The 1st of July marks a milestone in the history of Mexico with the triumph of Andrés Manuel López Obrador, a victory that demonstrates that the Aztec people want a change
With an overwhelming 53% acceptance in the quick count of the Instituto Nacional Electoral (INE), in the early morning of July 2, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, better known by his acronym AMLO, became the president-elect of the Mexican Republic. For the first time, a politician who waves the flag of a social leader with a look to the left will govern the second Latin American economy. Thus, after knowing the exit polls, the candidates of the two traditional parties: Partido Acción Nacional (PAN) and Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI), recognized the defeat and congratulated the future president.
Mexicans have chosen a different future, uncertain for some, by choosing AMLO as their leader. Although the victory is a political transformation and the figures show great support for the candidate, it is questionable whether this phenomenon is an allusion to what happened 18 years ago, when the country decided to end the PRI's hegemony after 70 years, demanding a transition. Or what happened 6 years ago, when citizens tired of the violence generated by the "war against drug trafficking" in the administration of Felipe Calderón put the PRI back in power with Peña Nieto.
So, one of the reasons that allude to the triumph of AMLO is the vote of punishment to the PRI, demonstrated with the poor 16% that the candidate José Antonio Meade obtained; and the PAN, which was 30% below the winner in the exit polls with the candidate Ricardo Anaya. AMLO, in these elections, unlike the two previous elections in which the candidate participated, was presented as an alternative to the situation of violence that has plagued the country. A violence that left a balance of 234 thousand people killed, more than 30,000 disappeared, between 300,000 and 1.6 million victims of forced displacement and more than one hundred journalists killed, in just the last 12 years, according to data from the Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía (INEGI) and the Sistema Nacional de Seguridad Pública.
In his closing campaign speech, AMLO emphasized a left that fits into a history of social struggles such as the student movement of 1968, the union struggles and political resistance. In the same way, the politician throughout his campaign has emphasized being the heir of the independence, revolution, and reforms. This story has confronted the democratic transition in Mexico that until today had only been PRI-PAN-PRI. Therefore, the power in the left irremediably represents a milestone in Mexican history and possibly social panic to an unknown government.
Although something must be very clear, from now on the pompous campaign proposals that seek to end corruption, guarantee the life and promote economic equality must be grounded. Honesty and good faith are not enough if you do not have an economic and strategic security plan. If that were the case, there would be a long-term possibility that the left could create a deeper autonomy project in which communities can decide their future. Even so, the biggest challenge now facing the future government of López Obrador will be to find a way to overcome the polarization in which public opinion is sunk. This is because, if for the election he managed to largely clear the idea that his government would be a danger to Mexico, from now on he will have to move away from the opinions that consider him authoritarian and that think that the economy is threatened. Mexico is facing a new era, in which a country of more than 120 million people opened the doors to a change.
Latin American Post | Ana Gabriela Martínez
Translated from "El aplastante triunfo de la izquierda: México abrió las puertas al cambio"