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Mexico Institute in the News: Mexico’s Enrique Peña Nieto faces challenge of bringing old-style party into new age

Peña Nieto was born in a hospital in Mexico City’s La Condesa neighborhood but grew up in Atlacomulco, about a 90-minute drive northwest of the capital. In interviews with residents and friends here who have known him for more than a decade, two depictions of him emerged. Mexico Institute's Andrew Selee comments.

Dallas Morning News, 07/14/2012

TLACOMULCO, Mexico — Enrique Peña Nieto, the man who would be president, grew up in this hilly region of central Mexico surrounded by agricultural fields and mansions of the rich and powerful.

“Atlacomulco is home,” Peña Nieto said in an interview. “A small place, my hometown.”

Young and telegenic, with hair perfectly combed, Peña Nieto remains an enigmatic figure, despite the ubiquitous campaign pictures plastered across the country on buses, billboards, walls and bumper stickers. Despite high name recognition, relatively little is known about Mexico’s president-elect as he prepares to lead the nation of 112 million people and return the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, back to power after 12 years.

“His challenge is to bridge two generations,” said Andrew Selee, director of the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute, who has met Peña Nieto on several occasions.


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Mexico Institute

The Mexico Institute seeks to improve understanding, communication, and cooperation between Mexico and the United States by promoting original research, encouraging public discussion, and proposing policy options for enhancing the bilateral relationship. A binational Advisory Board, chaired by Luis Téllez and Earl Anthony Wayne, oversees the work of the Mexico Institute.   Read more