Mexican leader's popularity plummets to new low: Poll

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto's approval rating has sunk to 30 per cent.
Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto's approval rating has sunk to 30 per cent. PHOTO: AFP

Mexico City (AFP) - The approval rating of President Enrique Pena Nieto has sunk to 30 per cent, a "historic low" for a Mexican head of state, according to a poll published on Wednesday (April 13).

The survey published by Reforma newspaper showed that Pena Nieto's popularity fell by nine percentage points since the last poll conducted in December.

"This level represents a historic low, not only for his administration, but also in comparison to the three leaders who preceded him," Reforma said.

The approval rating for then president Ernesto Zedillo, who led the country from 1994 to 2000, had dropped to 31 per cent during the 1995 economic crisis.

A majority of Mexicans have negative opinions on Pena Nieto's handling of the economy, the fight against corruption and the battle against drug trafficking, according to the poll.

The survey was conducted in person among 1,200 people between April 7-10. It has a margin of error of 3.8 percentage points.

Pena Nieto's approval ratings began to plummet following the disappearance and presumed massacre of 43 students in September 2014, a case that sparked protests and outrage over his government's handling of the investigation.

The escape of Sinaloa drug cartel leader Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman in July 2015 also hurt his image, and the poll indicates that the most wanted criminal's recapture in January did not improve Pena Nieto's popularity.

The president took office in December 2012 and his single, six-year term ends in December 2018.