|Birth Day:||August 18, 1962|
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He was a PAN party member since childhood, passing out pamphlets and flyers.
Felipe Calderón was born in Morelia, Michoacán, Mexico on August 18, 1962. He is the youngest of five brothers and son of Carmen Hinojosa Calderón and the late Luis Calderón Vega.
He was a local representative in the Legislative Assembly and, on two different occasions, in the federal Chamber of Deputies. He ran for the governorship of Michoacán in 1995 and served as national president of the PAN from 1996 to 1999. During his tenure, his party maintained control of 14 state capitals, but also faced a reduced presence in the federal Chamber of Deputies.
After growing up in Morelia, Calderón moved to Mexico City, where he received a bachelor's degree in law from the Escuela Libre de Derecho. Later, he received a master's degree in economics from the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM) and a Master of Public Administration degree in 2000 from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
He joined the presidential cabinet as Secretary of Energy, replacing Ernesto Martens. He left the post in May 2004 in protest of Vicente Fox's criticism of his presidential ambitions while supporting those of Santiago Creel.
On November 30, 2006, outgoing President Vicente Fox Quesada and still President-elect Felipe Calderón Hinojosa stood side-by-side on national television as Fox turned over the presidential sash to a cadet, who handed it to Calderón. Afterwards, Fox read a short speech indicating that he had concluded his mandate by receiving the flag "that had accompanied him during the last six years which he had devoted himself completely to the service of Mexico and had the utmost honor of being the president of the republic". Calderón then made a speech to the Mexican public indicating that he would still attend the inauguration ceremony at the Chamber of Deputies. He made a call to unity.
Reactions to this program have been mixed. The president of the Mexican Association of Directors in Human Relations, Luis García, has anticipated a positive effect and even showed Nextel's subsidiary in Mexico as an example for hiring 14% of its new workforce in 2006 as people in their "first employment". Secretary of Labor Javier Lozano Alarcón has admitted that the program by itself will be insufficient to create as many new jobs as needed and has called for deeper reforms to allow for further investment.
Like his opponent in the 2006 election, Calderón also proposed laws that, if passed, would lower salaries for public servants in all three branches of government and impose a cap on compensation. The proposal also includes measures to make the remuneration of public servants more transparent and subject to fiscalization.
Calderón's government also ordered massive raids on drug cartels upon assuming office in December 2006 in response to an increasingly deadly spate of violence in his home state of Michoacán. The decision to intensify drug enforcement operations has led to an ongoing conflict between the federal government and the Mexican drug cartels.
The government was relatively successful in detaining drug lords; however, drug-related violence remained high in contested areas along the U.S. border such as Ciudad Juárez, Tijuana, and Matamoros. Some analysts, like U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Carlos Pascual, argued that this rise in violence was a direct result of Felipe Calderón's military measures. Although homicide rates in Mexico from 2000–2007 showed a general decline, now Mexico is considered to be among the top ten countries with the highest homicide rates. Since Calderón launched his military strategy against organized crime in 2006, there has been an alarming increase in violent deaths related to organized crime, "more than 15,000 people have died in suspected drug attacks since it was launched at the end of 2006." More than 5,000 people were murdered in Mexico in 2008, followed by 9600 murders in 2009, 2010 was violent, with over 15,000 homicides across the country.
On July 2, 2006, the day of the election, the Federal Electoral Institute (IFE) announced that the race was too close to call and chose not to make public a large and well-designed exit poll. However, as the preliminary results of the unofficial PREP database made clear the next morning, Felipe Calderón had a small lead of 1.04%.
On July 6, 2006, the Federal Electoral Institute announced the official vote count in the 2006 presidential election, resulting in a narrow margin of 0.58% for Calderón over his closest contender, PRD candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador. However, López Obrador and his coalition alleged irregularities in a number of polling stations and demanded a national recount. Ultimately, the Federal Electoral Tribunal, in a unanimous vote, declared such a recount to be groundless and unfeasible and ordered a recount of those with supportable allegations, or about 9.07% of the 130,477 polling stations.
On September 5, 2006, even when the Federal Electoral Tribunal acknowledged the existence of irregularities in the election, Calderón was, after the change of the votes of two of the magistrates, unanimously declared president-elect by the tribunal with a lead of 233,831 votes, or 0.56%, over López Obrador. The electoral court concluded that minor irregularities without proof were insufficient to invalidate the election. The ruling was mandatory, final and could not be appealed.
On December 1, 2006, despite the PRD's plans to prevent Calderón from taking office, the inauguration in front of Congress was able to proceed. Hours before Calderón's arrival, lawmakers from the PRD and PAN parties began a brawl, in which several representatives threw punches and pushed, while others shouted at each other. PRD representatives shouted "Fuera Fox" ("Out with President Fox") and blew whistles, while PAN representatives responded with "Mexico, Mexico". Minutes before Calderón and Fox walked into Congress, the president of the Chamber of Deputies announced a legal quorum, thus enabling Calderón to legally take the oath of office. At 9:45 am CST, all Mexican media cut to the official national broadcast, where commentators discussed the situation and showed scenes inside the Palace of the Chamber of Deputies, Palacio de San Lázaro. At 9:50 am CST, Calderón entered the chamber through the back door of the palace and approached the podium, where he took the oath as required by the Constitution. After the anthem, opposition continued to yell in Spanish "Felipe will fall". PAN representatives shouted back, "Sí se pudo" (Yes, we could do it!). At 10:00 am CST, the official broadcast ended, and most stations resumed their programming.
