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Transgender and Cynicism in Mexican Politics


Mexico has its election coming up and in addition to the usual extreme cynicism and cheating that is far too normal there, you have this fascinating story of how the conservative parties are trying to get around laws about nominating equal numbers of men and women by claiming some of the men they want to nominate are in fact transgender women, using Zapotec notions of gender to do so. It’s not working.

Electoral authorities in Oaxaca have provisionally disqualified 17 candidates from running in municipal elections on July 1 because they are likely not transgender women as they claimed.

Members of the State Electoral Institute’s complaints’ commission unanimously approved the precautionary measure, citing “suspected irregularities” in the candidates’ registrations.

The decision will remain in effect until a definitive decision is taken by the electoral institute’s general council.

Last month, political parties including the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and the conservative National Action Party (PAN) nominated 19 candidates for mayor in 12 municipalities in Oaxaca who they said were transgender women.

The move was allegedly an attempt to circumvent a state electoral law which stipulates that parties must nominate an equal number of men and women as candidates.

However, a range of groups including a women’s collective challenged the registration of all but two of the 19 candidates, charging that they are not actually muxes, men who from a young age were drawn to living as females and are considered a third gender in Zapotec culture.

The president of the Collective for Women’s Citizenship, Anabel López Sánchez, charged that five political parties had acted in a “dishonest and fraudulent” manner by registering candidates as transgender women when they were really men.

López argued that the nomination of men as transgender candidates meant that women had lost access to candidacies they are legally entitled to.

Several of the candidates who tried to pass themselves off as transgender women had previously stood for public office as men and had not previously identified as being transgender, she added.

“The vast majority are married men with families who can’t be identified as transsexuals either due to their physical appearance or other characteristics,” transsexual woman and electoral councilor Michell Altamirano Pacheco said.

I will say this–nothing can outcynic Mexican political parties. Nothing.

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