Zedillo (Ponce de León), Ernesto

Zedillo (Ponce de León), Ernesto

biographical name

(born Dec. 27, 1951, Mexico City, Mex.) President of Mexico (1994–2000). Raised in a working-class family, he joined Mexico's ruling party in 1971 and earned a Ph.D. in economics from Yale University. As secretary of the Ministry of Programming and Budget, he controlled Mexico's huge foreign debt, reduced inflation, and balanced the budget. Elected president after the assassination of the original PRI (Institutional Revolutionary Party) candidate, Luis Donaldo Colosio, he undertook reforms to reduce poverty, root out corruption, and continue democratizing the electoral system. His devaluation of the peso in 1994 led to an economic crisis that was turned around with massive U.S. aid. A rebellion in Chiapas plagued his administration, which was charged with human-rights abuses in that region.

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