It’s been a terrible few weeks for Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum: Just as the capital was undergoing one of the world’s worst Covid-19 outbreaks, metro bridge collapsed In early May, 26 were killed.
Then, a month later, the opposition captured more than half of the city’s neighborhoods in the midterm elections, including Tlalpan, where Sheinbaum served as mayor from 2015 through the end of 2017. The defeat in the capital was a bitter blow to one of the left’s largest neighborhoods . strongholds.
But Sheinbaum, 59, remains uncomfortable. “There is no need to change direction,” she said in an interview with the Financial Times. “The president is very clear where he is going and we are with him.”
Mexico City voters were key factors in President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s landslide victory in 2018, and nationwide gains in June 6 vote They put the ruling coalition in power in 17 of Mexico’s 32 states. However, the left’s quarter-century dominance of the capital was ended after the loss of nine of Mexico City’s sixteen boroughs.
“We were surprised by parts of the results – we’ll have to think about that internally,” she said.
Sheinbaum, widely regarded as Lopez Obrador’s favorite to succeed him in 2024, blamed the outcome on a “disinformation campaign” by critics who oppose the government’s drive to replace neoliberal reforms with a focus on fighting inequality and graft and putting the poor first.
She said the metro’s “terrible tragedy” – which an independent preliminary report suggested was caused Construction defects – It may affect the vote.
With the air she trained in, Sheinbaum raised questions about whether she could become one Mexico The first woman to hold office, she pledged to save herself from the electoral path and get the capital back on her feet economically.
“I am very strong. I believe in my government and I believe in transformation in my country,” she said. “Neo-liberalism cannot return to Mexico – it has done so much damage.”
As president, Lopez Obrador has shaken confidence in the business through sudden rule changes in the energy sector, which led to a torrent of lawsuits. He canceled a high-profile, partially built investment in Mexico City’s new airport and brewery in the north of the country.
But Sheinbaum, who holds a doctorate in climate engineering, has endorsed the president’s energy plans, which focus on fossil fuels and seek to give state-run hydroelectric plants precedence over cheaper private solar and wind projects when it comes to renewables.
“We are going to build the largest solar power plant in any city in the world,” she said, referring to plans with the Federal Electricity Utility to install solar panels above the wholesale food market in Mexico City this year.
With the easing of the epidemic after Mexico City launched one of the Highest excess death toll In any city in the world, you hope that a variety of initiatives will now take off in earnest. These include improving transportation communications, offering computer programming lessons at the community level, and renovating a gritty industrial neighborhood that accounts for 1 percent of national GDP as a Innovation Centerand tackling the water crisis.
Sheinbaum, a scientist and old leftist, cut her teeth politically two decades ago when she was the environment minister in the Mexico City government when Lopez Obrador was the city’s mayor. She oversaw the Metrobus rapid transit project and the construction of a second floor for an urban highway while serving in his city government.
She highlighted the resilience of private investment and said her blueprint for making the city greener, more mobile and more innovative was still on the right track.
This month Mexico City was named after lead Foreign Investment in Latin America 2021-22 in a survey of future Americas cities by fDi Intelligence, a Financial Times company.
I found it Mexico City 353 projects received inward foreign direct investment, the third highest total of all surveyed sites, and ranked first in 10 cities in the Americas in terms of economic potential.
“It is an acknowledgment that the transformation going on in this country, contrary to what is often portrayed, means . . . we are always open to investment and economic development,” said Sheinbaum.