AMLO, Leftist Politician Wins Mexico’s Election. What’s The Impact on the US?
On Sunday, left-wing candidate Andres Manuel López Obrador, popularly referred to as AMLO, won Mexico’s election in a landslide victory. According to a preliminary quick count result, the 64-year-old politician earned between 53 and 53.8 percent of the vote.
The official quick count result is expected to be published midnight Monday local time with a margin error of 0,5 percent.
López Obrador, who was the former mayor of Mexico City, will be the first leftist president in the Central American nation for the past few decades. During the campaign period, the silver-haired man managed to attract voters by vowing to combat corruption and tackle poverty.
He mentioned that corruption is the main causing factor of inequality and expressed his commitment to punishing those involved in corruption scandals.
“Whoever it is will be punished, I include comrades, officials, friends and family members. A good judge begins at home,” he told reporters after his victory.
Before this year’s election, López Obrador ran for the presidency twice but lost (2006 and 2012). The victory of López Obrador ended the dominance of the ruling centrist party Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, who ruled the country from 1929 to 2000 and gained power again in 2012.
The Most Violent Election Ever in Mexico
Mexico saw the deadliest period ahead of the election. Over 130 politicians were killed in the months leading up to the vote.
Drugs’ cartels are suspected to be behind the majority of the murders. The data showed that more than 200,000 people have been killed in Mexico since the national army began waging a war against drug trafficking groups in 2006.
“This violence has been concentrated at the local level. At least 71 percent of these attacks have been against elected officials and candidates running for office at the local level,” Etellekt director Ruben Salazar said in an interview Mexican radio network Formula.
The Mexico Election’s Impact on the U.S.
One of the most crucial issues in the election is Mexico’s relationship with the U.S. under Donald Trump. Trump wants to build a wall along the U.S. – Mexico border to prevent immigrants from entering the U.S., but he insists that Mexico will have to pay for the construction cost of the 3,200-kilometer wall.
Tensions further escalated after the U.S. imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from the European Union (EU), Mexico, and Canada, effective June 1. Mexico retaliated by imposing tariffs on pork products imported from the U.S.
In February, Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray warned that the U.S tariff would negatively affect Americans.
“A tax on Mexican imports to the United States is not a way to make Mexico pay for the wall, but a way to make the North American consumer pay for it through more expensive avocados, washing machines, televisions,” Videgaray told reporters.
Most recently, Trump’s immigration policy that separated children and their parents at the U.S – Mexico border sparked international outrage. Trump later reversed the separation policy with an executive order.
Former U.S. ambassador to Mexico Roberta Jacobson welcomed the victory of López Obrador, saying that the leftist nationalist figure will help improve the relationship between the two countries as both countries’ leaders work to tackle several issues such as trade, immigration and drugs.
“One of the things that he [López Obrador], both in my discussions with him and many of his conversations and advisers conversations ahead of these elections have emphasized is the relationship with the United States and that it be positive,” Jacobson told “Face the Nation” Sunday.
Obrador Lopez stated he is ready to build a friendship with Trump, but the many contentious issues between the two countries could stand in the way of a positive relationship.
Journalist Gwynne Dyer wrote on Sunday for Common Dreams:
“It will also annoy Washington greatly. López Obrador is promising that all 50 Mexican consulates in the United States will help to defend migrants caught up in the American legal system. “Trump and his advisers speak of the Mexicans the way Hitler and the Nazis referred to the Jews, just before undertaking the infamous persecution and the abominable extermination,” López Obrador wrote just after the Great Distractor’s election.” It’s quite likely that within a year the US intelligence services will be tasked with the job of finding ways to bring him down.
Praise for López Obrador abounded on Twitter.
Congratulations to @lopezobrador_ for his election as Mexico’s next President. Earlier this year we met to discuss his commitment to the climate crisis. Mexico can and should play a leading role in driving clean energy solutions & increase its ambition under the #ParisAgreement.
— Al Gore (@algore) July 2, 2018
I am not sure people understand just how big an impact AMLO's election has the potential to have on Central American->US migration patterns. A MEX gov w/no interest in intercepting migrants on US' behalf? I dunno, man.
— Dara Lind (@DLind) July 2, 2018
AMLO’s victory speech in Mexico City.
He’s the first leader since 1929 who isn’t from one of the country’s two main parties. pic.twitter.com/79YRnn5Zwn
— ian bremmer (@ianbremmer) July 2, 2018
In case you didn’t know: Mexico’s election yesterday resulted in AMLO aka Andres Manuel López Obrador, winning who vows to root out corruption, revitalize farms of the rural and poor, boost industries, and shift the focus of war and drugs to poverty fighting measures.
— . (@Litbeth) July 2, 2018