. Mexico has the 15th largest economy in the world, reports Dallas News.

Irving Huerta, a journalist who co-authored the book "Pena Nieto's White House," which documents the conflict of interest in Mexico, said that President Pena Nieto should work with civil society in order to take "effective steps to make Mexico a more inclusive economy, through institutions that seek justice and competitiveness, with powers that generate real confidence."

According to Irving Huerta, it is in this way, that Mexico will have a chance to finally put an end to corruption.

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