Home News Mexico elects Claudia Sheinbaum as outgoing president begins farewell

Mexico elects Claudia Sheinbaum as outgoing president begins farewell


Sunday is A historic day in Mexicowon the election by a landslide Claudia Sheinbaumshe is the country’s first female president and the first Jewish one.

However, the show is not only about Sheinbaum, the acclaimed climate scientist and mayor of Mexico City from 2018 to 2023, but also about the most powerful man in Mexico who is about to leave office.

The electoral victory of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s hand-picked successor marks the end of a key figure in Mexico.

He came from a region with few national politicians and was elected president on his third try. He revolutionized Mexican politics and built an entire party around his larger-than-life personality.

Critics also say he has given too much power to the military and pushed through measures that weakened democratic institutions such as the Supreme Court.

Yet, as the end of his six-year term approaches, Mr López Obrador remains wildly popular.

After nearly five decades in public life, López Obrador, 70, has said he will retire.completely” It is his last day in office, September 30, but some observers believe he will find ways to continue to exert influence behind the scenes.

He said he wanted to spend the rest of his life on his family’s ranch in the southern state of Chiapas.

For many in the neighbouring state of Tabasco, it is a bastion of support for Mr López Obrador and a TepetitanIt was a bittersweet Sunday in his birthplace.

Miguel Angel Solis Brelo, 72, said he was glad to see Ms. Sheinbaum win because she was “very well prepared” to continue Mr. López Obrador’s agenda. He also said it was “very nice” to see a woman as president.

But Mr. Solis, who drove a motorboat down the river from the ranch where he works to vote in Tepetitán, admitted he was also “a little sad” to see Mr. López Obrador’s presidency coming to an end. Under the constitution, Mexican presidents cannot serve more than six years.

Kenia Sandoval Salvador, a 47-year-old stay-at-home mom, said she watched highlight videos of López Obrador’s career on social media before heading to vote on Sunday in Macuspana, also a town in Tabasco state where López Obrador was born.

“I’m already feeling the nostalgia,” she said.

Mr. Lopez Obrador was born in 1953 Attend The only primary school in Tepetitan, and helped out in his parents’ shop. start He graduated from Marcus Pana High School and finished middle and high school about 40 minutes away, before his family moved to Villahermosa, the state capital. He went to college in Mexico City and later became mayor.

Many viewed Sunday’s election as a referendum on López Obrador’s leadership, and Sheinbaum’s decisive victory was interpreted as a vote of confidence in the president, his policies and the “More National Unity” party.

Antenor Paz Acosta, 75, who works on a ranch in Tepetitan and said he played baseball with the president since he was a kid, made it clear that even if he voted for Sheinbaum, he had the incumbent in mind.

“I always supported Andres Manuel in everything he did,” Mr. Paz said. “Wherever he went, she went.”

During López Obrador’s tenure, the economy grew, millions of Mexicans were lifted out of poverty, the minimum wage doubled, pensions increased and worker benefits improved.

But his presidency has also raised concerns. He has been criticized for his “hugs, not bullets” strategy toward criminal gangs, which has led to More violenceHis critics also say he has hobbled the nation’s health care system and prioritized fossil fuels.

López Obrador, known by his initials AMLO, will be remembered by many for his morning press conferences, or mañaneras, in which he spent hours almost every day for the past five years sharing his feelings, celebrating his victories, attacking his critics, Blasting journalists. He came across as warm and friendly.

“López Obrador governs by ‘tomorrow,'” said Blanca Gómez, a Mexican journalist who wrote an unauthorized biography of López Obrador in 2005. “He realizes that people listen to him. People believe in him. Some will miss his ‘tomorrow.’ Many will be happy not to listen to him anymore.”

Lázaro Vidal Martínez, 62, a farmer in Tepetitán, said he occasionally listens in, though he usually works in the mornings. “I like that he shows up every day because other presidents never do that,” he said.

Solís, a ranch worker who came to vote by motorboat, said his favorite part was the social welfare programs of López Obrador’s presidency, which helped “those of us who were not helped or valued before.”

He said his pension has increased fivefold over the years to about $170 a month for people over 65.

Solis added that while he was generally happy with the direction of the country, López Obrador should take tougher measures against criminal groups.

“We want this sport to continue,” he said, before hopping on his boat and heading home.

During a campaign visit in Tabasco, Sheinbaum pledged to preserve López Obrador’s legacy. painting cheers From the crowd.

In the town of Tepetitan, population 1,500, his grandparents’ former home opened last year as a Casa Obrador Community Museum and erected a bust of him outside. In the larger town of Marcus Pana, with 31,000 inhabitants, the only relic is a mural outside the public library.

Not far away, in a cafe in the town’s central square, sat Marvell Hernández Gutu, 79. Gutu, a Tepetitán native, is a lawyer and former government official who knows López Obrador from their previous political party. He wants López Obrador to do more for Mexico’s business and infrastructure, especially in Tabasco, one of the country’s poorest states.

“As far as his legacy goes,” Mr. Hernandez said, “we can’t say he left us something great because he had the opportunity to do so and he didn’t.”

Regardless of their views, many said they did not believe López Obrador would suddenly disappear after decades in public life and after being in power by his protégés.

“His legacy is very important to him,” said Ms. Gomez, a journalist.

In some ways, it will continue in Te Petitan.

Six years ago, during López Obrador’s successful presidential campaign, Vidal allowed a local artist to paint a mural on the side of his house at the entrance to town. Anyone entering or leaving the community would see it. Vidal said his parents knew López Obrador’s parents.

The portrait has been repainted three times, with new decorations added each time. Mr. López Obrador’s face is surrounded by flora and fauna from across Tabasco: howler monkeys, parrots and alligator gar, a local delicacy and Mr. López Obrador’s Spanish nickname.

Mr. Vidal said the mural artist died last year and he hopes another artist can help preserve the mural in memory of the town’s most famous son.

“That mural will remain,” he said.

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