López Obrador: No time to lose

Andres Manuel López Obrador says there is no time to lose to transform his country. After being elected President of Mexico July 1, he announced the first 13 reforms that he will send to Congress and that will mark the beginning of his government. But questions remain as to the situation he will be faced with when he assumes the presidency on December 1st.

The Mexico that López Obrador is to inherit is a country where violence, impunity, poverty, strained diplomatic relations, a weak economy, and cases of corruption have generated a crisis of unprecedented dimensions.

To offer just a few examples, from December 2012 to May 2018, 119,393 intentional homicides were recorded in Mexico, and there are currently 37,435 persons registered as disappeared.

According to a report by the National Human Rights Commission, from 2012 to 2017, 25 recommendations were issued relating to serious human rights violations. The killings of journalists reached a record figure with 44 cases documented under the current government, and a total of 117 recorded since 2000.

This is the scenario that the next government of the Republic will face, in addition to the consequences of the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the virtual bankruptcy of the Mexican state-owned petroleum company, PEMEX, and a human rights crisis that transcends borders.

The measures presented last Wednesday by the President-elect represent some of the legislative priorities of his government, and an attempt to address many of these problems.

Among other areas, included is a reform to end public officials’ – including the president – exemption from prosecution and other privileges, and an announced law to allow recall referendums to revoke their mandates.

López Obrador explained that the reform to end privileges and immunity means that the President can be tried for electoral crimes and corruption, for which he is also requesting increased sentences, as well as for the theft of fuel.

The leader of the MORENA Party stated that he will undertake changes that will make it possible to streamline the public administration structure, as part of an announced austerity plan that also includes reducing the salaries of high-ranking officials and eliminating pensions for former presidents.

“Everything to do with the republican austerity plan and fighting corruption will have priority from the first day of the new Congress,” López Obrador added.

He also reiterated that he will seek to revoke or modify the educational reform undertaken by the current government, and establish the right to free public education at all levels of schooling.

“The consultation mechanism will be established by law for the revocation of mandates and will remove obstacles in all citizen referendum procedures, that must be binding in nature, with the purpose of enforcing participatory democracy,” he noted.

López Obrador secured a landslide victory with electoral pledges relating to the elimination of the profound corruption that plagues the country, which has also been hit by increased violence and weak economic growth.

This will be a huge challenge and not only for him, but also for his cabinet, which he has already begun to shape with the inclusion of different political and economic figures, who should, in his own words, work together on a common project that raises Mexico beyond what it is today.


- Regulatory law on maximum wages
- Creation of the Secretariat for Public Security
- Abolition of impunity and privileges
- New serious offences: corruption, fuel theft and electoral fraud
- Budget and Income Law
- Transfer the General Staff to the Secretariat of National Defense
- Revoke decrees on water privatization
- Revoke educational reform laws
- Incorporate the right to higher education into Article 3 of the Constitution
- Revocation of Mandate
- Remove obstacles to Referendum
- Reforms on increasing the minimum wage at the border
- Adjust the administration to an austerity plan, without layoffs of lower level workers

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Against All Odds: López Obrador, President of Mexico

The fraud intents, neither the fear campaign, nor the killing of political leaders could prevent him as in the two previous elections that the left-wing leader Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) were elected President in the general elections of last Sunday in Mexico.

Before making official the results – to be known next Wednesday 4th - and only ten minutes after the closing of the voting, something unusual happened: the official candidate, José Antonio Meade, from the Institutional Revolutionary Party (IRP), admitted that the results didn't favor him. The opposite happened to López Obrador who within a long period of five months will begin his office, which will extend up to 2024.

Something similar did Ricardo Anaya later, candidate for the conservative National Action Party (NAP) who finished second, and the independent Jaime Heliodoro Rodríguez, a.k.a. El Bronco.

Nevertheless, AMLO waited for the results shown by the trends that assured him the victory to proclaim it, and he celebrated before dozens of thousands of followers in El Zocalo Theater of the capital, after the headquarters of his electoral campaign expressed they will mainly fight corruption, because this was the root of all other evils, they would address all of them, mainly to the indigenous peoples of Mexico.

Although the voting is incomplete, it assured López Obrador’s victory who always supported non-violence elections and that cooperate to the necessary national understanding, which includes fighting corruption.

He thanked the attitude of president Peña Nieto in this elections, as well as the press which before was characterized as an open war against him. “I want to go down into history as a good President of Mexico and praise the greatness of our Homeland”, he said.

