Could Mexico’s Election Change Everything?

Source: New Internationalist

The Latin American nation goes to the polls 1 July to elect a new president. Tamara Pearson reports on the possibility that a progressive president will be elected for the first time in nearly a century

It’s being called the ‘most violent’ election campaign in Mexico’s history. One hundred and thirteen candidates and politicians have so far been murdered, up to mid-June. Narcos have set fire to vans. Local candidates are being shot as they take photos with supporters and while speaking at public events.

Some 29,168 people were murdered in Mexico last year, according to official figures, and the current government of Enrique Pena Nieto ‘may be one of the most corrupt in the country’s history,’ as noted by journalists and academics. Religious figures have gone so far as to describe the government as a ‘lucrative corporation … that benefits just a few people.’

These views echo how many Mexicans have perceived the country for a long time: a place where politicians don’t even pretend to listen to the people or govern for them. A country where politicians are usually too busy making deals with big businesses, money laundering, and stealing public funds. Surveys support these views too, finding that Mexicans refrain from voting primarily because they are dissatisfied with all the electoral parties, they distrust the electoral system, and don’t see voting as getting anywhere. Only a third of the youth under 30 vote, as they feel it does little to pressure politicians.

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