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"We had to get Morena out"


Understood in a national key, Sunday's election in Mexico City shows the weight of López Obrador in the voters' decision and the growing polarization of the country

The sky threatens rain in the Petrolera neighborhood while Rocío Salazar and Fernanda Alcántara, mother and daughter, walk with Tomás, their dog, a sulky terrier who walks with little hops. Asked about last Sunday's election, the two speak of López Obrador, brand him as a socialist, say that he is an unconscious. And suddenly they run. “Get in, get in!” They yell. Two boys are fast approaching down the street, a white car stops at the corner. The women insist, "Get in!" One of the boys makes a face and changes the sidewalk. It is not clear if the annoyance in their gesture is due to their eventual failure or because, again, they have been taken for what they are not.

Once inside their house, the women explain that they did not know them, that they approached very quickly, that they did not like how they looked, that a woman got out of the white car and stared at the house. "There are a lot of assaults here," says the daughter. "And express kidnappings," adds the mother like this, in generic. Minutes later she clarifies that she herself suffered an express kidnapping a few years ago. The two women talk about the insecurity in the area, especially, they say, in the neighborhood next door, Tezozomoc, both in Azcapotzalco, the capital's border with the State of Mexico.

Despite what it may seem, insecurity has not weighed on the vote of women. Or maybe yes, but they talk about López Obrador over and over again, as if the vote had been a plebiscite on the figure of the president and not an election of local leaders. Asked by Margarita Saldaña, the new mayor of Azcapotzalco, from the PRI-PAN-PRD coalition, the mother answers bluntly: "We had to get Morena out."

In the northwest corner of Mexico City, Azcapotzalco is one of four mayoralties that Morena lost in Sunday's election.

Its current manager, the morenista Vidal Llerenas, pointed out this week in an interview possible reasons for the defeat.

“There is an anti López Obrador vote that has been mobilized.

The subway accident weighed and also the complicated unemployment situation generated by the pandemic, of course, "he said.

Llerenas pointed out that, to be an intermediate election, organized every three years, many people went out to vote.

And that, in this case, did not favor Morena.

A graffiti on a column of the elevated section of the subway that suffered the accident.Teresa de Miguel

For several days, political scientists and analysts have been trying to unravel the mystery of the election, which areas of the city went to the polls the most and how. And what has differentiated the behavior of the vote in this call with respect to the previous ones. In the heat of election day, the first analyzes started from the idea that the poor areas of the city remained loyal to Morena, while those of the middle and upper classes left with the PRI-PAN-PRD coalition. Without being entirely like that, this scheme is partly true.

Ernesto Morua, a teacher in Social Studies from the Autonomous University of Mexico, explains that there is indeed a relationship between the level of poverty and the sense of vote in the capital.

In areas of greater poverty, people have voted more for Morena, a situation that has more or less sustained this year.

The difference is that middle and upper-middle class areas that voted in favor of Morena in 2018 have not done so this year.

On the left, the voting map of 2018 on the right, that of 2021 Ernesto Morua

Morua, who has spent the last few years studying the relationship between democracy and poverty in the capital and its metropolitan area, points out that this is the main change. “In areas with low poverty ranges, the voter punished Morena quite a bit in this election. He lost many sections that in 2018 he won ”, he explains. This is the case of the Petrolera neighborhood and many others of Azcapotzalco and other municipalities, the case of Cuauhtémoc or Gustavo A. Madero. In 2018, with the López Obrador effect, the voter mobilized everywhere for Morena. Now, in middle and upper middle class areas, the vote has been mobilized by the opposition.

In the Petrolera neighborhood, the middle class vote has been divided.

On the main street of the neighborhood, Mrs. María Elisabeth Torres watches the street from the window of her house with amusement.

"I voted for Morena because the man has changed things," he says.

Are you referring to Llerenas? "No," he replies, "to López Obrador."

The 59-year-old daughter of an old Azcapotzalco refinery worker, Torres, 59, had a street dessert stall outside a market in the Miguel Hidalgo mayor's office.

