Mexico City, February 15. The book “Bosses and Chiefs” depicts the political crises of the past 25 years, at the start of local elections, of the leaders of the Mexican capital, who are now vying for the presidency of the country, explained its author, the journalist, in an interview with EFE Alejandro Almazan.
From the alleged veto of Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas, the first elected head of government of the Federal District at the time, to the candidacy of Porfirio Muñoz Ledo, passing through the delicate relationship of the current president, Claudia Sheinbaum, with feminism, the government of the capital has always been surrounded by controversy.
They were also suffered by the current Mexican president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who exercised his functions in the capital from 2000 to 2005: “He says it himself, his two great governmental crises were the video scandals (of corruption) and anarchy,” Almazan said.
The 1997 election, first authorized after the electoral reform led by President Ernesto Zedillo (1994-2000) a year earlier, marked the first major electoral victory for the Mexican left, then the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD).
“This city is left-wing, it loves rights. And I think people continue to believe in the left,” Almazán stressed.
But the left-leaning National Regeneration Movement (Morena), to which both Sheinbaum and López Obrador belong, lost most of the capital’s internal town halls in the June 2021 midterm elections, which went to the opposition.
Asked about the possibility of the left losing its hegemony in the city, the three-time winner of the National Journalism Prize assured that “every election is a risk” and considered the possibility that, as happened in the intermediate elections, Morena is running out of steam in the next electoral cycle, which will begin in June in the states of Coahuila and the State of Mexico.
“There may be a vote of punishment from the middle and upper class sectors that hate obradorismo,” he dared.
The last three leaders of Mexico City aspire to the presidential elections of June 2024: the current Minister of Foreign Affairs Marcelo Ebrard and Sheibaum on behalf of Morena, and Miguel Ángel Mancera, current senator and head of government between 2012 and 2018, for the PRD.
Although having governed the capital gives them a certain visibility which could work in their favor in the presidential race, the author warned that this also represents a great wear and tear and the one who will notice it the most will be the current president. .
In the book, edited by Grijalbo, Almazán interviews Cárdenas, Rosario Robles (1999-2000), Alejandro Encinas (2005-2006), Marcelo Ebrard (2006-2012) and Mancera in depth.
And while with Sheinbaum he had an unsuccessful approach to participating in the work, with López Obrador he was limited to collecting his statements.
THE METRO, A CROSS-CUTTING PROBLEM
One of the main casualties of the political freedom Mexico City won in 1997 was its metro, which stopped receiving federal funding and began a decline that continues to this day, becoming a cross-cutting issue for all governments.
“When the left wins, one of the big problems it faces is the budget,” said the author, who assured that the Zedillo government had tried to force Cárdenas to vote in favor of the Protection Fund of the savings (Fobaproba) in exchange for granting the requested budget.
“And they don’t vote for Fobaproba and they punish the city. And from there they punish it every year,” he added.
Ebrard himself, the current Chancellor, explains in the book how, asking for resources from the Ministry of Finance to complete Line 12, which in 2021 had an accident with 26 dead, they demanded in return that he invite the President of the time, Felipe Calderón ( 2006 -2012), during the inauguration.
“There have always been these conditions in the budget and it has affected the city, because it needs a debt ceiling which is almost never given,” argued the journalist.
SHEINBAUM AND FEMINISM
One of the chapters that Almazán includes in the book is not written by him, but by his wife, the lawyer and doctor of literature Ingrid Urgelles, who assures that Sheinbaum is not really a feminist and analyzes his relationship with movement.
“What I see, and I echo my wife’s words, is that feminist marches have been criminalized a lot and that shouldn’t be the case in a leftist government,” she commented.