President Andrés Manuel López Obrador Promises the “Rebirth of Mexico”

Dan La Botz

December 13, 2018

“His call for an end to neoliberalism and to corruption are accompanied by invitations to Mexican and foreign capitalists to invest and make a profit.”

REUTERS/Henry Romero

Andrés Manuel López Obrador took the presidential oath on December 1 and then gave an hour and a half oration to the legislators as well as another lengthy speech to the people of Mexico City gathered in the zócalo, in which he reiterated his campaign promises to end corruption, to bring about economic prosperity, and to lead Mexico into a new historic fourth period of Mexican history, a period of “rebirth.” The speech made clear that AMLO, as he is called by his initials in the press, is a reformer, but not a radical and certainly not a revolutionary as his opponents have claimed. His call for an end to neoliberalism and to corruption are accompanied by invitations to Mexican and foreign capitalists to invest and make a profit.

AMLO’s challenges are many. He must deal with the country’s powerful economic oligarchy that working with the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and the National Action Party, have for a hundred years dominated the country. He must confront the powerful, multi-billion dollar drug cartels that have penetrated and permeated the government and police and even infected the military and whose armies of gun thugs and assassins contributed to the deaths and disappearances of over 300,000 people since 2006. He must find a modus vivendi with the Colossus of the North and deal with its maniacal rightwing and racist president. And finally, he must now find a way to meet the needs and even more important satisfy the new aspirations of the Mexican people—who may be more radical than he is—without jeopardizing his reformist program. He will for the next six years have to both wrestle with the oligarchy and both mobilize and reign in the plebeians if he is to be successful in his own terms.

The Challenge of Trump and the Economy

With a certain irony, AMLO thanked out-going president Enrique Peña Nieto for not interfering in the elections and stealing them as had happened to AMLO twice before and to others many times over the more than seven decades of the rule of Peña Nieto’s Institutional Revolutionary Party’s rule. With Peña Nieto sitting beside him, AMLO blamed the country’s problem on the combination of the thirty-six years of the neoliberal economic model and the unbounded government corruption during that same period.

AMLO recognized Ivanka Trump who was present, sent as her father-president’s emissary, and he thanked President Donald Trump for his message of friendship. Turning directly to the new U.S., Mexico, Canada Agreement (USMCA, which replaces the former North American Free Trade Agreement or NAFTA) ) and which was foisted on him by Trump and Peña Nieto—AMLO stated that he wanted to go beyond to USMCA and see new investment agreement between all three countries that would help to develop Central America as well as Mexico and in that way deal with the migration issue that in the form of the migrant caravans has dominated the news recently.

Ivanks Trump, by the way, committed the faux pas of referring to AMLO’s wife Beatriz Gutiérrez Müller as the “first lady,” a title she has rejected, saying that the title suggested the superiority of one woman over others.

López Obrador in these speeches promised once again, as he had so often in his campaign, that the investments of Mexican and foreign stockholders would not only be safe in Mexico, but would make decent profits under his honest administration. He promised that with the rule of law, clear rules, and economic growth there would be economic confidence.

AMLO told the legislators and the people that he was being given a country in bankruptcy, and he asked them to be patient with him and to have confidence in him. He complained particularly about the economic situation of the Mexican Petroleum Company (PEMEX), but promised with the help of the workers and the technical employees of PEMEX and of the Federal Electrical Commission to rescue those two great national corporations of the Mexican people. He declared that there would be no increases in gas or electric prices beyond the rate of inflation and, ignoring the issue of carbon fuels and global warning, promised to build a new refinery to make possible the lowering of gasoline prices.

An End to Corruption and Impunity

Taking on the question of corruption, AMLO told the assembled lawmakers that anyone who “trafficked on the poverty of the people” by buying votes or engaging in electoral corruption would go to prison without bail. And he declared an end to the use of private planes and helicopters by high government functionaries and said he would be selling off the presidential plane immediately. To confront the country’s tremendous violence, a result largely of the drug cartels, and recognizing the uselessness of the existing police forces to deal with them, he called for the creation of a new National Guard.

He argued that while the Mexican military was not without its problems, it had not formed corrupt groups within it such as in other parts of the Mexican government. And unlike in other countries, the military did not form part of the oligarchy, he said. He promised that during his administration the president would never use the military to oppress the Mexican people nor cover up such repression—a strong implicit condemnation not only of the Peña Nieto administration but of the entire history of modern Mexican governments, from the assassinations of the immediate post-revolutionary period of the 1920s, through the 1968 Tlatelolco student massacre, to the kidnapping and murder of the Ayotzinapa student teachers in 2014.

There were three demonstrations during the speech in the national legislature. When at one point in his speech, AMLO said he would not persecute those in the old government, a demonstration brokeout among his own supporters who stood waving white handkerchiefs and began counting from 1 to 43 for the victims of the Ayotzinapa murders and kidnappings. AMLO has created a truth commission to investigate the disappearances of the 43 students. At another point, when foreign dignataries were being mentioned and the name of Nicolás Maduro was called, the rightwing legislators began chanting “dictator,” though in fact Maduro’s plane was late and he was not in the hall. Finally, the rightwingers also raised signes calling for a reduction in the “IVA,” the value added tax. 

As he was bringing his inaugural speech to a conclusion, López Obrador told the story of a boy on a bicycle who had come up to him shortly before and said, you cannot fail us, and the new president told the legislators, I have a responsibility not to fail you. He talked of his confidence in the people of Mexico and in their culture—in their cultures—a hardworking people, as demonstrated by the emigrants to the United States who sent $30 billion a year home to their families. AMLO expressed his optimism and his faith that with the Mexican people’s support he would succeed in bringing about Mexico’s rebirth.

Finally, López Obrador promised that he would never seek reelection—something forbidden by the Mexican Constitution—and that in two and half years he would submit to the Mexican people a referendum asking them if they wanted him to continue in office.

The new president will face challenges from the old political parties. The National Action Party, historically the religious and pro-business party, is already carrying out a leafleting campaign with a flyer that compares AMLO to Stalin, Hitler, Nicolás Maduro, Hugo Chávez and Kim Jong-un and promises to defend freedom. And at the same time, the Institutional Revolutionary Party, for seventy years the ruling party, has called for a united front of the people to resist AMLO’s proposed reforms and what they say will be the militarization of the country. Both parties compare AMLO to Maduro and point to the disaster of the dictatorship and disintegrating economy there. AMLO will have his hands full.

