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6 days ago

Analysis: Mexico City metro exposes "Achilles heel" of mayor's presidential dreams

January 24, 2023 (Mexico)

The second major accident in the Mexico City metro in as many years and a series of recent mishaps in the transport system have piled pressure on Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum, one of the favorites to become the country's next president.

The Jan. 7 train collision that killed one person and injured 57 and other glitches have shone a harsh light on Sheinbaum's administration just as she bids for the candidacy of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) for the 2024 presidential elections.

Reports of cut cables, objects thrown onto tracks and other damage prompted MORENA's secretary general to call out "sabotage", and Sheinbaum called in 6,000 National Guard members to police metro stations, saying they will guarantee security after "intentional incidents" that are under investigation.

Critics, however, have questioned that move as a bid to distract from a lack of investment and maintenance in the network that carries millions of people daily.

"The metro is possibly the Achilles heel of Claudia Sheinbaum's presidential aspirations," said Jorge Bravo, a political scientist at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), explaining that the network is regarded as a vital test of her ability to govern.

There are signs it may already be hurting her.

A January poll by newspaper El Financiero, conducted partly on the day of the fatal accident, showed support for Sheinbaum falling from December by five percentage points to 41%.


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