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Mexico’s First Female President

Updated: 24 minutes ago

On June 3, 2024,  Mexico elected its first female president, Claudia Sheinbaum, in a landslide victory. 


Sheinbaum, a noted climate scientist and former mayor of Mexico City, won between 58- 60% of the vote. She became the first woman elected as president in North America (the United States, Canada, and Mexico). It was a landmark election that saw not just one but two women vying for the highest elected office in the nation. 


Supporters of Sheinbaum applaud her victory; Edelmira Montiel, an 87-year voter from Tlaxcala, Mexico, stated that, "Before we couldn't even vote, and when you could, it was to vote for the person your husband told you to vote for. Thank God that has changed and I get to live it." 


Sheinbaum’s Jewish maternal grandparents immigrated to Mexico to escape Nazis in Hungary, while her paternal parents immigrated from Lithuania. Her maternal grandparents and parents were prominent scientists, leading Sheinbaum to pursue physics, earning her doctoral degree in engineering from the National Autonomous University of Mexico. In 2007, she shared the Nobel Peace Prize for her work on the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. 


Her love for science has fueled her activism. As mayor of Mexico City, she implemented environmentally sustainable initiatives such as utilizing solar energy and electrified public transport to decrease the city’s carbon footprint. Sheinbaum stepped down from her mayoral position to run for the presidential election, however her achievements as mayor reflected the stance that she campaigned on. 


Addressing Climate change, along with a host of other issues, were among Sheinbaum’s campaign promises. Sheinbaum also pledged to continue the efforts of her predecessor and mentor Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who reshaped Mexican politics. However his administration failed to fully address cartel violence and the Mexican healthcare system, which Sheinbaum promised to tackle. She has committed to focusing on the social causes of violence and lowering criminal activity. Her proclamations of change are bold, including changes to the military, economy, and international relations. She is especially focused on ties between Mexico and the United States, the fate of which will be determined by the United States’ election later this year. 


  President-elect Sheinbaum has a long road ahead of her. She must balance campaign promises to increase welfare politics while inheriting a large budget deficit from the previous office. The road won’t be easy but the world is excited to see what she will accomplish.


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