Category Archives: Politics

Indigenous candidate gives voice to native people

PRI – Despite the frequent use as of their images as cultural symbols, the voices of Mexico’s estimated 25.6 million indigenous people are largely absent from their nation’s mainstream political life. Mexico’s first indigenous woman presidential candidate, Maria de Jesus Patricio Martinez, is working to change that. Upon being selected by the Mexican Indigenous Governance Council (CIG) and the ELZN (the Zapatista National Liberation Army) as their candidate for the 2018 election, she has made history.

AMLO emerges as potent political challenger

The Economist -I n the State of Mexico, which contains 13% of the national electorate and was once governed by President Enrique Peña Nieto, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s candidate, Delfina Gómez, gained 31% of the vote. The PRI won, with 34%, in a state it had never lost, but its vote was down by 28 percentage points compared with the last election in 2011. It clung on, according to its opponents and some analysts, only by large-scale vote-buying. López Obrador has thus reminded Mexicans that he remains a uniquely potent challenger.

Party seeks total recount in Mexico State election

AP – Leaders of a Mexico opposition party say they have asked for a complete recount of votes in Sunday’s election for governor of the country’s most populous state. Morena party leader and presumed 2018 presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador alleges the Mexico State election was tainted by irregularities such as “vote buying” and “ballot box-stuffing.” He says Morena intends to prove its candidate, Delfina Gomez, won.

Politician mocked for campaign hashtag

The Guardian – In politics today, finding the right hashtag for your social media campaign can be as important as selecting a candidate or crafting a manifesto. Few electoral teams can hope to attain the inadvertent viral success achieved by a Mexican politician whose campaign has been given the dubious honour of being called “the worst in history” for his choice of hashtag.

Mexico’s ruling party, others caught in old tricks

Fox News – The scene was so typical of Mexico’s long-dominant ruling party that it could have happened a half century ago: poor women lined up under a blazing sun, waiting for a politician to show up hours late for a rally they had been obliged to attend under threat of losing benefits from an anti-poverty program.

But unlike a half-century ago, there were a couple of independent media outlets interviewing the women, who were hot, tired and outraged that a government program would be used for political purposes. The venting ended abruptly when Institutional Revolutionary Party workers arrived to kick out the reporters and tell the women to stop talking.

How Mexico’s president saw his approval rating plummet to 17%

Marchers in Mexico City express their displeasure with President Enrique Peña Nieto during a February protest, waving flags saying "Peña out." (Jorge Nunez/European Pressphoto Agency)
Marchers in Mexico City express their displeasure with President Enrique Peña Nieto during a February protest, waving flags saying “Peña out.” (Jorge Nunez/European Pressphoto Agency)

By Laura Tillman / Los Angeles Times

In December 2012, when Enrique Peña Nieto took office as Mexico’s president, his approval rating was 54%. It was a modest but respectable showing, considering he’d been elected from a four-candidate field with about 38% of the vote.

The central concerns in the country at that time were violence — measured in homicides, extortions and abductions often linked to drug cartels — and the economy. Peña Nieto, who was the reform candidate of the notoriously corrupt Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, promised to address these concerns and promised that his government would be transparent and accountable to the people.

Now, with Peña Nieto two-thirds of the way into his six-year term, many Mexicans believe he has failed on all fronts and been incapable of meeting the new challenge from President Trump.

His approval ratings in polls have plummeted, even falling below 20%. Though many factors drive polls, here’s a look at some of the significant events that turned public opinion against Peña Nieto:

Trump bolsters position of Mexico’s AMLO

Bloomberg – By the time the last brick is laid atop President Donald Trump’s Mexican wall, it’s a fair bet that someone more antagonistic toward the U.S. will hold power on its southern side. Especially if that someone is Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. Which, thanks to Trump, looks increasingly likely.

Protest held at U.S. Embassy to oppose Trump

Mexico News – Women in Mexico joined others in Washington, D.C., on Saturday for the Women’s March on Washington, an event that was initially intended to share concern over Donald Trump’s election as United States president. Hundreds turned out in front of the U.S. embassy in Mexico City to express worry and anger over the Trump presidency, carrying signs bearing calls for gender equity, an end to racism, respect for Mexico and other messages.

Trump and Slim meet for “lovely dinner” at Mar-a-Lago

The Guardian – Donald Trump once described Mexico’s wealthiest man as the string-pulling manipulator who orchestrated a media conspiracy to defeat his election campaign. Carlos Slim has previously scrapped a TV deal with Trump on the grounds that he was a racist. But the two billionaires appear to have set aside those differences, for now at least, sitting down to a meal at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida last Saturday.

Guiliani made millions in deal with anti-Trump politician

Washington Post – Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani was paid millions under a contract arranged by a Mexican politician who is likely to run for president of Mexico in 2018 on an anti-Trump, Mexico-first platform. That could be a conflict of interest if Giuliani is named secretary of state and tasked with renegotiating NAFTA and trying to get Mexico to pay for a border wall.

2 candidates, priest charged in political meddling

Fox News – Mexican prosecutors have for the first time brought charges against a Roman Catholic priest for allegedly meddling in politics. Prosecutors accuse the priest and two former mayoral candidates of participating in a Mass at a church in the town of Chiautla, in the state of Mexico. The priest allegedly blessed the candidates, and the Mass was allegedly touted as the opening of their campaigns.

In Mexico, an emotional response to U.S. election

Fronteras – Mexico watched the elections perhaps more closely than any other country, and many reacted emotionally. People in a handful of watch parties cried or argued with each other as results came in. “Well, we are Mexicans, but we care because the U.S. is our first partner in commerce,” said Leonardo Núñez González, a columnist for the Mexico City newspaper La Razon,