facebook Mexican Election 2024: How will it affect you? - Escape Artist

Mexican Election 2024: How will it affect you?

Both social media and the MSM are abuzz with discussion about the recent Mexican election.

Some people think the new President is bad news, as you can see by these headlines:

Others are breathlessly writing articles about the fact that the she is a female:

As someone who currently holds temporary residency in Mexico and is running down the clock to permanent, obviously I’m most concerned about the immigration side of things.

If you have been thinking about getting started on your Mexican residency, you may have similar concerns.

Who is Mexico’s new president-elect, and what does she stand for? Should aspiring expats be concerned about her coming into office?

Read on to find out.

Who is Mexico’s new president, Claudia Sheinbaum?

Mexican Election 2024: How will it affect you?

On June 2, 2024, Claudia Sheinbaum became the new President of Mexico, receiving 59% of the vote – the highest vote percentage since 1982.

Sheinbaum is not only the first female president in Mexico’s history, but also the first Jewish president.

She was the mayor of Mexico City from 2018 to 2023, before resigning to pursue the party nomination and presidency.

After winning the nomination for the Juntos Hacemos Historia (a coalition of parties consisting of Morena, the Labor Party and Ecologist Green Party of Mexico), she went on to realize her historic Presidential election victory. (Source: Wikipedia)

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What does she stand for?

Well, Sheinbaum is a (self-proclaimed) feminist, globally-recognized climate scientist and, as is typically the case with Mexican politicians, a leftist.

She served on the IPCC (International Panel on Climate Change) and is a huge proponent of renewable energy, saying “I think we have to start growing more in renewable energy and to go ahead with the electrification of cars… From now to the future, most of the energy has to be related to renewable energy.” (Source: AP News)

She was a strong proponent for COVID restrictions, is lauded for having implemented a gender-neutral uniform policy at state-run schools, and removed a statue of Christopher Columbus in Mexico City as a “decolonization exercise”. (Source: Wikipedia)

Uh oh. This is all starting to sound a little familiar, isn’t it? Are we going to have a Scooby Doo-style mask reveal situation and find out it’s actually Justin Trudeau under there?

Same, Same but Different?

Reading all that, your alarm bells may be ringing. But it’s not as worrisome as it seems.

Mexico’s current President, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, holds many of the same ideals as Sheinbaum. López Obrador founded the powerful Morena party, to which both he and Sheinbaum belong. In fact, he is her political mentor.

Did she beat him in the election? No – Mexico has a strict one-term limit of six years for its presidents so he could not run again. In essence, she is his successor.

One of the reasons Sheinbaum/Morena garnered such a strong win is because of the wealth distribution policies enacted by the López Obrador government, such as cash transfers and constant minimum wage increases. Sheinbaum won in 31 out of the 32 poorest Mexican states due to these policies. (Source: The Economist)

I mention all of this to show you that, while she is clearly a very left-leaning politician, Mexico already had a leftist government and leftist policies in place. This is not new. So don’t freak out!

What does all this mean for aspiring expats?

Getting your residency is getting drastically more expensive.

I don’t think aspiring expats should expect to see much change that will affect immigration procedures or anything like that.

What you will likely see is more of what has already been happening – which is that the financial solvency requirements for residency, based on the Mexican minimum wage, will continue to go up significantly as the minimum wage increases thanks to a combo of inflation and government policy.

Let me tell you, I obtained my temporary residency in 2022 and the financial solvency requirements have gone up massively since then.

According to Mexperience, the current monthly net income required to qualify for temporary residency is US$4,350, with some variation between consulates.

Contrast that with 2023, when the amount was US$3,275. And 2022, when the amount was reportedly US$2,400 to $2,700. (Source: Alex Wittman)

So run, don’t walk, to get your Mexican temporary residency sooner than later.

It is already becoming unaffordable for many people and, assuming the Mexican minimum wage keeps seeing large increases, which I fully expect with the new president in place, it’s only going to get worse.

It’s a good time to buy some pesos.

In response to Sheinbaum’s election, the Mexican peso lost 4% of its value. Mexican stocks tumbled as well, upon fears of government intrusion on private sector activity.

“The main challenge for president-elect Claudia Sheinbaum will be to bolster market sentiment and provide a predictable and investment-friendly policy and regulatory framework,” Alberto Ramos, head of Latin America economics research at Goldman Sachs, said in a client note.

“Ultimately, the new administration will be challenged not to encroach on private sector activity and free markets, and to avoid further erosion of institutional quality.” (Source: Reuters)

The peso had actually gained value over the past year, as I witnessed personally when I had to exchange some of my declining Canadian dollars for them last summer. Ouch.

So, now that the tables have turned and the Mexican peso has taken a hit, you can actually use it to your advantage.

If you know you are going to Mexico or just want to diversify yourself a bit, go out and get yourself some pesos while you have a favorable exchange rate!

Aside from the above, probably not much.

It’s said by some people that in Mexico that the government really doesn’t matter that much.

That they have very little power and no one listens to them. That the government is more just for show.

That the cartels have far more influence over what goes on.

I am inclined to believe them, based on the huge amount of political violence seen during this election cycle, which saw 37 candidates murdered.

So, while Claudia Sheinbaum may talk a good game, I’m not sure she will be able to affect much real change.

Mexico is still an option for you – for now!

While people were either freaking out about Claudia Sheinbaum being too left-wing or not left-wing enough, I think it may turn out to be much ado about nothing.

The effect on aspiring expats will likely be minimal, aside from everything getting more expensive like it is everywhere else in the world.

At the end of the day, you can still pretty much go to Mexico and be left alone.

And isn’t that what most of us want? Together with the phenomenal food, culture, climate and geography, that’s a pretty good deal, I think.

Ignore all the hullabaloo about the new Mexican president – it’s just a distraction to keep you in a permanent doom loop. Instead, keep your eye on the prize and, if you haven’t already, go out and get that Mexican residency before it gets even harder to qualify. You will be glad you did!

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LisaLisa is an aspiring expat from Canada who is working to put together her Plan B with a young family in tow. She is excited to pair her lifelong love of writing with her passion for offshore strategies and outside-the box investments in her weekly articles for Escape Artist readers. Follow this “rebel with a cause” as she walks the path less traveled and shares her experiences along the way.
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