|54th President of Mexico|
December 1, 1994 – November 30, 2000
|Preceded by||Carlos Salinas de Gortari|
|Succeeded by||Vicente Fox|
|Secretary of Education|
|Preceded by||Manuel Bartlett|
|Succeeded by||Fernando Solana|
|Born||Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de León
December 27, 1951
Mexico City, Mexico
|Political party||Institutional Revolutionary Party|
|Spouse(s)||Nilda Patricia Velasco|
Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de León (born December 27, 1951) is a Mexican economist and politician. He served as President of Mexico from December 1, 1994 to November 30, 2000, as the last of the uninterrupted seventy year line of Mexican presidents from the Institutional Revolutionary Party. Since the ending of his term as president in 2000, Zedillo has been a leading voice on globalization, especially its impact on relations between developed and developing nations.
Ernesto Zedillo was born on December 27, 1951 in Mexico City. His parents were Rodolfo Zedillo Castillo, a mechanic, and Martha Alicia Ponce de León. Seeking better job and education opportunities for his children, his parents moved to Mexicali, Baja California.
His humble origins made him appreciate the idea of progress and self-improvement, even though he was well aware of the few opportunities he had for this. Zedillo was educated in public schools in Mexicali where he was recognized as an excellent student. During his adolescence, young Ernesto actively participated in school events, such as alumni societies and head of the school newspaper.
In 1965, at the age of 14, he returned to Mexico City. In 1969 he entered the National Polytechnic Institute, financing his studies by working in the National Army and Navy Bank (nowadays Banjercito). He graduated as an Economist in 1972 and began lecturing. It was among his first group of students where he met his wife, Nilda Patricia Velasco with whom he has 5 children: Ernesto, Emiliano, Carlos (formerly married to conductor Alondra de la Parra1), Nilda Patricia and Rodrigo.
In 1974 he pursued his master's and PhD studies at Yale University. His doctoral thesis was titled: "Mexico's public external debt: recent history and future growth related to oil".
Zedillo began working in the Bank of Mexico (Mexico's central bank), as a member of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, where he supported the adoption of macroeconomic policies for the country's improvement. By 1987 he was named deputy-secretary of Planning and Budget Control in the Secretariat of Budget and Planning. In 1988 at the age of thirty-six he headed that secretariat. During his term as Secretary, Zedillo launched a Science and Technology reformation.
The opposition blamed Colosio's murder on Salinas. Although the PRI's presidential candidates were always chosen by the current president, and thus Colosio had originally been Salinas' candidate, their political relationship had been affected by a famous speech during the campaign in which Colosio said that Mexico had many problems. It is also notable that the assassination took place after Colosio visited the members of the Zapatista movement in Chiapas and promised to open dialogue, something the PRI opposed.citation needed
After Colosio's murder, this speech was seen as the main cause of his break with the president.citation needed The choice of Zedillo was interpreted as Salinas' way of bypassing the strong Mexican political tradition of non-reelection and retaining real power, since Zedillo was not really a politician, but an economist (like Salinas), who clearly lacked the president's political talent and influence. It is unclear if Salinas had attempted to control Colosio, who was generally considered at that time to be a far better candidate.
Zedillo contested against Diego Fernández de Cevallos and second-timer Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas of the National Action Party and Party of the Democratic Revolution respectively. He won with 48.69% of popular vote, some 17,181,651, and at the time this was considered the cleanest election in the country's history.citation needed
A few days after taking office, one of the biggest economic crisis in Mexican history hit the country. Although it was outgoing president Salinas who was mainly blamed for the crisis, Salinas claimed that president Zedillo made a mistake by changing the economic policies held by his administration. The crisis ended after a series of reforms and actions led by Zedillo. US president Bill Clinton granted a US$20 billion2 loan to Mexico, which helped in one of Zedillo's initiatives to rescue the banking system.
At first Zedillo was regarded by many as a puppet-president but any rumors of obedience to Salinas finished when Raúl Salinas, the "inconvenient brother" of the former president was convicted of murder.
His presidential motto was Bienestar para tu familia ("Well-being for your family"). His most lasting act of government was the creation of Progresa, a poverty-fighting program based on subsidizing the poorest families provided their children go to school, later renamed Oportunidades (Opportunities) by president Vicente Fox.
