Mexico’s lower chamber of congress voted to reject President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s controversial constitutional electoral reform, which had been criticised for weakening the independence and capacity of the country's National Electoral Institute (INE). The President’s alternative so-called “Plan B” electoral reform, which seeks to amend six secondary electoral laws, was approved on 14 December. Opponents denounce it as an unconstitutional attempt by the president’s Morena party to consolidate power and claim it will weaken the country’s electoral infrastructure. Moreover, one of Mexico’s most prominent television and radio presenters, Ciro Gómez Leyva, was the victim of an assassination attempt as Mexico records its deadliest year for journalists. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) identified Mexico as the most dangerous country for journalists for a fourth consecutive year, with at least 11 journalists murdered in 2022, nearly 20 per cent of the global total.
President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador announced in April his intention to reform Mexico’s electoral system through constitutional amendments. In November, the proposed reform was submitted to Congress, while civil society organized mass demonstrations in defence of the National Electoral Institute. Widespread criticism of the proposed reform reflects the concern about its potential impact on the independence of the country’s electoral authorities and risk to the integrity of elections and voter registry. The proposed reforms seek, among other aspects, to replace the way in which electoral authorities are currently appointed, allowing the president and his party to control most nominations, to significantly cut their budget, and to eliminate local electoral authorities. The President also announced a “plan B” reform to the electoral law if the constitutional plan fails to obtain the two-thirds majority required in Congress for constitutional amendments, which the ruling party does not possess.
Multiple homicides of municipal government officials were reported across Mexico during October 2022. Numbers show political violence in Mexico is increasing, with 60 local government officials murdered since President Andrés Manuel López Obrador took office in December 2018. The incidents highlight the flaws in the government’s public security strategy as well as the challenges to contain violence from organized crime and the impunity that has made local politicians vulnerable to such violence.
A report by NGO group Global Witness released in September states that Mexico has become the deadliest place in the world for environmental and land defence activists, recording a total of 54 killings in 2021, the highest number of any countries.