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 Could, 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 top 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 route,” she advised the Monetary Instances in an interview. “The president could be very clear the place he’s going, and we’re with him.”
Mexico Metropolis voters have 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 shedding 9 of Mexico Metropolis’s 16 boroughs.
“We have been stunned by elements of the outcomes — we’ll should mirror on that internally,” she stated.
Sheinbaum, who’s broadly thought of 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 exchange neoliberal reforms with a give attention to preventing inequality, graft and placing the poor first.
She stated the “horrible tragedy” of the metro — which a preliminary unbiased report indicated was as a consequence of construction flaws — had influenced the vote.
With a practised air, Sheinbaum swatted apart questions on whether or not she may develop into Mexico’s first feminine president and vowed to choose herself up from the electoral rout and get the capital again on its ft economically.
“I’m very robust. I imagine in my authorities and I imagine within the transformation of my nation,” she stated. “Neo-liberalism can not return to Mexico — it did plenty of harm.”
As president, López Obrador has battered enterprise confidence with abrupt rule modifications 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 targeted on fossil fuels and seeks to present state-run hydropower vegetation priority over cheaper non-public photo voltaic and wind initiatives in terms of renewables.
“We’re going to construct the largest photo voltaic plant of any metropolis on this 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 this planet, she is hopeful that a wide range of initiatives can now take off in earnest. These embrace enhancing transport connections, providing community-wide laptop 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, reduce her tooth politically twenty years in the past as surroundings secretary within the Mexico Metropolis authorities when López Obrador was the town’s mayor. She oversaw the Metrobus fast transit mission and development 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 modern stays on observe.
Mexico Metropolis was this month named because the top spot for overseas funding in Latin America for 2021-22 in an Americas Cities of the Future survey by fDi Intelligence, a Monetary Instances firm.
It discovered that Mexico City obtained 353 inward overseas 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 manner on this nation, in distinction to how it’s usually portrayed, means . . . that we’re all the time open for funding and financial growth,” stated Sheinbaum.