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Corruption, violence, poverty: Mexico’s voters speak out on the issues

Mosaic of photos of Mexicans who described what they hoped for in Sunday's presidential elections
AFP

Mexico City (AFP) – The mother of a missing student, a man deported from the United States, an indigenous woman, a yoga instructor: AFP asked Mexican voters to share the issues most important to them as the country holds historic elections on Sunday.

Here is what they had to say.

Cristina Bautista, 36

Mother of one of 43 students kidnapped by corrupt police in 2014 in the southern city of Iguala

“The elections aren’t that important to me. What’s important to me is what I’ve been focused on: demanding they return our sons alive.”

“We know the government thinks that elections will make us parents be quiet. They’re dead wrong.”

Roberto Vivar, 62

Longtime resident of the United States deported five years ago

“It’s all been a very drastic change (since I was deported).”

“I hope, all Mexicans hope, that we will finally get a government that will actually work for the people, give us a chance to live a decent life, worthy of hard-working Mexicans.”

Catalina Gonzalez, 37

Indigenous Tarahumara woman in the border city of Ciudad Juarez

“I hope the new government will help us deal with all the violence happening here.”

Francisco Marchain

Ecotourism guide in the Yucatan peninsula

“Everyone involved in politics earns millions of pesos, while we break our backs working. We don’t have what they have.”

Adriana Ferrer, 42

Yoga instructor in the Mexico City hipster neighborhood of La Condesa

“(Mexicans) should stop blaming others or blaming the president or their neighbors for the situation we’re in.”

“I’m going to vote for Jose Antonio Meade (of the ruling PRI party). I know him. I know he’s intelligent and wants what’s good for Mexico. It bothers me that he’s running for the PRI, though. I’ve never voted for the PRI.”

Alejandro Hernandez, 37

Juarez resident whose house juts up against a metal fence on the US-Mexican border

“We have too many problems of our own here to be worried about (US President Donald Trump’s) border wall.”

“I’d like it if in the next 10 years they paved all the streets, put a park here, and made everything nice for us.”

Gildardo Vazquez, 41

Member of a “community police” force in the violent state of Guerrero, a vigilante group formed to replace his town’s largely absent real police

“I think all the problems Mexico has originate with violent crime. It’s generated unemployment, insecurity, and the corruption we’re facing.”

“I hope (leftist front-runner Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador) will work on the country’s problems and not let us down, because so far all we’ve ever gotten (from politicians) are lies.”

Javier Calvillo

Catholic priest and head of Migrant House, a shelter for undocumented migrants near the US border

“The new government will face plenty of challenges: corruption, the economy, government institutions and the issue of migration.”

“We’re at a critical moment, troubled by a lot of issues. I hope whoever wins is doing this out of love for the Mexican people.”

Miguel Angel Cuevas

Train conductor in the western city of Guadalajara

“I hope they’ll continue investing in large-scale infrastructure. They need to do a lot of work on security, too, on the economy.”

“They (the candidates) should worry more about proposing solutions and having real debates, with solid ideas to make their proposals happen.”

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