The stark choice of Mexico’s elections: democracy or autocracy?

With a new president – probably a woman – guaranteed in June, an apathetic electorate has the chance to renew the country’s social contract, writes Vanessa Rubio-Márquez.

The World Today Published 1 December 2023 Updated 20 December 2023 3 minute READ

Of the 193 members of the United Nations, Mexico has the world’s 12th largest economy. The United States’ southern neighbour is also a member of the G20 and the Organization for Economic Co-ordination and Development. Yet some foreigners tend to see it as simply a hot country with warm people, great food and a perfect setting for narco TV series.

The reality is more nuanced. Weather in Mexico ranges from an average of 8C to 33C, across a territory into which 24 European countries could fit quite easily. Mexico is the United States’ top trading partner with $1.1 million being traded over the border each minute in 2022.

At the same time, the country is highly unequal with the top 10 per cent of the population holding nearly 80 per cent of total wealth, according to the World Inequality Lab, while the bottom 50 per cent has negative net wealth of –0.2 per cent, meaning this group on average has more debts than assets.

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