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Mexico Set for a Historic Presidential Election on June 2

-Editorial

The stage is set for a landmark general election in Mexico on June 2, 2024. Voters will elect a new president, all 500 members of the Chamber of Deputies, and all 128 members of the Senate of the Republic. This election is particularly notable as it will be the first in Mexican history where legislators can seek re-election, potentially altering the political landscape significantly. Concurrently, state elections will also take place.

Incumbent President Andrés Manuel López Obrador is constitutionally barred from seeking another term, opening the field for new leadership. The ruling coalition, Sigamos Haciendo Historia, nominated Claudia Sheinbaum, who is poised to potentially become Mexico’s first female president. Xóchitl Gálvez of Fuerza y Corazón por México emerged as her main rival, gaining traction through her criticism of López Obrador’s policies. Meanwhile, the Citizens’ Movement, the only major party without a coalition, has put forward Jorge Máynez as their candidate.

This election is groundbreaking not only because of the legislative changes but also because it features women as the leading presidential contenders for the first time in Mexico’s history.

The campaign period has been marred by violence. Since January 2024, numerous candidates have been assassinated, including a MORENA congressional candidate in Ecatepec. By May, the death toll of political figures had risen to 27, casting a shadow over the electoral process.

Crime and violence dominate voters’ concerns. During López Obrador’s tenure, Mexico saw one of its bloodiest periods, with intentional homicides peaking at 36,773 in 2020. Although there has been a decline since, with 29,675 homicides in 2023, the rates remain alarmingly high compared to previous decades.

Gálvez has vowed to overhaul the current administration’s “hugs, not bullets” approach. She plans to enhance state police capabilities by increasing salaries, establishing a dedicated university for police training, and bolstering state resources. Her proposals include doubling the number of prosecutors and judges, refocusing the military on national security, and collaborating closely with the United States to combat drug cartels.

In contrast, Claudia Sheinbaum aims to replicate her success in Mexico City, where her policies reportedly reduced homicides to their lowest levels since 1989.

Regional Focus: Baja California

In Baja California, the campaign season concluded, leaving voters to decide among a competitive slate of candidates.

The Senate race features a diverse lineup. Morena’s ticket includes federal representative Julieta Ramírez and Ensenada’s mayor Armando Ayala. The Green Ecologist Party (PVEM) and Solidarity Encounter Party (PES) are fielding Juan Carlos Hank and Mónica Vega, respectively. The PAN, PRI, and PRD coalition have nominated former Mexicali mayor Gustavo Sánchez and PRI leader Guadalupe Gutiérrez Fregoso. Businessmen David Saúl Guakil and Argelia Núñez represent the Citizen Movement, while Jaime Bonilla of the PT seeks re-election.

Candidates for Mexicali’s mayoral seat include Francisco Fiorentini Cañedo (PAN), Guadalupe Jackes Contreras (Fuerza por México), Karla Arvizu Rashid (PES BC), Norma Alicia Bustamante Martínez (Morena), Miguel Alejandro Delgado García (Citizen Movement), María Guadalupe Mora Quiñónez (PT), Lilia Selene Cota Bernal (PVEM), María Guadalupe Lizárraga Hernández (PRD), and Francisco Jaime Navarro Celaya (PRI).

The Baja California State Electoral Institute (IEEBC) has implemented measures to ensure a transparent and orderly election. Efforts include ensuring vote integrity and encouraging the participation of national and international observers to maintain oversight and legitimacy.

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