Mexico Poised to Elect First President with Jewish Ancestry

( – Mexico’s Claudia Sheinbaum is likely to become the first-ever president of Jewish descent in a predominantly Catholic nation.

Mexicans will go to their largest-ever polls in June 2024, where nearly 96 million voters will choose their next president, alongside 628 Congress members and many local officeholders.

Sheinbaum is leading all the polls comprehensively against her major competitors, Xóchitl Gálvez and Jorge Álvarez Máynez.

Sheinbaum’s Jewish grandparents migrated to Mexico, but she was not raised in a religious environment. Her campaign team suggested that even though Sheinbaum is a woman of faith, she does not observe any religion.

Judaism has a rich history in Mexico, and the country is home to more than 50,000 Jews, most of whom are descendants of immigrants from Europe and the Middle East.

Local observers have maintained that the Jewish community of Mexico does not endorse any specific candidate and has met with all three presidential nominees.

Although the Jewish community welcomed their meeting with Sheinbaum, they did not believe that she was one of them.

One Jewish scholar suggested that Sheinbaum has told multiple times that she does not identify herself as a Jew, so everyone has to respect her choice as religious identity cannot be forced on anyone.

Sheinbaum has also faced criticism from various quarters for her ambiguous religious affiliations. Mexican film producer Carlos Alazraki slammed her for wearing a skirt with the photo of Mary to appease Catholic voters.

The presidential hopeful also capitalized on her meeting with Pope Francis, where she wore Catholic symbols. Critics believe that this is her way of attracting the majority of Catholic voters, who represent nearly 78% of the Mexican population.

If elected, Sheinbaum will also be the first-ever female president of the country.

The next Mexican president will face notable challenges like controlling the rampant corruption, improving the security situation and dealing with the drug cartels that are responsible for smuggling 70% of the illegal drugs that enter the United States.

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