Off the record the 63,8% of voters participated. AMLO obtained 53,89% of votes; Anaya, 22,8%; Meade, 16,3%, and El Bronco, 5,5%.

The victory has greater impact because not for an instant has stopped the political violence and the forced disappearance, with regrettable outcome, among other things, 133 political killings, even in the voting day, when armed groups even stole several urns.

The National Electoral Institute, nevertheless, affirmed that only 14 electoral colleges could not open, it mentioned the transparency of elections that presented facts like the late opening of colleges and the gathering of voters in front of them; the debatable determination that houses could act as electoral colleges; the overtly buying of votes by members of the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party to residents from the poorest neighborhoods, the protests of several citizens who could not vote due to shortage of electoral material.

In general, not only the presidency was at stake, but also the positions of 128 senators, 500 deputies, and the local authorities, among them eight governors, 972 delegations, 1 596 city councils, 184 municipal boards and 16 mayoralties, among them that of the capital, Mexico City.

These results will eventually go public, and they are key for the good performance of the Board, although it transcended that AMLO’s followers control most of it.


In an interview granted in Axtla de Terrazas, Andrés Manuel López Obrador advanced that the new Plan for Development 2018-2024 was elaborated by 200 experts, among professionals from all sectors, academics, managers, intellectuals and members of the civil society who have worked for months.

He clarified that most of those who elaborated the plan are not militant of the National Regeneration Movement (MORENA for its acronym in Spanish), although they do belong to the other group Together we’ll Make History, but they accepted and he invited citizens to know on Monday November 20th the details of the plan.

About the negotiation of the Free Trade Treaty, Andrés Manuel López Obrador considered that the Mexican government has to diversify the foreign commerce, “not putting all eggs in one basket, we need to diversify our international relationships, but without submission to anyone”, he added.

The president of the National Executive Committee of MORENA proposed that they have to seek commercial relationships and of cooperation for development with all countries of the world, to keep the relationship with the United States and attempt to keep the Free Trade Treaty.

On the other hand, López Obrador informed that the MORENA’s candidates don't have prior criminal records, he manifested that communities will be protected, the destruction of the territory, and the contamination of waters, won't be allowed and the environment will be protected.

He made a commitment that no foreign company will come to step on the dignity of Mexicans.

About his project on security, López Obrador indicated that first there should be some work done, attention to the youths and well-being so to attain that security.

López Obrador said that “we have to come together to achieve the domestic transformation”, and he informed that his commitment is “to end corruption in the country and I will keep all my promises as I did as Chief of Government of Mexico City, and for that reason the people in Mexico City keep supporting me.”

He added that in the last two elections, MORENA has been the party with more votes in Mexico City and “it’s precisely as they know me, they know I keep my promises.”

This is part of the commitments of AMLO, a man who is making history in the needed Mexico. We will have to keep writing about him.

Cubasi Translation Staff / Amilkal Labañino Valdés

AMLO's Coalition Sweeps Mexico's Chamber and Senate

In all Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, or AMLO's, party swept over 91 percent of all legislative districts and won a landslide of municipal elections. 

With over 60 percent of the votes counted so far in Mexico's general elections on Sunday, the Morena party and the Together We Will Make History coalition are slated to gain an absolute majority in both the Chamber of Deputies and Senate giving freshly elected president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, or AMLO, ample legislative support when he enters office next December.

RELATED: AMLO Wins Mexico's Presidential Elections with 53%

According to political scientist Javier Marquez at the Center for Economic Investigations (CIDE), Morena and the Together We Will Make History coalition Morena won 193 seats and the coalition partner, the Workers’ Party (PT) took another 54 deputies in the house. The conservative Social Encounter Party (PES) that also forms a part of the coalition won 58, giving the coalition a combined 312 seats out of the house’s 500.

In the Senate, Morena is set to gain 55 of 128 seats. The PT won six and PES, eight. This makes a coalition total of 69 - an absolute majority in the Senate as well, as was projected. In all, Morena candidates won 91 percent of all congressional districts.

The centrist National Action Party (PAN) will have 79 house deputies and the current ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party - PRI - went from 204 to 42 seats in the house, according to Marquez and the National Electoral Institute. The remainder of the seats will be occupied by the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) and smaller parties.

In the Senate, PAN won 23 seats, PRI 12, and the PRD, nine.

AMLO’s Morena party also swept the local elections. The party took 80.2 percent of municipal polls, while PAN had a sorry turn out of 11.5 percent and the PRI, 8.2 percent of local votes.

