Mexico’s next president could be on a collision course with Trump over immigration

9/21/2018 – Washington Post

Henry Romero/Reuters

Mexico’s incoming president, a relentless critic of the ruling elite, has voiced no objection to the free-trade deal its current government brokered with the United States.

On security matters, President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s team says it wants a productive relationship with the Trump administration and will continue partnering in the fight against drug cartels.

But if there is a potential source of conflict in the U.S.-Mexico relationship after Dec. 1, when López Obrador will take office, it is likely to be immigration enforcement. There, the left-wing Mexican populist and President Trump appear to be on a collision course.

The flow of Central American migrants through Mexico and into the United States — a matter of intense personal and political interest to the U.S. president — is on the rise again, defying Trump’s attempts to crack down at the border. Stopping migrants and asylum seekers through tougher enforcement is a priority for the Trump administration. López Obrador and his team have a different take.

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Mexico Will Seek Deal With Canada if NAFTA Talks Fail: Lopez Obrador

9/21/2018 – New York Times

Mexico's President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador speaks during a rally as part of a tour to thank supporters for his landslide victory in the July 1 election, in Mexicali
REUTERS/Cristian Torres

MEXICO CITY — Mexico’s incoming government will pursue a bilateral deal with Canada if talks to overhaul the North American Free Trade Agreement falter, Mexican president-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Friday.


After more than a year of talks to modernize the NAFTA trade pact between the United States, Mexico and Canada, the United States and Mexico reached a side deal in late August.

Days later, Canada began negotiating with the United States to close a deal on the 24-year-old trade pact. But the talks have hit an impasse over U.S. threats to impose tariffs to Canadian auto exports.

“We would like the government of the United States and the government of Canada to come to an agreement so the treaty can be trilateral, as it was originally signed,” said Lopez Obrador, a veteran leftist who takes office in December.

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Mexico’s President-Elect Stuck Aboard Delayed Flight

New York Times – 9/21/2018

Mexican Presidential Candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador Interview
(Photo: Christopher Goodney/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

MEXICO CITY — Mexico’s austerity-minded president-elect has vowed to sell the presidential jet and fly commercial. And he even appears prepared to suffer the plight of average travelers: being trapped on delayed flights.


Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador was stuck for at least three hours after his flight from the Huatulco airport in southern Mexico was delayed by air traffic and weather.

Passengers posted videos Thursday of Lopez Obrador speaking from his seat on the plane bound for Mexico City.

Lopez Obrador says the experience won’t make him change his mind.

He said, “I am not going to get on the presidential airplane. I would be ashamed … to have a luxury airplane in a country with so much poverty.”

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Singer Belinda Hit for Involvement in Mexican Politics

09/20/2018 – The New York Times

dt.common.streams.StreamServerPop singer Belinda may have illegally interfered in Mexico’s politics because she’s a Spanish citizen and campaigned for President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, authorities said Wednesday.

A rival party filed a complaint because the singer gave out articles with Lopez Obrador campaign emblems.

The singer, whose real name is Belinda Peregrin Schull, also appeared in his campaign.

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Mexico’s ‘AMLO’ to Rely on ‘Professionals’ for Security

08/09/18 New York Times

AMLO 3President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Thursday he will rely on a group of 10 women and 10 men for his personal security, sticking with a promise to fold into the Defense Department the service that has long guarded Mexico’s leaders.

Lopez Obrador said they will include “professionals” such as lawyers, doctors and engineers, all with a university degree or higher. They will receive some training, he said, “but not for the use of weapons.”

He described it as more of an “assistantship” than a bodyguard corps, and added he will also be protected by Mexicans of all stripes — police, soldiers, ordinary citizens.

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Mexico’s Lopez Obrador formally declared president-elect

08/08/18 Washington Post

AMLO 4Mexico’s electoral court has certified the July 1 victory of President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

The leftist candidate won in his third try for the presidency with a resounding 53 percent of the vote.

The formality carried out Wednesday allows Lopez Obrador to officially begin the transition to the presidency. He will take office Dec. 1.

In remarks before the electoral court, Lopez Obrador promised to fulfill all of his campaign promises and not let the people down.

Court President Janine Otalora called the election “historic” and says it showed the maturity of Mexico’s democracy.

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Governor of violent Mexican state wants regulation of opium poppies

07/24/2018 Reuters

la-fg-tijuana-journalists-violence-photos-005The governor of a violent, crime-ridden Mexican state that produces much of the local opium used to make heroin on Tuesday backed a proposal from the next government to decriminalize cultivation of opium poppies.

Olga Sanchez, the designated interior minister of incoming president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, has said the next administration will explore decriminalizing marijuana and regulating opium production for pharmaceutical use.

“It’s time,” Guerrero state Governor Hector Astudillo told Mexican radio. “I’m delighted that a different way of dealing with the poppy is finally going to be explored.”

A member of outgoing President Enrique Pena Nieto’s defeated Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), Astudillo in 2016 himself floated the idea of legalizing medicinal cultivation of opium poppies to tackle mounting drug gang violence.

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