Photo: Gobierno de Coahuila


MORELIA, Michoacán — Each day that passes is one less until the next midterm elections in Mexico take place next year, when representatives for the local congresses, as well as the governors for the State of Mexico and the Coahuila, located in central and northern Mexico respectively, will be determined.

Coahuila, a state located in the heart of the northern region of Mexico, is characterized mainly by its outstanding mining activity in which large quantities of silver, steel and mineral coal are extracted, an essential part of both the domestic market and the national exports.

This state has also been known for its political scandals, first uncovered in 2012, evidencing a presumed embezzlement of billions of pesos by various politicians in turn, one of those involving former Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) Governor Humberto Moreira Valdéz, who was accused of corruption and embezzlement of public funds to the tune of 33 billion pesos during his administration from 2005 to 2011.

Although Moreira Valdéz subsequently was arrested in Spain (as requested by the U.S. government) and charged with money laundering and embezzlement in 2016, he was released on bail only a few days after and was later exonerated by the Mexican justice due to insufficient evidence linking him to these allegations.

Despite the media coverage of this case, in the subsequent gubernatorial election, the PRI remained as the main political force in Coahuila. Nonetheless, the political scene in Mexico in the last decade has proven to be extremely dynamic and unpredictable, threatening the long-lasting prevalence of the PRI in this state.

And it is that, the leftist National Regeneration Movement (Morena) has had an almost undefeated trajectory in every intermediate election since the arrival of its founder, Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) to the country’s presidency in 2012, becoming the first political force in the country, having the largest number of governorships and the largest number of representatives in the legislative chambers.

Faced with this scenario, the main opposition parties in the country, the centralist PRI and the conservative National Action Party (PAN), have resorted to forming strategic alliances that have allowed them to represent a political counterweight to Lopez Obrador party’s overwhelming force. However, despite their incessant efforts, they have barely been able to tickle the giant leftist Morena.

In Coahuila, the political environment for the upcoming elections seems visibly scattered, unlike what is happening in the State of Mexico, where Morena anticipated the official presentation of its candidate almost a month ago. It is evident the importance that Mexican political parties have given to the electorate of both states, making their priorities clear to the public.

Until now, the political parties in Coahuila have not yet announced with certainty who their candidates will be. In fact, it has not even been confirmed whether the PAN and the PRI will join forces or if they will participate in the next election on their own. However, the surveys carried out by some companies have predicted a defeat for both parties, in the event that they do not join forces in a coalition, since Morena is expected to capture up to 44 percent of the total votes, according to some statistics.

Although no party has officially defined its candidate for governor in Coahuila, the main characters that stand out in each party are: for the PRI, Manolo Jiménez, former mayor of the municipality of Saltillo who now serves as secretary of Inclusion and Social Development of Coahuila, for the PAN, Guillermo Anaya, a senator and former mayor of the municipality of Torreón, and for Morena, Armando Guadiana, a well-known mining businessman and senator.

The northern region of Mexico has historically been the most difficult for the Mexican leftist parties to conquer. In electoral periods of previous years, the victory of the PRI in Coahuila would be taken for granted even before the start of the electoral campaigns, since it was unthinkable for any other party to represent a threat to the long-time consolidated tricolor party.

However, the current Mexican political scenario is far from static. Therefore, the following months will be critical to define the course that these elections will take.

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