On January 19, 2007, Mexico captured the leader of one of its seven major drug cartels, the Diaz Parada gang, five weeks into an army crackdown on narco gangs. Mexican soldiers and federal police jointly arrested Pedro Diaz Parada, whose cartel has operated across southern Mexico, on Tuesday in the southern city of Oaxaca, a spokeswoman for the attorney general's office said.
On April 9, 2007, the Secretariat of Defense announced in a report the results of the first four months of Calderón's presidency: the capture of 1,102 drug dealers, the seizure of about $500 million pesos, 556 kilograms of marijuana, 1,419 military grade weapons, two airplanes, 630 automobiles, and 15 sea ships that transported drugs, and the destruction of 285 clandestine runways, 777 drug camps, 52,842 marijuana farms and 33,019 opium poppy farms.
Before meeting with President Bush in March 2007, Calderón openly expressed his disapproval of building a wall between the two nations. After the U.S. Senate rejected the Comprehensive Immigration bill, President Calderón called the decision a "grave error".
A poll by Ipsos-Bimsa shows a change in Calderon's approval rating at 57% in November 2007.
Felipe Calderón made immigration reform one of his main priorities, and in 2008 he and the Mexican Congress passed a bill decriminalizing undocumented immigration into Mexico. He expressed his hopes that something be done to clear up the status of undocumented Mexican immigrants in the US.
In June 2008, Calderon's approval rating jumped to 64% before slipping to 62% in September.
The 2009 Swine Flu epidemic struck Mexico and was labeled a pandemic by the World Health Organization. The administration declared a state of emergency and acted firmly in giving open information to the world about the swine flu epidemic, and it acted with tough measures to contain its spread by shutting down many public services including schools. President Calderón appeared on television explaining the situation and demonstrating basic precautionary measures to take during the epidemic such as coughing into one's elbow rather than into the air. Tamiflu and vaccines were used in 2009 and in 2010 during flu season, and some deaths were undoubtedly prevented by the strong measures that were taken as well as due to a reduction in the spread and severity of the disease. Policies keeping people home and awareness of effective strategies may have helped prevent virulent forms of the virus from spreading as easily as minor forms that were harder to detect and identify. Criticism of Calderón's handling varied from early claims that his administration was not doing enough to later claims that the administration had exaggerated the measures that it had taken.
On December 16, 2009, the Mexican Navy killed Arturo Beltrán-Leyva, a once important drug trafficker. During Calderon's term, 25 of the 37 most wanted drug lords were either captured or killed.
Not all those killed by the police and armed forces were criminals. Javier Francisco Arredondo Verdugo 23, and Jorge Antonio Mercado Alonso, 24, students at the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education in Nuevo León, were killed by the Mexican Army on March 19, 2010 in Mexico. First the army denied having anything to do with the killings, and then they falsely accused the young men of being drug dealers who were armed to the teeth.
Calderón created the largest number of universities (96) in the history of Mexico. He was also the only president who granted full coverage and a secure spot in elementary schools to children from 6 to 11 years old. The Office of Social Aid for Victims of Violence (in Spanish: Procuraduría Social para Víctimas de la Violencia) was created by him in 2011. During Calderón's administration, more than 1,000 hospitals were created, and more than 2,000 were reconstructed and amplified. During Vicente Fox's administration, only 40 million people had access to a public health care system. Currently, more than 100 million Mexicans have access to their country's health care system due to Calderón's effort to implement a universal health care system. Moreover, Calderón created more than 16,500 kilometers of interstate highways. Calderón also dispatched military forces all over Mexico since the beginning of his presidency to put down the drug cartels and the increasing violence generated by the criminal organizations that fight with rival groups for territory.
2011 showed higher homicides and 2012 showed a similar rate as 2011, with 2012 also being a Presidential transition year and a year with high security spending nationwide. Homicides in 2020 and 2011 were in the 20,000 to 27,000 range.
Polling firm Buendia & Laredo released a survey showing President Calderón's approval rating at 54% on May 9, 2011.
During his tenure as president, there were numerous reports in the Mexican media alleging that Calderón was an alcoholic, based on speeches and public appearances in which the President seemed to be drunk, slurring his words or making bizarre statements. On 2 February 2011, opposition lawmakers in the Chamber of Deputies displayed a banner reading: "Would you let a drunk drive your car? No, right? So why let one run your country?". The next day, journalist Carmen Aristegui reported on the incident, and commented that while she didn't "have any specific information" as to whether the president had problems with alcohol, she added that "this is a delicate topic" and suggested that President Calderón had an obligation to reply to the accusations. This led to Aristegui being fired from MVS, the news company that hosted her radio show, "for violating the ethical code" of the firm. The termination resulted in widespread public protests, and Aristegui was reinstated a few days later. Neither she nor MVS Radio issued an official statement about her return to the air.
