MEXICO CITY — The morning after Mexico’s Supreme Court decriminalized abortion, right-wing activist and film producer Eduardo Verástegui dressed up in a black suit to register as an independent candidate for the 2024 presidential campaign.
“Mourning is a reminder for me to recall why I’m doing this,” the former telenovela actor recently told supporters.
Rallying all over the country to fulfill the difficult task of gathering 1 million signatures by early January, the 49-year-old has ignited controversy in this deeply Catholic nation, where abortion activists and the LGBTQ+ community lead advocacy campaigns of their own.
While many Mexican politicians refrain from clarifying where they stand on religion, LGBTQ+ rights and abortion, Verástegui prays on TikTok and publicly claims that getting closer to God changed the course of his life. He speaks against LGBTQ+ inclusion, and if elected, he says he would do anything in his power to reverse abortion access.
“I identify with his values, with his Catholic faith,” said Alejandra Hernández, 46, during a training session for volunteers gathering signatures for him.
Nearby, wrapped in a shawl stamped with an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Felícitas Díaz, 65, said she supports Verástegui because he is the only prominent anti-abortion candidate.
“Killing innocent beings is not OK,” Díaz said, referring to the widening of abortion access. “I was sad, worried, thinking ‘Who am I going to vote for?’ and…