After the last twelve years of violence and the hundreds of thousands of dead and disappeared, one has to hope that AMLO will be able to end the violence and the corruption and that the people of Mexico will take advantage of a new safer and more democratic life to push forward their own demands for their needs and desires, going beyond the reforms that the new president envisions.

AMLO, Mexico’s New President, Promises End to Corruption, Makes Peace with Capitalist Class

Dan La Botz

July 7, 2018

The leftist candidate Andres Manuel López Obrador, has been carried to victory in the Mexican presidential election by an enormous popular outpouring of voters hoping to improve their lives and those of their fellow citizens. Promising to drive out the political mafia that runs the country, to end the pervasive corruption in government, and to bring an end to the violence that in the last dozen years has taken more than 250,000 lives, AMLO, the left’s perennial candidate, won such a decisive victory this time that the Mexican establishment finally had to recognize his achievement.

For the last 90 years, the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) held the presidency and ruled the country, with the exception of the period from 2000 to 2012 when the conservative National Action Party (PAN) controlled the nation’s highest office. The PRI permitted Coca Cola executive Vicente Fox of the PAN to claim his victory 2000, and allowed Felipe Calderón of the PAN to become president in 2006. With the PRI and the PAN (or as leftists sometimes call it the “PRIAN”) cooperating in the deepening of the neoliberal model, the rule seemed to be that the left would never be permitted to win a presidential election.

Twice before leftists candidates almost surely won the national presidential election only to have their victory snatched from them by the fraud committed by the very mafia that AMLO rails against. The first occasion was in 1988 when Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas should have been recognized as the victor and then again in 2006 when AMLO himself was cheated of victory. This time leading in the polls by 30 percent for weeks before the election, fraud would have been too incredible to be believed. In a country where candidates in the last several elections have usually won with between 35% and 40% percent of the vote, AMLO won a landslide with 53% of the votes cast, 30% more than his nearest competitor in an election in which an extraordinarily high 60 percent of the country’s 89 million eligible voters cast ballots. He carried all but one state. He has a powerful mandate, his coalition having won pluralities in both houses of the legislature.

AMLO supporters celebrate in Zócalo square, Mexico City, July 1, 2018
Photo: CNN

AMLO began his political career in the 1970s in the PRI but left it a decade later to join the new opposition party of the left founded by Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas, the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD). AMLO made his national reputation as head of the Federal District (one can say mayor of Mexico City) where he combined cooperation with the banks and construction companies to build infrastructure and renovate the historic center while at the same time providing pensions for senior citizens. Troubling, however, was López Obrador’s labor policy. While mayor of Mexico City, López Obrador permitted the Labor Board to continue to deal with phony unions and their corrupt lawyers and union officials, while turning a deaf ear to the demands of independent unions, union reformers and rank-and-file workers. Many of the city’s 200,000 public employees found it impossible to have their independent labor unions legally recognized. Workers at the time said: whatever we have won we got by going to the streets — the López Obrador government didn’t give us anything. Still, he left office with an incredible 85 percent approval rating.

Since the 1990s AMLO has been an indefatigable campaigner, first as a leader of the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), whose presidential candidate he was twice, but which he abandoned because of its factionalism and corruption. After leaving the PRD in 2012, he founded the Movement of National Regeneration (MORENA), which became a political party in 2014. First as a leader of the PRD and then as the head of MORENA, he traveled throughout the country for years speaking, organizing, and assailing what he called the ruling mafia. A charismatic leader, he has dominated MORENA, selecting its leaders and setting its agenda, and always preparing single-mindedly for his next campaign.

Whenever he ran for president, the PRI, the PAN, and the media redbaited AMLO, suggesting he was like Hugo Chávez or Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela a politician who would impose a socialist system that would bring economic chaos and violent conflict to Mexico. The message frightened off the wealthy and much of the middle class, though AMLO built a solid social base of about one-third of the electorate among the country’s poorer people, its working class, its schoolteachers, and leftwing intellectuals. AMLO also worked through his three presidential campaigns to try to win the confidence of the business class, but without success — until now. This year Mexico’s capitalists, seeing the impossibility of either José Antonio Meade of the PRI or Ricardo Anaya of the PAN winning the election, and facing a fait accompli with AMLO’s election, have decided they can live with him. And AMLO has made it clear that he will get along with them.

AMLO and Big Business

When he began his political career in the PRD, AMLO often sounded like he wanted to revive the economic nationalism that began with President Lázaro Cárdenas in the 1930s. He talked about defending the national oil company PEMEX from privatization, about repudiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and called for a more equal distribution of wealth. It was a program that won him the support of both small business people and sections of the working class. Over time, however, as on three occasions he sought to become president, he moved to the right on all of those questions, so that today there seems to be little left of the economic nationalist approach.

AMLO’s “National Project: 2018-2024,” a political program written with the assistance of hundreds of academics and other experts, is simultaneously elaborate and vague. (1) The overriding principle is a call for partnership between the government and the private sector to carry out economic development, with an emphasis on the building of infrastructure: railroads, highways, and rural roads. This was his model as mayor of Mexico City and it is his model today: partnership with capital accompanied by improvements in the lives of ordinary people. He has not sketched out a design for a socialist or even for a very progressive economy, but rather for a prosperous capitalism that will expand to incorporate those who have not been previously included, particularly the urban and the rural poor.

In a recent speech, AMLO stated again, as he has so often, that the country’s principal problem was corruption. Famous social thinkers such as Karl Marx, he said, have argued that the fortunes of the wealthy are made through the exploitation of labor and the accumulation of capital, but he continued, this does not hold in Mexico. In Mexico fortunes are made through corruption, not exploitation. (2) “We’re not against businessmen,” said Lopez Obrador at a mass rally in the National Auditorium during his campaign. “We’re against corrupt politicians.” (3) Whether or not AMLO actually believes this theory, it is a conception that allows him to form a political alliance with the country’s bankers and corporations, since he does not hold them as a class responsible for the country’s ills. And the bourgeoisie has gotten the message, if only belatedly.

