Mexico went to the polls on Sunday to choose its new president in the most significant elections in a generation.
With corruption soaring and violence at its worst level in modern history, the new president will also have to deal with President Donald Trump and his attacks on Mexico and Nafta.
The outgoing leader, Enrique Peña Nieto, has suffered from the lowest approval ratings since records began and been dogged by a series of corruption scandals. Mexicans are united in a desire for change, but divided on how to achieve it.
Leading in the polls is Andrés Manuel López Obrador, a veteran Left wing populist making his third attempt at the presidency, and promising to wipe out corruption, support the poor and work with Mr Trump “with dignity”.
He is trailed by Ricardo Anaya, a 39-year-old lawyer from the PAN – a party whose leader in the senate announced, on the eve of the vote, that Mr Anaya was “a danger to Mexico”, and was promptly expelled from their ranks.
Representing the ruling PRI is Jose Antonio Meade, 49, an experienced but notably uncharismatic politician who is loved by the world of international finance but has generated little enthusiasm at home.
The expectation of a López Obrador victory was clear in the media scrum that broke out when the candidate arrived at a polling station in the south of Mexico City nearly an hour before it was due to open at 8am.
“This is a historic day,” he said as he waited to vote. “More than an election this is a referendum. People are going to decide whether they want more of the same or true change.”
Mr López Obrador was later joined by two of the three sons he had with his now deceased first wife, as well as his second wife and their son, 11-year-old Jesús Ernesto, who was named after Jesus Christ and Ernesto “Che” Guevara, and who he hugged to his chest as the media jostled for position.
Things were far less frenetic when his rivals voted later in the morning.
After queueing quietly for over an hour to vote in his home city of Querétaro, Mr Anaya gave a brief press conference punctuated by well-wishers who chanted “Presidente!”
“Just positive messages today,” the candidate said with a fixed smile.
Mr Meade voted near to his home in a wealthy district in the capital, after which he said he would be heading for mass.
“Are you going to pray to win?” a reporter shouted out. “I will be praying for Mexico,” he responded.
Over 100 candidates and officials have been murdered in the run up to the elections, and on the eve of the vote a drug cartel in Acapulco strung a message from a bridge warning that if anyone meddles with the electoral process, “we will come for you”.
In a midday message to the nation, the head of the National Electoral Institute, Lorenzo Córdova, said all but four polling stations had been installed and that the election was transpiring without major problems.
Even so, local media reported a steady trickle of violent incidents linked to the election, such as the armed robbery of ballots in a district of Mexico City and in the western state of Michoacán.
Emerging from a polling station set up in a primary school in the working class Doctores district in Mexico City, Concepción Ramírez said she had voted for the PRI all her life but was now “voting for the tiger,” by which she meant Mr López Obrador.
“I’ve lost all faith in the PRI. They were supposed to be revolutionary but they have sold us out so often and spent all these years robbing us,” she said.
“And if I am going to get robbed, at least let it be by other people."
Turnout appeared to be relatively high, with particularly long queues forming outside the limited number of special polling stations set up for people to vote when they are away from home.
Who such voter enthusiasm might favour was unclear.
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Gerardo Martínez, a 31-year-old archaeologist from the southern state of Yucatán, who waited six hours to vote at one such polling station in a public hospital in Mexico City, said he had grown to like Mr López Obrador over the years because he had “grown more tranquil.”
But, he added, the main reason he had given him his vote was a burning desire to see somebody else in charge.
“We can’t go on with this constant state of war, with all the disappearances of the people, with the mess that the PRI made for 71 years and the PAN made worse after that,” he said.
“It is time to give somebody else a try. People are really fed up.”
Ana Laura González, who is from Monterrey in the north of Mexico, was equally determined to register her objection to the Leftist’s likely victory.
“I voted for Anaya because he wants to take Mexico into the first world,” he said Ana Laura González.
"López Obrador wants to treat everybody the same and give people money even if they don’t work, and I don’t think that ‘s a good idea for Mexico."
Still in the queue, 45-year-old Eduardo Arellano, who works in bank security, said he feared a López Obrador victory would weaken the country’s institutions.
"I think the people who say he will turn Mexico into the next Venezuela are going too far, but I think there is a danger that he could destabilize the country with bad populist decisions," he said. "With Meade carrying all the dirt of the PRI on his back, the only real option is Anaya."
In Ciudad Juárez, a border city whose life blood is trade with the US, voters were deeply concerned.
After a period of calm, violence is once again soaring – the cartel-wracked city had in May its most murderous month in seven years – and opponents of Mr López Obrador fear he will turn Mexico into Venezuela or Cuba.
Jorge Hernández, manning the polls, puffed out his chest and said with pride he was determined to ensure a free and fair election to end Mexico’s reputation for corruption.
Jorge Hernandez, manning the polls in Ciudad Juarez: “I’m so happy to be involved today. It’s incredibly important that this vote is free and fair – and I won’t take any nonsense. We desperately need change, and if we want change, we have to vote for it.”https://t.co/NzGSgM5hsd pic.twitter.com/X8zUfJ3AKK
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"I’m so happy to be involved," he said. "It’s so important.
"If we want something to change we have to vote for it. Our election is going to be clean – if I see anything at all out of order, I’m going to report it.
"We have such a bad reputation internationally. I want that to change."
Cynthia Pérez, a 23-year-old worker in a maquiladora – a foreign-run factory – said she was voting for Mr López Obrador to end corruption.
“He can’t be any worse than Peña Nieto,” she said.
"They’ll never end the drug trafficking. But I want one party to win control of the states and federal government, so at least they will work together to make things better, rather than trying to undo the other’s work."
When asked if she was worried about the results of the election, she laughed.
“More scared than living here every day? No way.”