In Mexico, it has been one year since a landslide election victory lifted President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador to power.
AMLO, as he is popularly known, held a large rally in Mexico City Monday to tout his administration’s achievement, reported from Franc Contreras, CGTN, Mexico City.
By capturing 53 percent of the vote, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador won by a landslide, the biggest mandate in Mexican history.
“This time the sash is the real one. Voters gave AMLO the biggest democratic mandate in Mexico’s history. He won with 53% of the vote, defeating his nearest rival by 30 percentage points,” said the Economist
According to CNN, “Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has declared victory in Mexico’s presidential election, as preliminary results showed that the leftist veteran politician, who had presented himself as an agent of change, secured a landslide win.”
His Morena party now controls both houses of Congress and holds a growing number of governor’s seats in the states.
This gives AMLO a chance to transform Mexico, from a nation of widespread poverty and inequality to one of growth for all citizens.
“Our movement has transcended because it arises from ideals and principles, is governed by them and does not limit its purpose to a simple change of government but aims to overcome forever the corrupt and ruthless regime that came before us,” said Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, President of Mexico.
In his sweeping speech Monday, AMLO listed what he considers his administration’s many achievements, including the creation of Mexico’s new National Guard. The President said he will use it to curb immigration from Central America and fight criminal violence.
But official statistics indicate the number of crime-related murders in Mexico has risen compared to the first half of last year, before AMLO came into office.
AMLO also touts the work of his top diplomats, who defused the threat of new tariffs from U.S. President Donald Trump. Mexican merchandise continues to enter the U.S. with no additional taxes.
Mexico’s President has focused on kick-starting the corruption-ridden state-run oil company, Pemex. His plan to build a new refinery has some worried over how he will pay for it. Others said the refinery is being built with no environmental impact studies.
His critics won’t let AMLO forget how he halted the construction of a new international airport for Mexico City. The President blames a lack of transparency for the unpopularity of that decision. Many investors remain skeptical.
Mexico’s president is promising his people that the country’s economy will not fall into recession. He said inflation has fallen during his presidency and the Mexican Peso has strengthened against the U.S. dollar.
It seems AMLO’s populism has exposed an open wound in Mexican society, one based on deeply-rooted class divisions between the wealthy and millions of impoverished Mexicans. Some worry AMLO has too much power.
“If I had him in front of me, the first thing I would tell him is to govern with his head, not with his gut, not with his pride, to open his ears to the counsel of capable people that he should have in his cabinet, ”said Nuria Rodríguez, Mexican Architect.
Polls indicate that though Mexico’s president has lost a few percentage points since taking office, his overall public approval rating is still riding high at around 60 percent.