AMLO and his chief of staff, billionaire Alfonso Romo

While some corporations had sent letters to their employees warning them not to vote for AMLO because he would destroy the economy and cost them their jobs, now that he is elected, as Bloomberg News writes, “It’s All Peace and Love Between AMLO and Mexico’s Business Elite.” Upon his election, AMLO immediately held a meeting with Business Coordinating Council (CCE), telling the media afterwards, “We trust the business sector and they’ve expressed their confidence in the new government that will transform the country.” Executives from the nation’s biggest mining corporation, Grupo Mexico, to its baking companies, such as Bimbo, issued statements expressing their desire to work together with the new president, some in an idealistic tone. Daniel Servitje, chairman at Grupo Bimbo SAB, issued a statement saying, “It’s time to leave behind the division created by the campaigns and join together to forge a country based on solidarity, justice and an efficient rule of law.” (4)

AMLO and the CCE went even further, signing an agreement to create a US$5 billion national apprenticeship program. Announcing the new program, AMLO said that it would be the first step to insure that young Mexicans have both education and employment. “They are going to be contracted as apprentices, so that they have work. The employers are going to act as their tutors. The government is going to transfer to the corporations the state’s resources in order to be able to pay the wages to these young people. Some 2.6 million young people are going to participate,” he explained.

These employers, who will act as tutors, are the same ones who have for decades cooperated with the government’s gangsterized labor unions to prevent the organization of independent labor unions by firing workers. These employer-tutors are the same employers who have kept wages low, ignored health and safety issues, and evaded paying their taxes. The plan made no mention of the labor unions, neither of the government’s gangster unions nor of the few independent unions. “We’re leaving [the meeting] very enthused and with energy to do what can be done to make Mexico more inclusive, more prosperous, and really reaching its potential,” said Claudio X. González, chief administrator of Kimberly Clark de México. And well they should be excited with a five billion dollar government gift to hire more low-wage workers. (5)

AMLO’s government, which controls the Mexican Petroleum Company or PEMEX, will soon be renegotiating contracts involving hundreds of billions of dollars with 73 national and 20 international oil companies, including Exxon, Chevron, Total BP, Shell and many others. (6) While AMLO’s government may make some modest demands in the new contracts, it is unlikely that there will be any profound changes. He promised during his campaign that the government would carry out no confiscations, no expropriations, and no nationalizations. He made similar promises to the bankers and other industrialists. “We will support banks and we won’t confiscate assets,” he said. “There won’t be expropriations or nationalizations.” (7)

Certainly, at the beginning of his presidency, he will not be in a position to push very hard against international capital, even if he were so inclined.

Just as he is attempting to make peace with the Mexican bourgeoisie, so too AMLO has held out an olive branch to U.S. President Donald J. Trump. Trump’s continued rhetorical attacks on Mexico and Mexican immigrants played little role in this election, which was all about Mexico. All of the candidates condemned Trump’s racism and his demand for the building a border wall and for Mexico to pay for it. Still Mexico’s position as an economy entirely integrated into and largely dependent upon American capital means that any Mexican government must reach a modus vivendi with the Colossus of the North. American banks and corporations and the politicians they control have the power to make or break AMLO’s government, as AMLO is well aware.

Following his election, AMLO and Trump spoke on the telephone. AMLO told Televisa, “We are conscious of the need to maintain good relations with the United States. We have a border of more than 3,000 kilometers, more than 12 million Mexicans live in the United States. It is our main economic-commercial partner. We are not going to fight. We are always going to seek for there to be an agreement … We are going to extend our frank hand to seek a relation of friendship, I repeat, of cooperation with the United States.” And Trump responded in the same vein, “I think the relationship will be a very good one. We talked about trade, we talked about NAFTA, we talked about a separate deal, just Mexico and the United States.” Of course, no one believes anything Trump says, and AMLO’s diplomatic remarks must be understood as a simple statement of geopolitical reality. One can expect some tense moments in the future over the questions of economics, migration, and respect for Mexico’s national sovereignty. Whether or not AMLO’s government will be able to stand up to the United States is one of many open questions.

A Cabinet Mostly of Academics

Previous modern Mexican presidents, the great majority of them from the PRI and a couple from the PAN, always took office at the head of a vast entourage of experienced party leaders who had worked their way up the ladder of patronage and privilege. The top leaders had served as governors, senators, and cabinet ministers in previous administrations; often in those positions they had carried out the fraud and extortion and sometimes the murders necessary in a political system like Mexico’s. They entered the top echelons of government their hands covered with blood, but their pockets stuffed with money, and prepared to continue their work at an even higher level.

Lopez Obrador has few such people in his cabinet. (8) The seventeen people he has chosen — eight of them women — are predominantly academics, some few with experience as administrators or practical politicians. Unlike cabinet members in recent governments, they did not attend the Harvard Business School or the Yale Law School; nine of them are graduates of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). (9) Some are admirable choices, such as Luisa María Alcalde, a remarkably talented young woman whose father, the labor lawyer Arturo Alcalde, fights for Mexico’s few independent labor unions and whose mother, Bertha Luján, headed one of those unions, the Authentic Labor Front (FAT).

Still, it seems unlikely that most of these well-meaning academics with little governmental experience will be either successful or long endure in the positions to which they have been appointed, which will come under tremendous political pressure. Most of these people did not rise to their positions as the leaders of labor unions or social movements that have had to fight to make their way in the world. What will they do when faced with the blandishments or the bludgeoning of the American corporations or with the bribes and threats of the drug cartels? Some are made of sterner stuff, though not necessarily better stuff, such as Marcelo Luis Ebrard Casaubón, another mayor of Mexico City with a long political career, and Esteban Moctezuma Barragán, who previously served in the cabinet of PRI President Ernesto Zedillo and will become the Secretary of Education. One might look to him to become the Secretary of the Interior — the political fixer — in the near future.

AMLO and his cabinet will be challenged to meet their promises both to capital and to labor. While not always a champion of labor unions, AMLO did over the last few years become a supporter of the National Coordinating Committee of the Mexican Teachers Union (CNTE), which has led the fight both for union independence and in defense of teachers’ rights and economic demands. He also included Napoleón Gómez Urrutia, the head of the Mexican Miners Union, among MORENA’s candidates for the legislature. Gómez Urrutia has spent more than a decade in exile in Canada, fearing imprisonment or perhaps death if he returned to Mexico to lead the union he heads. The question will be whether AMLO can maintain his alliance with capital while he simultaneously asserts control over the labor and social movements in order to use them to advance his modest agenda of increased political democracy and social reform.

Finally, there is the question of the cartels. The Mexican drug cartels run a business approximately the equal of Mexico’s other major economic sectors such as petroleum, manufacturing, tourism, and remittances from workers abroad (a declining sector recently). Without a doubt, the drug cartels have in many areas taken over the police forces, many of which were already criminal gangs in their own right. They have penetrated parts of the Mexican military, and they have also at times had access to the highest levels of the Mexican government. The cartels control billions of dollars, have tens of thousands of employees, are as well armed as the police and nearly as well armed as the army, and they have influence in both private business and government.

