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The president and a medal-winning gymnast seen as man and woman of the year. The president and a medal-winning gymnast seen as man and woman of the year.

Woman of the year: gymnast Alexa Moreno; man of the year: AMLO

The president polled well ahead of second-place Carlos Slim

President López Obrador is the man of the year and gymnast Alexa Moreno is the woman of the year, according to a poll conducted by the newspaper El Financiero.

Forty-six percent of 800 Mexican adults polled earlier this month named AMLO as the man of the year, more than twice the 22% of respondents who nominated billionaire businessman Carlos Slim.

The president had a challenging first year in office – his government failed to reduce violence and grow the economy – but polls indicated that he continues to have strong, albeit waning, support. His position at the center of the nation’s political life is undisputed.

Slim, Mexico’s richest man, has thrown his support behind López Obrador and his government, declaring in late November that the foundations have been laid for greater investment and growth. He announced in October that his companies would invest up to 120 billion pesos (US $6.35 billion) in infrastructure projects during the government’s six-year term.

Finance Secretary Arturo Herrera was the third most popular choice for man of the year, receiving support from 7% of respondents, while Foreign Affairs Secretary Marcelo Ebrard was fourth, attracting 6% support.

Man and woman of the year selections for 2019.
Man and woman of the year selections for 2019. el financiero

The former was only in the job for half the year after the resignation of Carlos Urzúa in early July but quickly became one of the most visible members of López Obrador’s cabinet, announcing a 485-billion-peso economic stimulus package the same month and delivering a 6-trillion-peso budget in September.

With López Obrador deciding not to travel outside Mexico this year, Ebrard represented Mexico on the world stage at the G20 leaders’ summit in Osaka, Japan, in June and the United Nations General Assembly in New York in September. He also played a central role in negotiations with the United States on migration and trade issues.

Some pundits believe that Ebrard’s end goal is to run as a presidential candidate in the 2024 election with the aim of succeeding his current boss.

Asked to name the woman of the year, 32% of respondents cited Alexa Moreno, a 25-year-old Mexicali native who was awarded the 2019 National Sports Prize. The gymnast won a bronze medal at the 2018 World Championships in the vault, becoming the first female Mexican to stand on the podium at the event.

The second most popular choice for woman of the year was Claudia Sheinbaum, Mexico City’s first popularly-elected female mayor, who attracted 24% support. Like her close ally López Obrador, the mayor has declared that there is no corruption in her government but she still faces significant challenges in the capital, none of which is more important than combating high levels of violence.

Yalitza Aparicio, the star of Alfonso Cuarón’s Oscar-winning film Roma, was nominated by 21% of those polled as woman of the year, while Interior Secretary Olga Sánchez Cordero was the pick of 8% of respondents.

The poll also asked respondents to name their Mexican personality of the year and found a clear winner in Cuarón, who won critical acclaim as well as numerous awards for Roma, including the Oscar for best director.

Thirty-six percent of those polled named Cuarón as personality of the year, 21% chose filmmaker Guillermo del Toro, 17% nominated boxer Canelo Álvarez, 11% said boxer Andy Ruiz and 5% picked soccer player Hirving Lozano.

Asked to select the best things that happened in Mexico in 2019, 41% of respondents chose the government’s austerity measures; 25% picked López Obrador’s way of governing; 15% cited the creation of the National Guard; 8% mentioned the signing of the new North American trade agreement; and 7% said economic stability – even though growth stagnated.

Violence against women including femicides was cited by 44% of respondents as the worst thing of 2019; 30% chose the high number of intentional homicides (this year will almost certainly go down as the most violent in recent history); 12% mentioned the release of Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán’s son Ovidio Guzmán after he was captured in Culiacán, Sinaloa, in October; and 11% said the massacre of nine members of the LeBarón family in Sonora in November.

The poll concluded by asking respondents to choose the most notable event of 2019 from a field of three.

The women’s protest “A Rapist in Your Way” and the mass arrival of Central American migrants in Mexico were cited by 35% of respondents each, while 25% said that Mexico’s performance at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru – where athletes won a total of 136 medals, including 37 gold – was the most notable event of the year.

Source: El Financiero (sp) 

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