It has been a horrible few weeks for Mexico Metropolis mayor Claudia Sheinbaum: simply because the capital was getting one of many world’s worst Covid-19 outbreaks beneath management, a metro overpass collapsed in early Might, killing 26.
Then, a month later, the opposition seized greater than half the town’s boroughs in midterm elections, together with Tlalpan, the place Sheinbaum served as mayor from 2015 till the tip of 2017. The rout within the capital was a bitter blow in one of many left’s largest bastions.
However Sheinbaum, 59, stays unflappable. “There’s no want to alter course,” she informed the Monetary Occasions in an interview. “The president may be very clear the place he’s going, and we’re with him.”
Mexico Metropolis voters had been key to President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s landslide victory in 2018, and nationwide good points within the June 6 vote have put the ruling coalition in energy in 17 of Mexico’s 32 states. Nevertheless, the left’s quarter-century domination of the capital was dropped at an finish after dropping 9 of Mexico Metropolis’s 16 boroughs.
“We had been stunned by elements of the outcomes — we’ll must mirror on that internally,” she stated.
Sheinbaum, who’s extensively thought-about López Obrador’s favorite to succeed him in 2024, blamed the consequence on a “disinformation marketing campaign” by critics against the federal government’s quest to interchange neoliberal reforms with a concentrate on preventing inequality, graft and placing the poor first.
She stated the “horrible tragedy” of the metro — which a preliminary impartial report indicated was as a result of construction flaws — had influenced the vote.
With a practised air, Sheinbaum swatted apart questions on whether or not she might turn out to be Mexico’s first feminine president and vowed to select herself up from the electoral rout and get the capital again on its ft economically.
“I’m very robust. I consider in my authorities and I consider within the transformation of my nation,” she stated. “Neo-liberalism can’t return to Mexico — it did quite a lot of injury.”
As president, López Obrador has battered enterprise confidence with abrupt rule adjustments within the power sector, which have triggered a flood of lawsuits. He has cancelled high-profile, partly-built investments in a brand new Mexico Metropolis airport and a brewery within the north of the nation.
However Sheinbaum, who has a doctorate in local weather engineering, has endorsed the president’s power plans, that are centered on fossil fuels and seeks to present state-run hydropower vegetation priority over cheaper non-public photo voltaic and wind initiatives on the subject of renewables.
“We’re going to construct the most important photo voltaic plant of any metropolis on the planet,” she stated, referencing plans with the federal electrical energy utility to put in photo voltaic panels on high of Mexico Metropolis’s wholesale meals market this 12 months.
With the pandemic easing after Mexico Metropolis racked up one of many highest excess deaths tally of any metropolis on the planet, she is hopeful that a wide range of initiatives can now take off in earnest. These embody enhancing transport connections, providing community-wide pc programming classes, revamping a gritty industrial neighbourhood that accounts for 1 per cent of nationwide gross home product as an innovation hub, and tackling a water disaster.
Sheinbaum, a scientist and longtime leftist, minimize her tooth politically 20 years in the past as setting secretary within the Mexico Metropolis authorities when López Obrador was the town’s mayor. She oversaw the Metrobus fast transit venture and building of a second storey to an city freeway whereas serving in his metropolis authorities.
She highlighted resilient non-public funding and stated her blueprint to make the town extra inexperienced, cell and revolutionary stays on monitor.
Mexico Metropolis was this month named because the top spot for international funding in Latin America for 2021-22 in an Americas Cities of the Future survey by fDi Intelligence, a Monetary Occasions firm.
It discovered that Mexico City acquired 353 inward international direct funding initiatives, the third highest whole of all areas surveyed, and made the highest 10 cities within the Americas when it comes to financial potential.
“It’s a recognition that the transformation beneath approach on this nation, in distinction to how it’s typically portrayed, means . . . that we’re at all times open for funding and financial improvement,” stated Sheinbaum.