López Obrador’s Journey: Six Years of Transformation

Last Updated: June 15, 2024By

López Obrador’s Journey: Six Years of Transformation

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Six years ago, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, often called Amlo, shook up Mexico’s political scene. He broke the long-standing grip of traditional parties and became the president, promising to tackle inequality, corruption, and violence.

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The Fourth Transformation

López Obrador described his mission as the “Fourth Transformation,” putting it on par with the Mexican Revolution and the war of independence. Although he hasn’t fully reached his grand goals, his approval ratings are still high, around 65%. His party, Morena, seems likely to keep the presidency too.

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Why People Love Amlo

Amlo’s popularity mainly comes from his focus on socioeconomic justice. His slogan, “First, the poor,” resonated deeply with many people. Through minimum wage hikes, subsidies, and direct cash transfers, he has made many feel better off, even if public services sometimes took a hit.

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Major infrastructure projects, like the Mayan Train railway, have also helped. These projects are seen as tangible efforts to boost Mexico’s poorer regions, despite concerns about their economic sense and environmental impact.

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Big Business and Communication Mastery

Interestingly, even Mexico’s richest, like Carlos Slim, have done well under López Obrador. However, this doesn’t bother many Morena voters. López Obrador’s daily press conferences, known as the mañaneras, have played a huge role in this. They are like a talk show where he praises his government’s successes, criticizes his opponents, and keeps his supporters engaged.

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Tackling Inequality and Marginalization

López Obrador’s focus on inequality and his symbolic gestures towards marginalized groups have restored many people’s faith in democracy. His historian Humberto Beck noted that Amlo made himself the center of the Mexican news cycle, creating a loyal base of supporters.

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The Security Challenge

Security remains a tough nut to crack. Political scientist Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera points out that the homicide rate, although slightly lower, still sees over 30,000 murders each year. Corruption and impunity remain as problematic as ever, and justice is still elusive for high-profile cases like the 43 Ayotzinapa students.

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The Role of the Military

Despite promises to limit military involvement, López Obrador has expanded their role in domestic security, infrastructure, and more. This militarization, coupled with his attacks on opposing institutions, has worried some about the future of democracy in Mexico. The opposition, with its own shaky democratic past, argues that López Obrador’s actions could lead to democratic regression.

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A Committed Base Amid Unmet Promises

Despite some unfulfilled promises, López Obrador has maintained a strong, committed base. His ability to connect with the people and focus on issues that matter to them keeps his support solid.

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Looking Ahead

As Morena looks poised for another presidential win, the future remains uncertain. The enduring support for López Obrador suggests that his message of socioeconomic justice and focus on inequality continues to resonate, even as challenges persist.

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Overall, López Obrador’s tenure has been a mix of achievements and ongoing struggles. While he hasn’t solved every problem, his connection with the people and focus on key issues have kept him popular and his party strong.

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