In his acceptance speech on Sunday night, Lopez Obrador called on Mexicans to put aside personal interests in politics and make the public interest priority.

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AMLO Wins Mexico's Presidential Elections with 53%

The country's election board said the center-left candidate has won the elections with a wide lead. 

The leftist candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador won the presidency of Mexico Sunday with at over 53 percent of the vote, according to a preliminary quick count released by the electoral authority INE.

RELATED: Live Updates: AMLO's Rivals Concede Defeat in Mexican Elections

In his first public speech after the quick count was published, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador addressed his supporters from his campaign headquarters at the Hilton Hotel in Mexico City's and said he will combat and punish corruption, even if he has to go after his own partners in the struggle.

“The transformation we will carry out will basically consist on kicking out corruption from our country. We won't have any problem with this because the people of Mexico are the heir of great civilizations and is smart... corruption is not a cultural phenomena, but the result of a decadent political regime,” he said.

AMLO is running on an anti-corruption political platform and hopes to recover 10 percent of the national budget by combating it.

“A good judge starts in his own home,” he added. He said there will be deep changes, but always respectful of legal order.

“There will be entrepreneurship, expression and belief freedom. Every individual and social guarantee will be respected,” said Obrador, who also promised the central bank will be autonomous and there will be no naturalization.

Regarding migration, the new government will try to strengthen the internal market, to produce what the country consumes, and do everything necessary so Mexicans can stay, work and be happy in their place of origin.

“Whoever wants to migrate he should do it out of pleasure and not out of necessity,” he said.

After his short speech at the Hilton Hotel, Lopez Obrador headed to El Zocalo, Mexico's largest square, where he addressed thousands of supporters gathering there since polls stations started closing.

He said his government will be a transition period for a new era in Mexico's history and that his government will always stay close to the people.

"I will do another tour of the country as president-elect. There will not be a divorce now that we won and we’re forming a government. No, this is the government of the people, for the people and by the people," he said at Zocalo.

RELATED: Latin America, World's Leftist Leaders Support Mexico's AMLO

Shortly after the official preliminary results began rolling out, the right-wing candidates Ricardo Anaya, from the National Action Party (PAN), Jose Antonio Meade, from the Revolutionary Institutional Party (PRI) and the independent Jaime Rodriguez “El Bronco,” conceded defeat in the presidential race.

With only 0.3 percent of the ballots counted, the candidate and head of the National Renewal Party (Morena) has 46.49 percent of the votes and some exit polls gave him more than 50 percent of the voting preference.

"I wish the best of luck for the new government, for the well being of our country that deserves to be ruled with responsibility. I'll take a few days to reflect on my future, but be certain I'll keep working for a better Mexico," said Meade in front of his supporters as he recognized AMLO's unstoppable lead.

“No democracy works without democrats. That's why I tell Mexicans today the result's information we have now favors Andres Manuel,” said Anaya. An official, non-conclusive quick count will be published by 11 p.m., Mexico City's time.

After the announcement, Current President Enrique Peña Nieto congratulated the 64-year veteran politician and offered him support to make an orderly and efficient transition.

Lopez Obrador will take office on Dec. 1.

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Mexico Candidates Concede Defeat, Recognize AMLO's Victory

AMLO projected to win the Mexican presidency.

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador will soon be declared the next president of Mexico as all his rivals recognized his overwhealming lead in the preliminary results and exit polls, and congratulated him for his victory.

RELATED: Latin America, World's Leftist Leaders Support Mexico's AMLO

Shortly after the official preliminary results began rolling out, the right-wing candidates Ricardo Anaya, from the National Action Party (PAN), Jose Antonio Meade, from the Revolutionary Institutional Party (PRI) and the independent Jaime Rodriguez “El Bronco,” conceded defeat in the presidential race.

With only 0.3 percent of the ballots counted, the candidate and head of the National Renewal Party (Morena) has 46.49 percent of the votes and some exit polls gave him more than 50 percent of the voting preference.

"I wish the best of luck for the new government, for the well being of our country that deserves to be ruled with responsibility. I'll take a few days to reflect on my future, but be certain I'll keep working for a better Mexico," said Meade in front of his supporters as he recognized AMLO's unstoppable lead.

“No democracy works without democrats. That's why I tell Mexicans today the result's information we have now favors Andres Manuel,” said Anaya. An official, non-conclusive quick count will be published by 11 p.m., Mexico City's time.

