In one of his first official acts as president of Mexico late last year, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador sold the presidential jet, fulfilling a campaign promise. The populist leader said he would fly commercial instead. But more than nine months later, Lopez Obrador—or AMLO, as he is widely known in Mexico—still has yet to make a state trip out of the country.
Of course, selling the presidential jet is not the ultimate reason why. Jesus Cantu, the president’s spokesperson and one of his top deputies, told World Politics Review that AMLO’s domestic policies have taken priority—a combination of austerity and promises of sweeping political change. “He is dedicating all his effort toward laying the foundations of the transformation centered inside the country,” Cantu said. This includes frequent domestic trips, such as the president’s initiative to visit rural hospitals throughout Mexico, along with his raucous, sometimes rambling daily morning press conferences at the National Palace in Mexico City, which frequently verge on two hours.
Cantu said AMLO might make the United Nations General Assembly his first international trip later this month. But he is just as likely to stay in Mexico.