Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto's approval rating dropped to a new low in July following the escape of the country’s most notorious drug lord from a maximum security prison, a recent poll shows. Peña Nieto’s approval among the general public fell to 34 percent in July from 39 percent in March, the Reforma newspaper poll says. His disapproval rating was 64 percent.
Peña Nieto's latest troubles follow the July 11 escape from prison by Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán. The reputed leader of Sinaloa drug cartel is believed to have escaped through a mile-long tunnel. The poll found that 64 percent of those surveyed disapproved of the government’s handling of the war on drug gangs, and 79 percent were critical of its handling of the Guzmán escape, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The U.S. government is offering a reward of $5 million for information leading to Guzman's capture. He is believed to still be in Mexico.
Peña Nieto had a 50 percent approval rating after his first year-and-a-half in office after overhauling the nation's telecommunications, banking, education and energy sectors. But a recent series of corruption scandals has hounded his administration. Critics have also partially blamed him for the death of 43 college students by drug-gang members working with local police in southern Guerrero state last year.
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Not everyone is a critic of the Mexican president. Former Mexican President Vicente Fox recently offered kind words for Peña Nieto’s government, which he hailed for growing Mexico's economy, Bloomberg reported. “I think we’re going to see the best three years of the Peña Nieto administration,” said Fox, who won election in 2000 against Peña Nieto’s Institutional Revolutionary Party.
The Reforma poll surveyed 1,200 adults and had a margin of error of plus-or-minus 2.8 percentage points.