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Mexico Elects Sheinbaum as President

On Sunday, June 2, 2024, Mexico elected Claudia Sheinbaum of the left-wing populist MORENA party to be its future president. Sheinbaum, the former mayor of Mexico City, ran on a platform of continuing the popular economic programs of the term-limited Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO).

The election was contested by Xóchitl Gálvez, a progressive business woman representing the old establishment parties, and Jorge Álvarez Máynez, another progressive challenger.

Of all three of the major electoral lists, MORENA was the most socially conservative. While Sheinbaum is herself socially progressive on issues such as abortion and transgenderism, AMLO and other elements of the party are famously not, making it unlikely that Sheinbaum will push left on social issues. By contrast, both Gálvez and Máynez ran on further liberalization of abortion laws and LGBT rights. 

Just as AMLO is reported to be “friends” privately with former President Donald Trump, Sheinbaum has shown openness to working with Trump on border issues if he should retake the White House in November. MORENA broadly does not have a doctrinaire pro-immigration line; Rámon de la Fuente, who is speculated to be Sheinbaum’s foreign minister, has even spoken about the need to decrease illegal border crossings into the U.S.

Domestically, while security remains a difficulty in Mexico—homicides increased under AMLO—Sheinbaum’s tenure as mayor of Mexico City saw a 58 percent decrease in homicides, suggesting that a law-and-order turn may be in Mexico’s future. 

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