Tag Archives: lopez obredor

Three candidates and two visions for Pemex reform in Mexican presidential race

Although the outcome of Mexico’s tedious presidential race has long seemed inevitable, it has spawned a serious debate over how to revitalize the Mexican oil industry — and, in particular, Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex), Mexico’s state-owned oil company.

Pemex is the second-largest company in all of Latin America (recently displaced by Brazil’s oil company, Petrobras).  The topic featured in a debate earlier this week among all but one of the Mexican presidential candidates, and it has been at the forefront of policy discussions throughout the Mexican campaign.

Pemex has long been a thorny problem for Mexico, the world’s seventh-largest oil producer.  Pemex is the source of around one-third of the government’s revenue, but the taxes and royalties that it pays to the government (around 60% of its revenues) have left it crippled and saddled with billions in debt, to say nothing of the corruption that has plagued the company throughout its history.

What this means is that, even when oil revenue have been at record-high prices, Pemex has been unable to reinvest in new technologies or further exploration.  To make matters even worse, Mexico’s main oil field production has already peaked and Pemex’s production recently fell at a faster rate than at any time since the 1940s.  Without reform, Mexico could become a net energy importer within a decade. Continue reading Three candidates and two visions for Pemex reform in Mexican presidential race

AMLO rising: López Obrador gets lift in Mexican presidential race

Gone are the days when Mexico’s first female presidential candidate, Josefina Vázquez Mota, could have transformed the presidential race with her historic candidacy with a high-profile break from the current leadership of her party, the ruling Partido Acción Nacional (PAN).

Over the past month, the man to watch in the Mexican presidential election — except, of course, for the longtime frontrunner Enrique Peña Nieto, candidate of the Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI) — has increasingly been Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the leftist candidate of the Partido de la Revolución Democrática (PRD), who previously served as head of government of the Distrito Federal from 2000 to 2005 and who narrowly lost the 2006 presidential race to current PAN president Felipe Calderón.

López Obrador led the 2006 polls throughout much of the campaign, much as Peña Nieto has led polls in the current presidential campaign, but narrowly lost after the PAN and the PRI launched negative attacks claiming that López Obrador would take Mexico down a path similar to that of Hugo Chávez in Venezuela.  Although those fears were overblown, they were strong enough to deny López Obrador a long-anticipated win.

Once regarded as a hopeless retread in the current campaign, López Obrador — or AMLO, as he’s also known in Mexico — has overtaken Vázquez Mota in polls for second place in the increasingly bleak race to become the main challenger to Peña Nieto.  Despite his narrow 2006 finish, López Obrador alienated much of the Mexican electorate by loudly protesting the vote result for months afterwards, a tactical mistake from which he never quite recovered.

So it was surprising, to say the least, when López Obrador placed just four percentage points behind Peña Nieto in a Reforma poll last week.  Other, more reliable polls, show Peña Nieto with a steadier lead — Peña Nieto has led every presidential poll since last year — but also show an unmistakable rise in support for López Obrador.  In one recent poll, he is even leading among independents and among college-educated Mexicans.

Rivals have taken notice — both the PRI and the PAN have taken aim at López Obrador in recent daysContinue reading AMLO rising: López Obrador gets lift in Mexican presidential race

Mexican race still Peña Nieto’s to lose


Despite decisively winning the presidential nomination of the PAN (Partido Acción Nacional) in February and emerging in the Mexican presidential race with a flash,  Josefina Vázquez Mota has spent the last week attempt to rejuvenate her campaign and unite the PAN in her cause, even as the latest polls show that Enrique Peña Nieto, the candidate of the PRI (Partido Revolucionario Institucional), remains the strong favorite to win the Mexican presidency on July 1.

The latest polls indicate Peña Nieto leads with 38% of the vote to just 25% for Vázquez Mota and 19% for Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the candidate of the PRD (Partido de la Revolución Democrática), who came within a fraction of a percentage of winning the presidency in 2006.

In the 12 days since the campaign formally started, Vázquez Mota has been plagued by missteps— the former education minister’s campaign was ridiculed when her team misspelled the Mexican state of Tlaxcala as ‘Tlazcala’ on Twitter, for example. 

She has tried to draw a line around her campaign this week, starting with a show of PAN unity.  Her rival for the PAN nomination, former finance minister Ernesto Cordero, appeared at a press conference with Vázquez Mota on Monday, and Luisa María Calderón, the sister of outgoing, term-limited president Felipe Calderón, has been put in charge of the get-out-the-vote effort in Calderón’s home state of Michoacán.  Cordero was viewed as Calderón’s favorite and the favorite of many of the PAN elite during the nomination race.

Nonetheless, even today, former president Vicente Fox opined that it would take a miracle for Vázquez Mota to defeat the PRI and win the presidency:

Lo racional me dice que ahora lo que tenemos que hacer es de esa opción (el PRI) que puede llegar a la Presidencia, obligarla a ser buena, obligarla a que deje de sere nostálgico de aquel pasado, de aquellos niveles de corrupción y autoritarismo que vivimos antes, que sea una nueva generación de priístas.

[Translated into English: My rationality tells me that, we have the real option of (the PRI) winning the president, it will be obligated to be good, obligated to stop being nostalgic for the past, those levels of corruption and authoritarianism through which we lived before, that it will be a new generation of PRIístas.]

In the meanwhile, Peña Nieto has been off to an energetic start, avoiding some of the gaffes he endured over the winter — indeed, he has been able to outflank the traditionally business-friendly PAN by suggesting more private-sector involvement in — and potentially a public stock listing for — Mexico’s state-owned oil monopoly, Pemex.  On the campaign trail, he has praised the reforms of the Brazilian government in the 1990s to open its similar oil monopoly, Petrobras, to private investment.  Mexico is the world’s seventh-largest oil exporter, producing upwards of 2.5 million barrels per day. Continue reading Mexican race still Peña Nieto’s to lose

Five reasons why Josefina could become ‘la primera Presidenta Mexicana’

Having secured the presidential nomination of the Partido Acción Nacional (PAN) Sunday, Josefina Vázquez Mota has already made history as the first female major-party presidential candidate in Mexico’s history.  The nomination finalizes the shape of the presidential race in advance of the July 1 Mexican general election, in which voters will elect a new Chamber of Deputies and Senate as well. 

Josefina will face off against frontrunner Enrique Peña Nieto, the former governor of the State of Mexico and candidate of the Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI) and Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the former head of government of the Distrito Federal (in essence, the mayor of Mexico City) and candidate of the Partido de la Revolución Democrática (PRD). Continue reading Five reasons why Josefina could become ‘la primera Presidenta Mexicana’