Mérida’s Debate For Mayor Election


Debate between candidates for the Mayor’s Office in Merida happened today at noon with 4 Participants:

  • Nerio Torres (PRI)
  • Mauricio Vila (PAN)
  • Carlos Carvajal (PRD)
  • Ana Rosa Payan (Movimiento Ciudadano)

3 main topics were discussed:


Candidate Nerio Torres.-
Torres introduced 30 initiatives which were based on two main pillars: “SENSITIVITY AND ORDER”.


Regarding SOCIETY, he spoke of an even growth in both society and government. He pointed out the unification of Mérida, reducing social contrast between north and south. One of the proposals was a fairer planning in topics such as public food shelters, free medical services for low income citizens and veterinary modules for street animals. He mentioned the importance of improving the quality of life for the handicapped people in Mérida.


In ECONOMY, Torres underlined the need to create a successful economic policy that includes job creation, quicker procedures to start new businesses, professional training for small and medium enterpreneurs. And concluded saying: “It’s time for politicians to listen to society

To demonstrate his commitment to leadership in Tourism, candidate Torres proposed to transform Mérida into a Tourism Brand, with particular emphasis on the Historical Center and Paseo de Montejo. Likewise, he proposed to create new markets and shopping centers in Caucel and the East part of the city.

GOVERNMENT: Torres Arcila, highlighted the development of a Municipal Autonomous Economy, with an alliance between the State and Municipal Governments.

Nerio Torres proposed to build the city budget in coordination with civil society and business chambers. He claimed to have made public his financial statement in a timely manner and accused the PAN candidate Mauricio Vila to own 72 properties that he did not include in his statement of private assets.

Nerio Torres Arcila, publicly demarcated himself from Angelica Araujo Lara, former mayor of the city of Mérida, which created uproar in social networks.

Araujo has been repeatedly accused by the Yucatecan society for having an inefficient, dark and corrupted government during her administration.

In the end, candidate Torres Arcila presented 30 commitments that could be viable. Since he was the most attacked candidate, he promised to make a work in the city for every attack.

Candidate Ana Rosa Payán
Started her speech with authority but disqualifying the PRI and PAN parties without filing a tangible proposal.

Payán Cervera used the phrase “The city is its people“, addressed the need for more medical services and demanded more security from the State Government. She accused the current state and municipal administrations to be guilty of bad roads, poor garbage collection service and referred to the “free garbage collection” initiative using the phrase: “No public service is for free, the citizenship always ends up paying.”

Ana Rosa pointed out the need for decent paid jobs, she claimed that “The City is not a job provider”, and stressed the importance of an “Arts & Crafts Fair”, remodeling of public markets and to improve tourism, but she was not specific about these issues.

Payán used the phrase “Transparency is not a trend” and stated that in the two previous occasions she was mayor of the city, public transparency programs were implemented. She said that if she wins the election, public accounting will be published online (on the internet), and that she will lower wages and install austerity plans for public servants.

The candidate Ana Rosa Payan, closed her participation with interesting ideas but without any tangible proposals.

Candidate Mauricio Vila.

Since the beginning of the debate, candidate Mauricio Vila started heavily criticizing the PRI candidate for actions of past administrations and he stated that the city must be transformed.

He opened his participation by attacking the PRI party and candidate, accusing them of abandoning the city and the people. He centered part of his proposal in the “Noche Blanca” and “Animaya” Zoo, mentioning that the PAN has built parks and again accused the PRI for not paving the city during their administration. He said he will work to create new roads, improve health services in low-income areas, continue with the D.A.R.E. program and offered free Zumba classes.

Again, Vila opened his speech with an attack on the PRI and changed the subject when speaking of public transportation which he called “bad, overpriced and with poor service“; afterwards, he proposed an intelligent transportation plan with new units, new routes and lower price, but does not explain how to make this proposal a reality, since the city mayor no longer has ruling on public transport. He proposed a platform to help small and medium enterprises with credits that result in increased employment but as in previous points, he did not explain how this can be accomplished.

Once again, Vila statrted talking about the issue with an attack on the PRI candidate, to whom he accused of “bad memory” regarding the administration of Angelica Araujo. He mentioned that if he wins the election, he will publish and make public the revenues and expenditures of the city council.

He finished his participation once again attacking Nerio Torres and his family, to whom he accused of enrichment and being part of public transportation failure (Nerio Torres’s father was the leader of taxi drivers union in Mérida for many years), Vila also made negative comments in reference to the Federal Government of President Peña Nieto.

PRD candidate.
Carlos Carbajal.

His participation on this debate does not even deserve mention. He had no real proposals, but his “strategy” consisted of a constant attack to the other candidates. He was devoted to storytelling, to making accusations and reminisces of moments that did not contribute to this democratic exercise. The few proposals he made were populist and unworkable.

Nerio Torres showed a deep understanding of the issues. His proposals were explained clearly to the public and he refrained from entering in confrontation and responding to the attacks of his opponents, except only on a couple of occasions. Several of the topics he discussed are feasible and transcendental, such as the one of improving the city for disabled people, boost tourism and make Mérida a touristic brand.

Ana Rosa Payan, certainly has experience. She has been mayor twice and had sensible proposals although some fell into the intangibility and even populism, such as: reducing salaries and  wages, the problem of young people and their entry to universities. Her attacks on PAN made it look as resentment to her former political party.

Mauricio Vila, looked inexperienced and unprepared for a task as great as it is to govern the city of Mérida, even though he presented some interesting proposals but little substantiated. He did not take advantage of the opportunity to present more initiatives since he dedicated most of his time on attacks rather than dialogue and communicate those topics of interest to the society living in Merida.


Alejandro Azcárate
Content Manager
The Yucatan Times