Trade for Development
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Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de León, (Spanish pronunciation: [eɾˈnesto seˈðiʝo]; born 27 December 1951) is a Mexican economist and politician. He was President of Mexico from 1 December 1994 to 30 November 2000, as the last of the uninterrupted 71-year line of Mexican presidents from the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).
During his presidency, he faced the worst economic crisis in Mexico’s history, which started only weeks after he took office. He distanced himself from his predecessor Carlos Salinas de Gortari, blaming his policies for the crisis (although President Zedillo himself did not deviate from the neoliberal policies of his two predecessors), and oversaw the arrest of his brother Raúl Salinas de Gortari. His administration was also marked, among other things, by renewed clashes with the EZLN and the Popular Revolutionary Army; the controversial implementation of Fobaproa to rescue the national banking system; a political reform which allowed residents of the Federal District (Mexico City) to elect their own mayor; and the Aguas Blancas and Acteal massacres perpetrated by State forces.Although Zedillo’s policies allowed Mexico to get out of the economic crisis and regain growth, popular discontent with seven decades of PRI rule led to the party losing, for the first time, its legislative majority in the 1997 elections, and in the 2000 elections the right-wing opposition National Action Party’s candidate Vicente Fox won the Presidency of the Republic, putting an end to 71 years of uninterrupted PRI rule. Zedillo’s admission of the PRI’s defeat and his peaceful handing of power to his successor improved his image in the final months of his administration, and he left office with an approval rating of 60%.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.
He is currently Director of the Center for the Study of Globalization at Yale University and is on the board of directors at the Inter-American Dialogue and Citigroup.