By RICARDO CASTILLO
AMLO Throws Himself a Party
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) attracted over 70,000 cheering fans at Mexico City’s main square, El Zócalo, on Sunday, Dec. 1. They all came to hear him review his first year in office, as well as see how he has managed to comply with 89 of his 100 electoral campaign promises.
“There are only 11 commitments pending,” he told his supporters in an 80-minute speech. “There is no doubt that in these first 12 months in office, we’ve advanced a lot, but we’re in a process of transition. Still, what is old does not wane away and what is new is not finished being born yet. But the fact is that we’re not playing around. We’re not simulating actions. A new way of doing politics is on track, a change of regime.”
Notwithstanding, AMLO requested “another year” to be able to consolidate “the work of transformation” of the federal government, in which he sees a long struggle ahead to wipe out corruption once and for all.
“Next December, we will meet again here, and, by then, the bases will be established for the constitution of a new nation,” he said. “By then, it will be impossible to return to the age of reproach that the neo-Porfirist liberal period (1982-2018) meant.” (Porfirist refers to the old 1872-1910 Porfirio Diaz dictatorship in which Mexican peasants lived in near serfdom.)
AMLO was accompanied all the time by his wife Beatríz Gutiérrez Muller, and they both delighted in hearing the audience cry, “Mr. President, you are not alone” throughout his speech.
During the nearly four-hour gathering, there were many performers entertaining the crowd, who started arriving at El Zócalo as early as 9 a.m. AMLO’s speech began circa 11:30. The crowd dispersed by 2:30 p.m.
LeBaron and Anti-AMLO March
Meanwhile, one of the anti-AMLO demonstration organizers was Chihuahua pecan farmer Julián LeBarón, who, along with about 10,000 other protest marchers, marched down Avenida Reforma during AMLO’s speech at El Zócalo.
A great majority of the protestors were opposition party members, carrying banners of the National Action Party (PAN) (dressed in white) and AMLO’s old alma mater, the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD), all of whom chanted the rhyme “es un error estar con López Obrador” (“It’s a mistake to be with López Obrador”).
Definitely, even though the many LeBarón family members marching with the anti-AMLOS were part of the contingent, they were there for a different reason: They want to find out who, on Nov. 4, slaughtered their relatives, six children and three women, all part of the Mormon Church group forming their community.
(Incidentally, poet Javier Sicilia, who 10 years ago was joined by Julián LeBarón in trying to stop the mindless killings of young Mexicans, did not accompany the march. My best guess is that Sicilia, a political hound, smelled the opposition against AMLO taking advantage of the LeBarón family plea for justice. On Saturday, Nov 30, Sicilia said he would not participate in the march.)
Julian LeBarón made it plain that “We’re not anti López Obrador. We believe that we have to know who did (this crime) and make it public. The people assassinating Mexicans in the country are not Mexicans. They have no country, they have no people and they have no mother. We all have to unite to stop them.” (Note: for one Mexican to tell another that he has no mother, “no tienen madre,” is the worst offense possible in Mexican insult cant.)
Bring In the Marines
Now that we’re mentioning the PAN presence at the march – the party’s national leader Marko Cortés was there – another barrage of catcalls ensued last week as the state governors of Guanajuato and Tamaulipas, Diego Sinhue Rodríguez and Francisco Javier García Cabeza de Vaca, respectively, spoke in favor of U.S. President Donald Trump backing a military intervention to confront the drug cartels in Mexico.
AMLO indirectly responded by saying that this will be his call, adding that his relation with Trump “is one of respect.” AMLO said that Trump told him that if he needed help to call him. “I have not called him,” the president said.
In any case, the PAN Governors Sinhue Rodriguez and García Cabeza de Vaca are the ugly kids in the block, and are being labeled as “traitors” for sympathizing with Trump’s offer of a helping hand.
Supreme Court Candidates
AMLO sent to the Mexican Senate a list of three potential candidates to fill in one vacant Supreme Court seat. The three are women – genre matters most now in Mexico – and they are current Tributary System Director (SAT, the nation’s tax collector) Margarita Ríos-Farjat, jurist and academician Ana Laura Magaloni, backed by PAN senators, and current Interior Undersecretary Diana Alvarez Mauri.
Really, Magaloni has no chance of getting the 86 out of 128 votes needed to win the seat. SAT Rios-Farjat enjoys the backing of Morena, Citizens Movement, Labor Party, Social Encounter Party and Green Party Senators.
The problem is that this is not a majority and Rios-Farjat bears another ugly defect: She’s well liked by the president, which, according to the PAN and other opposition Senate members, “makes her unsuitable for the post.”
If you recall the recent election of Rosario Piedra Ibarra to the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) presidency and the congressional infighting that followed, you can expect a similar circus on voting day should Rios-Farjat gets the seat.
It’s almost winter but Mexico’s political crickets are still cricketing.
45 Years of Lazaro Cárdenas Port
Transportation and Communications Secretary Javier Jimenez Espriú commemorated in tandem the 45th anniversary of the foundation of the construction of maritime giant port of Lázaro Cárdenas port, the “hot coast” in the state of Michoacán on the Pacific, and the 25th anniversary of the integration of the Integral Ports Administrations, the top coordinator of ports in the nation.
Lazaro Cárdenas has indeed become the nation’s largest port, surpassing once-unbeatable Veracruz – the oldest port in the continent – and is seen as the future jewel in Pacific trade.
Brozo Calls It Quits
Comedian Victor Trujillo, who gained fame over the past 30 years performing as a clown named Brozo, announced on Friday, Nov. 30, that his program “El Mañanero” (The Morning One”) is going off the the air.
Pundits believe that this is another victim of top-rank AMLO’s morning press conference, popularly nicknamed as “la mañanera.”
For meaning clarification, “la mañanera” is a popular name for AMLO’s conference, while “El Mañanero” refers to the act of making love first thing in the morning.
Brozo became wildly popular back in the 1990s as the clown spoke in low-class vernacular in telling children allegedly bad stories. Trujillo was the delight of millions for a few years, prior to the advent of millennials, who prefer a different brand of humor.
Incidentally, Brozo is a takeoff on the gringo clown Bozo, a clean.cut comedian for children. Brozo was named after “broza” or low.class foul talking Mexicans, hence Brozo was the clown for the broza.
Brozo was on Mexican television for many years, but Trujillo’s last stint was with a stretch out from TV to radio of “El Mañanero” for Aire Libre FM. Unfortunately for Trujillo, his soliloquy has no liking anymore – it was not funny either.
It ran at the same time – 7 to 9 a.m. – as AMLO’s program.