Danilo Paredes is from La Vista, in the northern part of Mexico City. He runs an Internet café, and is 32-years-old. Living close to the border with Mexico State, where PeÃ±a Nieto was governor, he says he's seen evidence of his abilities.
"I'm voting for Enrique PeÃ±a Nieto because to me he's a very capable person, and he was effective when he was head of Mexico State," said Paredes. "He has a very good, formal presence. And he already has the image of a head of state."
Paredes rejects the criticism that PeÃ±a Nieto is just image and no substance, or that he's a tool in the hands of corrupt party hacks. In fact, he believes PeÃ±a Nieto is part of a new generation of young PRI leaders, ready and willing to part with the corruption of the past, and move Mexico forward.
"Look, I think that there will always be corruption, regardless of who's in power," said Paredes. "I think corruption is part of Mexican society, and that we, young Mexicans, are trying to change that. And the new PRI… yeah sure, they're corrupt, and they still have that old PRI base. But I think they can make big economic and social changes. Because society's not willing to put up with that level of corruption anymore. So I think they have to change their ways, and I think they can do it."
Should the PRI win the presidential vote, Paredes would like to see PeÃ±a Nieto take immediate steps to fix some of the country's most pressing problems.
"For starters," said Paredes, "I want an end to the drug war violence, and more economic development. I want jobs that pay more, because the economy right now, in Mexico and at the global level, is very fragile. I want Mexico to remain an economically stable country, where there isn't so much drug trafficking."
"There will always be violence," Paredes added, "because you have to fight the cartels. But I want a country where drug trafficking isn't such a big business. So I hope that when PeÃ±a Nieto gets to the presidential palace, he says to the narcos and organized crime, 'You know what? I'm here, and all this is going to change. You're not going to be able to keep going with impunity in this country!' That's what I would want him to do."
And finally, Paredes thinks PeÃ±a Nieto is the candidate best able to deliver on his promises — because his party, the PRI, is strong in Congress. He says PeÃ±a Nieto's main opponent, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, is not in the same position.
"I just don't think Lopez Obrador can turn his proposals into reality, so with him it would be just another six years of promising change and not achieving anything," said Paredes. "I think PeÃ±a Nieto, with all the support he has in congress and the senate, he will come through with the changes and reforms that the country needs."
Danilo Paredes just hopes Enrique PeÃ±a Nieto can hold his lead in the polls until election day.
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