Ms Ortega, who hails from the small town of Dzemul in Yucatán state, won elections for the governorship as the candidate for the left-wing PRI political party on May 21, 2007 and was sworn into office on August 1, 2007.

Fighting poverty

Following her electoral triumph, Ms Ortega said that she would work every day to ensure that the state made poverty a thing of the past. She declared that she would be committed to fulfil her election promises, including a bullet train, the generation of 100,000 new jobs, and the construction of 80,000 homes.

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Ms Ortega is governor of a state with 1.9 million people in total, the 20th biggest in the country by population. It has a total area of 38 square kilometres, making it the 21st largest state by geographic size.

Tourism target

The state is located in the northern part of the peninsula, also called Yucatán, near the Gulf of Mexico. It is becoming a highly important tourist destination because of its proximity to the Caribbean, and Ms Ortega claims that the state is one of the safest in Mexico.

Yucatán, whose capital is the colonial city of Mérida, has important Mayan archaeological sites, including Chichén Itzá, which has been named as one of the new seven wonders of the world, but its most important industries are agribusiness and fishing.