AMLO: Mexico’s Last Hope?

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) has been described as the last hope for Mexico. A nation that is facing unprecedented levels of violence coming from a military conflict against transnational criminal groups. In this climate, AMLO has endorsed a progressive and revolutionary political platform for his presidential campaign, which represents a possibility for reversing Mexico’s crisis.

One of AMLO’s priorities is to combat the dramatic levels of corruption. The Mexican public has received this initiative positively. In part, because the current presidential administration of President Enrique Pena Nieto has been accused of major corruption cases. Perhaps, the most infamous case was Pena Nieto’s attempt to hide public funds to build a white house for himself. Recently, Mexicans learned that public officials were hiding immense amounts of money by sub-contracting universities to construct public projects. In some cases, these projects were never completed. Thus, it makes sense for AMLO to promote the elimination of corruption among public officials. Especially, if these representatives are holding crucial positions for the prosperity of the nation.

Throughout his campaign, AMLO has promoted a transformative economic agenda. One of his main objectives is to recover the Mexican agriculture sector from its decline. According to his analysis, previous administrations dismissed the significance of this sector by prioritizing economic interests. For example, the adoption of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) led to millions of Mexican farmers losing their jobs due to heavy competition from American agribusinesses. These powerful businesses dumped their cheap products around the nation, which led to the collapse of regional and small-sized farms. At the same time, AMLO acknowledged that NAFTA needs to be protected and ratify because it contributed to increasing the economic competitiveness of Mexico. This creates an ideological conflict for AMLO. The restoration of the Mexican agriculture sector could create a competitive economic environment for American farmers in the national market, which represents an attack to the principals of NAFTA. Consequently, if AMLO because of the next Mexican president, he will need to clarify his position on economic integration and the prosperity of the national agriculture sector.

AMLO is also aiming to stop the illegal immigration of Mexicans to the United States by creating a friendlier economic environment close to the border. This idea wants to attract more foreign investment to this geographical region, which would translate into more jobs for these economic migrants. This idea will be moving the Mexican migration policy towards a long-lasting solution, which appears as an appealing propose. However, the strategy would also create a unbalance economic development in Mexico. Thus, it could create a competitive environment in the north while moving the labor force out of the southern region of the nation.

In terms of drug trafficking and the historical levels of violence, AMLO wants to continue supporting the national and the regional authorities with their conflict against these criminal groups. A decision that reflects a pragmatic understanding of the reality of the nation. At the same time, he has criticized the decision of using the military forces to combat drug trafficking organizations. He argues that this decision was taken without understanding the long-lasting consequences. Moreover, he has promised that if he becomes the next Mexican President he will promote a peace dialogue with criminal groups. To support this idea, he commented that he wants to request the assistance of international authorities and even the pope. The adoption of a peace agreement between these syndicates and the national government appears too ambitious, but its possible success raises optimism among the public. In part, because the adoption of traditional security strategies has resulted in more violence.

According to most political polls, AMLO will be the next president of Mexico. Although his political campaign has been described as populist, it shows some pragmatic economic policies. The most radical propose comes from AMLO propose to organize a peace agreement with drug trafficking groups. An idea that remains appealing but problematic on multiple levels.


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