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Claudia Sheinbaum Is a Scientist – And Now She Is Mexico’s First Woman Elected as President: What Does This Mean for Mexico?

The Scientist Turned Politician, Claudia Sheinbaum, Aims to Make History as Mexico’s First Woman President 
By RODRIGO JARDÓN - From the person who took the photo

History was made in Mexico this weekend. Claudia Sheinbaum has been elected President of Mexico, defeating candidates Xóchitl Gálvez Ruíz and Álvarez Máynez.  

Sheinbaum, the ruling party Morena’s candidate, will be the first woman to occupy the Palacio Nacional when she takes office on October 1, succeeding Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO). Though not yet official, Sheinbaum’s victory was cemented when her immediate rival conceded, following the official “Conteo Rápido” announcement by the Instituto Nacional Electoral (INE) at midnight, revealing she had secured over 57 percent of the votes. 

Though Sheinbaum won, Xóchitl Gálvez Ruíz was also a favorite among Mexicans and, if she had won, she would have made history too. Gálvez Ruíz was lauded for her ideologies and also for ensuring to be a voice for Mexico’s Indigenous communities as she is someone with Indigenous roots.  

Nevertheless, as Mexico’s first woman president, Sheinbaum has a lot of work coming her way.  

Who Is Claudia Sheinbaum?

Claudia Sheinbaum, former Head of Government of Mexico City, has a distinguished background in both academia and politics. She holds a degree in Physics and advanced degrees in Energy Engineering, boasting an impressive career filled with numerous accolades. Her significant contributions to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007, highlight her commitment to climate issues; she co-authored a crucial chapter in one of the IPCC’s reports. 

Sheinbaum’s political journey began in 2000 when she was appointed Secretary of the Environment for the Federal District under López Obrador’s administration. Her rise continued as she became the first woman elected as head of the Tlalpan borough in 2015 and subsequently the first woman elected as Head of Government of Mexico City in 2018. She stepped down in June 2023 to pursue her presidential ambitions with Morena, a party she helped establish. 

Her campaign was strongly supported by her close association with López Obrador and her dedication to extending his social policies, such as youth scholarships and pensions for the elderly. As Morena’s designated Coordinator of Defense of the Transformation, Sheinbaum is committed to upholding and advancing the values of the Fourth Transformation of Public Life in Mexico, the cornerstone of AMLO’s administration. 

What Does She Stand For?

Central to Sheinbaum’s campaign are five key proposals she presented in Mexico City’s Zócalo in early March. These include a comprehensive security strategy aimed at reducing the insecurity affecting 60 percent of the population, free and scientific education at all levels, socially oriented economic policies including raising the minimum wage, regulation of water use, and a transition to renewable energy to lower costs for water, electricity, and gas. 

With her historic win, she stands poised to become a transformative figure in Mexican politics, embodying the hopes and aspirations of a new era. 

What are your thoughts on Claudia Sheinbaum and her vision for Mexico? 

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