AMLO Is Struggling to Match High Expectations With Harsh Realities in Mexico

AMLO Is Struggling to Match High Expectations With Harsh Realities in Mexico
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador addresses National Guard soldiers during a ceremony in Mexico City, June 30, 2019 (AP photo by Christian Palma).

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador does not waste time with mundane political rhetoric. Long before he won the presidency on his third attempt, a year ago this month, the man better known in Mexico as AMLO had already gained a reputation for setting sky-high expectations.

The leftist veteran of Mexican politics hailed his administration as ushering in the country’s “fourth transformation”—the previous three being events no less groundbreaking than its Declaration of Independence in 1810, the War of Reform, which led to the separation of church and state in the mid-19th century, and the Mexican Revolution of 1910.

Yet seven months into his six-year term, the headlines tell a different story. Foreign direct investment has declined since the controversial cancellation of a new international airport last year. Critics say AMLO’s proposals to tackle corruption and organized crime—two issues he campaigned heavily on—lack substance. The latest setback came earlier this month, with the sudden and very public resignation of the finance minister, Carlos Urzua.

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