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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Mexico’s New President Makes Novelists Swoon

07/23/2018 Bloomberg

AMLO 3.PNGLatin America’s caudillos, or charismatic strongmen, have always made good muses. The agonizing final days of liberator-turned-authoritarian Simon Bolivar inspired Gabriel Garcia Marquez to write “The General in His Labyrinth.” Paraguayan dictator Jose Gaspar Rodriguez de Francia was the template for Augusto Roa Bastos’s megalomaniacal tyrant in “I, the Supreme,” while Argentina’s Juan Peron fathered a small library of fevered tales.

So how will Mexico’s incoming President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador be portrayed? Due to take office in December, the self-styled populist redeemer is still a working draft. But few leaders have begun their mandate with such a keen sense of narrative destiny as the man Mexicans known as AMLO.

Lopez Obrador, who once cast himself as a comic book avenger, draws devotees like a Pentecostal preacher, and in his victory address dramatically promised Mexicans, “I won’t let you down.” If his compatriots have yet to discover what sort of leader they elected, they’ve long imagined him. “AMLO has been in the minds of Mexicans for quite some time,” Ilan Stavans, a Mexican-American author and scholar of Latin American literature at Amherst College, told me.

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Mexican leftist appeals to ‘anti-establishment’ Trump, seeks NAFTA deal

07/22/2018 Reuters

AMLO 2.PNGMexican President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador sent U.S. President Donald Trump a letter urging a swift end to NAFTA negotiations and suggesting the leaders could work well together due to their shared anti-establishment style, Mexican officials said on Sunday.

The letter was delivered during a recent meeting in Mexico with senior U.S. officials, and details were disclosed once Trump had received it, said Lopez Obrador, a leftist who won Mexico’s July 1 presidential election in a landslide.

Marcelo Ebrard, the president-elect’s proposed foreign minister, read a copy of the letter at a news conference with Lopez Obrador that said the incoming administration’s aim was to “start a new chapter in the relationship between Mexico and the United States, based on mutual respect.”

Trump has had harsh words for Mexico on trade and immigration throughout his presidency.

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Incoming Mexico leader blasts campaign fine as ‘act of vengeance’

07/20/2018 Reuters

AMLO 1Mexico’s incoming president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Friday slammed a decision by the electoral authority to fine his party $10 million over a campaign financing breach, calling it an “act of vengeance” against his landslide victory.

On Wednesday, the National Electoral Institute (INE) handed down the fine to Lopez Obrador’s leftist National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) over a trust the party created last year, which the party said went to helping earthquake victims.

But the INE said MORENA was opaque about the money that came in and out and said the party broke the rules.

“This is an act of vengeance,” Lopez Obrador said outside his team’s offices in Mexico City, accusing the INE of behaving “tendentiously” and of overreaching.

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Mexico’s leftist election winners to appeal campaign funding fine

07/18/18 Reuters

Mexican politician Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador,  leader of the National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) gestures as he addresses the audience during a meeting at Plaza Zaragoza in Monterrey, Mexico

Mexican President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s political party said on Wednesday it would appeal a $10 million fine from the National Electoral Institute (INE) for breaking campaign finance rules.

INE voted 10-1 in favor of fining the National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) 197 million pesos, the largest penalty of the election season that concluded with a presidential landslide for leftist Lopez Obrador and a majority for his party in Congress.

The fine is over a trust created by MORENA last year, which the party said went to helping earthquake victims. But INE said that MORENA was opaque about the money that came in and out and that it broke the rules.

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