He won’t actually be president for another 10 weeks or so, but President-elect Enrique Pena Nieto is already getting treatment befitting a head of state.
His transition team seems as much in control as Los Pinos, the presidential palace, and his appointees are already roaming various secretariats taking measurements and asking for documents.
Flying aboard a Mexican navy plane (see!), Pena Nieto left yesterday on a six-nation tour of Latin America. He was in Guatemala Monday and is now in Colombia. He’ll go on to Brazil Wednesday, then continue to Chile, Argentina and Peru.
Mexico, of course, has the longest transition between elections and inauguration of any country in the hemisphere that I am aware of. Pena Nieto was elected July 1 and won’t take office till Dec. 1.
It first caught my attention last week. Pena Nieto’s office issued a statement on Sept. 12 lamenting the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, and the killing of the U.S. ambassador. The statement came just shortly after the foreign secretariat issued its own.
Check out the photo above of Pena Nieto with Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina, each nation’s flag in the background. Pena Nieto was whisked through the city in a convoy “similar to those offered actual presidents, according to Guatemalan functionaries,” the El Universal newspaper said. It sent a correspondent along with Pena Nieto, almost as if he already were head of state.