Friday, June 29, 2018

AMLOdown

Some good articles about AMLO and the Mexican election, which takes place this Sunday.

-In WaPo, Ishaan Tharoor on AMLO's proposed revolution and whether he can deliver. 

-In the New Yorker, John Lee Anderson has a good biography on AMLO and how that brings us to today.

-In The Economist, The Tropical Messiah has a good look at AMLO's policies, politics and pragmatics (and otherwise).

All three combine to draw a very good picture of the situation here in Mexico on the precipice of what looks to be a historic election.

In short, AMLO is a complicated figure.  One of the better lines in (I think) the New Yorker piece said that he was a Rorschach test on Mexican politics.

I was worried in 2006 that he was going to be like Chavez, but with the collapse of Venezuela I am less concerned (as are others).  Although I still have some concerns about his personalized focus of leadership, which reminds me too much of a certain gringo president.

I used to be more wary of AMLO but given the present circumstances with Trump I understand the need for a little backbone in Mexico.  But one reoccurring theme I have seen in many articles is that AMLO's rise is not about Trump but rather a domestic frustration with the status quo of corruption and violence.

From the NYer piece: "When I asked Jorge Guajardo, the former Ambassador, what role Trump had at this point in the election, he said, 'Zero. And for a very simple reason—everyone in Mexico opposes him equally.'"

From the WaPo piece: “This election really began to cease being political a few months ago and became emotional,” Mexican essayist Emiliano Monge told the New Yorker. “It is more than anything a referendum against corruption, in which, as much by right as by cleverness, AMLO has presented himself as the only alternative. And in reality he is.”

The thing that concerns me more about AMLO is the political alliances his MORENA movement holds.  One one had the Marxist PT, on the other the PES--an Evangelical conservative party opposed to same-sex marriage, homosexuality and abortion. From the NYer piece: "What terrifies me most are his political alliances,” Luis Miguel González, of El Economista, told me."

Albeit Mexican politics are full of strange bedfellows.  I was on the metro when I noticed a sign for the PAN's candidate Anaya and the parties supporting him.  Next to the PAN symbol was the PRD--the former party of AMLO, which he had run with against the PAN in the elections before.

I decided to stick around Mexico City until mid-July rather than decamp for Puebla in part because I wanted to follow the election from the capital and see how things shake out. 

PS: One more piece that is pretty interesting in The Atlantic on what a Post-AMLO victory could look like between pragmatism and promises.

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