Mayor of Mexico City: “There is no need to change direction”

It has been a terrible few weeks for Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum: at a time when the capital was taking one of the worst Covid-19 fires in the world, the subway ride has fallen in early May, killing 26.

Then, a month later, the opposition took more than half of the city’s boroughs to the midterm elections, including Tlalpan, where Sheinbaum served as mayor from 2015 until the end of 2017. .The route into the capital was a bitter blow to one of the largest on the left. bastions.

But Sheinbaum, 59, remains impenetrable. “There is no need to change direction,” he told the Financial Times in an interview. “The president is very clear about where he’s going, and we’re with him.”

Mexico City voters have been key to President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s victory in 2018, and national gains in the Voting on June 6th they put the coalition to power in 17 of the 32 Mexican states. However, the domination of the capital’s left-wing quarter-century ended after the loss of nine of Mexico City’s 16 boroughs.

“We were surprised by the results – we have to reflect on that internally,” he said.

Sheinbaum, who is widely considered López Obrador’s favorite to succeed in 2024, has accused the result of a “disinformation campaign” by critics opposed to the government’s quest to replace neoliberal reforms with a focus on the fight against inequality, grafting and putting the poor first.

She said the “terrible tragedy” of the subway – which an independent preliminary report indicated was due construction defects – had influenced the vote.

With a practiced air, Sheinbaum dismissed questions about whether he could become one Of Mexico first woman president and promised to recover from the electoral route and to economically recover the capital.

“I’m very strong.” I believe in my government and I believe in the transformation of my country, “he said.” Neoliberalism cannot return to Mexico – it has done a lot of damage. “

Twenty-six people were killed when an elevated section of a subway track in Mexico City crashed into a road © Hector Vivas / Getty

As president, López Obrador has eroded the confidence of companies with abrupt changes in regulations in the energy sector, which have sparked a flood of lawsuits. It canceled highly profiled investments, partly built in a new airport in Mexico City and a brewery in the north of the country.

But Sheinbaum, who has a doctorate in climate engineering, has approved the president’s energy plans, which are focused on fossil fuels and seeks to give priority to state-owned hydroelectric plants over more private solar and wind projects. when it comes to renewables.

“We are going to build the largest solar plant of all cities in the world,” he said, referring to plans with the federal electricity utility to install solar panels at the top of the city’s wholesale food market. Mexico this year.

With the pandemic easing after Mexico City picked up one of the the highest excess death counts of any city in the world, he hopes that a variety of initiatives can now be taken seriously. These include improving transportation connections, offering computer programming lessons throughout the community, renovating a diverse industrial district that accounts for 1 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product as well. innovation hub, and facing a water crisis.

Sheinbaum, a long-time scientist, cut his teeth politically two decades ago as secretary of the environment in Mexico City’s government when López Obrador was mayor of the city. He oversaw the Metrobus rapid transit project and the construction of a second floor for an urban road while serving in his city government.

She highlighted resilient private investment and said her plan to make the city greener, mobile and innovative remains on track.

Mexico City was named this month as first place for foreign investment in Latin America for 2021-22 in a Americas Cities of the Future survey by fDi Intelligence, a Financial Times company.

He found that Mexico City it received 353 foreign direct investment projects, the third-highest total of all places surveyed, and made it to the top 10 cities in America in terms of economic potential.

“It’s a recognition that means the transformation taking place in this country, as opposed to how it is often portrayed. . . that we are always open to investment and economic development, ”Sheinbaum said.

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