The election of Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) on July 1 delivered a crushing defeat to Mexico’s Partido Institutional Revolucionario (PRI). It won not only the presidency, but dominance in both legislative houses and all but two of the state governorships. AMLO lifted aspirations by campaigning against poverty, corruption and state violence. But what will he deliver?
In his third run for the presidency, AMLO created the left-of-center Movimiento de Regeneración Nacional (Morena), and a three-party electoral coalition that combined political reformists, disaffected industrialists, and ultra-conservative evangelicals. They had only one thing in common: a determination to unseat the PRI. AMLO’s newly announced cabinet reflects this same political conglomeration. His actions reflect his stated view that Mexico’s extreme economic inequality is not rooted in class differences!
The new president portrays himself as the champion of the poor. But in action, he collaborates with the wealthy, promising them no expropriations, no increased taxes, and no fundamental change in the system. He campaigned against corruption, yet has already promised immunity to outgoing president Peña Nieto and his fellow crooks. If the hopes of those who voted the Morena ticket are to be realized, it will not be by AMLO’s machinations, but through their own mass organizing.