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A historic moment in México: the election of López Obrador

María de la Luz Arriaga  |  Issue: September | October 2018


Yesterday, July 1, 2018, more than 60 million people voted and 53% of them voted for Presidential candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador, popularly known by his initials AMLO.

He was the candidate of the center-left political party, MORENA, which has committed to the repeal of the neoliberal education reform and to change other reforms that have been imposed on the country. It is also the case that he had given assurances to both national and foreign capital and also gained alliances with sectors of the bourgeoisie.

The triumph of his candidacy is also the triumph of social movements, which for the last 30 years have been fighting for a change in the country from the left. In this instance, the social movements have been very active assessing the situation, in supporting his candidacy and in proposals for the social agenda. We are very clear that only with popular organization and social pressure can there be true changes in the economic model and the political regime.

In this instance, the power blocs that govern México could not manage a fraudulent election due to at least three main circumstances:

  1. At the international level, and particularly within the United States, there are differences among the oligarchs about what form should be used to exercise power and deepen the model of extraction. Trump’s policies have been creating contradictory reactions with other powerful countries such as Germany, France, Russia and China. There is no agreement about the structure needed to confront global problems.
  2. At the national level, the oligarchy, composed of the great owners of capital, were divided and could not agree upon a candidate as all of them are responsible for the economic stagnation, social degradation and prevailing violence that define the disaster they created.
  3. The level of popular indignation, fed up with the corruption, poverty, inequality and violence, has generated a certain level of politicization, the multiplication of protests and the creation of an atmosphere within which social organizations could question the economic model and visualize the political crisis.
  4. The strength of the vote for AMLO, not only allows him to accede to the presidency but also to have a qualified majority in the Chamber of Deputies (the lower house of the Mexican Congress) and a simple majority in the Senate by the coalition that nominated him.

Now is the beginning of a very difficult and intense stage, but we have a renewed and strengthen spirit. In addition, we understand the great responsibility we have at the international level. At the moment in which all the movement is toward the right, in Mexico, there is an opening, a small window that will allow a breath of democratic air.

This will nurture the ability to understand the errors and point to the successes by labor, social and popular organizations under the progressive governments of Brazil, Ecuador and Argentina. In this way, we can contribute our own “little grain of sand” to the radical transformation of our societies for social justice, which we committed to almost 25 years ago when we founded the Trinational Coalition for the Defense of Public Education.

We send greetings to all of you and look forward to seeing you at the next Trinational conference in Veracruz this November 9-11, 2018.

Mariluz Arriaga is Coordinator of the Mexican Section of the Trinational Coalition in Defense of Public Education

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