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Mexico's Changing Democracy: How Will Data Influence this Sunday's Vote?

On 1 July 2018, Mexico will take to the polls for the largest election in its history. Aside from choosing the President of the Republic, Mexicans will also be electing over 3,000 officers, among them 9 governors, 628 federal legislators, 983 local deputies and more than 2,000 mayors. These elections mark a complex moment in Mexican politics: according to polls, only 4% of the population trust their political parties, an indication that voter turn-out could be low. What's more, different coalitions are formed on the federal, state and city levels, making the political environment particularly complicated in a country that has been governed by the same party – the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI – for more than 70 years. On top of that, the current president, Enrique Peña Nieto, is experiencing his lowest approval rating (12%) since his election.

Tactical Tech partnered with the Mexican non-profit organisation Articulo 12 to investigate the role that data and political influence have had in previous campaigns in the country and how they will influence the upcoming elections. The research is detailed in an extensive report in Spanish available here. Artículo 12 is the first civil association that promotes, protects and defends the rights to privacy and the protection of personal data of internet users in Mexico. Their research focused on how PRI, the predominant political party in Mexico, has used the internet and data analysis in its two most important elections in the past six years, and how it is using them in the current presidential campaign.

This article is published as part of The Influence Industry - a series looking at the use of data in political campaigning and elections.