Populist as President Emerges as Option for Beleaguered Mexicans

6/1/16 Bloomberg

veracruzDisgust with corruption in Mexico is so overwhelming that voters on Sunday are entertaining the thought of sacrificing landmark education and economic reforms in exchange for a chance to bring down the politicians they blame for it.

Through the heart of the June 5 elections for governors flow the stirrings of populism, personified by Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, 62, a two-time presidential contender known as AMLO. He has railed against graft in government, but has also raised concernsin the past that he’d pit the poor against the rest of the country and recently criticized evaluations of teachers, whose protests have grown in some states.

The elections for governors of 12 states will help answer whether his anti-corruption message attracts voters he turned away by his more divisive policies. How his new Morena Party candidates do in the race for states overrun by graft like Veracruz could be a bellwether for the 2018 national elections — and, along the way, the potential for Lopez Obrador’s third try at the presidency.

“I have no doubt Lopez Obrador will end up in first or second place” in the presidential race, said Jose Antonio Crespo, a political analyst at the Center for Economic Research and Teaching in Mexico City. “I don’t think it would be good to have Lopez Obrador as president, but many do think so, because all other alternatives have been used up.”

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Mexican Leftist Leader López Obrador Warns ExxonMobil: Investing In Mexico’s Oil “Tantamount To Piracy”

andres_manuel_lopez_obrador_oct05Forbes, 11/12/2013

Mexican leftist leader Andrés Manuel López Obrador has a message to foreign oil tycoons: investing in Mexico’s oil industry “would be like buying goods without a receipt, something crooked, tantamount to piracy.” In a letter to ExxonMobil ( NYSE: XOM) CEO Rex W. Tillerson, the two-time Presidential candidate  warned that the Mexican Constitution prohibits the participation of private companies in the oil industry.

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Mexican Leftist Sends Letters to Oil Companies

andres_manuel_lopez_obrador_oct052The Latin American Herald Tribune, 11/06/2013

Letters have been sent to foreign oil companies, advising them of the opposition in Mexico to the energy industry reforms proposed by the government in August, leftist leader Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said.

ExxonMobil Corp. chairman and CEO Rex Tillerson was told in a letter that the Mexican Constitution prohibits the participation of private companies in the oil industry, the former presidential candidate said.

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Mexican leftist leader urges PAN, PRD senators to vote against energy reforms

andres_manuel_lopez_obrador_oct052Global Post, 10/28/2013

Leftist leader Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador urged senators from Mexico’s largest opposition parties at a rally over the weekend to form a coalition to vote against the energy and tax reforms proposed by the Peña Nieto administration.

Senators from the leftist Party of the Democratic Revolution, or PRD, and the conservative National Action Party, or PAN, should vote “with absolute independence, as true representatives of the people,” against the reforms proposed by President Enrique Peña Nieto, Lopez Obrador said in a address delivered to thousands of his supporters in Mexico City’s Zocalo plaza on Sunday.

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Over 420,000 Mexicans Back Energy Reform Referendum

andres_manuel_lopez_obrador_oct053The Latin American Herald Tribune, 10/08/2013

A total of 421,233 people have signed a petition calling on the government to hold a referendum on Mexico’s proposed energy industry reforms, former presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Monday.

The campaign will continue in an effort to reach 1 million signatures by Oct. 27, when the leftist National Regeneration Movement, or Morena, holds its convention, Lopez Obrador said during a press conference in the Gulf city of Veracruz.

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Mexican politics: The PRI’s long tail

Dario Lopez-Mills - AP (2)The Economist, 5/9/2013

On May 7th Enrique Peña Nieto, Mexico’s president, showed off some of the fancy political footwork that days before had earned him the gushing endorsement of his first visiting head of state, Barack Obama. Flanked in the National Palace by leaders of Mexico’s three main political parties, he resurrected an ambitious reform programme that a scandal in his Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) had threatened to derail.

Notwithstanding finger-wagging by opposition leaders, Mr Peña persuaded them to restart a tri-party political pact that is the crown jewel of his five-month-old administration. On May 8th the pact was put into action when the government sent a package of bills to Congress to increase bank lending and competition. Next it hopes to liberalise the state-strangled oil industry and raise taxes broadly. Eventually, as Mr Obama succinctly put it, the aim is for Mexicans to make it through each day without paying a bribe.

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