Mexicans have turned their political attention and sights toward 2018, a year in which the presidential tenure of Enrique Peña Nieto will conclude, and the presidential election will be held to determine who will succeed him in the executive office. Aside from the importance of the presidential electoral contest, Mexico will also hold elections for the 500 federal house and 124 senate members who make up Mexico’s federal congress. If this were not enough to raise the political temperature of the country, major state elections will take in nine states, including Mexico City’s (CDMX) Head of Government.It goes without saying that that the presidential election is particularly relevant, given Mexico’s presidential system, which confers broad powers on the president as head of state and head of government. That said, the local election of the Head of Government of the CDMX will be crucial. Mexico City is not only the seat of federal power, but is also the nucleus of the country’s history, politics, society, economy and cultural identity. For the first time the Head of Government will be chosen according to the new Political Constitution of Mexico City. According to the Constitution’s text, 16 mayors will be elected to fill the top posts in the various municipalities that comprise the territory of the Mexican capital, some of which are as large as other major cities in Mexico.Governorships in numerous large states will also be up for election. As the democratization of political life has progressed, state executives have gained greater independence and autonomy from the federal government. Given increased plurality in Mexico’s political process, it seems each of the major political parties thinks it will come out victorious in the states where elections will take place. This has made this election season particularly important for Mexican politics. States electing new governors include: Jalisco, Veracruz, Guanajuato, Puebla, Tabasco, Chiapas, Yucatán, Morelos and, as noted above, Mexico City. In all, 3,216 public officials will be elected in 2018. While the polls forecasting the upcoming elections have been analyzing the candidates and their probability to win as if it were snapshot of a precise moment, the fact remains that nothing is certain and that a tremendous amount of political activity will ensue and culminate on July 1, 2018, the date Mexico’s federal elections will be held. As a result, the national political thermometer will continue to rise until maximum temperatures are reached.
The devastating effects of Hurricane Harvey in East Texas brought out the spirit and solidarity of those affected and touched by this tragedy. As shown in various media and social network outlets, East Texans carried out the initial rescue campaigns themselves. They worked diligently by organizing auxiliary groups and strategized on how to help those in need. The Texans’ initiative was not triggered by the inefficiency of the governmental authorities, which have done a heroic job, but instead by the magnitude of the natural disaster and the devastation that was left behind as it swept through East Texas. In the framework of the negotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the Mexican government published a communication offering solidarity and goodwill to all those impacted by the storm. Importantly, Mexico’s government also emphasized its willingness and availability to offer aid to mitigate the devastating effects of the floods wrought by Hurricane Harvey.Given the complex and conflicting interests of the parties involved, the NAFTA negotiations on possible amendments are not exempt from tension. Notwithstanding these tensions, the Mexican government publicly stated that it “expressed full solidarity with the people and the government of the United States.” Furthermore, Mexico “offered the United States government all the assistance and collaboration available by the different Mexican governmental agencies in order to serve the impacts of this natural disaster, as good neighbors in difficult times.” In fact, aside from the tensions currently accompanying the NAFTA renegotiation process, reciprocity and solidarity between neighbors should never fade away. A great example of such mutuality was when the U.S. Government and its people helped those affected by the earthquake in Mexico City in 1985. Regardless of the agreements or disagreements reached between neighboring countries in current trade negotiations, goodwill should prevail. This is especially true between two longtime friends and neighbors like Mexico and the United States.