During the 1970s and into the 1980s it seemed that the PRI government must have made some agreement with the cartels, which permitted them to operate under certain conditions. During the 1990s the cartels fragmented and went to war with each other, and then in 2006 PAN President Calderón launched a war on the cartels, leading to hundreds of thousands of deaths and disappearances. AMLO has promised to end the drug violence and suggested he would do so by improving the lives of ordinary Mexicans so that they would not be attracted to working for the cartels. While that proposal has a progressive ring, it seems completely unrealistic. It will take either a secret deal with the cartels, as one suspects they had in the past, or enormous state violence to suppress the drug dealers, and if the latter, there will be unforeseeable consequences, as there were for Calderón’s drug war.

The struggle now will be between AMLO, the moderately reformist politician, the Mexican capitalist class, and the country’s working people. One should not rule out the possibility that the electoral victory will raise the hopes of working people and put pressures on AMLO to deliver more than he intends. Over the last two decades Mexico’s working people — electrical workers, miners, teachers, and many others — have demonstrated on many occasions their capacity not only to struggle but also to stand up to tremendous repression. Perhaps the same desire for change and the same hope for a better Mexico that led them to vote for AMLO will now inspire the Mexican working people to assert themselves politically and attempt to set their own course.


  1. Lineamientos Básicos del Proyecto Alternativo de Nación 2018-2024.
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  2. The speech can be found here. Several commentators discussed its implications, for example, Gilberto López y Rivas here.
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  3. Mexico Front-Runner Signals Plans to Maintain Parts of Economic Policy.
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  4. It’s All Peace and Love Between AMLO and Mexico’s Business Elite.
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  5. AMLO y empresarios anuncian programa para jóvenes por 110,000 mdp.
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  6. AMLO-IP. Sector privado cierra filas rumbo a la reconciliación.
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  7. Mexican leftist seeks to court bankers, to mixed reviews.
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  8. Así será el gabinete de AMLO – Gatopardo.
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  9. La UNAM se adueña del gabinete de López Obrador.
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Mexico, July 1, 2018 — a new historical period opens

Luis Rangel

July 2, 2018

Around 11 pm on July 1, 2018, after an election day that had kept the country holding its breath, Lorenzo Córdova (the President of Mexico’s National Electoral Institute) announced, confirmed, a trend that could only have been overcome with an ignominious electoral fraud of unprecedented proportions (which is saying a lot) in the recent history of Mexico. The vote for Andrés Manuel López Obrador (known as AMLO) of the MORENA party, which will surpass 53% of the effective vote, obtained with record participation levels (above 60%), will make him president with a historical democratic legitimacy. In record time all the important actors of the regime (the opposition candidates, the National Electoral Institute, Peña Nieto, Trump, employers’ groups and the mass media) recognized the triumph of Obrador.

Mexican president-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO)

During the day, several polling stations registered delays in opening and there were many areas where, in addition to the purchase and coercion of votes, political violence (as throughout the campaign) took an indeterminate number of lives. The reports of violence were not focused around the presidential candidacy (in which the PRI and the PAN rushed to recognize themselves as defeated), but in the few local power preserves, which support more solid clientelist machines. Such is the case in the state of Puebla, which experienced one of the most violent days in its history and where the difference in the votes counted was very close, presaging a possible post-electoral conflict.

The historical defeat of the PRIAN (RD)

And yet, fraud in its common form (“system crashes”, unforeseen figures and so on) was defeated. Before the victory of AMLO, the great event is the resounding defeat of the PRI, PAN, PRD, and the peripheral parties. The PRI is going through what we hope will be a terminal crisis (with about 15% of the overall vote and loss of the governorships in important states such as Veracruz, while, although it maintains the governorship, it lost control of the congress and the vast majority of municipalities in the state of Mexico, rendering difficult the medium-term survival of its clientelist and mafia machine). However, the “political culture of the PRI”, although suffering a severe setback through an election day full of hope and joy, is still far from being buried by history.

The PAN comes out of the election divided, challenged and with clear political disagreements, although it is positioned as the main opposition force on the right to the new government. Although very diminished before the electoral wave of MORENA, it still maintains a sufficient parliamentary force and at least two governorships (notably Jalisco). But nothing compares with the terrible crisis of the PRD, its pragmatic alliance with the PAN condemning it to be its uncomfortable shadow with an absolute blurring. In the PRD, and its history, development, degeneration and tragic end, MORENA should see its mirror. Winning elections at all costs has its costs, and the PRD paid, without ever reaching the presidency.

The electoral debacle of the so-called PRIAN (RD) expresses the culminating point of the rupture of the previous governing pact, in force since the 1988 fraud, between the PRI and PAN leaders. They bet on a model of identity politics and a false game of transition of functions in government. At some point in Peña’s presidency, the pact between the PRI and the PAN was broken, as shown by the previous state elections with promises to imprison the previous administration (Chihuahua, Veracruz, Coahuila), and by the implementation of structural reforms, after the consensus represented by the Pact for Mexico, and the management of the political costs of the different political crises in the Peña administration.

The democratic victory and the recognition of the majority

The above reasons are sufficient to explain the excess joy that was experienced in the country on the night of July 1. The accumulation of rage and social grievances, excessive violence and immodest corruption laid the foundations of the majority for MORENA. When the official candidate, José Antonio Meade, went to vote, a woman spontaneously shouted “without fraud, Meade, without fraud”; when the former PRI governor of Veracruz, Fidel Herrera, went to the polls and tried to skip the line of voters, it generated only anger and shouting from those who had waited their turn to vote. Even after several of the attacks (even armed) in polling stations in Puebla, the people around were looking for a way to resume order and continue with the election.

For the first time, Mexico has an electoral process that, despite the fraudulent obstacles and the violence, was also, paradoxically, the only one in which the popular will was heard loud and clear. The fall of the PRIAN and the social fiesta that followed represented for millions a moment of celebration, which presaged justice after the long list of defeats. Very different from the electoral nights of 2006 and 2012, when anger, frustration and disbelief were imposed. On December 1 of this year, when AMLO comes to power (if no unexpected turn occurs, which is very unlikely) the mobilized sectors will be able to see, analyse and think about the challenges that come, instead of facing the anguish of the number of arrests, of wounded, and having to run from tear gas.

