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Elections in Mexico: security, first challenge on President-elect Sheinbaum's agenda

"Impunityé zero" promised Mexico's President-elect Claudia Sheinbaum about the immense challenge that awaits her: governing a country that records 80 homicides per day. ;eacute;s à 75% by criminal groups controlling entire sections of the territory.

Claudia Sheinbaum, 61, will have to fight the violence which has left some 450,000 dead and 100,000 missing since former President Felipe Calderon launched the army against the cartels in 2006.< /p>

Other challenges include continuing social programs, mitigating the effects of global warming, and managing the intense and complex relationship with the United States.

– Thriving Cartels –

“We will lead Mexico on the path to peace and security,” Sheinbaum said in her first speech Sunday evening after announcing her victory.

She recalled her method: tackling the causes of violence (exclusion of young people, recruited by cartels), “consolidation of the National Guard”, intelligence and investigations, “coordination” between “the different powers and levels of government” and “zero impunity”.

The former mayor of Mexico City wants to transpose this to the country level method which allowed it to reduce crime in the capital between 2018 and 2023, according to official figures.

Elections in Mexico: security, first challenge on President-elect Sheinbaum&#39;s agenda

Claudia Sheinbaum (C), Mexico's first elected female president, celebrates her victory in Mexico City on June 3, 2024 © AFP – Rodrigo Oropeza

“The abominable rise in organized crime and thriving cartels is the most overwhelming problem Sheinbaum faces,” Michael Shifter, an expert at the Diálogo Interamericano analysis center, told AFP.

“If she cannot halt the dramatic deterioration of the security situation in Mexico, it will be increasingly difficult to implement her social and economic policy agenda,” he adds.

– “There is no more money” –

The president-elect will have to continue direct aid that 25 million Mexicans receive, but in a deteriorating budgetary context.

Forecasts announce a budget deficit for 2024 at 5.9%, the highest in 30 ans.

“The most important challenge for the next administration will be to correct the high deficit”, according to Víctor Ceja, chief economist at the Stock Exchange of Mexico (Valmex).

A tax reform is mentioned by several experts. “More tax revenues are needed to maintain fiscal prudence and to meet the challenge of significant public spending needs,” underlines the OECD.

Elections in Mexico: security, first challenge on President-elect Sheinbaum&#39;s agenda

Supporters of Mexican President-elect Claudia Sheinbaum celebrate her victory in Mexico City on June 3, 2024. © AFP – YURI CORTEZ

Growth should be 2.2% in 2024. Ms. Sheinbaum is banking on “nearshoring”, the relocation along the border with the United States of part of the factories installed in Asia. Mexico recorded a record foreign investment in 2023 ($36 billion).

To get the most out of nearshoring, the country must improve security, infrastructure, water and electricity supply.

The new president “needs to spend money in many sectors, and there is no money”, summarizes Pamela Starr, Mexico expert at the University of Southern California.

“The infrastructure is obsolete. Electricity is a problem. Pemex (editor's note: public oil company with a debt of 100 billion dollars) is a problem,” she adds.

– Migration: “breaking the cycle”-

Poverty and especially violence are the two main causes of the migration of Mexicans to the United States- United.

In 2023, US authorities will arrest a record 2.4 million illegal migrants at the border, a third of them Mexicans.

Stephanie Brewer, Mexico director of the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), suggests that Ms. Sheinbaum can “break this cycle and put at the center (of her action) the protection of people “, giving priority to the fight against violence and extortion against migrants.

– United States/Mexico relationship: uncertainty –< /p>

“With the United States there will be a relationship of friendship, mutual respect and equality as there has been until now. And we will always defend the Mexicans who are on the other side of the border “, declared the president-elect in her first words after the victory.

Commerce, migration, fight against drug and arms trafficking: the bilateral relationship is dense and complex.

Elections in Mexico: security, first challenge on President-elect Sheinbaum&#39;s agenda

Supporters of President-elect Claudia Sheinbaum celebrate her victory in Mexico City on June 3, 2024. © AFP – Silvana Flores

Claudia Sheinbaum will officially take office on October 1, more than a month before the November 5 presidential election across the border.

< p>The name of the winner of the election in the United States may influence the revision of the trade treaty between Mexico, the United States and Canada.

If President Joe Biden loses and his predecessor Donald Trump returns to power, “the major challenge for Mexico will be uncertainty,” according to expert Pamela Starr. “The relationship will be much more marked by conflict.”

All rights of reproduction and representation reserved. © (2024) Agence France-Presse

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116