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Mexico votes for new president, leftist rebel favored to win

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexicans vote for a new president on Sunday in an election tipped to hand power to an anti-establishment outsider who would inject a new dose of nationalism into government and could sharpen divisions with Donald Trump’s United States.

Former Mexico City mayor Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has led opinion polls throughout the campaign and would be the first leftist to take the presidency in decades in Mexico if he ousts the ruling centrist Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).

Runner-up in the 2012 and 2006 elections, Lopez Obrador pitches himself as the only man capable of cleaning up a political class whose credibility has been ground down by persistent graft, soaring crime levels and years of sub-par economic growth.

“The new president of Mexico will have moral and political authority to demand everyone behaves with integrity and make honesty a priority as a way of life,” Lopez Obrador said in his campaign finale in a soccer stadium in the capital on Wednesday.


The law bars current President Enrique Pena Nieto from seeking re-election. But his popularity crumbled as his name became tainted by investigations into alleged conflicts-of-interest and embezzlement scandals engulfing top PRI officials.

Campaigning relentlessly around Mexico for the past 13 years, Lopez Obrador has watched political careers rise and fall as established parties were consumed by the country’s social and economic problems and the responsibility of power.

For a graphic on Mexico's presidential election, click tmsnrt.rs/2MVhfjA

“Let’s hope Mexico changes,” said Oswaldo Angeles, 20, a Lopez Obrador supporter from Atlacomulco, a longstanding PRI bastion some 55 miles (90 km) from Mexico City and hometown of Pena Nieto. “Right now, we don’t know if we’re coming or going.”

Lopez Obrador, 64, has been vague on policy details. Seeking to harness support from economic nationalists, leftist liberals and social conservatives, he vows to reduce inequality, improve pay and welfare spending, as well as run a tight budget.

https://s2.reutersmedia.net/resources/r/?m=02&d=20180701&t=2&i=1278323136&r=LYNXMPEE6012F&w=1200A campaign banner featuring an image of Mexico's presidential election front-runner Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of the National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) is displayed outside a house before the upcoming July 1 presidential election, in Mexico City, Mexico, June 30, 2018. REUTERS/Daniel Becerril

A vocal opponent of the government’s economic agenda, his criticism has been tempered by business-friendly aides.

But he has played with the idea of referendums to resolve divisive issues like whether to continue with Pena Nieto’s opening of the oil and gas industry to private capital.

His rivals Ricardo Anaya, an ex-leader of the center-right National Action Party (PAN) heading a right-left alliance, and PRI candidate Jose Antonio Meade, a former finance minister, differ only in nuance in their support of the energy reform.

Their efforts to catch Lopez Obrador have been hampered by attacks on each other, allowing him to build a lead that some opinion polls have put in excess of 20 percentage points. They also represent the only two parties to have ruled modern Mexico.


If victorious, Lopez Obrador faces a tougher security situation than did Peña Nieto. The election campaign has been the bloodiest in recent history and murders are at record highs.

The next president will also inherit a simmering dispute with U.S. counterpart Donald Trump over migration and trade, with talks to rework the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) unresolved, pressuring Mexico’s peso currency.

Trump has threatened to pitch North America into a costly trade war over NAFTA, and his insistence that Mexico pay for his planned border wall has deeply angered many Mexicans.

Lopez Obrador has trodden carefully and wants to broker a deal with Trump under which Mexico would work to rein in illegal immigration in return for economic support. [L1N1TC09R]

If that proves impossible and Trump keeps provoking Mexico, few think the fiercely patriotic Lopez Obrador will stay silent.

A man walks past a National Electoral Institute (INE) billboard ahead of the upcoming July 1 presidential election, in Mexico City, Mexico, June 30, 2018. REUTERS/Daniel Becerril

How much heft Lopez Obrador can bring to bear both domestically and internationally will depend significantly on his control of Congress, where no party has held an outright majority since 1997 in Latin America’s no. 2 economy.

Polls suggest his National Regeneration Movement (MORENA), a party that has only existed formally since 2014, could be close to reaching a majority. However, markets may react negatively if voters give him too free a hand in Congress.

Lopez Obrador has been a divisive figure in Mexico since bringing much of the capital to a standstill for weeks with massive demonstrations to protest his 2006 election loss.

His commanding poll lead this time around has led analysts to question how deep-rooted the support really is.