The social anger that was expressed in the polls is so great that the campaigns of dirty war, the concessions and turns to the right by Obrador during the campaign, the scandalous alliances that would have cost victory and credibility, were now trifles for the electorate. But AMLO would make a mistake in thinking that the electoral majority that takes him to the presidency will be unconditional. On the contrary, the discontent with the existing state of things is such that the millions celebrating today will from the beginning not accept a disappointment or retreat from the new government. It is central in the new moment to emphasize the importance of popular empowerment — if the majorities have put the new government in, they have the primary right to decide on its actions and movements. The joy of last night has to remain in the collective memory as proof that when you want, you can, and that organization and popular will is capable of anything.

On the other hand, it is important to stop and analyse the reasons for the rapid acceptance of MORENA’s triumph. It seems that the traditional oligarchy, faced with overwhelming defeat at the polls, sat on their hands and let AMLO pass without further ado. But to think that the Meades, Anayas and Peñas are in effect “democrats who know how to recognize defeats” would be much more than a simple naivety. Although it is true that the electoral majority was so great that the only way to reverse Obrador’s victory would be practically a hyperviolent military coup, and this was seen as not an option for the oligarchy; they preferred instead to take AMLO’s word and to believe in the multiple guarantees of continuity in relation to economic policy, property relations and commercial policy that the winning candidate offered throughout the campaign and which he reaffirmed in his victory speech.

The new government

It is important to analyse, with a cool head, the true potentialities and profile of the new government of Obrador. We must not forget that, despite the indignant, anti-neoliberal and popular electoral majority that voted for this government, not a few representatives of the oligarchic layers are in key positions (Romo, Ebrard, Espino, to name but a few). Which gives an idea of what the policies promoted by the AMLO government will really be.

As throughout the campaign, everything indicates that important issues of the national situation will continue to be ignored. Will a new development model be promoted that will move the country away from its structural dependence on fossil fuels and mining? It seems not. Will the rights and demands of women be respected, and will they advance in tune with the new feminist wave in Latin America? More than ever, that depends on struggle.

There is a big question about the fiscal and public spending policy of the new government. As scandalous and ignominious as is the corruption that Obrador wants to banish, its real cost would hardly be enough to capitalize the resources necessary to initiate the social measures that AMLO promises today. The refusal, for now, to reverse the energy reform and merely to “review” the contracts awarded, will eventually clash with the promise to stop oil price increases (intimately linked to the new energy framework). What will happen with educational reform? And with the new airport?

At a local level, the majority of new popular election positions conquered by MORENA are the crudest expression of the pragmatic cost of Obrador’s victory. Will the cascade of “unpresentables” that today represent MORENA in the immediate regional space enter into contradiction with the will for change expressed in the ballot boxes? In short, will the expectations that AMLO himself has raised around the aims of his government encounter an economic environment that makes their concrete realization difficult? Will MORENA’s huge multi-class umbrella, with conflicting ideologies and interests, remain after the taking of power? In the medium term, given the institutional locks that protect structural reforms today, the only way to fulfil many campaign promises would be the convening of a constituent assembly and the construction of a new social pact (given that the one of 1917 was liquidated antidemocratically in the three decades of classical neoliberalism). This possibility is not close today.

New political spectrum, challenges for a new anti-capitalist left

Whatever the immediate development of events, it is clear that a process of general political readjustment will accelerate and consolidate. Despite the important access to parliament the evangelical Christian PES party will have, it also runs the risk of losing legal registration. The New Alliance and Greens are in an even worse situation. Many political forces and the political spectrum will be reorganized in the coming months.

In this new historical framework and political spectrum, the question is: what will happen to the anti-capitalist left? In the immediate future, it faces two symmetrical dangers: on the one hand it runs the risk that, seeking to accompany the popular experience in MORENA, it sacrifices political, ideological and tactical independence. This was the case for the immense majority of the socialist left when the PRD was founded, and the result was nothing but political suicide. It would be just as terrible if, in the opposite sense, the quest to maintain political autonomy means that the anti-capitalist left suffers from sectarian atrophy and places itself at the margins of the course of political events in the new framework. A similar situation exists in relation to the social movements. In the immediate, it is important to take advantage of the new moment so that the struggles advance, maintaining their political and social independence. It is urgent that, in order to face the new historical moment, bold initiatives can be launched that allow the construction of an anti-capitalist and anti-patriarchal pole.

In this sense, the experience of the campaign for the registration of Marichuy, spokesperson for the Indigenous Council of Government, as an independent candidate, was a political success within the framework of the entire electoral process that is now ended. It was an unprecedented experience to bring an anti-capitalist political alternative to the national level, and many lessons must be drawn from it. Likewise, the fact that different sectors of the anti-capitalist left did not explicitly call for a critical vote for AMLO is also a sign of the possibility of the construction of a left to the left of MORENA, as long as it does not fall into a vulgar sectarianism. However, it is much more difficult to know how to interact with the new political situation and the spirit of the masses that today pushes us forward.

The hubbub and political upheaval should not make us forget that today, on July 2, the violence in the country is still unleashed, that the megaprojects are advancing, that women are still being killed, that hunger is still there, that we are still missing 43 students and thousands of other people. On the contrary, we must translate the joy of victory into organization, into more struggle, into more street activity in raising autonomous political projects. The democratic conquest that the PRIAN (RD) debacle represents will have to become a first step, which is concretized inasmuch as the ballot boxes are no longer the only way of political participation; a political reform that democratizes the public life of the country is necessary. We have to put people at the centre, because yesterday was their victory, of millions who seek a transformation that only struggle will achieve. This was not a final victory (or defeat of the right), but the opening of an unprecedented historical moment that will pose new challenges, contradictions and possibilities.

And yet, last night, for the first time, thousands of people gathered in the Zócalo in Mexico City, not for political catharsis, but to defend life and an end to repression. For these reasons, on the night of July 1, people met to smile, sing, dance, hug and meet. Our struggle is for life, yes, but life without joy is nothing.

Luis Rangel is a leader of the Revolutionary Workers Party (PRT), the Mexican section of the Fourth International. International Viewpoint published this article on July 5 here.

The Mexican elections in the crucible of crisis

Revolutionary Workers Party (PRT)

June 9, 2018

Mexico’s July 1 elections will take place amid a profound crisis unfolding across Mexico. With voters deeply alienated by the alliance of Mexico’s two main pro-business parties, the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and the National Action Party (PAN), the question of what the country’s anti-capitalist left should do is critical.

Should the left vote for Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) of the center-left Movimiento de Regeneración Nacional (MORENA)? The following statement by the Revolutionary Workers’ Party (PRT) argues that the question of whether or not to vote is secondary to the need to organize the anti-capitalist left. Though AMLO is the leading contender, Mexico’s history of naked electoral fraud could mean that “victory” goes to another candidate.

