President-elect Claudia Sheinbaum breaks Mexico's political glass ceiling

Claudia Sheinbaum

Ever since the ex-Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum announced her intention to run for presidency, it was almost certain that she would win.

During her extensive and challenging campaign, she traveled across the country on regular flights. Her significant lead in the polls likely provided her with confidence that she was making progress towards achieving a historic success.

With a significant lead, she has accomplished the feat of becoming Mexico's first female president.

This is a significant turning point for both Mexico and the woman in question. She previously made history as the first woman to serve as the mayor of Mexico City. Soon, she will take over the National Palace, following in the footsteps of her mentor, the current President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (referred to as Amlo for short).

Regardless of any other events that may occur during her political career or the outcome of her six-year tenure, she will forever be known as the woman who successfully shattered the glass ceiling in Mexican politics. This is an extraordinary accomplishment, considering the deeply rooted patriarchy and entrenched machismo present in the country.

After the flyers from her campaign are thrown away and the posters featuring her image are removed, many Mexicans may question what type of leader she will truly be. Despite her extensive use of words and public speaking during the campaign, there was a lack of information regarding her policies and how she plans to govern the country.

During her campaign, she frequently reiterated that she plans to construct the "second level" of the "Fourth Transformation", which is the political initiative of her partner, Mr. López Obrador.

The "Fourth Transformation" or "4T" is what President López Obrador and his followers refer to it as. This is because they believe that his movement is comparable to three significant periods in Mexican history: the Independence era of 1810, the Reform War which led to the separation of church and state in 1858, and the Mexican Revolution of 1910.

It's not unexpected that critics are objecting to Mr. López Obrador and his colleague Ms. Sheinbaum pushing for this title, accusing them of harboring grandiose visions. Nevertheless, the 4T has become synonymous with a social plan advocating for universal pensions, grants for students, and stipends for families, which have gained widespread popularity throughout Mexico. The initiative has enabled approximately five million individuals to escape poverty across the nation, even though destitution remains prevalent across several areas.

During an interview in Veracruz, a state in eastern Mexico, she explained that the core of this shift was to disconnect financial influence from political control. She stated, "While monetary force has its own course, governing entities should be concentrated on bettering the lives of the underprivileged citizens in Mexico."

According to her, the project's groundwork and initial level were completed by President López Obrador. She added that they plan to carry on with the improvements he implemented in the nation.

She explained that the concept of Mexican Humanism entails granting additional privileges such as enhanced rights, a social welfare network, education, healthcare, and accessibility to housing. In addition, she emphasized that earning a decent wage should be a basic right, not just a privilege, which distinguishes Mexican Humanism from neoliberalism.

Basically, she took a stance of consistency and promised to strongly endorse the plans of President López Obrador. Her victory indicates that this was a popular idea among a significant portion of the Mexican population.

However, Ms. Sheinbaum's opponents, particularly the candidate who came in second place, Xóchitl Gálvez, have accused her of practicing mere populism under the 4T movement. In addition, Ms. Gálvez insinuated that Ms. Sheinbaum would not be independent and would be controlled by her mentor's authoritarian influence.

According to her critics, choosing Sheinbaum as your preferred candidate could ultimately mean electing Amlo.

Although some analysts in Mexico anticipate that she will blindly emulate her well-liked predecessor, there is no guarantee that she will do so. In Latin America, there have been numerous instances where a professed follower has contradicted predictions by charting their own path.

Ms Sheinbaum doesn't take the accusation seriously. She stated to the BBC that she will rule with the same values as Mr López Obrador, which is advantageous for the Mexican population.

She is a sophisticated and technological expert who comes from an affluent Jewish family. Her grandparents escaped the Holocaust. She presents a contrasting image to Amlo, and their way of speaking is vastly different. Amlo captivates his audience with his grand gestures and emphasizes his views, whereas she is more controlled and concise in her speech.

She is proficient in the English language, as evidenced by her successful completion of her doctorate in California. Prior to embarking on a career in politics, she made a name for herself as a skilled environmental scientist who contributed to the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Thus, it is probable that she will feel more at ease when interacting on a global level compared to the previous office holder. This is because his accomplishments were partly due to his personal rapport with regular individuals, specifically in native areas as well as his hometown, Tabasco.

According to Mr. López Obrador, he has no plan to interfere in her government. He desires to enjoy his retirement at his ranch located in the southern region of Chiapas.

Nevertheless, regardless of how their bond progresses once he's no longer in power, the majority of individuals hope to witness a substantial enhancement from Ms Sheinbaum in a crucial field: safety.

Since starting her campaign to celebrating her triumph in Mexico City's central square, the Zócalo, many enthusiastic followers have expressed the need for increased efforts in addressing the issue of violent crime in a nation consumed by drug-related violence.

Ms Sheinbaum expresses her desire to decrease the number of murders in Mexico. Currently at 23.3 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants, she aims to bring this figure down to about 19.4 per 100,000 by 2027. This would bring Mexico in line with Brazil's murder rate.

During her time as the mayor of Mexico City, she is credited with overseeing a decrease of 50% in the murder rate in the capital based on statistical data.

Yet, a scholar who functioned as a security consultant to her election campaign revealed that her crew accepted the fact that methods that were effective for governing a metropolis may not necessarily be suitable for governing a whole nation.

This election in Mexico was the most violent in modern times, if anyone needed a reason to remember how important it is to vote.

Alfredo Cabrera was completing his run for mayor of Coyuca de Benítez, greeting supporters before his concluding speech, when an unknown man suddenly shot him in the back of the head from behind. The bullet proved fatal, and Cabrera died on the spot.

As people rushed away frantically, approximately 15 rounds were fired. The security forces took action and eliminated the shooter on the spot.

Cabrera was the final candidate to be killed during the campaign, among many others. His passing was a ghastly and ferocious ending to this extremely violent election. As he was lying in a pool of his own blood in the western part of Mexico, Claudia Sheinbaum was delivering a speech on stage in Mexico City, encouraging her followers to "create history."

That phase has been completed. To manage the violence linked with drug cartels, she needs to accomplish what her male predecessors were unable to achieve.

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