Mexico Elects First Woman President in Historic Move

( – Mexico has had a historically bloody election year. Dozens of politicians have been murdered or threatened across the North American country. The deaths prompted the federal government to take action to protect candidates.

The country has made history in another way, too. Its people elected the first-ever woman to serve as president — and not everyone is happy about it.

Meet the New President

On Sunday, June 2, Claudia Sheinbaum became the first woman in the country’s 200-year history to win the presidency. The former mayor of Mexico City’s government represents the far-left party, Morena. She also served as the secretary of the Environment from 2000 to 2006 when President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) was the mayor of Mexico City. From 2015 to 2017, she was the delegational chief of the Tlalpan borough.

Sheinbaum has a Ph.D. in energy engineering. She has written two books and more than 100 articles about the environment, energy, and sustainability.

The new presumptive president gave a speech after learning she was leading her opponents. She said the other two competitors had conceded in phone calls to her.

“I will become the first woman president of Mexico,” Sheinbaum said. She stated that she isn’t the only one who smashed the glass ceiling, all of the women made it, “with our heroines who gave us our homeland, with our mothers, our daughters and our granddaughters.”

Sheinbaum claimed the country demonstrated it is a “democratic country with peaceful elections.” The day after her speech, the female mayor of Cotija, Yolanda Sanchez Figueroa, was shot to death.

Autocracy Spreading?

While Sheinbaum claimed her election proved the strength of her country’s democracy, not everyone is so sure of that either. She was handpicked by AMLO to succeed him. Throughout his presidency, his critics accused him of doing everything in his power to weaken the country’s democracy.

In 2023, a law was passed to weaken the National Electoral Institute. He was also accused of ignoring customs that limited his power and used his presidency to show favor to Sheinbaum. He also undermined the independence of the judiciary.

The Atlantic ran an article the day after the election with the dramatic title: “The Failed State Next Door,” highlighting the problems in Mexico. Last year, The Washington Post warned Mexico was among the Latin American countries that were “backsliding in democracies that replaced dictatorships” after the Cold War.

Despite concerns, President Joe Biden called and congratulated Sheinbaum “on her historic electoral victory.”

Sheinbaum is expected to carry on AMLO’s policies and continue the work he started.

Copyright 2024,