But whatever the official outcome, the anti-capitalist left should seek to advance in the period that will begin after the vote. This may mean an effort to seize the opening that a victory by AMLO could provide to build a united workers’ movement to the left of his party, or it might necessitate a struggle in the streets to resist another fraudulent election unjustly handed to the candidates of the PRI-PAN alliance.

The Revolutionary Workers Party (PRT) is the Mexican Section of the Fourth International. The PRT declaration appears in Spanish on the PRT website here and on the Correspondencia de Prensa website here. It was translated into English by Brian M. Napoletano, Héctor Agredano Rivera and Fernando Estañol Tecuatl and appears on the Socialist Worker website here and on the International Viewpoint website here.

The crisis of the regime and the elections of 2018

Declaration of the Revolutionary Workers Party (PRT)

The current electoral process presents itself to us as a moment of political restructuring in the context of a profound crisis and recomposition of Mexico’s political regime.

Not that the electoral process and its campaigns have caused the crisis; rather the electoral process is taking place during a high point in the accumulation of grievances and in the crisis of the political regime and its political institutions, including the establishment parties. Divisions within the ruling class caused by the 2008 crisis and the global economic changes are finally exploding in a rupture in the oligarchy.

In opposition to this, the constant mobilizations, protests and popular resistance, although unsuccessful in repealing neoliberal reforms, have further discredited the current regime. This conjuncture has resulted in the crisis of the political regime that established the foundation of the regime that emerged from the historical turn signified by the PRI-PAN pact and the Salinas de Gortari-Fernández de Cevallos alliance of 1988. [In 1988, Diego Fernández de Cevallos, one of the leaders of PAN, which at the time was an opposition party, recognized Salinas as president despite electoral fraud.]

The form of domination by a neoliberal oligarchy that displaced other sectors of the ruling class and that was represented in the PRI-PAN alliance is breaking down and pointing to a new restructuring, a new arrangement. This moment is not only evinced in opposing electoral campaigns, but in the very broad division of the ruling class that points to a new expression of class domination more in keeping with the turn to the extreme right in other parts of the world.

The dominant bloc, represented in the political sphere by the PRIAN (PRI-PAN alliance), managed to complete the most serious cycle of neoliberal reforms, of “structural reforms,” particularly in the energy sector.

Now, with the crisis of legitimacy (amid permanent and widespread protest), with the shifts brought by Trump’s arrival, and the uncertain future and lack of credibility of all the institutional parties, especially the “Pacto por México” (Pact for Mexico), a violent division within the bourgeoisie has arisen, which is being reflected in the electoral process.

However, a political restructuring like the one taking place does not mean that the neoliberal economic model is being questioned, let alone contested, in the next elections. None of the candidates are really questioning the central elements of neoliberal policy that in the course of three decades has created a scandalously unequal and violent country in permanent crisis.

This does not negate the fact that business leaders have tried to establish themselves as the great electors, in which they do nothing but show a deep contempt for working people and social movement leaders who “dare” to involve themselves in politics. This is shown in the nefarious defamation of Nestora Salgado [leader of the community police in the state of Guerrero], for example, or the illegal quest to coerce and condition the votes of the workers in the country’s mega-corporations. The PRT repudiates and condemns these demonstrations of class hatred, manipulation and blackmail by the bourgeoisie.

The neoliberal economic model is not being questioned by the candidates, which is merely a symptom of how the electoral program of each party generally skews to the right. The major national problems are not on the agendas of the candidates or their parties.

There is silence, evasive answers or, worse, an opportunistic use of, for example, the victims of more than a decade of militarization and a false “war on drugs.” The scandalous working conditions in the country, poverty wages, the lack of basic workers’ rights, employment instability and precarity are also not included in the electoral agendas.

Neither are the rights of women and the violence they suffer under these agendas, nor the most crude expression of this oppression — the ever-growing thousands of instances of femicide. The agenda and demands of women are evaded by calls to “put them up to a vote,” which is especially scandalous coming from parties that call themselves “progressive.” Either due to open opposition to the recognition of women’s rights to control their own bodies or for fear of losing campaign contributions, the demands of women are excluded from the electoral debate.

The rights of the entire LGBT community are being similarly discarded and even openly attacked by various electoral forces across the spectrum while they deceptively seek to maintain the appearance of tolerance and inclusion. The most worrisome in this regard is that, whatever the final outcome of the election, we face a much more belligerent Congress on these issues, with a new extreme religious right irresponsibly catapulted from the margins to a position of legislative power by MORENA.

The way the candidates frame the debate around the new airport in Mexico City also shows that the terrible ecocide the country is experiencing — the mega-projects, the rapacious mining, the water crises in several regions, among other serious environmental problems — are not part of the electoral agenda.

On the contrary, all the candidates are committed to pursuing a destructive development model dependent on extractive industries, the abuse of natural resources and especially the dispossession of lands and territories of indigenous peoples and popular classes in general.

Oaxaca teachers still resisting “education reform.” Will the new government side with them or the bosses?
Photo: SNTE Section 22

Despite the above, however, huge sectors of the working population are looking for ways to express their anger and discontent. Thus, despite the concessions and scandalous alliances, Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) is emerging as the main leader in various polls and is projected to obtain the majority of votes on July 1. For the peremptory date that the election signifies, there is no alternative that clearly represents the demands and interests of the popular classes in the country.

In the absence of a political alternative belonging to the working classes themselves, millions of indignant people whose numbers are steadily increasing — in spite of the repression and violence that exists throughout the entire country — will express the popular rejection of the PRIAN by voting for AMLO.

Despite the daily concessions that AMLO announces to obtain respect among the dominating classes for his triumph, and despite more than anything his rightist turn (as various commentators call it), he has raised hopes in the popular imagination that his election would herald a radical change in the regime. This popular illusion is enhanced, paradoxically, by the violent and dirty war waged by the right against AMLO by means of slander and condescension, which does nothing but paint the entire governing body as an arrogant oligarchy that despises working people.

For those of us who are anti-capitalists and socialists, the current debate should not be about how to construct a voting formula for the next election, but about how the post-election landscape, whatever it is, can pave the way for the construction of new alternatives based on an appreciation of the massive expected vote for AMLO.

It is not for those of us who seek the construction of alternatives for working people to build formulas of “critical support” for a project in which the left does not feel represented and which, if it arrives at the presidency, would be more of an administrator of the crisis and lead to more than a few disappointments for its many voters.

