Mexico Elects First Female President Who Could Bring More Of The Same On Border Crisis

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John Oyewale Contributor
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Mexico elected Dr. Claudia Sheinbaum Pardo as the first female president in the country’s 200-year history Monday, and she will likely bring more of the same policies in handling the country’s migrant crisis.

Sheinbaum, 62, won 58.3%-60.7% of the votes, while Xóchitl Gálvez Ruiz garnered 26.6%-28.6% and Jorge Álvarez Máynez 9.9%-10.8%, Mexico’s National Electoral Institute posted on X.

“Thank you thank you thank you; I’m not going to fail you,” the President-Elect told her supporters. She would continue with the next phase of “the Fourth Transformation”, she added, signaling a continuation of outgoing President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. Both politicians belong to the Morena party, which favored Sheinbaum as López Obrador’s successor, according to The Associated Press (AP).

“Today is a day of glory because the people of Mexico freely and democratically decided that Claudia Sheinbaum becomes the first female president in 200 years of independent life of our Republic,” López Obrador said in an address to the country. “Congratulations to all of us who have the joy of living in these stellar times of pride and transformation.”

Sheinbaum spoke little about illegal immigration—a perennially thorny issue between Mexico and the U.S. given the U.S. southern border migrant crisis—but signaled during her campaign that she would continue López Obrador’s socio-economic approach to reduce migrant flows, according to the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS). In keeping with Morena’s leanings, she reportedly may be less likely to militarize border control except as a measure of last resort.

More socially progressive and less of a populist than López Obrador, she may likely be more in agreement with U.S. President Joe Biden than with former President and current Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on suitable approaches to illegal immigration. López Obrador recently stepped up the apprehension of illegal migrants attempting to cross Mexico into the U.S. Sheinbaum may be faced with choosing a similarly pragmatic approach of working with the U.S. to firm up border control and dissuade further illegal migration, particularly if Trump is reelected, the IISS noted.

Gálvez Ruiz and Álvarez Máynez conceded the election in separate phone calls to Sheinbaum, the AP’s report revealed.

“Being your candidate has been the greatest honor of my life,” Gálvez Ruiz told her supporters, adding that they “will always count on me as a warrior who will fight for a country in which life, truth and freedom are respected. Let’s go ahead and long live Mexico!”

Álvarez Máynez thanked “the millions of people who trusted us”, especially “the young people” in a statement on X.

Gálvez Ruiz, regarded as a maverick politician, was Sheinbaum’s main challenger, according to Reuters.  Álvarez Máynez was the long-shot candidate, Islander News reported. (RELATED: Mexican President Hands Biden Immigration Gift During Election Year)

Sheinbaum would be the first person of Jewish heritage to govern the largely Catholic country, The AP reported. Her maternal and paternal grandparents were Jewish immigrants from Bulgaria and Lithuania, according to NPR. Sheinbaum, a scientist like her parents, also was Mexico City’s first female mayor, NPR noted.