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Feature 090516 EPN Address

Monday, September 5, 2016

Fourth State of the Union Address

Enrique Peña Nieto, President of Mexico

(Transcript; translation by Presidency of the Republic)

Mexicans, it is a pleasure to speak to you. According to Article 69 of the Constitution, the Fourth State of the Union Address has been submitted to Congress to report on the status of the Federal Public Administration.

I have instructed the Secretariats to meet the requests of both chambers of Congress to analyze and discuss this report.

The Fourth State of the Union Address and its entire contents are already available in the portal.

In a few minutes, I will converse with young people from all over the country, who represent various sectors of our country.

I will listen to their ideas and proposals. In particular, I will listen to their criticisms and answer their questions. It will be a different exercise, because we are a different country. Fewer than 20 years ago, September 1 was known as “President’s Day.”

Strange as it may seem to us today, people used not to work on that day and children didn't go to school. For several hours, on all the television channels and radio stations, a single voice was heard: that of the president talking to the deputies and senators.

That reality no longer exists. And that’s a good thing. Nowadays in Mexico, you can hear all voices. That is why I have decided to omit the traditional speech and replace monologue with dialogue.

And this is no coincidence; it is a reflection of how much and how quickly Mexico has changed.

Four years ago, Mexicans began the transformations the country needed and had been unable to achieve.

I obviously know there is dissatisfaction and discontent in certain sectors of our society.  Many Mexicans are worried about the education their children receive. We are hurt by poverty, a historical shortcoming we have been unable to overcome.

In several regions, crime remains a threat. Corruption and impunity damage the life of the country and the growth of the economy is still insufficient.

That is what hurts and affects Mexicans. They are serious problems that must be solved.

The main asset Mexico has to overcome them is Mexicans themselves.

Ours is a young country and a country of young people, who are increasingly well educated, self-confident and determined.

Mexicans are a supportive, generous people. We are cheerful, united and hard-working. When we have to cope with difficulties, we also pull through.

Another advantage is that we did not start from scratch. We have a historic strength, since every generation of Mexicans has done its part. And it is on this basis that we are working. 

Mexicans today are destroying the barriers that limit the country’s development and potential.

The most important of these changes, since it involves our children and youth, is Education Reform.

To begin with, we are eliminating of selling or inheriting teachers’ posts. That is why it is one of the transformations that has encountered the greatest resistance.

But we must press on, because what is at stake is Mexico's future.

Education Reform means better teachers, schools and syllabuses.

So far during this administration, over 450,000 candidates wishing to join the teaching profession and over 250,000 in-service teachers have been evaluated. Through the 100% Schools Program, we have invested over $50 billion pesos in improving and remodeling 33,000 schools, from now until the end of the administration.

And we are consulting experts and parents to design new syllabuses which will enable our children and young people to feel surer of themselves and achieve their goals.

Another change is that we created the Culture Secretariat to promote Mexicans’ art, talent and creativity.

Through a Social Inclusion Strategy, we have updated social political. In order to address poverty, we have promoted Prospera, which now supports 6.8 million families and includes university grants and support for productive projects.

Nowadays, nearly one out of every three households is led by a woman and their children must be protected. That is why we created the Female Heads of Household Life Insurance Scheme

We are also supporting our senior citizens, who are now eligible for a pension after the age of 65.

Nearly 13,000 community kitchens are now operating, providing breakfast and lunch for over one million people a day.

Mexicans’ health has also been a priority. This year, over 600 hospitals and nearly 3000 clinics and consultation units have been built or modernized.

We expanded Popular Insurance coverage and visited high schools, technological colleges and universities to incorporate 6.6 million young students into the Social Security medical insurance scheme.

To address the lack of security, the strategy includes crime prevention measures, more teamwork by the authorities and the use of technology to fight organized crime.

I am grateful to our Armed Forces for their commitment and discipline and the security institutions for their heroic work on behalf of Mexico.

To ensure that all criminals go to prison, all criminal trials are now public and oral, in other words, swifter and more transparent.

Since the start of this administration, high-impact crimes have fallen and we will continue working to reduce them even further.

We have joined forces with civil society, to address the main challenges. A clear example is the new National Anticorruption System, which will be led by citizens.

Another important issue for Mexicans is the family economy. For this reason, charges for long-distance national calls were eliminated and the cost of telephone calls, international calls, cell phone calls and the Internet have fallen.

These price reductions have enabled 62 million people to have Internet, in other words, another 21 million users more than at the start of this administration, while 3.4 million families have received credits or supports for home purchases or improvements.

We are also supporting Mexicans wishing to start up or grow their own business. That is why we created the Network of Support for Entrepreneurs and the Young Credit Program.

Nowadays we are one of the countries that receives most tourists, attracts most investment and imports the most to the rest of the world. Mexican products are on a part with those of any other country.

For the first time in 20 years, Mexico is importing more food than it imports; we are also helping farmers purchase tractors and install technified irrigation on their land.

With new and growing investment, our country is now the world’s seventh largest automobile producer.

In order to bring Mexicans closer together and facilitate trade and tourism, we have built or modernized 26 freeways and 57 highways, with a combined length of approximately 4,000 kilometers. This is equivalent to four times the distance between Mexico City and Monterrey.

In order to improve transport in major cities, we are building the Mexico-Toluca Inter-Urban Train, the Guadalajara Electric Train and Line 3 of the Monterrey Metro.

Several strategic projects are also underway, such as doubling port capacity, and expanding the network of gas pipes by 80% to create more industries and create cleaner electricity at a lower cost.

Special Economic Zones are being created to trigger investment and employment and the new Mexico City International Airport is being developed. are

Thanks to Mexicans’ talent and effort, during this government, over 2 million formal jobs have been created. This means that another 2 million families now have medical insurance, housing loans, access to daycare centers and retirement savings.

This is a record figure. To put this in perspective: it is four times the number of jobs created during the same period in the previous administration.

We are also promoted Mexico's interests in the world and protected Mexicans' rights abroad. Our countrymen deserve full respect, wherever they are.

In the future, we must achieve even more. We will advance, ensuring the stability of the economy, implementing the Reforms in action, strengthening the Rule of Law and protecting the environment.

If there is one thing we all agree on, it is that Mexico is a great country and has everything it needs to succeed.

That is why the government’s priorities for the next two years will be:

One. Our children and young people’s education.

Two. The fight against poverty.

Three. Mexicans’ security and tranquility.

Four. Fighting corruption and

Five. Supporting the family economy.

You can rest assured that I will fulfill my responsibility with no concern for personal popularity or political costs.

A better Mexico is being built every day, as a team, through the many things Mexicans do well.

The future must be built now; we must build it together, through dialogue, ideas and everyone's work.

We will have to continue changing what needs to be changed and improving what needs to be improved.

I am therefore motivated by the conversation I will have with young people. I invite you to accompany me.


Presidency of the Republic, Sep. 1, 2016, Mexico, DF

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