Why North Texans Should Pay Attention To This Year's Mexican Presidential Election | KERA News

Why North Texans Should Pay Attention To This Year's Mexican Presidential Election

Apr 6, 2018

The midterm elections have been a priority this year in the U.S., but the country also has a stake in the presidential election in Mexico. North Texas has more Mexican citizens eligible to vote there than anywhere else in the U.S. except Los Angeles.

Alfredo Corchado, the Border-Mexico correspondent for The Dallas Morning News, covered the presidential campaign launch this week of one candidate in the northern states of Mexico.  

"It is a far more prosperous, wealthy area than the rest of Mexico," he said. "And yet, these are states that are engulfed in drug violence; there's so much corruption. There's so much trade with the United States, but the wages for workers remain virtually unchanged in the last 30 years."

In our Friday Conversation, Corchado says the election should be on Texans' radar because the outcome could affect U.S.-Mexico relations for years to come.

Interview Highlights: Alfredo Corchado

On the candidates running:

"Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador [of the National Regeneration Movement, or MORENA] has the double-digit lead. He has three main competitors. You have a young 39-year-old named Ricardo Anaya of the conservative National Action Party (PAN), Jose Antonio Meade of the conservative Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), which is the ruling party, and for the first time, there's an independent candidate named Margarita Zavala, who's the wife of former president Felipe Calderon. Some people in Mexico called her the 'Hillary wannabe,' and it is believed she will play more of a spoiler role."

How President Trump will affect the election after he tweeted about "caravans of people" from Central America coming through Mexico:

"Up until now, the United States and President Trump was not much of an impact. I was just in Mexico City talking to experts and analysts that were saying this election will be defined by more domestic issues. After Sunday, you can see all candidates beginning to respond to President Trump.

"The danger of this is you put a nationalistic streak in the campaign and it becomes an anti-United States campaign, I think that will be bad for both sides because both countries are economically and culturally entwined."

How Dallas plays into the Mexican election:

"The last numbers we had was more than 600,000 people registered to vote in the United States. More than 60,000 of them just in North Texas, which is a huge number. I think if it is a close election like it was in 2006, that means that Mexican voters abroad will have a huge say."