Mexico holds its presidential election next Sunday.
The main issues are the rampant violence associated with the drug war, and whether the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) returns to power.
The PRI ruled Mexico from 1929 to 2000, before being ousted by the current ruling National Action Party (PAN).
One Mexican voter, Juan Pablo Arango Orozco, thinks the PRI and the PAN have had their chances and failed.
He says it’s time to give Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and his leftist Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) an opportunity to give Mexico something new.
Arango is 33, lives in Mexico City, and works as a freelance government consultant. He falls into the large chunk of ‘middle of the road’ left-leaning voters who believe Mexico needs something new.
“I plan to vote for Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador,” said Arango. “Given the current political context, I think he’s the only candidate who offers a real alternative to the long list of failures we’ve had before, both when the PRI was in power and then later, with the PAN.”
That’s why Arango believes it’s time to give the PRD a chance in the presidential palace.
“The PRI already had its chance,” said Arango. “And the PAN has had the last 12 years. So, it would be fair that the PRD gets an opportunity, and that Mexicans can see what this option really represents.”
Arango is upset about the violence that’s soared under president Felipe Calderón, and hopes his party, the PAN, doesn’t return to power. But he claims he’s more worried about the PRI returning to power.
“It scares me more to think of Enrique Peña Nieto in power, because of the connections they say the PRI has with drug trafficking groups.” Said Arango. “Not to mention their history of repression against groups that oppose the PRI. We’re talking about reduced freedom of expression. And that’s really frightening.”
Arango also thinks Peña Nieto is inexperienced and manipulated by corrupt PRI hierarchy. And even though Peña Nieto is leading in the polls, Arango thinks Lopez Obrador can close the gap before July 1st.
But he thinks Peña Nieto will end up winning, because the deck is stacked against Lopez Obrador.
“They don’t want him,” Arango said about Mexico’s political elite. “He’s like a Lex Luther for them, an evil character. Actually, I call him ‘Andrex Manuel Luthor,’ because he’s like enemy number one. Maybe that’s because he stands for change and shaking up our policies.”
Still, Juan Pablo Arango Orozco hopes Lopez Obrador gets his chance.
“He wants to redistribute all the wealth that we have in Mexico,” said Arango. “And I do think that Mexico is rich country.”
Read tweets about the main candidates in Mexico: