Updated 06:19 PM EDT, Mon, Apr 19, 2021

Mexico President Enrique Peña Nieto Reshuffles Cabinet to Meet 'New Circumstances'

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In order to "meet new circumstances and challenges," Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto made changes in his Cabinet on Thursday through a midterm reshuffle.

Reuters reported that Nieto moved his foreign minister to the social development ministry while his his finance and interior ministers were retained.

"I have decided to make changes to meet new circumstances and challenges we have as a country," said the president in a Yahoo Sports report.

Jose Antonio Meade is the head social development with Claudia Ruiz Massieu taking his place as foreign minister.

According to Channel News Asia, this new assignment could be a signal that Meade might run for president in the 2018 elections after Nieto's term.

"Meade will front the Social Development Ministry, an arm of government that is viewed by political insiders as a useful springboard for presidential tilts. The ministry handles welfare spending across the still heavily impoverished country," reported Channel News Asia.

Prior to being the foreign minister, the 46-year-old also reportedly became the finance and energy minister of the previous government. 

Renato Sales, on the other hand, will be in charge of homeland security after formerly serving as an anti-kidnapping commissioner. He replaced Monte Alejandro Rubido.

"Rubido paid the price for the fiasco involving gang kingpin Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman, who escaped a high-security prison in July and is still at large," added Yahoo Sports.

Channel News Asia also reported that the Mexican President named new heads for other ministers like agriculture, environment, and urban development.

Similarly, he also named his chief of staff Aurelio Nuño as education minister, which was seen by many as a sign that the young leader has bigger political plans in the coming years.

"The shift of Mr. Nuño, considered a presidential hopeful for 2018, is a sign the president will be channelling efforts into ensuring the success of his education overhaul, which he has called the most important of Mexico's entire reform agenda," reported FT.com.

This move from the President is also reportedly the first significant reshuffle in the Cabinet after attorney general Jesus Murillo Karam quit his post last February following the "presumed slaughter of 43 college students."

The incident reportedly exposed corruption in police ranks.

Aside from the jail escape of the most wanted drug lord in the country, similar issues have haunted Nieto's Cabinet, including hampered economic growth and the plummeting of the value of the Mexican peso.

It also looked like Nieto made needed changes with his leaders in an effort "to overcome a stubborn crisis in credibility," according to FT.

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