||This article includes a list of references, related reading or external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations. (January 2013)|
|Cárdenas in 2013|
|1st Head of Government of the Federal District|
|Preceded by||Óscar Espinosa Villarreal|
|Succeeded by||Rosario Robles|
|Born||Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas Solórzano
May 1, 1934
|Political party||Party of the Democratic Revolution|
|Institutional Revolutionary Party (to 1989)|
Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas Solórzano (Spanish pronunciation: [kwauˈtemok ˈkarðenas]; born May 1, 1934) is a prominent Mexican politician. He was a former Head of Government of the Federal District and a founder of the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD).
Early life and career
Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas served as a senator for the state of Michoacán from 1974 to 1980 and as governor of that same state from 1980 to 1986. He won election to these two posts as a member of the then-ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).
In 1987, he and other politicians from the PRI announced the creation of the Corriente Democrática ("Democratic Current") within the party to discuss a change in the process traditionally used to nominate the PRI's candidate for the presidency (there was an extralegal rule called el dedazo as the "right" by which the incumbent president picked his successor. The expression is a reference to the action of pointing with a finger to the successor.). The Current nominated Cárdenas as its candidate. Some left the Current and the supporters of Cárdenas were ostracized and expelled from the PRI. He received the support of several small left-wing parties and was the 1988 presidential candidate of the Frente Democrático Nacional (National Democratic Front), a loose alliance of these organizations.
On July 6, 1988, the day of the elections, a system shutdown of the IBM AS/400 that the government was using to count the votes occurred. The government simply stated that se cayó el sistema ("the system crashed"), to refer to the incident. When the system was finally restored, Carlos Salinas was declared the official winner. The elections became extremely controversial, and even though some declare that Salinas won legally, the expression se cayó el sistema became a colloquial euphemism for electoral fraud. It was the first time in 59 years, from the creation of PRI to that point (1929–1988), that the winning of the presidency by that party was in doubt, and the citizens of Mexico realized that PRI could lose.
The following year (May 5, 1989), Cárdenas and other leading center-left and leftist politicians, including Francisco Arellano-Belloc, formally founded the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD). He was this new party's candidate in the 1994 presidential election, in which he placed third, trailing the PRI and PAN candidates, with 17% of the national vote.
In 1997 he was the PRD's candidate for the newly created post of Head of Government (Jefe de Gobierno) of the Federal District – effectively, a role lying somewhere between that of Mexico City's mayor and a state governorship. He won this election, held on July 6, 1997, with a 47.7% share of the popular vote.
Today, Cárdenas remains a senior member of the PRD, and is considered the 'moral leader' of this party. His son, Lázaro Cárdenas Batel, was governor of Michoacan from 2002-2008.
- PBS: Charles Krause interviews Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas
- (Spanish) Biography on Televisa's website.
- (Spanish) Government of the Mexican Federal District: Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas.
- (Spanish) Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas Solórzano, A progressive proposal.
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|Head of Government of the Federal District
|President of the Party of the Democratic Revolution
Roberto Robles Garnica