Thursday 21 June 2018

Querétaro's support for the PAN will stay strong

La politica es la politica has posted 32 articles - one for each state in Mexico, including Mexico City - in advance of the July 1, 2018, presidential election. For links to all 32 articles, scroll to the bottom of this post.

Querétaro is a small state located in North-Central Mexico, with a population of just over 2 million. The state is in a region known as Bajío, which is known for its high quality of life and safety.

Among the electorate of Querétaro there is strong support for the right-of-center National Action Party (PAN). The governor and two of three federal senators are members of the PAN. The third federal senator is a member of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), which is also the party of Mexico’s unpopular president Enrique Peña Nieto.

The capital city, also named Querétaro, is known throughout Mexico for its safety, and for the integrity of its police force and public administration. There has never been a reported murder of journalist in the long history of the state.

But even Querétaro has its problems.  On May 18 of this year Querétaro’s attorney general announced that eight Querétaro municipal police officers were arrested on charges of robbery, extortion, home burglary and abuse of authority.

The actions were brazen. On-duty officers started by forcing two people into a cruiser in the Santa Rosa Jáuregi borough of the city of Querétaro, stealing their mobile phones and 5,000 pesos (~US $250) in cash. They then attempted to extort 20,000 pesos (~US $1,000) from their victims in exchange for their release, before abandoning them in an unpopulated area.

Apparently not satisfied, the officers then accosted a third person in the same area, and violently forced him into a cruiser. They demanded he take them to his home, from where they then stole US $4,800 in cash as well as personal effects.

To its credit, the Querétaro Attorney General’s office (FGE) acted quickly, obtaining arrest and search warrants in short order. Incriminating evidence – including drugs – was seized from the officers’ homes. It was also notable that the Querétaro municipal Secretariat of Public Security (SSPMQ) fully cooperated with the FGE – in other jurisdictions police forces often work against interference from a state Attorney General.

To date, this appears to be an isolated event. However, the SSPMQ has said that it is conducting a review, and that of necessary criminal and corrupt officers will be purged.

And overall, the news from Querétaro is positive. The area is home to a large cluster of aerospace and automotive production. With regard to automotive, BMW, Nissan and Mazda have production facilities, as do many tier-one suppliers.

In May German automotive manufacturer Continental AG announced that it had opened a new research and development center focusing on collision avoidance systems, with an investment of 50 million euros (~US $59 million).

Given the anxiety over NAFTA, Querétaro's pro-business climate, and historical voting patterns, Querétaro is one state where support will likely remain strong for the PAN. In the Querétaro mayoral race on July 1, polls indicate that the PAN candidate for the "Por Mexico al Frente" coalition,  Luis Bernando Nava, will win.  The PRI and Morena candidates are trailing at 16% and 13%, respectively.

As well, at the federal level presidential PAN candidate Ricardo Anaya should do well here. 

PRI leader Antonio Meade’s support will likely be lukewarm, as it is in most of the country. 

And what of the leading candidate, Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) of the Morena-led “Together We Will Make History” (Juntos Haremos Historia) coalition? His populist, left-leaning message won’t have much traction in Querétaro, where it’s the PAN that's been able to deliver prosperity, security, and transparency.

Below are the links to the posts for each state: 

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