Welcome to the Dashboard, !

Close dashboard icon
LibreOrganize 0.6.0 - Documentation

The Prevailing Winds Blow Leftward

José Luis Granados Ceja, a Mexican freelance journalist, is currently studying human rights and popular democracy at the Autonomous University of Mexico City. His writings on democratic struggles in Latin America appear regularly online at his Antimperialistia site.

Marcelo Ebrard, México’s foreign affairs minister in the AMLO government, is convinced he should be president of Mexico. He was similarly convinced he would secure the nomination for president from the Morena party. He was wrong.


To be clear, Ebrard has been a faithful public servant and an excellent deputy to the Mexican president. As foreign affairs minister, he was tasked with handling complicated issues — namely the U.S.-Mexico relationship — and did so competently. So, it’s not surprising that Ebrard, having occupied this highly visible post, would expect to succeed AMLO, as in 2006 when he followed López Obradors term as governor of México City with his own term as governor.


However, the political scenario in México drastically changed with the López Obrador presidency, and Ebrard seems unable to understand the political moment. There was no need to pivot to the center, as Ebrard has done by appealing to the professional classes rather than maintaining AMLO’s focus on “first, the poor.”


By numerous metrics, the Morena-led administration has governed the country well, leading to repeated electoral victories by Morena candidates in various contests since 2018. Polls now indicate the party is poised to secure a decisive victory in 2024. Therefore, Morena’s leadership and its supporters don’t need to make political calculations” to ensure their victory. The public has opted to back the candidate best positioned to not only continue the Fourth Transformation” of México, but to deepen it.


In other words, the prevailing winds in the country blow leftward. Claudia Sheinbaum, the former governor of México City, has always been viewed as the left candidate in the race. That’s why Sheinbaum won the nomination to succeed López Obrador.


But Ebrard insists he lost because of chicanery, alleging that the race was tilted in Sheinbaums favor. However, his argument falls apart under scrutiny. The former foreign minister has charged that the nomination process had serious irregularities, but as details of his teams conduct have come to light, it is clear the process was technically sound. Instead, it seems likely that Ebrard knew he’d lose and instructed his team to create an appearance of malfeasance in order to later question the results.


Moreover, Ebrard was not undercut by Morena. It was he who demanded that candidates should have to step down from their posts in order to compete for the nomination, and he got what he wanted. It was the president himself who conceded to Ebrard’s demands, and thus Sheinbaum stepped down as governor of México City.


Ebrard has now started his own political movement,” but appears to have no real plan. It’s too late to register as an independent candidate, and neither the opposition nor the Movimiento Ciudadano party, a Morena ally, seem interested in running him as their candidate. Even if he finds a willing party, the Mexican population is making up its mind about Ebrard. Theyre coming around to the notion that he’s a sore loser, betraying his former comrades.


If Ebrard hasn’t been expelled from Morena yet, it’s because Sheinbaum, now firmly in control of the party, thinks it possible he could return to the fold. However, Ebrard seems uninterested in any office but the presidency — thus a divorce is likely. Has Ebrard overestimated his relevance? His behavior following his loss in the succession race appears to have left him in the political wilderness.