I guess he won’t have time to star in the film adaptation of my book.

Eduardo Verástegui, the impossibly handsome Mexican actor and film producer, announced 8 September on Instagram that he’s running for president of Mexico as an independent candidate. His platform is simple: “Mi lucha es por la vida, la familia y la Libertad. Neustro camino la comenzado.”

My fight is for life, family and liberty. Our journey begins. 

Eduardo Verastegui's Instagram announcement

Instagram announcement @eduardoverastegui

 

As of 12 September, the Instagram announcement has more than 89,000 likes and over 8280 comments, many of which call on God to bless his efforts. He’s got 905,000 followers on Instagram, 320,000 on X and 2 million on Facebook. Dedicated fans have multiple accounts across all platforms. The Milenio media group’s YouTube report of his candidacy got 37,000 views in 3 days. The Spanish-language edition of People magazine, which has followed him for years, jumped on the story, too. https://peopleenespanol.com/celebridades/eduardo-verastegui-candidato-presidente-mexico/

Perhaps not exceptional attention, but Eduardo Verástegui is just getting started on an uphill battle to be elected president of Mexico as an indie candidate from outside the political system.

His new logo is a stylized  “V” against an orange background, using the colors of the Mexican flag. The V riffs on his name but also Verástegui’s signature “V for Victory” gesture, which of course reminds us of Winston Churchill. In motion, the letter cleverly twirls like clock hands, as if counting down the days to the election. His signature hashtag #junotsomosmas (together we are more) is catching on.

Verastegui was the producer for the movie Sound of Freedom, currently the #1 movie in Latin America. https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/sound-of-freedom-number-1-movie-latin-america That he would run for president of Mexico shouldn’t surprise anyone who follows him online or paid attention to the movie’s release. I wrote last July that the movie delivered one surprise after another. The buzz about him being introduced jokingly at release events as the next president of Mexico now doesn’t seem so surprising.

Squarely in the conservative camp, Verástegui was a featured speaker at CPAC events in the US, Japan and Hungary over the past year, burnishing his bona fides with global leaders. He’s credited with bringing the CPAC brand to Mexico. He is a Roman Catholic who has made a return to religious worship a cornerstone of his platform. His move follows the Mexican courts’ decriminalization of abortion, according to the Human Events blog. https://humanevents.com/2023/09/08/breaking-sound-of-freedom-producer-eduardo-verastegui-registers-to-run-for-president-of-mexico

Over the past two years, his Instagram feed has shown him with a parade of notables such as former president Donald Trump, Speaker Kevin McCarthy, the presidents of Central American countries, Pope Francis, Tom Cruise, and Spanish politician Santi Abascal. In July, he joined Donald Trump and friends for a private screening of Sound of Freedom at the former president’s golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey.

He’s traveled extensively, speaking passionately against pedophilia, human trafficking, and abortion. He champions a return to faith-based values as well as combating poverty and corruption. Crowds have gotten progressively larger and his team is doing a good job of capturing presidential-like moments when he is speaking to packed stadium-sized venues or signing pledges like the “Carta de Compromiso” against trafficking with the mayor of Lima, Peru. The Catholic faithful flock to prayer events with him, such as during a May visit to Aguascalientes.

English-language media isn’t going to make too much of his quest for the Mexican presidency and probably wouldn’t have noticed at all if Verástegui wasn’t affiliated with the Sound of Freedom movie. Of course, The Guardian couldn’t resist referencing QAnon when reporting his candidacy, resorting to clickbait keywords before discussing political dynamics in Mexico. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/sep/08/mexico-president-sound-of-freedom-film-producer

In outlook and personal appeal, Verástegui has much in common with Republican presidential contender Vivek Ramaswamy. Although Verástegui is more than 10 years older, both candidates have an appealing youthful energy. They’re both good looking, well spoken, comfortable before the camera or the big crowd, are motivated by religious faith, family values, and espouse strong conservative views. They both have significant grassroots support.

With Ramaswamy in the White House and Verástegui in Los Pinos, US-Mexican relations would certainly enter a new phase.

 

Los Pinos presidential residence Mexico City

Los Pinos, the presidential residence in Mexico City. Photo via https://www.journeymexico.com/

 

While Ramaswamy has an outside shot at winning the Republican nomination, Verástegui is shut out of the two major parties in Mexico, both of which have selected female candidates.

Yet at the very least, Verástegui can force the major parties to address his message about human trafficking and rampant corruption. Perfectly bilingual, Verastegui’s message will resonate with Mexicans living in the US who agree with his views, especially about corruption, and wish to vote in their country’s election. The Catholic vote could also prove pivotal for him. According to The Daily Caller, “Verástegui is supported by several religious groups and the Republican Mexico party.” https://dailycaller.com/2023/09/08/eduardo-verastegui-sound-of-freedom-producer-announces-running-president-mexico/ 

Culture and business law commentator James Hirsen dives into Verastegui’s background and sources of support in a thoughtful essay, saying “In Mexico, Eduardo Verástegui is a household name. He’s a musical entertainer and telenovelas superstar . . . An amazing arc of success surrounds Verástegui’s life. A providential win of the presidency could be forthcoming.” https://jameshirsen.com/2023/09/11/sound-of-freedom-producer-eduardo-verastegui-offers-mexico-a-presidential-choice/

Even if he doesn’t win Mexico’s presidency this time around, it could be the start of an extended political career for the photogenic conservative.

The Mexican election is 2 June 2024. Between now and then, I expect to see the pace of Verástegui’s public appearances skyrocket. More global conservatives and Spanish-language media outlets will take notice as his campaign builds up steam.

The Hidden Light of Mexico City thriller

In a curious coincidence, the book is about an upcoming presidential election in Mexico. Find it on Amazon.

 

Meanwhile, my dream of having Eduardo Verástegui play crime-fighting attorney Eduardo Cortez Castillo in the movie adaptation of political thriller The Hidden Light of Mexico City is on hold. Of course, maybe he’ll be available later next year.

Or maybe not.

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