The World Today for July 12, 2023


Not Going Anywhere


Since he began his six-year term of office in December 2018, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the center-left populist has stirred controversy, particularly with his plans to root out corrupt interests and invest in public infrastructure to help the working class.

López Obrador, also known popularly as AMLO, recently pledged to tackle fraud and corruption at Segalmex, a government agency that aims to advocate for self-sufficiency in agriculture, for example, reported Reuters.

He has also endorsed proposals to allow Mexican drug cartels to reach peace agreements among themselves to reduce violence in the country, added La Prensa Latina, a Cuban state-owned news agency. More than 110,000 people are listed as missing in Mexico. Many could be among the 52,000 bodies discovered in unmarked graves in the country.

López Obrador has repeatedly clashed with Mexico’s Supreme Court on the many executive orders and other measures he’s sought to enact to achieve his goals, reported El País. The court has considered more than 800 questions about the constitutionality of his proposals, ruling that 572 violated the constitution.

American officials have criticized López Obrador for spending money on social programs rather than devoting funding to the war against drugs and other American priorities, noted the Intercept. Canadian officials don’t like how he is exerting more control over his country’s petroleum, mining, and other energy industries, added Jacobin magazine.

Writers at the Economist even criticized him for not spending enough to boost his country’s economy, contrasting his approach to Brazilian and Pakistani leaders who sunk their nations deeper into debt to stoke demand during the coronavirus pandemic and after.

Despite the flak, López Obrador’s approval ratings now exceed 60 percent, according to the Americas Society/Council of the Americas. It looks like his Morena political party will also perform well when Mexican voters elect a new president in June 2024.

While polls said that 48 percent of the public would support a Morena candidate, only 18 percent said they would support candidates from the largest opposition group the National Action Party. A shockingly low 14 percent said they would cast ballots for the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, which has ruled Mexico for most of the time it has been an independent country.

In a potential sign of the future, the Guardian wrote, López Obrador’s ally Delfina Gomez recently defeated an incumbent from the PRI in the state of Mexico, a region that surrounds the capital of Mexico City.

López Obrador will leave office next year. His policies, however, aren’t going anywhere.

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