Only 12 percent of Mexicans approve of the performance of President Enrique Peña Nieto, a new poll by newspaper Reforma found Wednesday, the lowest approval rating for a Mexican president since the paper began polling in 1995. At the beginning of his term in December 2012, Peña Nieto had a 61 percent approval rating.
His approval ratings hit a record low this month following the economic crisis and accusations of corruption, human rights violations and plagiarism. Most recently, his decision to raise gas prices by 20 percent has caused deadly riots and looting across the country.
The poll also shows 27 percent of voters favor the opposition leftist Morena party of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador in next year’s presidential election, compared with 24 percent for the conservative National Action Party and only 17 percent for Pena Nieto’s Institutional Revolutionary Party.
The discontent with the ruling party also comes with the president’s decision to ignore public opinion claims regarding issues like the 43 disappeared Ayotzinapa students and the mounting human rights violations during his administration.
Peña Nieto and his political allies have been plagued by corruption allegations throughout his tenure while Mexico has endured escalating rates of violence, drug trafficking and forced disappearances.
Another factor fueling discontent has been the declining worth of the Mexican peso, a result of uncertainty about the future of trade with the U.S. under the administration of President-elect Donald Trump.
Trump has threatened to introduce far more restrictive immigration and trade policies, including canceling the North American Free Trade Agreement, increasing deportations and building a wall on the southern border.