Posted at 03:32 PM ET, 06/21/2012

Who are Mexico’s presidential candidates?

In anticipation of Mexico’s July 1 presidential election, here’s a glimpse of the country’s three presidential candidates:

Enrique Pena Nieto is the presidential candidate for the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). (Marco Ugarte - AP)
Enrique Peña Nieto is the new face of the old, autocratic and often corrupt Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, which ran Mexico for more than 70 years until the party was pushed out of power by Calderon’s predecessor, Vicente Fox, in 2000. Handsome, telegenic and great in a crowd, Pena Nieto, 45, is still something of a mystery (he famously couldn’t correctly name three books that influenced his life). No one is really sure how he will govern as president — whether he would tackle the tough reforms Mexico needs to enter the 21st century, or allow his party to return to cronyism and coercion. Peña Nieto, a former governor of the state of Mexico, has pledged to run a super-efficient government based on results.

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is the presidential candidate for the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD). (Marco Ugarte - AP)
Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador , 59, is the former mayor of Mexico City and the face of the political left in Mexico, the Party of Democratic Revolution, or PRD. He narrowly lost his presidential bid in 2006 by less than one percent — and he claimed election fraud by his opponent Felipe Calderon was the reason. This time around, Lopez Obrador, whom everyone calls AMLO, has declared his candidacy one of love versus confrontation. He has pledged to get Mexico growing again at six percent, to strengthen programs to reduce poverty, and to end the business monopolies that make Mexico less competitive.

Josefina Vazquez Mota is the presidential candidate for the ruling party, National Action Party (PAN). (Marco Ugarte - AP)

Josefina Vazquez Mota , 51, represents the ruling party of Calderon, the National Action Party, and that is part of her challenge. Voters seem tired of Calderon and the PAN. Vazquez Mota served as secretary of education under Calderon and while she is credited with some minor success, she ultimately failed to transform Mexico’s poorly performing public education system, which is run by the teachers’ union and its powerful boss. Vazquez Mota’s campaign advertisements describe her — the first women contending for the top spot — as “different.” But most of her proposals would continue to follow Calderon’s lead.

Check out our gallery of Mexico’s campaign trail below:

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