A series of cross-party appointments into his cabinet created the first bridges between Mr Peña Nieto’s centrist Institutional Revolutionary party (PRI) and the opposition. Then came the Pact for Mexico, a manifesto laying out a reform timetable on everything from social security to energy, signed by all the party leaders.
“After 12 years of gridlock, you now have a way of negotiating between the parties that enables legislative progress,” says Duncan Wood, director of the Mexico Institute at the Woodrow Wilson International Center in Washington. “It has become the central negotiating mechanism for Mexican politics today.”
One of the pact’s first initiatives was to speed passage of a bill that makes it impossible for companies holding public concessions – such as América Móvil’s – to delay regulations and fines by using court injunctions. The bill, which still requires approval in the senate, strips companies of the main weapon they have used to deflect government sanctions.