A few weeks ago, Xóchitl Gálvez was just one more among the opposition senators. Today she is the most serious aspirant for the presidential candidacy in the recently formed Frente Amplio por México, formed by the Acción Nacional Party (PAN), the Revolucionario Institucional Party (PRI) and Revolución Democrática Party (PRD).
Despite having gone unnoticed until very recently, an event of the president’s authoritarian policy catapulted it. Andrés Manuel López Obrador, in excess during his daily conference, mentioned her by name and surname as one of the politicians who have opposed the validity of social programs such as the Pension for the Elderly, Youth Writing the Future and Sowing Life, among others.
This accusation, which turned out to be a lie, was taken to court and a judge granted the senator the right to reply. Subsequently, she went to the National Palace, where the daily conference is held, and knocked on the door, but was not answered and this rejection made her visible as a possible candidate of the front for the Presidency of the Republic.
Xóchitl Gálvez comes from the Otomí population of the State of Hidalgo, one of the poorest in the country. As a child, she worked to support her family and, at a very young age, migrated to Mexico City, where, thanks to a scholarship, she studied at the Faculty of Engineering of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), to later become a robotics entrepreneur. Xóchitl Gálvez, however, did not lose contact with her community and later worked during the Vicente Fox administration as national commissioner for indigenous peoples, a task that led her to begin her political career.
Later, she was delegation chief in Mexico City, a failed candidate for governor of her state and senator, but without belonging to a political party, which, for some observers, positions her as an outsider in Mexican politics.
From the Senate of the Republic, she has been working to achieve the opposition’s nomination for Mexico City’s Chief of Government, and polls of voting intentions put her among those on the top. However, after the rebuff in the National Palace, she sought candidacy for the Presidency of the Republic in 2024. And today her figure stands out among the non-partisan aspirants.
The visibility of Gálvez has caused alarm at the National Palace and among the so-called “corcholatas”, as the ruling party candidates are known, who are touring the country so that by the end of August, a poll will decide which of the six aspirants will be the candidate. They are the former Head of Government of Mexico City, Claudia Sheinbaum; the former Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Marcelo Ebrard; the former Home Secretary, Adán Augusto López, and Senators Ricardo Monreal and Manuel Velasco, and Federal Deputy Gerardo Fernández.
Currently, Xóchitl Gálvez is in all the media, while the presence of the “corcholatas” is decreasing, and it is probable that this will continue by the end of August. This has caused the Presidency to make a strong campaign against the candidate and the media addicted to the Government with some criticisms that border on gender violence and misogyny. It should not be forgotten that at the beginning of the term the senator rejected, because of her “independent voice”, an invitation from López Obrador to participate in his government.
One aspect that is playing against the candidate is the methods to produce her presidential candidate, since officially the electoral campaign does not start until the last week of November. What has been happening, in both sides, are acts in anticipation of the campaign, which has provoked reactions and criticisms, such as those of the Movimiento Ciudadano Party. Its leaders consider that the principle of fairness in the competition is being violated and that electoral justice should intervene.
In short, the race for the Presidency of the Republic has already begun with a great deployment of resources between the “corcholatas” aspirants and the opposition aspirants, who are divided between those who could be considered “partisan” and the outsiders, among which is Xóchitl Gálvez.
The final is between two UNAM graduates: physicist Claudia Sheinbaum and computer engineer Xóchitl Gálvez.
*Translated from Spanish by Janaína Ruviaro da Silva