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Citizen Claudia Sheinbaum is on the verge of a historic victory in Mexico’s upcoming presidential elections. As a candidate for the left-leaning Morena party, Sheinbaum has closely aligned herself with current President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, known as AMLO. Despite this, experts believe that Sheinbaum’s personal background and experience hint at potential differences in her governance style compared to Lopez Obrador.

Sheinbaum’s journey into politics began under the tutelage of Lopez Obrador, with whom she shares a history of activism and protest. Her academic background in physics and energy engineering, coupled with her experience as mayor of Tlalpan and Mexico City, sets her apart as a disciplined and strategic leader. While Sheinbaum has adopted many of Lopez Obrador’s projects and policies, she is perceived as less radical and more pragmatic in her approach to governance.

As the frontrunner in the 2024 presidential race, Sheinbaum faces the challenge of stepping out of Lopez Obrador’s shadow and establishing her own identity. While she benefits from his popularity, she must navigate criticisms that she is simply a puppet of the outgoing president. Sheinbaum has released a list of 100 commitments similar to Lopez Obrador’s top priorities, including a focus on poverty alleviation and the controversial Tren Maya infrastructure project.

Climate change is a key issue in Sheinbaum’s platform, with a commitment to promoting renewable energy sources. Critics question her alignment with her party’s environmental platform, which includes support for the state-owned petroleum industry. Despite her background as a climate scientist, some believe that her political career may prioritize other interests over environmental concerns. However, as climate change poses increasing threats to Mexico’s agricultural industry, experts anticipate a shift towards addressing the issue more forcefully.

Security remains a pressing concern for Mexican voters, with ongoing violence and disappearances plaguing the country. Sheinbaum has promised to tackle crime by addressing its root causes through social welfare programs and by denouncing the “war on drugs” as a failed policy. Critics question whether she will continue Lopez Obrador’s approach to security, which has involved expanding military control and facing allegations of abuse of power. Families of the missing fear that Sheinbaum may downplay the severity of the disappearances, while others see hope in her potential to bring a fresh perspective and empathy to the issue.

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