But a parallel error would be to confront in a belligerent and sectarian way, with supposed moral or intellectual superiority, those who will vote their hopes on the July 1 ballot.

Our challenge, much more difficult than simple short-term departures, is to understand the new period that will open following the election and, in this context, to find ways to reorganize anti-capitalist alternatives. For this reason, instead of a voting formula, we have reiterated the slogan “whether you vote or not, organize” to guide the anti-capitalist struggle, which will face serious challenges in any post-electoral scenario.

Moreover, based on previous experience with electoral victories of so-called “progressive” governments in Latin America (as AMLO may be), the anti-capitalist left must not hesitate to construct point of reference to the left of such governments if it is to avoid political suicide. This same lesson can be drawn from the tragicomic cycle of degradation of the PRD, which once sought to win hegemony over the entire left end of the political spectrum but today is staring its own demise in the face.

Jesús Patricio Martínez, Marichuy, spokesperson of the Indigenous Council of Government

In the search to construct an anti-capitalist option on this terrain, we participated in and backed the campaign of María de Jesús Patricio Martínez — also known as Marichuy — spokesperson of the Indigenous Council of Government (Concejo Indígena de Gobierno) to qualify for the ballot as an independent candidate.

The campaign was a step forward in the necessary search for an anti-capitalist alternative to the present crisis of the political regime — as a means to give left-wing expression to the general popular discontent and to challenge the anti-capitalist left to act on a much larger scale.

And although the campaign of Marichuy has the prestige and moral authority that the other candidates lack — especially the “independents” — for having obtained signatures honestly and for the militant activism that supported it, it did not gain the legally required number of signatures within the confines of an anti-democratic system so dominated by money that such signatures are routinely bought — to say nothing of the system’s racism and misogyny.

However, the results of Marichuy’s campaign represent a crucial illustration of the bankrupt nature of the present electoral system, in which fraud was even used to register independent candidates for the ballot. The mechanism was designed to make it impossible to legally obtain the requisite number of signatures to qualify for the presidential ballot. In fact, none of the aspirants legally obtained the number of signatures required.

As further proof of fraud, the INE [National Electoral Institute] approved the inclusion of Margarita Zavala on the ballot, despite her use of fraudulent methods to obtain the necessary signatures. Even worse was the decision by the INE to allow Bronco’s registration. El Bronco was approved for inclusion on the ballot by the Electoral Tribunal, the same body that will evaluate the July vote, even though the vast majority of signatures he presented were fake.

The message is very clear: it does not matter that the INE itself recognizes that the majority of the signatures are false, since the Tribunal itself can decide that he has the right to appear as a candidate on the ballots. Today, polls indicate that “you know who” will have the most votes. Tomorrow the Tribunal, with the same impudence as in the case of Bronco, can decide that another candidate is the “real” victor.

This electoral cycle is already by far the most violent in the country’s history — in keeping with a country that has become a cemetery sown with clandestine graves. Political violence, the bloodiest expression of the restructuring of political forces, is becoming one of the election’s defining traits — not just verbal violence and insults, including the “dirty wars” of these campaigns, but a violence that now accounts for the combined deaths of more than 100 candidates from all parties, especially at the local level and especially targeting women.

But also worrying is the violence employed to destroy candidates, through institutional means, that occurs at the national level, for example, in the election of senators: the attempts to discredit and destroy candidates through legal chicanery as with Napoleón Gómez Urrutia, leader of the mining union, or the calumnies against Nestora Salgado García denouncing her as a “kidnapper.”

The violence already expressed in the campaigns reflects the climate of violence nationally, evincing a deep social and institutional decomposition, now bursting forth into a deep crisis of human rights across the country, amid a wave of extra-judicial killings, forced disappearances and femicide. It is not simply a continuation of the violence already present throughout the previous six-year presidential term, but could be the harbinger of the form of electoral fraud, already carried out, that polls are insufficient to banish.

At the same time — and historical experience is rich in examples — the sword of fraud always hangs over the head of Mexico’s false democracy.

AMLO himself, together with the ruling class as a whole, fears the social protest that could arise from imposing a new fraud, a protest which they compare to a “tiger on the loose” — a tiger that politicians have wanted to keep subjected, tied down, controlled and respectful of institutional ways.

In reality, this tiger is not a savage animal, because the barbarism has already been sown by the powerful, as evidenced by how the neoliberal regime is dripping with blood. The tiger would be nothing but the eruption of the popular masses, already fed up with the chicanery of the system and seeking to shape their own destiny — not through the ballot box, but in the streets, on the roads, in mobilizations and through self-organization.

Although it would appear that the oligarchy fears that the rage against fraud would spill out of the ballot boxes and into the streets, and despite the increasingly firm guarantees that leading candidates offer, fraud cannot be excluded from the immediate scenario. If this is to be the case, anti-capitalists and socialists will need to be on the front lines in defense of the popular will.

This was the position of the PRT in 1988, in which we maintained all the way to the end a wholehearted commitment to the fight against fraud around the campaign of Rosario Ibarra de Piedra, after the “fall of the system” imposed on Salinas.

If this is the scenario that results from the election, our position will be the same, for the left has historically been the true promoter and defender of political and democratic rights — from the struggle for universal suffrage and a woman’s right to vote, to the legalization of workers’ organizations and in defense of voters in the face of all manner of electoral fraud.

The end — and mutation — of this regime of death is approaching. If the right prevails without resistance, the new regime and the realignment of new political forces will be marked by a shift to far-right positions, as we have seen in other parts of the world.

The Law of Internal Security (Ley de Seguridad Interior), the violence already unleashed, the Electoral Tribunal’s fraudulent imposition of the “independents” already in this campaign and more indicate that the risk of fraud, and violent fraud, is not yet banished — despite the division within the bourgeoisie and the support of AMLO by sectors that previously opposed him.

If fraud is imposed before or after the vote (surprisingly, the PRI in the Chamber of Deputies approved the elimination of presidential immunity, and the Senate is waiting until after the elections to decide), sinking definitively into illegitimacy, we must not only fight back, but advance the possibility — greater if there is a social and political anti-capitalist bloc — that with the social explosion the interests of the working people can be present in the restructuring of forces with the fall of the current regime.

In any scenario, there exists a general conclusion: the need to organize and articulate the demands of the anti-capitalist left, which openly questions and combats ecocide, patriarchy and sexist violence, and promotes popular self-organization, either to consistently defend the popular will, or if the government of AMLO opens a new political moment.

