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In the News: Vicente Fox
President Fox made the news in Junior Scholastic on October 10, 2005
By Alexandra Cale

President of Mexico, Vicente Fox
Mexican President Vicente Fox, inaugurates the XIV Inter-American conference of Secretaries of Labor, in Mexico City, Monday, Sept. 26, 2005
(Photo: Marco Ugarte/AP Wide World)
Vicente Fox was elected President of Mexico in 2000. He is the first President elected from an opposing party since 1910. Fox represents the National Action Party, or PAN. In 2006 his term will end and Fox will retire from politics. Under the Mexican constitution, he cannot run for re-election.

Fox was born in Mexico City in 1942 to wealthy parents. He attended university, but did not graduate until 2000 when he became a candidate in the election. He drove a delivery truck for Coca-Cola and eventually became president of the company in Mexico.

In the 1980s Fox began his career in the Chamber of Deputies in Congress. From 1995 to 1999, Fox served as Governor for his home state of Guanajuato. He quickly decided that he wanted to run for President and began his campaign as a pro-business and antipoverty candidate. His popular personality and well-known status as Governor helped convince voters that his promises for growth and change would come true.

In the next election, he defeated the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI. Fox is now considered the first democratically elected president in Mexico’s history.

Unfortunately, Fox’s popularity could not make up for his inexperience. During his campaign, he often criticized the PRI’s policies and corruption. When he took office, he found that Congress was dominated by the PRI and so they were reluctant to pass his legislation.

Although Fox promised to create more jobs, the number of Mexicans illegally immigrating to the U.S. in search of work increased. Because of this, he has claimed that unemployment is down, but 180,000 jobs have actually been lost during his term so far.

Despite these challenges, some of his policies have been effective. Fox has imprisoned many more than 35,000 drug-related criminals—a number several times greater than the last two Presidents.

Although the future of Mexico still remains unclear, there is no doubt that Vicente Fox’s contributions have made an impact.