Mexico’s Historic Election

Mexico’s upcoming election on June 2 will be historic for reasons both positive and negative. On the positive side,  the two closest contenders are both women, which means Mexico will elect its first female President. For a country that has struggled with gender inequality for so long, this is an important step forward.  However, this has also become the most violent election process in Mexico’s history. There have been 24 candidates who have been killed so far in 2024, but there have been a total of 573 people who have suffered political violence since the electoral process began in 2023, the highest on record. The joint study by Mexican Think Tanks México Evalúa, Data Cívica and Animal Político classified the different aggressions into 6 different types of violence, one they’re calling political-criminal violence, of which the 2023-2024 electoral cycle has been the worst. The situation is so worrisome that Mexico’s National Electoral Institute (INE) decided to remove 96 polling stations due to insecurity levels. Put another way, 56,000 people who will not be able to vote in their designated polling stations. On May 29, Heraldo Muñoz, Chief of Mission of the Election Observers of the Organization of American States (OAS), spoke to the press in Mexico and said that the OAS “…is worried about the insecurity situation and the tensions we’re observing as a result of citizens’ insecurity; we’re worried.” This election cycle includes voting for 20,000 congressional and municipal positions. Most of that violence is happening at local levels, including against people beyond the candidates themselves. One thing is clear: whichever woman wins on Sunday, she will have to face one of the biggest crime challenges the country has ever seen, which will also be consequential for the U.S.-Mexico relationship.

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