Calderón Hinojosa, Felipe de Jesús (fālēˈpā dā hāsōsˈ käldārōnˈ ēˌnōhōˈsä) [key], 1962–, Mexican politician, president of Mexico (2006–2012). His father, Luis Calderón Vega, helped found (1939) the conservative National Action party (PAN), and Felipe Calderón, who has degrees in law and economics, won his first election while he was in his twenties, to the Mexico City assembly in 1988. He subsequently served two terms in the Mexican congress, but lost a bid for the governorship of Michoacán, his home state, in 1995. From 1996 to 1999 he was PAN's president, and after Vicente Fox Quesada, the PAN candidate, won (2000) the Mexican presidency Calderón served (2002–4) as environment minister in Fox's cabinet.
In the 2006 presidential campaign, Calderón was the PAN candidate, and narrowly secured a come-from-behind win over Andrés López Obrador, the Democratic Revolutionary party candidate. López Obrador refused to acknowledge Calderón's victory, creating political tensions in Mexico, but Calderón took office and made gestures to his opponent's supporters by adopting a number of measures López Obrador had proposed. In 2007 and 2008 he won passage of overhauls of the tax and criminal justice laws, but leftists strongly opposed his proposed restructuring of Mexico's Pemex oil company. His tenure also was marked by significantly increased violence by drug gangs. In 2009 the economic downturn led to setback for the president when Institutional Revolutionary party (PRI) won a plurality in the lower house of Mexico's congress.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.