It’s official: Enrique Peña Nieto has reached the lowest presidential approval ratings in the history of Mexico, with Grupo Reforma’s latest poll tracking at 12%. The numbers represent a steep drop from a December 2016 poll that had EPN’s approval ratings plateauing at 24% after a nearly yearlong decline, and point to grim prospects for the ruling Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI) ahead of next year’s presidential elections.
Indeed, according to Grupo Reforma’s analysis, this latest drop – inspired by increasing economic insecurity and a spike in gas prices known as the “gasolinazo” – has directly favored the prospects of Mexico’s perennial leftist candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador and his Movimiento Regeneración Nacional (MORENA). But some Mexicans have taken a different tack in the face of increasing uncertainty and desperation. Apparently taking a cue from US headlines, some well-meaning patriots have started a change.org petition asking Vladimir Putin to intervene in order to “eliminate [Peña Nieto’s] bad government.”
Started by an anonymous citizen going by the handle “Freppo Sovietico,” the petition is accompanied by a largely incoherent screed that references corruption, political ineptitude, and US imperialism before finishing off with the unequivocal exhortation: “Vladimir Putin, we need you in Latin America.” Naturally, this sounds like another gem culled from the fringes of the interwebs, but at the time of publication the petition was just 63 signatures short of its goal of 15,000.
Comments sprinkled throughout the petition include expressions of impotence and rage along with head-scratchers like, “End the corrupt authoritarian government” – which of course are two words virtually synonymous with Vladimir Putin’s own administration. Unsurprisingly, Russia’s thinly-veiled propaganda organ RT picked up on the news and gleefully noted that Mexicans “consider Putin a great leader recognized worldwide.”
It’s understandable that Mexican nationals would be mistrustful and embittered by the US government’s historical mistreatment of their country, but it may be a little naive to think swapping out el Gabacho for yet another power-hungry foreign actor will magically solve all of Mexico’s problems. Plus, it may be useful to consider that Russia’s relationship with its own neighbors really isn’t much better.