1. Home
  2. English
  3. Business
  4. Roving Periscope: Amid anti-Semitic sentiments, a Jew elected the first woman President of Mexico
Roving Periscope: Amid anti-Semitic sentiments, a Jew elected the first woman President of Mexico

Roving Periscope: Amid anti-Semitic sentiments, a Jew elected the first woman President of Mexico

Social Share

Virendra Pandit

New Delhi: Amid the ongoing Gaza War and an anti-Semitic campaign in the West, a Jewish woman, Claudia Sheinbaum, 61, a Nobel Prize winner, is ready to become Mexico’s first woman president, the media reported on Monday.

In a landslide victory, she was elected on Sunday to the highest office. For months, the Nobel Peace Prize-winning climate scientist was the clear frontrunner in the contest to succeed popular outgoing President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, her mentor and principal political benefactor over nearly a quarter century. His strong support among the impoverished contributed to her victory.

A former mayor of Mexico City, Sheinbaum, clinched the presidency with an estimated vote share ranging from 58.3 to 60.7 percent, as per a swift sample count conducted by Mexico’s electoral body. This marks a historic high in Mexico’s democratic record for vote percentage.

Xóchitl Gálvez, an opposition senator and technology entrepreneur, led a coalition of parties with little historical common ground, except for their recent opposition to outgoing President Obrador. Mexico has been plagued by drug cartels, resulting in a landscape of warring territories. Compounding these challenges, it is grappling with a surge in atypical heat, drought, pollution, and political violence.

Born into a Jewish family, and involved in the 1968 student protests against Mexico’s authoritarian regime, Sheinbaum’s early life was shaped by a commitment to social justice and scientific inquiry. Her parents–father a chemical engineer, and mother a cellular biologist– instilled in her a passion for both politics and the environment.

Sheinbaum studied physics and energy engineering and secured a doctorate from the National Autonomous University of Mexico. Working at the University of California, Berkeley, she earned expertise in climate science. Her scholarly work got recognition with a 2007 Nobel Peace Prize-winning report on climate change, underscoring her credentials as a climate scientist.

Sheinbaum’s political career was boosted by her long-time association with President Obrador. In 2000, as the mayor of Mexico City, he appointed Sheinbaum as his environment secretary.

Her role involved tackling the capital’s severe pollution and transportation issues, marking her entry into high-profile public service. She served as the chief spokesperson for Obrador’s first presidential campaign in 2006, which he narrowly lost.

In 2015, she was elected to govern Tlalpan, Mexico City’s largest borough. Despite facing criticism for the collapse of a school during a 2017 earthquake, she won a historic victory in 2018 as the first woman elected mayor of Mexico City.

Her tenure was noted for significant improvements in the city’s security, with the murder rate falling by 50 percent. However, she also faced scrutiny for a 2021 subway accident that resulted in 26 deaths, attributed partly to maintenance issues on her watch.

Sheinbaum’s alignment with Obrador’s policies, particularly his focus on social welfare and infrastructure projects, became a cornerstone of her political platform. However, she brought her own scientific perspective to the table, emphasizing the importance of renewable energy and climate change mitigation.

Critics label her as a continuation of Obrador’s government, but she insists on her independent vision and strategic approach.


Your email address will not be published.

Join our WhatsApp Channel

And stay informed with the latest news and updates.

Join Now
revoi whats app qr code