Mexico: The people face the future with Lopez Obrador
Increasing poverty and inequality has generated a global political crisis. The global political ruling class is being affected and is reacting. In response, social movements are rising and coming together to challenge the established governments and systems. This is a worldwide phenomenon. It’s in this context that we look at the mass movements which propelled Morena’s candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) into the presidency of Mexico.
As Morena gets ready to rule within a system with institutions that exist to preserve the old system as it is. There’s a sector of those movements that is pressing (AMLO, Morena and company) to compromise with the right and that system. Revolutionaries have to remember the lessons of the other movements in Central and South America. Especially, the recent experience of the Workers’ Party in Brazil.
In Brazil, as poverty grew living conditions deteriorated and as the country was immersed in a brutal dictatorship. Brazil emerged from the dictatorship with a formidable coalition of trade unionists, artists, intellectuals, social justice fighters and the religious Catholics inspired by the Theology of Liberation. The coalition created Brazil’s Workers’ Party. The party captured the hope and imagination of the masses and inspired a mass movement with the theme “for a better life and democracy” and “the right to be happy.”
Running with a radical political program against the capitalists, the Workers’ Party made attempts to capture the presidency in 1989, 1994 and 1998 with Luiz Ignacio Lula da Silva as its candidate. In the 1990s, a decision made by the Workers’ Party to be less radical and more appealing to the center, resulted in closer relationships with business groups. It also built an alliance with the centrist and right forces.
But such conciliatory move with right and centrist forces began the decline of the Workers Party. The Workers’ Party governed from 2002 to 2016. In 2016, President Dilma Rousseff was impeached and removed from office by the Brazilian Senate (by many former and current members of the Workers Party). And in 2018, Lula was sentenced to 12 years in prison.
The experience in Brazil proves that compromises with the right can be lethal. It cost both Rousseff and Lula their political lives and a serious setback for the people of Brazil.
Mexico is not Brazil, but some of the lessons apply. The Mexican political class has been bribed, polluted and corrupted by the rich in order to protect and increase their wealth and power.
The greed of the Mexican capitalist has no boundaries and their lack of concern for the people (in poverty and murdered every day) of Mexico is more than cruel. As a direct result, a country of 130 million has 53 million of its people living in poverty. Forty-four percent of the population does not have access to the basic necessities of life such as, food, clothing, housing, health care and education. Four million children aged three to seventeen do not attend school.
There have been more than 200,000 drug-related homicides. In Juarez, there have been an unknown number of femicides and disappearances of women. Not to be forgotten are the disappearance of 43 students in the state of Guerrero. There have been energy and education reforms and a drastic increase in gas prices (Gasolinazo). All of these led to a movement of workers, peasants, indigenous communities, students, the young and the old. They came and put their hopes and dreams for a better tomorrow with Lopez Obrador and the Morena Party.
As Morena and López Obrador get ready to assume power, there are high expectations. What are the next steps in bringing justice and democracy to Mexico? How can real economic reform for the people of Mexico be achieved to have the basic necessities of life?
The pressure for the newly elected majority in the congress and AMLO to compromise has started. If Morena and López Obrador compromises with the right to be able to govern, how long will they survive politically before falling victims to the centrist and the right forces? Remember Brazil or any of the governments elected in Central and South America.
What will happen to the social movement which put Morena and López Obrador in power?
The Mexican people have taken a first step in the right direction in the fight for justice and equality. Also on some revolutionaries’ mind is that to secure the people’s victory, a structure has to be set up to protect this victory. Build new infrastructure and institutions and govern. Endlessly push for the goals of the movement and of all the workers.