A personal reflection on the year in Mexico's national conversation
A year ago, hovering on the edge of 2022, I reconnected with an earlier version of myself: the one who writes. I found my thoughts returning, like filings to a magnet, to a project from many years before, a blog about current events in Mexico. And I took the leap: I decided to revive The Mexpatriate, but as a weekly newsletter on this expansive platform for the curious, Substack.
My first missive went out on Jan. 23, and 41 posts later, I see how writing through the unprecedented personal challenges of the year kept me grounded, even as it quickened my mind. This newsletter also brought me an unexpected opportunity and in September, I took on the position of executive editor of Mexico News Daily. This job has absorbed so much of my time and creative energy that my commitment to these weekly posts has wobbled. But I’m still here, more immersed than ever in the country’s political, economic and cultural life, and I make a promise now to subscribers, old and new: I will keep you engaged in Mexico’s national conversation in 2023.
Reflecting on Mexico’s story in 2022 makes me think of Newton’s third law of motion: any action has an equal and opposite reaction. López Obrador is the political prime mover whose actions make for an uncomfortable opposition, pulling together political forces that don’t normally align, whose values and agendas are more plural than they are willing to let on. The story of pluralism vs populism is echoed in the angst of democracies around the globe: how to balance the tension between the will of the majority and the rights of the minority?
Some of the most significant news of 2022 include the recall referendum in April, the Morena triumph in June elections in six states, the increasing militarization of the country, the legal battles over the Tren Maya, and the implosion of the Ayotzinapa investigation. The story of immigration to Mexico started to raise searching questions in the national conversation this year, and will undoubtedly continue.
Stories to watch in 2023 include the Genaro García Luna trial in the U.S. (starting Jan. 9), the changing of the guard at the Supreme Court with a new chief justice, new leadership at the INE (National Electoral Institute), elections in the State of México and Coahuila and AMLO’s approaching mega-project deadlines. I will be sharing my insights on all this and more - look for interviews and other new formats coming in 2023.
Thank you for being here, readers — ¡feliz año nuevo!