Will it Be Xochitl?
By ALEJANDRO ENVILA FISHER
Rumors have been flying. She seemed like everything Mexico’s opposition and civil society needed to finally come together moving forward toward the 2024 election.
But presidential wannabe and Federal Senator from the conservative National Action Party (PAN) Xóchitl Gálvez has some serious pending issues to resolve if she wants to be the candidate for the opposition. She needs to make the skeptics who today do not believe in politics once again dream about change and participate in Mexico’s electoral process.
The first challenge for Gálvez, and perhaps the most important for many activists who have eagerly searched for a unity candidate not conditioned by the interests of the party leadership or the economic elites, is to distance herself from business tycoon Claudio X. González.
González has for years been sowing mistrust in Mexican politics to exploit antigovernmental sentiment with the formation of a pseudo-citizen party. Backed by a slew of noble causes, such as education and transparency, he has used the abundant financial resources at his disposal to undermine confidence in the country’s party system. His goal is to encourage disenchantment with today’s poor parties and government, to make way for a false citizen organization, led by him and his managers, varnished with the illusion of formal democracy, which politically strengthens his hidden agenda: to booster the historically beneficiary group of elitist capitalists who helped build a Mexico of inequality. And it is his wealth that has given him access to today’s populism.
If Gálvez wants to be the opposition alliance’s candidate, she will have to publicly declare and demonstrate that she does not owe anything to the Sí por México group, nor to its owner González, nor to any of the letterheads he manages, nor to other groups of party politicians that have disguised themselves as citizens after having sucked the vital energy and resources from the moribund left-leaning Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD).
Some are businessmen doing politics and others are politicians from parties without a party, not citizens. Both, with their personal interests and past history, would end up hindering Gálvez from building a spirit of national unity.