Mexico will most probably elect a woman President nine months from now.
Mexico, where women weren’t permitted to vote until the 1950’s, already has a woman heading the Mexican Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court is a fine example of how women in Mexico have progressed politically in such a short time. For example, Baja California is the ultimate rebel state that in 1989 led the way out of a 70-year-long semi-dictatorship when it threw off the ruling party’s strangulation of the booming state. It was Baja California that threw out the rotten-to-the-core PRI party and brought national attention to the PAN (National Action Party) party by electing Ernesto Ruffo Appel governor, the first of numerous PAN party members to win political office in the wealthy economic miracle of Baja California.
Fast forward to the 2021 Baja California election where women were elected mayors of Tijuana, with its 2 million people, Tecate, the famous beer making city just east of Tijuana, the beach city of Rosarito and the state capital of Mexicali all electing women mayors for the first time in Mexican history. Capping off the election, a woman was elected governor of Baja California.
That 2021 political sweep would have delighted my great-grandmother who died in the 1960s shortly after women were permitted to vote in Mexico. She had been involved in Mexican politics since she joined Francisco Madero’s 1910 efforts to rid Mexico of dictator Porfirio Diaz who had ruled Mexico with an iron fist since the 1870’s. My great-grandmother was born in a dictatorship, she matured into a woman during revolution and in 1940 helped found the opposition to the ruling party that truly irritated the generals who ran Mexico.
She detested the ruling party chokehold on Mexico that stole Mexico’s oil wealth, communized poor indios with free land given out to tribes throughout the country in return for political support. She attacked criminals like the founder of the PRI political party, President Plutarco Elias Calles, a former teacher, who had emerged from the revolution as an army general who hand-picked presidents until he, himself, was bundled up in a robe and pajamas and flown to San Diego, California, to live in bitter exile.
It was the election of 1940 that affected me even though I wasn’t born until the second week of 1941 in Mexico City. My great-grandmother had helped General Juan Almazan organize a presidential campaign that most Army men and Army veterans of the Revolution supported. General Alamazan was popular. Despite not being able to vote, Great-grandmother Maria organized women, raised money and gave speeches. She tended to her granddaughter, my mother and looked forward to my birth.
The election came complete with communist thugs roaming the streets of Mexico city attacking Almazan supporters. I’m told supporters protected our house until the government announced that General Manuel Avila Camacho of the ruling party had won with 97% of the vote. LOL!
General-President Avila Camacho bided his time. The very day my congressman father died in an auto accident President Avila Camacho sent secret police to our house at #32 Calle Jalapa in the Colonia Roma of Mexico City to load us on a train to Ciudad Juarez on the Texas border. FBI agents welcomed us to America.
Women are everywhere politically in Mexico in 2023.
The political party of current leftist president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) itself is dominated by men but AMLO’s candidate to replace him as President is Ms. Claudia Sheinbaum, the Jewish daughter of a family from Eastern Europe. Her opponent, an Indigenous Mexican woman — an Otomi Indian – Xochitl (so-cheel) Galvez Ruiz, computer engineer, businesswoman and an incumbent federal senator.
Which woman will win?
The educated Jewish woman with a PhD in environmental science and former mayor and cabinet official or an educated successful Mexican Indian woman who sold tamales and Jello on the streets to help her poor
Indian family and who is a university-trained computer engineer, business woman, former Mayor and currently a federal senator?
How to choose? Look to see who President AMLO attacks. He hates Senator Xochitl Galvez. That’s who my great-grandmother would choose. Me too.
Contreras is a United States Marine veteran, a political consultant, author, newspaper/magazine editorialist and hosts the Contreras Report on YouTube.