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Superpharmacy, “indiscriminate” arms trafficking, military control of airports, latest presidential polls

Lauren TerMaat

Sheinbaum still leads polls, “superpharmacy” to open in December, Bárcena addresses “indiscriminate” arms trafficking, and 3 additional airports turned over to Sedena. (Week of 11/26/2023 - 12/02/2023)

Week of 11/26/2023 - 12/02/2023

Gap between Sheinbaum and Gálvez closes slightly, Sheinbaum still leading in the polls 

According to the latest polls by Buendia & Márquez for El Universal, Claudia Sheinbaum leads in the pre-campaign period with a substantial advantage, with 48% of respondents expressing a preference for her in a hypothetical election. Xóchitl Gálvez, her main rival, received 24% of the votes, while Samuel García Sepúlveda begins his candidacy with 8%. The non-response rate for voting intention was 20%. 

Sheinbaum maintains a lead in terms of recognition, with 2 out of 3 respondents recognizing both her name and photo. Only 37% of respondents recognized a photo of Gálvez, with 55% recognizing her by name. 39% of respondents recognized García by name. 

The Buendía & Márquez polls also measured the public opinion of the candidates by calculating the difference in the percentage of individuals that have a positive opinion of the candidate and the percentage of individuals that have a negative opinion of the candidate. Sheinbaum has the largest positive balance of +39%, meaning that significantly more individuals have a positive opinion rather than a negative opinion of her. Gálvez has a –3% balance, showing that there are slightly more individuals with a negative opinion of her than a positive opinion. García, despite ranking last in voting intention, has a positive balance of +11.  

Xóchitl Gálvez faces the challenge of establishing a positive public image. Despite an 11 point increase in positive ratings since June, her negative rating also rose by 9 points. Additionally, 12% had heard positive news about Gálvez in the last two weeks, while 13% had heard negative news. Respondents reported hearing predominantly positive information about both Sheinbaum and García. 

Bárcena denounces “indiscriminate” arms trafficking 

Before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, the Mexican state addressed a shared emergency in relation to the “indiscriminate” availability of firearms, emphasizing the role of private companies in potential human rights violations. Foreign Minister Alicia Bárcena highlighted the region's suffering from armed violence, attributing civilian firearm proliferation to unregulated cross-border trafficking. 

In a hearing initiated by Mexico, Bárcena stressed the need for control over the acquisition of firearms by individuals in Mexico, and highlighted the disparate impact that armed violence has on vulnerable groups. According to statistics presented at this hearing, an estimated 200,000 firearms illegally enter the country each year. Bárcena urged the court to consider these facts when determining the obligations of private arms companies. 

AMLO’s “super-pharmacy” to open before the end of the year 

In Wednesday’s morning conference, Elizabeth García Vilchis, the Director of Social Media for the Office of the Presidential Spokesperson, reported that President López Obrador’s “super-pharmacy” will be ready by the end of 2023.  

The super-pharmacy, which was proposed by President López Obrador as a warehouse that will store “all the medications in the world,” will serve to supply all healthcare facilities and hospitals across Mexico with the medications needed within a maximum period of 24 hours after the notification of a need for the medication.    

The warehouse itself, located in Huehuetoca, State of Mexico, is currently empty, drawing much criticism and doubt in the media. García Vilchis explained that it is true that the warehouse is empty at the moment, but this is because it must comply with all the proper legal and health regulations before the medications can be stored there. García Vilchis emphasized that these procedures would be completed in time for the super-pharmacy to open before the end of 2023.  

3 additional airports turned over to Sedena 

On Wednesday, the Secretariat of Infrastructure, Communications, and Transportation (SICT) finalized the transfer of the airports in Chetumal, Quintana Roo; Tamuín, San Luis Potosí; and Ixtepec, Oaxaca to the Ministry of National Defense (Sedena).  

Although these airports, in practice, were already controlled by Sedena, this transfer has now been formalized through "assignments" published in the Official Gazette of the Federation. The assignments - one for each airport - empower Sedena to officially manage, operate, and, if necessary, build terminals at these airports. The justification given in the assignments for this transfer of control is to provide sustainable and competitive airport infrastructure to the areas of Mexico that need it the most.  

On Tuesday, just one day beforehand, four other airports were transferred to Sedena, located in Uruapan, Michoacán; Palenque, Chiapas; Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, and Puebla, Huejotzingo. Counting the four transferred on Tuesday and the three transferred on Wednesday, Sedena now controls 12 airports in 10 states across the country, in addition to the Felipe Ángeles International Airport (AIFA) in the State of Mexico, which was constructed by the military in 2022. 

About the Author

Lauren TerMaat

Lauren TerMaat

Staff Assistant Intern, Mexico Institute
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Mexico Institute

The Mexico Institute seeks to improve understanding, communication, and cooperation between Mexico and the United States by promoting original research, encouraging public discussion, and proposing policy options for enhancing the bilateral relationship. A binational Advisory Board, chaired by Luis Téllez and Earl Anthony Wayne, oversees the work of the Mexico Institute.   Read more