Mexico goes to the polls this Sunday with two women as clear favorites to become president of a country devastated by drug trafficking violence, where an average of 10 women are murdered every day.

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Claudia Sheinbaum, a physicist and candidate of the left-wing ruling party, and Xóchitl Gálvez, a center-right senator with indigenous roots, are the favorites to govern the world’s twelfth economy until 2030.of 129 million inhabitants.

According to an average of surveys by the Oraculus firm, Sheinbaum, 61 years old and of Jewish origin, leads Gálvez by 17 percentage points, boosted by the popularity of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, his political godfather.

In a distant third place is the centrist Jorge Álvarez Máynez, a 38-year-old former deputy..

Confident in the “hidden vote”, Gálvez, 61, believes that the die is not yet cast.

Successful businesswoman in the technology sector who focused her campaign on denouncing the Government’s “failed” security policy, baptized “Hugs, not bullets” because it seeks to primarily attack the causes of violence, believes that part of that hidden vote will come from areas hit by the powerful criminal cartels.

Some 450,000 people were murdered in Mexico and tens of thousands have been missing since 2006, when the then Government opted for a change in strategy by adding the military in the fight against criminal groups.

A candidate for a local office in the state of Michoacán (west) was shot to death hours before the start of the elections, the regional prosecutor’s office reported.

Since September, around thirty candidates for local office have been victims of violence, according to the NGO Data Cívica.

Violent acts forced the suspension of the elections in two municipalities of Chiapas (south) on Saturday.

Some 100 million voters in this country across three time zones are summoned for the event. The polls opened at 8:00 a.m. (1:00 p.m. GMT) in Quintana Roo (southeast), as well as in part of the border with the United States.

Mexico City and twenty states began voting at 2:00 p.m. GMT and those in the northwest, with a Pacific coast, an hour later.

Contrasting visions

Sheinbaum’s followers consider that she guarantees the legacy of López Obrador, who was efficient as mayor of Mexico City (2018-2023) and that she is an “inspiration” for women in this country with high rates of gender violence, where about 10 Women are murdered daily, if we add femicides and intentional homicides, according to UN Women.

A female president will be a transformation in this country and let’s hope she does more for women. Here violence against women is 100%“said cleaner Clemencia Hernández, 55, who will vote for Sheinbaum in Mexico City to follow López Obrador’s line.

“Never before has a government cared so much about older adults,” he said.

During his government, Lopez Obrador It distributed millions in direct aid to the elderly, young people and the disabled, lifting 8.9 million people out of poverty. A third of the population still lives, however, in that situation.

At a voting station in the wealthy neighborhood of Polanco, in Mexico City, Eunice Carlos, 70, said that the six years of this Government “were a martyrdom.” “He has been a very disastrous presidentin the first place because it divided us… My vote goes for democracy with Xóchitl Gálvez,” he said.

Both candidates committed to maintaining the social aid of the current Government.

“I’m not coming alone, we’re all coming!” expressed Sheinbaum when closing her campaign. “It is time for women and transformation… That means living without fear, free of violence.”

For his part, Gálvez reiterated that he will seek to regain control of territories controlled by crime and bring “freedom where today an authoritarian government wants to impose its decisions.”

The opposition is supported by a coalition of the traditional parties PAN, PRD and the PRI, which governed for seven decades until 2000.


The expansion of organized crime, which thrives on other crimes such as extortion, “is the most intimidating problem“that whoever becomes president will have to face, said Michael Shifter, a researcher at the Inter-American Dialogue analysis center, based in Washington.

It will also have the challenge of maintaining social programs when the fiscal deficit rose to 5.9% and the average growth in the last six years was barely 0.8%.

Another challenge will be the complex relationship with the United States, the destination of 80% of Mexican exports, especially if Donald Trump returns to power, Shifter warned.

Trump threatened mass deportations of migrants crossing the almost 3,200 km binational border. Furthermore, in 2026 the two countries and Canada must renegotiate their T-MEC trade agreement.

In these elections, the left also seeks to expand the simple majority it has in Congress to approve controversial reforms, including one in the judicial field, as well as retain the mayor’s office of Mexico City, its stronghold.

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