Mexican Campaign Ads: Fraternity, Nonviolence and ‘I Will Wear the Pants’

BY Larisa Epatko  June 25, 2012 at 2:37 PM EDT

One of the top contenders in Mexico’s July 1 presidential election, Josefina Vazquez Mota of the Partido Accion Nacional, or PAN, is portraying herself as tough on crime and a protector of families. “I will be a president in a skirt,” she says in a campaign ad, “but I will wear the pants.”

For all of the videos, click on the drop-down menu at the bottom of the video screen to select subtitles in different languages, including English, or to turn off the subtitles.

Mexico’s past two presidents, Vicente Fox and Felipe Calderon, have come from the Partido Accion Nacional, meaning National Action Party, which is considered more right-wing than the other main three parties.

In the last election in 2006, Calderon eked out a victory over Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of the left-wing Partido de la Revolucion Democratica, or PRD, meaning Party of the Democratic Revolution.

Lopez Obrador is hoping 2012 is his year. He goes the historical route with this campaign ad that highlights the men and women involved in Mexico’s revolution and slams the “70 years of corruption as a government system”:

The frontrunner in this year’s race is Enrique Pena Nieto of the centrist Partido Revolucionario Institucional, or PRI, meaning the Institutional Revolutionary Party.

“Mexico says no to the violence,” Pena Nieto declares in a video featuring footage of his rallies:

Pena Nieto’s camp says he has been tweeting at least a dozen times a day. His detractors, however, include a student activist movement known as the Twitter slogan #yosoy132 (I am the 132). They are campaigning against Pena Nieta and coverage by the mainstream media, which they say is biased toward his campaign.

View a video (in Spanish) of the students’ activities:

YouTube was the outlet of choice for other activists, including the makers of “Ninos Incomodos” (Uncomfortable Children), which depicts Mexico’s violence and corruption through child actors, and beseeches politicians to make a change.

More Coverage: Our partners at Public Radio International’s The World are presenting a series on Mexican voters’ views this week. Listen to the first report from correspondent Myles Estey. He spoke to voter Juan Pablo Arango Orozco, who thinks the PRI and PAN parties have squandered their opportunities to fix what ails Mexico.

On Monday’s NewsHour, Margaret Warner reports from Mexico on the July 1 presidential election. View all of our Mexican election and drug war coverage and follow us on Twitter.