“There’s a sense of poor old (Lopez Obrador), he’s not had a go yet, it’s his turn. We may as well give it a shot,” said Sofia Lara, 25, a graphic designer in Mexico City backing Anaya.

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Mexico Battles Fraud, Ballot Thefts On Eve Of Elections

Voters will be monitored and any suspicious behavior will be recorded and reported to electoral authorities immediately, one electoral assistant said.

On the eve of Mexico's July 1 elections, fraud continues to take center-stage with two more batches of ballot boxes stolen from delivery trucks destined for parts of Oaxaca and the Chiapas, the State Electoral and Citizen Participation Institute (IEPC) reported Saturday.

RELATED: Mexico: Over 20,000 Ballots Stolen Spreading Fears of Fraud Ahead of Election

So far, reports suggest that seven ballot boxes have been stolen from Huixtan, Chiapas, with another 1,770 ballots intercepted in Oaxaca on their way to La Reforma and El Salitre.

According to Mexicos National Electoral Institute (INE), over 20,000 ballots have so far been stolen across the nation.

Meanwhile, 157,000 civilians will act as electoral assistants to ensure the elections proceed without incident. INE officials have said the ballot-counting machines are robust and have been tested in previous elections.

All voters will be monitored and any suspicious behavior will be recorded and reported to electoral authorities immediately, one volunteer, Beatriz Fenner, told EFE.

According to frontrunner Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, better known as AMLO, his defeats in 2006 and 2012 were due to fraud.

However, corruption watchdogs have voiced concern over the campaign funding of AMLO and his three competitors, Jose Antonio Meade and Ricardo Anaya. By law, presidential campaigns are primarily publicly funded, with some regulated private investment.

Candidates from the three main political parties say they have relied almost exclusively on public money from their parties to bankroll their campaigns, a total of US$32.1 million.

But campaign spending limits are often exceeded and poorly monitored, the INE said. Luis Carlos Ugalde, a former INE president, acknowledged that Mexico's strict limits on private donations are easily evaded by contributors seeking influence.

The presidential campaigns of Meade, with the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), and Anaya, of the National Action Party (PAN), both said public funding was sufficient, so they did not need private money.

AMLO, running for the MORENA party, declined to comment. So far, no complaints have arisen to contradict their claims.

Electoral results released by the Preliminary Electoral Results Program (PREP) will be available by 11p.m. local time on July 1.

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AMLO Increases Lead in Mexico's Presidential Polls

Already Mexico’s favorite to win next Sunday’s presidential elections, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) has increased his lead in the polls by 0.5 percentage points since last month, according to the Consulta Mitofsky polling firm.

The poll, which was released on Sunday, showed former Mexico City mayor AMLO had 37.7 percent of voter support. Meanwhile, his closest rival Ricardo Anaya, from the center-right National Action Party (PAN) and coalition For Mexico to the Front, fell 0.3 points to 20 percent since May. Consulta Mitofsky surveyed some 1,000 voters from June 16-19.

Candidate of the ruling conservative Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), Jose Antonio Meade, who remains the third most popular contender, rose to 17.7 percent from 17.1 percent last month.

While controversial independent contestant, Jaime Rodriguez, fell one-tenth of a point in this month’s polls to 3.1 percent of support.

The presidential election is on July 1.

This is AMLO’s third presidential race. The frontrunner was runner-up in both the 2006 and 2012 elections. After his most recent defeat, AMLO departed from the left-of-center Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) to form the National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) in 2012. Analysts say the new party is on track to become the biggest Congressional bloc after the general elections.

MORENA has entered electoral pacts with the smaller leftist Labor Party (PT) and the conservative, religious Social Encounter Party (PES). PRI and PAN members have even defected from their traditional parties to join AMLO's MORENA.

In the northeastern border state of Tamaulipas, where the PRI and PAN have been popular for decades, many candidates who are formerly of these two traditionally dominant parties will represent MORENA.

A candidate for mayor in Reynosa, Tamaulipas' biggest city, is a former PAN member who served in the state congress. MORENA also has mayoral contenders, all ex-PRI members, running across Nuevo Laredo, Matamoros and Tampico.

Lopez Obrador has vowed to root out corruption and violence, for which the PRI is widely blamed. Last year state prosecutors arrested a former PRI Tamaulipas governor for co-operating a major drug cartel - Gulf cartel.

AMLO has also pledged to raise the minimum wage, increase access to higher education and take the military off the streets, a measure which was codified by the current Enrique Peña Nieto administration in 2017.

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