MEXICO CITY — Two of Mexico's four candidates for the presidency launched their campaigns Friday before hundreds of cheering supporters.
Ricardo Anaya, candidate of a right-left coalition, appealed to the youth vote with a 12-hour hackathon to develop proposals to effect change.
"We are not going to resign ourselves to having a corrupt government," he said at a flashy event in Mexico City that felt like a launch party for a new iPhone. "We are not going to resign ourselves to have 11 million people living in extreme poverty." He promised to solve Mexico's problems through innovation and technology.
Margarita Zavala, the former first lady who left Anaya's conservative National Action Party to embark on an independent run, tried to distinguish herself as the only candidate free from national parties tainted by corruption.
"Before us we have three candidates who represent the tricky politics of money," Zavala said standing in front of Mexico City's Angel of Independence monument with her husband, former President Felipe Calderon.
Both set their sights squarely on front-runner Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, depicting him as a candidate with an antiquated vision who is soft on crime.
In a campaign video released just after midnight Friday, Anaya said it was a given that the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party of President Enrique Pena Nieto would be voted out.
"The question is what type of change do you want?" he asked. He said Lopez Obrador had an old way of looking at Mexico and the world, but his coalition had a plan and a new way to govern. He did not provide specifics.
Zavala said Lopez Obrador wanted to let criminals out of prison and opposed using the military for internal security. She promised to keep soldiers and marines in the streets. "To protect your family you have to have courage," she said.
Lopez Obrador and Jose Antonio Meade, the ruling party candidate, were scheduled to officially launch their campaigns Sunday.
The presidential election will be held on July 1.