Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. Photo: presidencia.gob.mx

By RICARDO CASTILLO

Politicking Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) tossed a boa constrictor into the national political swamp on Tuesday, June 9.

No doubt all political toads, snakes and even crocs and other amphibians quietly swimming around jumped out of the water, scared as hell.

AMLO had his press secretary Jesús Ramírez Cuevas read aloud a document that had been delivered to the National Palace. In it, a group that called itself the Broad Opposition Bloc (BOA, for the initials of Bloque Opositor Amplio), some mystery ghostwriter lumped all the president’s allegedly “rightwing adversaries” into one movement with the goal to wage a political war in the upcoming electoral fray and regain control of the nation’s government.

The mystery document lays out a master plan to oust AMLO’s party, the National Regeneration Movement (Morena), out of the Chamber of Deputies majority control it now wields during the 2021 elections, impede the advance of Morena in gaining governorships, and boot AMLO himself in the mandate revocation consultation to be held on March 21, 2022.

Actually in the – shall we call it a plan – there is nothing new or anything that has not been said. About the only thing it does is try to merge all views from the opposition to kick AMLO “and his horde” of voters into oblivion.

As a reaction to the document, all hell broke loose with AMLO’s opponents claiming he himself had written the script for the rightwing to follow. Some newspapers, such as El Universal, claim that “a Morena member” approached them with the document on Monday, June 8, but that the newspaper refused to run it because there were no evidence or validity presented by the leaker.

El Universal mentioned no name and published no photo of the Morenista, who probably is by now having a cup of coffee with AMLO at the National Palace and laughing their guts out. As a former newspaper editor I tell you I’d have run the item but not the holier-than-thou now-unpolluted editors of El Universal. No other publication or media outlet made this claim.

Others analysts accused Interior Secretariat press officer Omar Cervantes of having written the document in a typewriter (it was not computer printed), something Cervantes has been denying since Tuesday afternoon.

In the eyes of many a political pundit, the president used the document for several reasons. One, to distract from the daily fray of having to deal with the damage the covid-19 pandemic is racking up on Mexico, and, two, to “unofficially launch” the race for the June 2021 midterm elections.

The BOA group at all times points to a non-violent political course of action for the ousting of AMLO and his “stinking” Morena party, composed of “chairos” (poor people), which it says is leading the nation into destruction and bankruptcy. And of the large number of alleged signatories to the document, only one, Luis Martin Bringas’ National Front to Stop AMLO (Frena) has expressed its desire to get AMLO out of power by next December “by any means necessary.”

Many of the alleged signees are denying any participation in BOA, not because they are in disagreement with the propositions, but because they don’t know who authored the document and who is behind the alleged BOA movement.

The document calls for all opposition political parties, now in fragmented minorities in both houses of Congress, to propose “unity candidates,” meaning that they will not compete against each other. It also calls for all industrial and business organized chambers to back up the anti-AMLO movement.

Ironically, the first reaction to BOA’s call to action was Citizens’ Movement Party (MC) Senator José Ramón Enriquez Herrera, who resigned from the party and moved to Morena, thus giving back a new and valuable vote to the majority party, which had lost of member with the movement of Senator Lilly Téllez from Morena to the National Action Party (PAN). But surely the loss of one senator not only hurts the MC, but also the already-damaged presidential hopes of Jalisco Governor Enrique Alfaro. Ouch!

The publicity given by AMLO to the alleged BOA document unleashed a burst of attacks from those already working against the president, despite their denying being part of any movement, shall we say, for now.

Two of the alleged signees, former Mexican Presidents Vicente Fox and Felipe Calderó, have not admitted or denied – as of the afternoon of Wednesday. June 10 – having had anything to do with the anti-AMLO unity document, but have no doubt, we’ll hear from them on the matter. They probably will love the idea.

But for now, let’s give credit to AMLO for his master political savoir-faire  in the midst of a pandemic that’s jolted just about every economy in the world.

If not much else, AMLO now has friends laughing and foes dancing to the salsa song “La Boa.” Even if the document was just a political ploy, it came from where it was politically unexpected: the National Palace.

…June 11, 2020

Leave a Reply