In 2012, the massive Baluarte Bridge was inaugurated, which speeds travel between Mazatlán and Durango and allows for faster access between Mexico's coasts. The Baluarte Bridge is so high that the Eiffel Tower could fit under its central span.
On February 27, 2012, a poll by El Universal showed a 58% approval rating with only 11% disapproval, a decrease in concern for security from 48% to 33% polled listing security as the top concern facing the government, 42% say things have improved in Mexico since Felipe Calderón's administration, 21% said things have stayed the same, while 34% said things have gotten worse.
Consulta Mitofsky published a study on 23 August 2012 which concluded that after 22 trimesters the approval of Felipe Calderón fell to 46%.
A CNN report in August 2012 revealed the behind-the-scenes story of the firing and rehiring. On 4 February, shortly after Aristegui's on-air comments about President's Calderón's possible alcoholism, MVS president Joaquin Vargas received a phone call from Calderón's spokeswoman, Alejandra Sota. Vargas apologized for Aristegui's comment, and later that day was told by a cabinet official that the government would not be taking action on a matter involving MVS's broadcast frequencies until Aristegui herself offered a public apology. On 5 February, Sota handed Vargas a statement of apology and told him to instruct Aristegui to read it on the air. On 6 February, Aristegui refused; Vargas fired her immediately. Her termination was announced that evening, and within hours Sota phoned Vargas and told him she was alarmed by the intense reaction on social networks to the news of Aristegui's dismissal. After several days of public outcry and of extensive communication between Vargas and various representatives of Calderón, Aristegui returned to the air on February 21.
In 2012, journalist Julio Scherer García published a book entitled "Calderón de cuerpo entero", based on interviews with former president of the National Action Party, Manuel Espino Barrientos. The book details many instances of Calderón's alleged alcoholism, before and during his tenure as President.
On July 10, 2013, Mexican newspaper Excélsior ran an article on its website revealing that the Calderón administration authorized in February 2007 the installation of an interception system by the United States Department of State to analyse, process and store phone calls, e-mails and other internet services with the purpose of helping Calderón administration to fight organized crime and narcotraffic, in the context of the Mérida Initiative. The scandal remained largely ignored by the Peña administration even though several newspapers and news websites revealed in September 2013 that the president himself, Enrique Peña Nieto, was spied by the National Security Agency while he was presidential candidate. On 21 October 2013, it was revealed by Der Spiegel that the NSA had spied Calderón and other cabinet member e-mails. That same day Mr. Calderón tweeted that he had personally spoken with the actual Secretary of Foreign Affairs, José Antonio Meade Kuribeña, to "help him" transmit his most energic protest to the espionage he was subject, and later that day, Calderón tweeted that far more of a personal damage, it was a grievance to the Mexican institutions and that he would not make further statements on the theme.
Mexican journalist Raymundo Riva-Palacio criticized (on his columns of October 21 and October 23) the privileges given by the Calderón administration to American intelligences agencies and bilateral cooperation in general, and wrote: "...It can be argued that Washington mocked him and betrayed him..." Mr. Riva-Palacio wrote that American intelligence agencies coordinated field operations and even interrogated the detainees before Mexican authorities could do their own. According to Mr. Riva, this privileges led to the illegal spying which enabled American intelligence agencies to make a map of the Mexican political world, which (according to him) is demonstrated in many documents where the main concern is the political stability and future of Mexico, and the subsequent spying carried on Mr. Peña while he was running for office. He then criticized Mr. Calderón request to Mr. Peña to investigate the spying carried on his e-mail and his cabinet members e-mails and declared that Calderón should have done that when the first allegations of illegal spying came out in 2009-2010. On October 22, 2013, CNNMéxico published on its website that Calderón avoided sending sensitive information through his e-mail, to outsmart spies, and when realized phone calls with other cabinet members, spoke in code. On October 23, 2013, the Secretary of the Interior, Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong, announced that, by presidential mandate, a profund investigation would be carried on the illegal spying done towards Calderón.
In March 2017, five years after the end of his Presidency, Felipe Calderón attended a rally to support the candidacy of Josefina Vázquez Mota as governor of the State of Mexico. Many media outlets reported that Calderón appeared to be drunk during the event, with visible difficulties to hold his balance.
However in October 2019, the journalist Federico Arreola claimed that this allegation was false and that he had invented it. He stated that although he helped to spread this rumor, he is convinced Calderón is not an alcoholic. Mr. Arreola stated that he invented the rumour about Calderón's alcoholism after being slandered by him when Arreola was a candidate for the presidency in 2006.
Currently, Felipe Calderon is 59 years, 2 months and 5 days old. Felipe Calderon will celebrate 60th birthday on a Thursday 18th of August 2022.
Find out about Felipe Calderon birthday activities in timeline view here.