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‘People are fed up’: Jalisco elections could upend traditional politics in Mexico

May 11, 2015
Citizens' Movement candidate Enrique Alfaro hopes to become the next mayor of Guadalajara.

Citizens’ Movement candidate Enrique Alfaro hopes to become the next mayor of Guadalajara.

Mexican director Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu, known for the film Birdman, perfectly captured the mood of his nation during his 2015 Academy Awards acceptance speech, dedicating his award to the people of Mexico.

“I pray that we can find and build the government that we deserve,” he said.

Years of constant bloodshed and unchecked corruption have fueled disillusionment in the country ahead of this summer’s midterm elections. But in Guadalajara, the nation’s second-largest city, there are signs that the June 7 elections could herald a shift toward what some voters hope could be a more citizen-led model of government.

Two candidates in particular have stoked a sense of optimism: Enrique Alfaro of the liberal Citizen’s Movement party, and Pedro Kumamoto, a young independent candidate for the Jalisco state congress.

Alfaro, who is currently leading in Guadalajara’s mayoral race, presents a well-funded and highly organized campaign, while Kumamoto is leading a mostly grassroots independent movement. But what 40-year-old Alfaro, and wiry 25-year-old Kumamato have in common is the goal of defeating the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, from its current grip of power in one of Mexico´s most important states…

Click here to read this feature in full at VICE News.

The first independent candidate for the state congress, Pedro Kumamoto has spent day after day canvassing voters in Zapopan's District 10.

The first independent candidate for the state congress, Pedro Kumamoto has spent day after day canvassing voters in Zapopan’s District 10.

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