Will it Be Xochitl?


Mexican presidential wannabe and Senator Xóchitl Gálvez. Photo: Google


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.

The second challenge she will face — perhaps an even greater obstacle — will be to overcome the interests of the League of Shadows, which has taken over the PAN since former presidential candidate Ricardo Anaya betrayed the party after he lost his run in 2018.
Today, these groups are represented by Marko Cortés, the PAN national leader, and Jorge Romero, the person responsible for the putrefaction of the party in Mexico City. Cortés owes alliances to less scrupulous politicians who have locked horns with Gálvez in the past. Both Cortés and Romero have a major objection to her: They cannot control her because she does not respond to their interests.
Due to her personal history and the overwhelming positive response she generates among the Mexican people, which has made members of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s leftist National Regeneration Movement (Morena) party nervous, Gálvez may be just what the opposition has been looking for these last three years. Additionally, the senator offers the opposition alliance something that it desperately needs: an immense harvest of citizen votes to achieve its other great objective, an opposition coalition in Congress that would be able to stop Morena and regain legislative independence.
However, Gálvez must understand that if she does get the candidacy, she will not be given a blank check to do what she wants. It will be essential for her to distance herself from those who would diminish her legitimacy because they want to burden her with their own interests. Her path to any candidacy will be a minefield, especially within the PAN.


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