Mexican presidential candidate Margarita Zavala to speak at UCSD

LA JOLLA, Calif. – The woman who hopes to be Mexico’s first female president, Margarita Zavala, will deliver a talk Friday at UC San Diego.

Zavala will discuss her new book “Es la hora de Mexico (This is Mexico’s Time)” and do a book signing following the event. The talk will be in Spanish, though English translation services will be available.

Zavala is a lawyer and teacher who served in Mexico City government and the federal Legislature. She was first lady from 2006 to 2012 during the presidency of her husband, Felipe Calderon.

The now-independent Zavala left the center-right National Action Party in the fall, over two years after launching her presidential bid and at a time she was considered a front runner.

“Anti-democratic conditions took hold in the (National Action Party) just like we had criticized in the (Institutional Revolutionary Party) and other parties,” she said, according to Reuters.

She is now in last place in the polls.

Zavala was the only independent candidate to land enough signatures to qualify for the ballot and has taken aim at dishonesty among her rivals.

“We have three candidates who represent the snare of money in politics, the politics of corruption,” she said during a recent speech.

The official three-month campaign season kicked off on April 1. Zavala will face off against former Mexico City mayor Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, front runner and leader of the leftist National Regeneration Movement; Ricardo Anaya, president of the National Action Party; and Jose Antonio Mead of the centrist Institutional Revolutionary Party, a former minister of foreign affairs.