Zedillo's administration was unable to resolve the EZLN uprising in Chiapas, which lasted until Vicente Fox came to power. Two massacres took place during the presidency of Zedillo: Aguas Blancas and Acteal. It was strongly suspected that top officers within Zedillo's cabinet (but not Zedillo himself) were involved,who? but none of them were ever indicted.
In 2000 Zedillo recognized the electoral victory of opposition candidate Vicente Fox before midnight on election day, paving the way for what seemed an unlikely change of power. For this reason some PRI members consider him a traitor, despite an 11-point advantage for PAN, claiming that the election was too close to admit defeat so soon and that, in any event, the concession should have come from the PRI's candidate, Francisco Labastida, and not Zedillo.
After leaving office, Zedillo has held many jobs as an economic consultant in many international companies and organizations.
Zedillo currently works at Yale University in the United States, where he teaches economics and heads the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization. He is an advisory board member of the Millstein Center for Corporate Governance and Performance at the Yale School of Management. In 2005 he became a member of the influential Washington-based financial advisory body, the Group of Thirty. He serves on the board of advisors for Stonebridge International.3 In 2009 he headed an external review of the World Bank Group's governance.4 In 2010 he joined the board of directors of Citigroup.5 He is also a member of the board of directors of Procter & Gamble, Alcoa, the Global Development Network (GDN) and Electronic Data Systems. Dr. Zedillo is also a member of the Coca-Cola Company International Advisory Board. Union Pacific owns some of the railroads that Zedillo privatized during his presidency in Mexico. Dr. Zedillo now serves as a Director of Union Pacific Corporation.
Among his other post-presidency activities, Zedillo is a member of the editorial board of Americas Quarterly, a policy journal that explores relations and development in the Western Hemisphere. He is also a member of the Club of Madrid, as well as the current chair of the Natural Resource Charter's Oversight Board.
According to a 2012 Economist article, a group of ten anonymous Tzotzil people claiming to be survivors of the Acteal Massacre have taken an opportunity to sue former President Zedillo in a civil court in Connecticut, "seeking about $50 million and a declaration of guilt against Mr Zedillo." The victims of the massacre were members of an indigenous-rights group known as Las Abejas; however the current president of that organization, Porfirio Arias, claims that the alleged victims were in fact not residents of Acteal at all. This has led commentators to allege the trial to be politically motivated, perhaps by a member of the Institutional Revolutionary Party angry about Zedillo's reforms that led to the party losing power in the Mexican presidential election, 2000.6
The United States Department of State recommended that President Zedillo be granted immunity from prosecution due to the actions occurring as part of his official capacity as head of state. This motion is not binding in the US court system, but judges "generally side with the State Department." 7
- Zócalo Saltillo - Alondra de la Parra toma la batuta de su divorcio
- "Stonebridge International Board of Advisors".
- "Outside Review Supports World Bank Group Reform". 21 October 2009.
- Smith, Randall (27 February 2010). "Citigroup to Restructure Its Board". The Wall Street Journal.
- http://www.economist.com/node/21561904 "Mexico and Justice: The trials of Ernesto Zedillo" 1 Sept 2012
- http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/09/world/americas/us-moves-to-grant-former-mexican-president-immunity-in-suit.html?ref=ernestozedillo New York Times, 8 Sept 2012. Randal C. Archibold. "U.S. Moves to Grant Former Mexican President Immunity in Suit"
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Ernesto Zedillo|
- Appearances on C-SPAN
- Ernesto Zedillo at the Internet Movie Database
- Works by or about Ernesto Zedillo in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
- Ernesto Zedillo collected news and commentary at The New York Times
- Ernesto Zedillo at the Notable Names Database
- (Spanish) Extended biography by CIDOB Foundation
- (Spanish) The website of Ernesto Zedillo during his presidency
Schmidt, Samuel. 2000. Mexico encadenado. El legado de Zedillo y los retos de Fox. Mexico D.F.: Colibri
Carlos Salinas de Gortari
|President of Mexico
|Party political offices|
Luis Donaldo Colosio
|PRI presidential candidate
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