With the pandemic, they forced him to leave.

"We have had to sell online," he explains, "but it has helped us," he says in reference to the president.

María Elisabeth Torres looks out the window of her house in the Petrolera neighborhood.Teresa de Miguel

"There is no one to vote for"

In Iztapalapa City Hall, 30 kilometers southeast of La Petrolera, a man plays with his grandson in a playground. Or the grandson plays and he watches, granting successive extensions that the boy, Luciano, demands with solemn fingers. "I have been a PAN since I was young," says the man, whose name is Rafael Mercado and is 66 years old. A retired builder, he admits that "now there is no one to vote for, but tradition dominates." Mercado has no problem saying that on Sunday he voted thinking about what he "dislikes" about the president.

Neighbors of the Lomas Estrella neighborhood, grandson and grandfather enjoy the morning in the shade of the ahuehuetes. Only the distant rattle of a lawnmower interrupts the sweet calm of the games. From here, it is strange to think of the tragedy of the subway, the collapse of the line 12 bridge that occurred, however, a few kilometers from the park. It was early May. At night, a suburban convoy began the journey between the Tezonco and Olivos stations. Before reaching the station, one of the bridge girders collapsed and the train fell. 26 people died. "It is incredible that Morena has won in Tláhuac," says Mercado, "there were deaths, it is a crime."

The weight that the tragedy of the subway has had in the vote is unknown.

In Iztapalapa and Tláhuac, municipalities that share line 12, Morena won.

Only in some colonies, such as Lomas Estrella, did the PRI-PAN-PRD coalition do so.

“And also”, recalls the political scientist Morua, “in the neighborhood that includes the Olivos metro station.

The coalition also won there, the rest is Morena ”.

A group of bodybuilders exercising on the other side of the park say that, for them, the accident changed everything.

"I think it did influence the vote," argues Ángel Mayo, 34.

“As president I voted for López Obrador, but now I voted for the PAN.

Everything he said was beginning to feel uncomfortable, but already with the subway it seemed insensitive.

They believe that they solve everything with money ”, he defends.

A group of bodybuilders exercise in the Lomas Estrella park, in Iztapalapa, this Thursday.Teresa de Miguel

Across the street, Mellita Rosas, 48, runs a water purifier.

“I voted for Morena,” she explains, “because I'm sick of so much corruption and insecurity.

It is true that the subway line should have been revised ”, he adds.

“The main culprit is Marcelo Ebrard - López Obrador's successor at the head of government of the capital and current Foreign Secretary, then with the PRD, now with Morena - but then Miguel Ángel Mancera followed and did nothing with the structure.

We had an earthquake [in 2017, with Mancera] and they had to have checked ”, ditch.

Lomas Estrella starts from Tláhuac avenue, a road through which line 12 of the subway runs. Across the avenue, most of the neighborhoods are painted red on the electoral map, Morena's color. Sitting in front of a taqueria, two retirees hang out in silence. The youngest is named José de Jesús Padilla and he is 74 years old. “All this,” she says, referring to an indeterminate space behind her, “was the rest house of some nuns. I bought a lot from them 45 years ago and built my house ”. Proud, Padilla says he voted for Morena. But he explains that he consciously chose the mayoral candidate, Clara Brugada. "He made me a strike," he says, a favor. His son has a store on the corner and when it rained, the water would collect on his door. "They changed the drainage," he says.

Padilla has no desire to say what he thinks of the president.

For him, politics are solutions or lack of solutions.

Former chef at the National Institute of Respiratory Diseases, an intern at the La Viga seafood market in another life, the future sits with him on the bench, in front of the taqueria.

"All I have to do tomorrow is go have my eyes seen at the hospital," he says.

Smile a little, not a lot.

Then he sits down and is quiet.

José de Jesús Padilla and José Luis Sánchez, sitting on a bench next to a taco stand in the Granjas Estrella neighborhood.Teresa de Miguel

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Source: elparis

All news articles on 2021-06-14

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