In any case, the construction of an anti-capitalist pole that brings together those who seek a profound transformation of the country is urgent. More important than what one chooses to do on July — to vote or not — is for us to organize, to open the space for common ground and debate, to build unity in the middle of the diverse mosaic that is today to the left of AMLO’s party.

This, for the socialists of the PRT, is the primary task of the present moment, and every day it becomes more urgent in the face of a new political cycle that will undoubtedly begin after the July election.

Our hopes are not in the ballot boxes, but in the people who fight, with women in struggle, with indigenous peoples in resistance, with every person who faces war and defends life. This is the much larger and substantial meeting point than the meaning of a vote.

Mexico City, 9 June 2018

Whither Mexico with AMLO?

Socialist Unity League (LUS), Socialist Workers Party (POS) and La Gota

July 4, 2018

The following declaration was agreed on July 4, 2018, by three revolutionary socialist organizations in Mexico, the Liga de Unidad Socialista (LUS), the Partido Obrero Socialista (POS) and the Revista La Gota. The LUS is a sympathizing organization of the Fourth International.

Two days after the elections in which he had secured a sweeping victory with more than 50 percent of the total vote, Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) announced that he will back the government of Enrique Peña Nieto during the transition period prior to the inauguration of the new government. This declaration comes as the culmination of months of negotiation and agreements which ensured the unfolding – relatively free of shocks – of the July 1 election day.

The strident accusations and attacks against AMLO (“a danger to Mexico”) by businessmen, politicians and journalists have been left far behind. The confidence and tranquility of most businessmen before the imminent triumph of López Obrador was shown in that, two days before the elections, the Mexican Stock Exchange closed with a gain of 0.33 percent, and that the peso rose 1 percent in value against the US dollar. The prominent businessman Alfonso Romo, who has been appointed Chief of Staff of the new government, knew very well what he was saying when he affirmed that “There are ‘very few’ businessmen who fear López Obrador,” and that “it is ridiculous to be afraid of expropriations if AMLO wins.”

Those who still have the illusion that López Obrador will lead a grand process of pushing back neoliberalism in Mexico have not paid attention to what its leader has been repeating for years, and very clearly, as he did in his declaration “I will not change the economy” (El Universal, April 13, 2012), during his previous presidential campaign, a declaration he has never repudiated since then.

There has certainly been a change in the public image of the National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) – the party that AMLO founded and leads – due to the noticeable reduction in the presence and the radical tone of the left intellectuals belonging to the movement. Surely, this is being justified with the famous phrase that “Paris is well worth a mass”. We’ll see what they tell us later; but for the moment the only possible interpretation is that these intellectuals have stepped aside to facilitate the negotiations and agreements reached by AMLO and Romo with the government of Peña Nieto and with business groups.

As things stand, however, there is no doubt that the enormous popular discontent with the Peña Nieto government and the disenchantment with the vast majority of politicians made its way irrepressibly with the vote of over 50 percent for the AMLO candidacy. The population, and especially the sectors that have suffered from inequality and injustice, have felt their strength. Their protest through the vote has left the PRI and the PAN severely damaged, and left the PRD moribund. What we might call the “party system” has suffered a defeat which will require a profound reconfiguration, involving not only changes in the platforms and in the image of the parties we have just mentioned, but also the emergence of new organizations.

Paradoxically, the biggest challenges will be those of MORENA. Not only does it have a very weak structure, but the influence of leaders and members of other parties, with no further identification and cohesion than support for the caudillo who has won the presidency of the republic, means that it will be very difficult for him to control the enormous variety of interests that have lodged in its breast. Inevitably, the president of the republic will more frequently play the role of referee in disputes among the contending parts.

To mention the case of a conflict that may be explosive: the teachers who voted for AMLO, most of whom are organized, are anxiously waiting for the inauguration of the new government to mean the end of the “educational reform” imposed by the government of Peña Nieto. How much will they be conceded? Surely the powerful businessmen, who hold the economic power in Mexico, will not agree with the demands of the teachers, and will do everything possible to obstruct them, or to block them altogether. In other words, this is a conflict between the interests of opposing social classes, and any attempt at conciliation will result in only short-term solutions.

The same can be said of many other unresolved conflicts, in which the more than 50 percent of the voters who voted for AMLO represent interests opposed to those of the capitalists who have opted not to obstruct the arrival of the caudillo to the presidency. Among others, there is the opposition of very important sectors of the population to the “energy reform,” as shown by the outbreaks of discontent with increases in the price of gasoline; and there is also the conflict over the concessions granted to mining companies, as well as the new issue of concessions for the use of water resources.

And it won’t be enough for the new government to launch scholarship or support programs for the less favored social sectors. The conflicts will deepen.

Also present are social conflicts around the right of women to terminate an unwanted pregnancy, in safe conditions and with the best possible medical care. This demand is totally absent from MORENA’s program and proposals, but it is being raised by an increasing number of women.

And what about the rights of the homosexual communities, and of other people oppressed because of their sexual orientation or preferences (LGBTQ+)? The demands of these communities were absent from the electoral campaign.

The contrast is evident between the overwhelming joy displayed by millions of Mexicans who voted for AMLO and the concern expressed at the same time, as everyone realizes that “the difficulty begins now.” And they have every reason. Mexico is going through a very deep crisis in public security, and suffers from very serious vulnerabilities and challenges in the economy (a colossal growth of the public debt), the environment, and profound social problems derived from the deep crisis in which the country is bogged down. Not to mention the tremendous pressures of the powerful neighbor to the north, which with the Trump government has obstructed negotiations on the North American Free Trade Agreement and put enormous tariffs on foreign trade.

Surely the government that will take office next December will announce a series of plans; but, judging by the proposals presented by MORENA and AMLO himself during the electoral campaign, there is no structured strategy to confront the very acute challenges that threaten the country, much less to act in the face of the complicated international situation.

All of which means that, except for limited measures that serve to project an image of concern for the poor, the incoming government will remain on track in the policies dictated by the big capitalist interests, both national and foreign. This harsh reality is going to be revealed to the majority of the population as the new government takes its course, and the revolutionary socialists will be ready to fight alongside the dispossessed and the oppressed, to forge from today the anti-capitalist, democratic and independent strategy that is needed to achieve the triumph of the workers of Mexico. A revolutionary and socialist strategy that will reclaim the best traditions of struggle of our people and will unite us with the emancipatory and liberating international struggle of the peoples of Latin America and of the whole world.

Mexico City, July 4, 2018