go to top
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador speaks at the National Palace in Mexico City Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador speaks at the National Palace in Mexico City, April 5, 2020 (AP photo by ).

Will AMLO’s Popularity in Mexico Survive COVID-19?

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

MEXICO CITY—In mid-March, as governments around the world were imposing lockdowns and other restrictions to slow the spread of the coronavirus, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador was upbeat. He waved off “this idea that you can’t hug” as a result of the virus. “You have to hug each other,” he insisted. “Nothing will happen.” At a press conference on March 18, he pulled out his wallet to show off the religious images, four-leaf clover and $2 bill he carries for good luck—and as protection, he claimed, from COVID-19. A few days later, he encouraged people to keep going out to restaurants with their families.

But by the end of the month, he had reversed his stance. AMLO, as the president is widely known in Mexico, released a video on March 28 encouraging people to stay home, flatten the curve and avoid unnecessary trips to hospitals. He curtailed his rigorous travel schedule, ending the weekend trips he took on commercial flights to visit villages where he shook supporters’ hands and hugged children. On March 30, the government declared a national health emergency. ...

To read more,

enter your email address then choose one of the three options below.

Subscribe to World Politics Review and you'll receive instant access to 10,000+ articles in the World Politics Review Library, along with new comprehensive analysis every weekday . . . written by leading topic experts.