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A passel of hassles for Mexico City's mayor

October 21, 2008 |  9:13 am

Traffic, naked protesters and street vendors are some of the biggest daily headaches for Mexico City Mayor Marcelo Ebrard.

As Ken Ellingwood reported over the weekend:

Marcelo Ebrard has turned this balmy city into an ice skaters' wonderland. He's conjured sandy beaches far from the sea. He's made hordes of annoying hawkers vanish from the historic main plaza.

In nearly two years as mayor of Mexico's capital, Ebrard has shown a bent for splashy initiatives to ease the strains of daily life in a huge and unruly city. But the question is whether the leftist mayor can succeed against the city's deep problems: legendary traffic, kidnappings, poverty, eye-stinging smog, water shortages, an aging subway system and crooked police. It is a tall order.

If he does, the 49-year-old Ebrard could be a contender for the country's top office. A wonkish technocrat with years of working the halls of Mexico City's government, he has signaled his presidential aspirations, though the election is four years away.

Click here for more on Mexico.

-- Deborah Bonello in Mexico City