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Citizens Movement and young independent candidate triumph in Jalisco elections

June 10, 2015
Enrique Alfaro of the liberal Citizens Movement won a landslide victory on Sunday to become Guadalajara's next mayor.

Enrique Alfaro of the liberal Citizens Movement won a landslide victory on Sunday to become Guadalajara’s next mayor.

The leftist Citizens Movement, or MC, won a sweeping landslide victory in Jalisco state, a key economic hub in Mexico’s west, in Sunday’s elections.

MC won the mayor’s race in Guadalajara, Mexico’s second largest city. Candidate Enrique Alfaro beat the PRI’s Ricardo Villanueva by approximately 30 percentage points, tallies said.

“The backing that we had represents a great commitment for us. A commitment to not fail the people, a commitment to be a good government, and a commitment to begin a phase of reconciliation and dialogue so that we can resolve all of the differences that were generated during the campaign period,” Alfaro said in a press conference Sunday night.

Jalisco has long been considered one of Mexico’s more conservative states. Alfaro attributed his win to voters growing “upset, tired, and disappointed” at the way the city has been run. He will be the first Guadalajara mayor not to represent the PRI or the center-right National Action Party, or PAN, since 1929.

Citizens Movement also claimed victory in the Pacific Coast resort city of Puerto Vallarta and in many other municipalities across Jalisco.

“This suggests that we can become the primary force in the Jalisco state congress,” Alfaro said as thousands of MC supporters gathered at Guadalajara’s iconic Minerva fountain to celebrate the historic victories.

The Citizens Movement’s dramatic triumph in Guadalajara was matched by the anticipated victory of Pedro Kumamoto, who became the first ever independent candidate elected to the Jalisco state congress.

A recent college graduate, Kumamoto, 25, led a grassroots campaign to victory. In an interview last month, he told VICE News that he received just $1,188 in public funding — or just over one percent of the campaign spending limit of 1.3 million pesos.

“We’re going to be pushing for broad and important political reforms so that independent candidates can become not just a nice idea but a genuinely useful tool,” Kumamoto said days before the election…

This section is part of a broader VICE News piece on Sunday’s elections that I contributed to. Click here to read it in full.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Marta permalink
    June 10, 2015 19:20

    I would hardly call this party leftist. As you gain entry into other media besides your blog as you did with this piece, I do hope that you will at least define how you are using these political terms, as you seem to define leftist in extraordinarily liberal ways, and also dig deep into Mexican politics.

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