For 13 years, Mexico’s perennial political outsider Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has covered tens of thousands of miles crisscrossing the nation in dogged pursuit of its highest office.
Now the 64-year-old Communist is on the brink of winning Sunday’s presidential election, having spent his political career railing against Mexico’s establishment, Reuters reports.
Years of mounting drug violence, sluggish economic growth and corruption have gradually eroded the credibility of the political class, leaving Lopez Obrador as the last man standing.
Pledging to clean up government, reduce inequality and subdue gang violence, he promises to “transform” a country he says has been debased by the few at the expense of the many.
Commonly known as AMLO, Lopez Obrador has bounced back from two presidential election defeats, two gubernatorial losses and a 2013 heart attack to defy his critics with an unshakeable faith in his ability to tackle Mexico’s ills.
“We’re the only ones that can put an end to corruption in Mexico,” Lopez Obrador told supporters this year in Cintalapa, a town in the impoverished south of the country.
The prospect of a showdown between the blunt Lopez Obrador and Trump over the planned U.S.-Mexico border wall and the American’s efforts to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has both friends and enemies worried.
“There’s going to be a clash of vanities, a clash of egos, and who knows where it will end,” said Juan Jose Rodriguez Prats, a former party colleague, friend and later adversary of Lopez Obrador who has known him for 40 years.
So if by now you don’t think America needs a border wall, and needs one yesterday, you’re either ignorant, a traitor, or an ignorant traitor.
Communist Mexican presidential candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) called for a mass immigration invasion of the United States during a speech Tuesday declaring it a “human right” for all North Americans.
“And soon, very soon — after the victory of our movement — we will defend all the migrants in the American continent and all the migrants in the world,” Obrador said, adding that immigrants “must leave their towns and find a life in the United States.”
Obrador has previously proposed granting amnesty to Mexican drug cartels.
“If it is necessary … we will talk about granting amnesty so long as the victims and their families are willing,” he said.
He later told reporters: “We’ll propose it. I’m analyzing it. What I can say is that we will leave no issue without discussion if it has to do with peace and tranquility.”
López Obrador’s opponents in the political and business classes condemned the idea, and conservatives are nervous about thea surge in support for the populist spouting Marxist talking points.
His comments also brought accusations of extreme insensitivity, as drug cartels have been responsible for horrific crimes against rivals and innocent bystanders. Guerrero itself has been badly hit by a war for control of the opium poppy and heroin industries, and López Obrador made the remarks in a town where violence is so severe that his own political party, Morena, has still not been able to find a candidate.
“I would hope they never kidnap, torture, kill, disappear and burn [his] loved ones,” José Díaz Navarro, whose brother was kidnapped and killed in the area, told El Universal. “We’ll see if after this he would come to Guerrero to ask them for forgiveness.”
Meanwhile, cartels are assassinating politicians who are opposed to their control over the nation.
At least 113 candidates, pre-candidates, and current and former politicians have been killed and 300 more have suffered some form of aggression since September, according to Etellekt, a Mexico City–based public policy consultancy. Even the government’s tally — 34, which considers only candidates — pushes this particular death toll to nearly four per month.
Astonishing as these numbers are, they only tell part of the story: There are hundreds of candidates who have backed out of their races out of fear for their safety, and many others who have curbed their campaign activities. This poses a significant challenge to Mexico’s attempt to curtail cartel control over their nation which is already crippled by systemic corruption and widespread impunity.
Mr Americana, Overpasses News Desk
June 26th, 2018