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Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas

Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas

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Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas Solórzano (born May 1, 1934) is a prominent Mexican
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

 politician. He was a former Head of Government of the Federal District
Head of Government of the Federal District
The Head of Government wields executive power in the Mexican Federal District.The Head of Government serves a six-year term, running concurrently with that of the President of the Republic....

 and a founder of the Party of the Democratic Revolution
Party of the Democratic Revolution
The Party of the Democratic Revolution is a democratic socialist party in Mexico and one of 2 Mexican affiliates of the Socialist International...

 (PRD).

Biography


He was born in Mexico City
Mexico City
Mexico City is the Federal District , capital of Mexico and seat of the federal powers of the Mexican Union. It is a federal entity within Mexico which is not part of any one of the 31 Mexican states but belongs to the federation as a whole...

, the son of President Lázaro Cárdenas del Río and Amalia Solórzano
Amalia Solórzano
Amalia Solórzano de Cárdenas was the First Lady of Mexico from 1934 to 1940. She was the spouse of president Lázaro Cárdenas, the mother of the thrice ex-presidential candidate and former Head of Government of the Federal District, Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas, and the grandmother of the former Governor of...

, and studied at Colegio Williams
Colegio Williams
Colegio Williams is a private school in south-central Mexico City. It is located in the Benito Juárez borough, in the area of Mixcoac. It was founded in 1899 by British educator and traveler Camilo John Williams, in the area of Tacubaya . It was at first an all-day school, including a boarding house...

.

Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas served as a senator
Senate of Mexico
The Senate of the Republic, constitutionally Chamber of Senators of the Honorable Congress of the Union After a series of reforms during the 1990s, it is now made up of 128 senators:...

 for the state
States of Mexico
The United Mexican States is a federal republic formed by 32 federal entities .According to the Constitution of 1917, the states of the federation are free and sovereign. Each state has their own congress and constitution, while the Federal District has only limited autonomy with a local Congress...

 of Michoacán
Michoacán
Michoacán officially Estado Libre y Soberano de Michoacán de Ocampo is one of the 31 states which, with the Federal District, comprise the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico. It is divided in 113 municipalities and its capital city is Morelia...

 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
Mexican general election, 1988
General elections were held in Mexico on July 6, 1988. The presidential elections were won by Carlos Salinas de Gortari, who received 50.7% of the vote, the lowest for a winning candidate since direct elections were introduced for the presidency in 1917...

 presidential candidate of the Frente Democrático Nacional
National Democratic Front (Mexico)
The National Democratic Front was a coalition of left-wing Mexican political parties created in 1988 presidential elections, and that is the immediate antecedent of the Party of the Democratic Revolution. It was result of an agglutination of small political left and center-left forces with a...

 (National Democratic Front), a loose alliance of these organizations.

On July 6, 1988, the day of the elections, a system shutdown of the IBM
IBM
International Business Machines Corporation or IBM is an American multinational technology and consulting corporation headquartered in Armonk, New York, United States. IBM manufactures and sells computer hardware and software, and it offers infrastructure, hosting and consulting services in areas...

 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
Carlos Salinas
Carlos Salinas de Gortari is a Mexican economist and politician affiliated to the Institutional Revolutionary Party who served as President of Mexico from 1988 to 1994. Earlier in his career he worked in the Budget Secretariat all the way up to Secretary...

 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
Francisco Arellano-Belloc
Francisco Arellano-Belloc was an influential Mexican politician. He served as Secretary of Press. On May 5, 1989, he and other leading center-left and leftist politicians formally founded the Party of the Democratic Revolution...

, formally founded the Party of the Democratic Revolution
Party of the Democratic Revolution
The Party of the Democratic Revolution is a democratic socialist party in Mexico and one of 2 Mexican affiliates of the Socialist International...

 (PRD). He was this new party's candidate in the 1994 presidential election
Mexican general election, 1994
General elections were held in Mexico on 21 August 1994. The presidential elections resulted in a victory for Ernesto Zedillo of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, whilst the PRI won 300 of the 500 seats in the Chamber of Deputies and 95 of the 128 seats in the Senate...

, in which he placed third, trailing the PRI and PAN
National Action Party (Mexico)
The National Action Party , is one of the three main political parties in Mexico. The party's political platform is generally considered Centre-Right in the Mexican political spectrum. Since 2000, the President of Mexico has been a member of this party; both houses have PAN pluralities, but the...

 candidates, with 17% of the national vote.

In 1997 he was the PRD's candidate for the newly-created post of Head of Government
Head of Government of the Federal District
The Head of Government wields executive power in the Mexican Federal District.The Head of Government serves a six-year term, running concurrently with that of the President of the Republic....

 (Jefe de Gobierno) of the Federal District – effectively, a role lying somewhere between that of Mexico City
Mexico City
Mexico City is the Federal District , capital of Mexico and seat of the federal powers of the Mexican Union. It is a federal entity within Mexico which is not part of any one of the 31 Mexican states but belongs to the federation as a whole...

's mayor
Mayor
In many countries, a Mayor is the highest ranking officer in the municipal government of a town or a large urban city....

 and a state governorship
Governor
A governor is a governing official, usually the executive of a non-sovereign level of government, ranking under the head of state...

. He won this election, held on July 6, 1997, with a 47.7% share of the popular vote.

He resigned in 1999 (and was succeeded by one of his allies, Rosario Robles
Rosario Robles
Rosario Robles Berlanga was a left-wing Mexican politician who was appointed substitute Head of Government of the Federal District when Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas resigned from the post to run for the presidency in 2000...

), to run for the presidency
Mexican general election, 2000
General elections were held in Mexico on 6 July 2000. The presidential elections were won by Vicente Fox of the Alliance for Change, who received 43.4% of the vote, the first time the opposition had won an election since the Mexican Revolution...

 again in 2000, in which he was again placed third, with a 17% share.

Today, Cárdenas remains a senior member of the PRD, and is considered the 'moral leader' of this party. His son, Lázaro Cárdenas Batel
Lázaro Cárdenas Batel
Lázaro Cárdenas Batel is a Mexican politician. He served as governor of Michoacán from 2002 to 2008), representing the Party of the Democratic Revolution...

, was governor of Michoacan from 2002-2008.

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