84.2 F
Mérida
Wednesday, January 26, 2022
###

Highlights from Mexico’s 1st presidential debate

Latest headlines

Another bus catches fire in Mérida, raising safety concerns

A short circuit in the electrical systems of a passenger bus has been blamed for yet another fire on Mérida’s roads. 

Horse collapses from exhaustion in ‘Magical Town’ of Izamal

The collapse of a horse pulling a tourist carriage in Izamal has reignited the debate surrounding animal welfare in Yucatán. 

Journalists under siege in Mexico, demand action from authorities

Journalists across the country joined coordinated demonstrations to protest the murder of their colleagues.

Moving to Mérida has changed my relationship with color

Photo: File I’ve always had a strange relationship with color. It’s not a thing our family embraced when...
Yucatán Magazine
Sign up to get our top headlines delivered to your inbox twice a week.

Five presidential candidates in Mexico take the stage for the first of three debates. Photo: Facebook


Mexico City — The July 1 general election was propelled Sunday by the first of three presidential debates that will conclude in Mérida.

The face-off between five candidates focused on themes of insecurity, violence and democracy.

The frontrunner, Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador, was pounced on by his rivals, hoping to knock down his 22-point lead in a recent Reforma newspaper poll.

The trailing candidates put Lopez Obrador on the defensive without luring him out into an open verbal brawl, Reuters observed. A Dallas Morning News analyst said “he also seemed tired, speaking in a slow, monotone voice, though sure of himself.”

Attacked for a pledge to offer criminals amnesty, Lopez Obrador was quick to rephrase his promise.

“Amnesty does not mean impunity … We have to attend to the original problems that led to the issue” such as combating poverty, Lopez said, in Spanish.

AMLO, as the leading candidate is known, deflected the attacks when he displayed a graphic showing him with a 48 percent favorability rating in the Reforma newspaper’s poll last week.

“I don’t mean to brag,” but “something terrible has to happen” for us not to win, he told the audience and three moderators.

Lopez Obrador largely played it safe, repeating well-worn stump speech lines, wrote a reporter for Agence France-Presse. His more strident campaigns in 2006 and 2012 failed when conservative sectors compared him to Venezuela’s then-President Hugo Chavez, whose socialist policies are blamed for his country’s economic implosion.

As his rivals continued to pile on, the former Mexico City mayor, 64. rarely responded directly to criticism.

“Obviously everyone’s against me, ganging up on me, look,” said AMLO about a quarter of the way into the debate when his patience seemed to wear thin.

Other highlights:

  • Jose Antonio Meade (PRI) has devoted much of his time battling Ricardo Anaya (PAN-PRD) for second place in the polls. Meade, 49, called Lopez Obrador a “puppet of criminals” and described his political party as a “family business.” But Meade didn’t seem to help himself during the debate, “rarely, if ever, landing a punch,” said Alfredo Corchado, a border-Mexico correspondent for the Dallas newspaper.
  • Anaya has also weathered attacks. The PRI has accused him of laundering money in a 2014-2016 property deal, but he quickly rejected the allegations again to turn his fire back on the frontrunner on Sunday. “Our coalition is the only one that can beat Lopez Obrador,” Anaya said during his closing remarks.
  • Struggling to stay relevant, independent candidate Margarita Zavala seemed eloquent but distant during the debate, said Corchado.
  • Another independent, Jaime “El Bronco” Rodríguez, the governor of Nuevo Leon, started a sideshow when he promised to cut off criminals’ hands.
  • A Televisa panel of journalists reached no consensus after the debate. Soledad Loaeza said the evening contained no surprises. Héctor Aguilar Camín and Leo Zuckermann thought Anaya won, but “that will have no consequences,” Aguilar Camín said. Roy Campos said López Obrador won the debate.

Sunday night’s presidential debate was the first of three face-offs. The next debate will take place Sunday, May 20 at 8 p.m. in Tijuana, and will focus on border security, foreign policy and immigration.

Mérida hosts the final debate at 9 p.m. Tuesday, June 12, and the topic will be the economy. Candidates will gather at El Gran Museo del Mundo Maya, putting Mérida’s modern museum in the national spotlight.

- Advertisement -

Subscribe Now!

More articles

10 arrested in Valladolid after illegal cockfights are busted up

Ten people, including at least one minor, were arrested in Valladolid for their involvement in organizing illegal cockfights. 

Rails for the Mayan Train are being laid near Chichén Itzá

Rails are now being laid near Chichén Itzá for the first tests of the Mayan Train.

The story of the “many Méridas”

Many people living in Mérida, Yucatán are vaguely aware that the city shares its name with other communities around the world. But the specifics surrounding how and why Yucatán’s capital got its name are unknown to most. 

A leak in a Tabasco Pemex oil pipeline causes disastrous fire

A massive fire sparked by a leaking oil duct has created massive environmental damage in Huimanguillo, Tabasco. 

Untrained tour guides compete for tourist dollars in Chichén Itzá

Arguments between tour guides at Chichén Itzá have on rare occasions even resulted in fights and physical violence. Photo: Carlos Rosado...

Joya de Cerén — The Pompeii of the Americas

The volcano which stood less than one mile from Joya de Cerén, sent huge amounts of debris flying through the air. It ultimately buried the village under four to eight meters (13 to 26 feet) of ash and rock. 

A stunning 5,425 new COVID cases in a week

Residents make use of a hand-washing station installed in the Centro. Photo: Artur Widak / NurPhoto via Getty Images

Booster shots arrive for Mérida residents between 40-59

Booster shots for Mérida residents in their 40s and 50s arrived Friday. Photo: Courtesy A military plane with...

Mexico celebrates International Mariachi Day

Mariachis in Mexico and around the world celebrate International Mariachi Day observed every Jan 21. 

Marines to take over security at Mérida and Cancún airports

Mexico's Marines will be taking control of seven airports across the country, with  Mérida and Cancún among them.