Sunday, March 12, 2017

Mexican politics and the Trump mass deportation program

The left-leaning Party of the Democratic Revolution (Partido de la Revolución Democrática; PRD) is positioning itself by calling for “Solidaridad con México ante las agresiones del gobierno de los Estados Unidos” ("solidarity with Mexico before the aggressions of the government of the United States.") (Jesús Zambrano se integra a la Alianza Progresista y presenta resolutivo perredista contra políticas de Trump Proceso 12.03.2017)

But the PRD itself may be flaming out as a political force. Elected officials and party activists have been leaving the party. Their high point electorally was 2006, when their Presidential candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador won 36% of the vote and nearly 30% in the election for deputies to the Congress. Their percentage has notably declined since then. (Jesús Cantú, El PRD, con cáncer terminal Proceso 09.03.2016)

The next Mexican national election is coming in July 2018, including the Presidency.

López Obrador himself (also known by his initials AMLO) is coming to New York this week to support Mexicans living in the US against Trump's mass deportation. He also plans to visit Washington, Laredo and San Francisco. These days, I guess the State Department has to learn about a major opposition politician from Mexico visiting the United States from the news like the rest of us.

Since Trump's election, AMLO has also visited Chicago, El Paso, Los Ángeles and Phoenix. (David Brooks [not Bobo!], AMLO llegará a NY para promover defensa de inmigrantes La Journada 09.03.2017)

Daniel González and Rafael Carranza, Mexican populist Andrés Manual López Obrador calls Trump border wall 'criminal act' in Phoenix visit Arizona Republic 03/06/2017:

Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the Mexican presidential hopeful, brought his populist message to Phoenix on Tuesday, denouncing President Donald Trump's "criminal" border wall and immigration policies.

"The U.S. economy can not be sustained without the labor of immigrants, and he knows it," López Obrador said in a rousing speech in a Phoenix ballroom packed with hundreds of cheering supporters, mostly immigrants from Mexico.

"The wall is not going to stop the flow of workers. It's just going to make it more dangerous," he said. "That is why I believe it is a criminal act."

The leftist Mexican politician and former mayor of Mexico City also attacked corrupt governments in Mexico that he said force Mexicans to seek better economic opportunities in the U.S.
AMLO has a new electoral vehicle after breaking with the PRD. "López Obrador, founder of the left-wing National Regeneration Movement, or MORENA, in Mexico, has not officially announced his candidacy for the 2018 Mexican presidential race. But he is campaigning like a candidate, having already held rallies in several U.S. cities with large Mexican immigrant communities, including Chicago, Los Angeles, and El Paso, where he spoke Monday."

Campaigning against Trump is a promising posture for the 2018 election:

"What the Trump administration is doing is really inflaming nationalist attitudes in Mexico," said Francisco Lara-Valencia, a professor at Arizona State University's School of Transborder Studies. ...

"He is coming here because he recognizes that (Mexican migrants) are a source of economic stability" through the billions of dollars in remittances they send home to relatives each year, Lara-Valencia said.

López Obrador also understands that Mexican migrants in the U.S. have the power to influence how friends and family members back home may vote in the Mexican presidential election, he said.

Ramirez said López Obredor has a better chance of delivering his message directly to migrants in the U.S. because the media in Mexico favors the Mexican establishment and unfairly paints López Obrador as a radical socialist. ...

During his speech in Phoenix, López Obrador said he is touring U.S. cities to offer his "unconditional support for our immigrant community" and to confront "the campaign of hate, and the campaign against Mexicans who come to look for a better life and an honorable life" not available to them in Mexico.
Univision interviewed AMLO in February, López Obrador: “México no ha entendido cuál es la estrategia de Donald Trump” 02/08/2017:

Daniel Borunda reported on his El Paso visit (Mexico's Obrador talks of Trump in El Paso visit El Paso Times 03/06/2017

The fiery leftist candidate is a fixture in Mexico politics and has run twice before for the presidency. The third time is the charm, he said on stage to loud cheers.

"We are going to end the principal problem of Mexico, which is corruption," López Obrador said.

He said Mexico's problems stem from government policies that harmed farmers, fostered low wages and forced people to leave their homes and migrate.

He pledged to cut taxes, lower gas prices and increase development with the building of roads, schools, hospitals and other public works.

He would create a free zone along the U.S.-Mexico border to spur investment, lower prices and raise wages. He pointed out that Mexican factory workers earn pennies compared to workers doing the same job in the United States.

Immigrants aren't the only victims, López Obrador said adding that drug violence in Juárez was the result of "absurd security strategies" and government policies.

"In recent years, we saw how a police problem escalated until it converted into a war that cost thousands of lives and resolved nothing. The price was tragic," he said.
On AMLO leaving the PRD, see Mexico's Lopez Obrador leaves coalition to form new movement BBC News 09/10/2012. MORENO was set up as a political party in 2014.

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