5/26/2017 The Guardian
The crowd cheers as a mariachi band belts out a song dedicated to Andrés Manuel López Obrador, leader of Mexico’s National Regeneration party (Morena), while he poses for selfies with jostling supporters in front of the stage.
The gathering feels more like a party – complete with cake, flowers and the faint smell of alcohol and marijuana – rather than a midsize political rally on the home turf of President Enrique Peña Nieto and one of the most powerful factions of the governing Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).
The event is nominally in honour of Delfina Gómez, Morena’s candidate in the 4 June election for governor of the state of Mexico. But the race is one of the the country’s most important in political, economic and symbolic terms.
Which is why López Obrador – commonly known as AMLO – is the headline act on the campaign trail as his centre-left party bets on his firebrand charisma and popularity to rouse enough voters to pull off a historic victory and seal the fate of Peña Nieto’s disastrous presidency.