Human tide in Mexico in support of President Obrador

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Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador led a giant protest in support of his policies on Sunday, with his spokesman claiming more than a million people. Two possible dolphins of the head of state walked with him, while the presidential election, in which he cannot run, will take place in 2024.

This is a first for decades: the Mexican President, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, led Sunday, November 27 in the streets of Mexico City a human tide in support of his policy.

“AMLO”, the nationalist left-wing president who is almost 60% popular according to opinion polls, took more than five hours to travel four kilometers to the emblematic square of the Zocalo, surrounded by a huge crowd of supporters. Joined by AFP, the spokesman for the presidency, Jesus Ramirez claimed “1.2 million” demonstrators on “nine kilometers” in total. No independent estimate was available.

It is the first time that a Mexican president in office has taken the lead of a demonstration since Lazaro Cardenas (1934-1940), according to the site of the Spanish newspaper El Pais which quotes historians, political scientists and academics.

At the end of the march, the president presented the account of his four years in power in front of tens of thousands of people on Zocalo shouting at him “You are not alone!”. “No to re-election!”, He launched them from the start, as if to dispel any hope that he was clinging to power. The Constitution only provides for a single presidential term of six years.

“Priority to the poor”, “increase in the minimum wage”, budgetary austerity, without creating “new debt”: the president detailed for an hour his policy which he presents as a break with more than 30 years of “neo-liberalism “.

Among other things, he asked the United States to stop any hostile policy towards Mexicans who work legally on the other side of the border.

Throughout the day, AMLO, 69, was followed by demonstrators often brought by bus from states in the interior of the country (Veracruz, Guerrero…) Proof of the mobilization capacity of the ruling party, the Movement for National Regeneration (Morena), at the head of more than half of the 32 states with its allies.

“He did what no president has done for the poor, even if he has to improve a few points, such as insecurity,” Ramon Suarez, an electrician, told AFP during the march. “I like the AMLO way of governing,” enthused Alma Perez, a 35-year-old educator from the southern state of Guerrero.

“I don’t listen to the criticisms that are made of him. For example, the violence didn’t start with him,” she added, referring to the tens of thousands of homicides that Mexico continues to record each year (33,308 in 2021).

Two weeks ago, tens of thousands of people marched in Mexico City against an electoral reform project.

“Show your muscles”

Willingly dividing to maintain political “polarization”, the president had estimated that his opponents were in fact defending “racism, classism and corruption”.

He wants to “show his muscles,” said Fernando Dworak, an analyst at the Autonomous Technological Institute of Mexico (ITAM), contacted by AFP. “The opposition made a big mistake believing they could defeat the president on the streets,” he continued.

Sunday’s mobilization comes less than two years from the presidential election of 2024. Two possible dolphins of the president walked with him, the mayor of Mexico City Claudia Sheinbaum and the Minister of Foreign Affairs Marcelo Ebrard. The president did not name any names in his speech.

Electoral Reform Project

Buoyed by the popularity of its leader, the Morena party is in a strong position against an opposition bloc which brings together the PRI, the former party in power for 70 years, the PAN (right) and the PRD (left ). This alliance has recently split, before regaining its unity against the electoral reform project.

The reform claims that the members of the National Electoral Institute (INE) are elected, and no longer chosen by the parties. Its detractors accuse AMLO of wanting to end the “independence” of INE, which has overseen the organization of elections since its creation in 1990.

The opposition also accuses the Mexican president of authoritarianism and wanting to “militarize” the country. AMLO has in fact entrusted the army with several major projects as well as public security tasks in a country that is unable to emerge from the violence of drug trafficking.

In his speech, the president justified the controversial passage of the National Guard under the tutelage of the army “so that it does not fall victim to corruption, as with the former federal police”.

With AFP

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