Let’s get this out of the way quickly. The next president of Mexico is going to be a woman. Well, 99% chance, unless something happens. So we applaud the progress that women have made in business and politics. Honestly, no one would have believed this 20 years ago.
The ladies are Senator Xochitl Gálvez, a huge critic of President Lopez Obrador, and Claudia Sheinbaum, former mayor of Mexico City and supporter of the incumbent. It’s early, but most of the campaign so far has been about the incumbent president. Xochitl hates him and Claudia loves him. My guess is that we will hear some governing details as the campaign gets going after the first of the year.
And now we come to meet reality. The main problem facing Mexico is insecurity, and that’s what everyone is talking about. Ask any Mexican about what concerns him or her, and the word is “inseguridad.” Other issues matter but every conversation starts with inseguridad.
According to InsightCrime, the numbers are not pretty:
Although there was a slight drop in homicides in 2022, the total number of murder victims in Mexico topped 30,000 for the fifth consecutive year.
Last year, Mexican authorities recorded at least 30,968 homicide victims, or 85 per day, according to government data, while 947 femicides were also reported. This figure is tallied separately.
Combined, the total number of murders in Mexico at 31,915, giving the country a homicide rate of 25.2 per 100,000 residents, a slight drop from 2021’s rate. Almost 50% of these killings were concentrated in the same six states as 2021: Guanajuato, which saw the most murders of any state with 3,260, Baja California, Chihuahua, Jalisco, Michoacán, the State of Mexico.
The border states of Baja California and Chihuahua are long-standing areas of violence in Mexico, as organized crime groups fight continually for control of drug trafficking routes into the United States. Meanwhile, Jalisco is located north of Michoacán and Colima, whose ports — Lázaro Cárdenas and Manzanillo — are arrival points for precursor chemicals from Asia that are needed to produce synthetic drugs.
So the crime problem is real, as Mexicans will tell you. This is going to be the biggest challenge for the next president. She will have to convince Mexicans that “la presidenta” will go after criminal elements. So far neither lady has been very specific, but they have time to present their plan.