AKA Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas Solórzano
Birthplace: Mexico City, Mexico
Race or Ethnicity: Hispanic
Executive summary: Anti-PRI Mexican politician
Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas is a well-known Mexican politician and son to Lázaro Cárdenas, one of Mexico's best loved and most socialist presidents.
Cárdenas started off as a loyal party man for PRI, the political party that dominated Mexican politics for 70 years. Like his father before him and his son after, Cárdenas served as governor of Michoacán and later as Senator until he could take no more of PRI's corruption and electoral fraud. In 1986 he attempted to form a leftist caucus within PRI, but his dissident efforts were not appreciated and he left the party.
For the 1988 presidential election, Cárdenas was the candidate of an incredibly popular leftist coalition, the Democratic National Front (FDN). His opponent was neoliberal scientifico Carlos Salinas. The vote came amazingly close for a country long controlled by the PRI machine. Salinas ended up winning, probably due to massive voter fraud related to a "computer systems shutdown". Most people in Mexico (including the media) openly contend that Cárdenas actually won the 1988 election.
Salinas went on to become one of the least popular presidents in recent history by approving NAFTA and continuing PRI's neoliberal trend of privatizing national industries and delivering them to major campaign contributors -- many of the same industries that Cuauhtémoc's father had nationalized 50 years previous.
In 1989, Cárdenas started the PRD political party, taking many members of PRI's leftist current with him. The PRD has since become the major lefist party in Mexico. Cárdenas ran for president twice more, with increasingly smaller vote counts -- even as PRD gained control of local cities and states. He was the first elected Mayor/Governor of Mexico City, which has remained a PRD-dominated area since open elections were allowed in 1997.
Father: Lázaro Cárdenas (Mexican President 1934-1940)
Mother: Amalia Solórzano
Son: Lázaro Cárdenas Batel (b. 1964, governor of Michoacan)
Partido Revolucionario Institucional (until 1988)
Partido de la Revolución Democratica (founding member, 1989)
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