UNM law professor John Ackerman. Photo: La Neta Neta

By RICARDO CASTILLO

U.S. expat-cum-Mexican political activist John Mill Ackerman Rose (to use the Mexican style of writing long names) now is engaged on several fronts that President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s (AMLO) opponents are using as potential attacks on his presidency.

The one rocking the National Regeneration Movement (Morena) insider politics boat the most is Ackerman calling on the Mexican Senate majority to topple its current whip, Ricardo Monreal, and replace him with someone else. He did this during a Milenio News TV interview last week. However, the call to topple Monreal by Ackerman is an encore of the one he made on June 24.

There is a reason why Ackerman is angry with Monreal. In June, fallen-star journalist Carlos Loret de Mola ran a video report showing that Ackerman and his wife, current Transparency Secretary Eréndira Sandoval own five real estate properties in Mexico City. Without explicitly saying so and  in the old style of Mexican journalism of finding people guilty by insinuation, the report hinted that the properties were the product of corruption by the couple.

Immediately after the video was released, Loret de Mola exchanged tweets with Monreal, who answered: “I agree with what you say,” without mentioning any specifics. Ackerman took this answer personally and carried out his call for the majority of Morena senators to topple Monreal. But the Morena senators stood fully behind Monreal, who also said: “At this time and moment, far from seeking internal contradictions in our movement, we must look for ways to push the power of the nation to face up to the post-covid stage.”

The Monreal-Loret exchange came after the report was aired. What is most likely is that Ackerman suspected that Monreal paid Loret – probably, somebody did — for the “exposé”. (This is this writer’s interpretation.)

Be that as it may, Ackerman’s call, besides having no echo within the Morena party, has been widely published in many newspapers and commented upon, mostly because Ackerman is gaining considerable notoriety due to his two television programs “Dialogues for Democracy” on Channel 11 and TV UNAM, both considered “propaganda” for the AMLO administration.

Ackerman said that besides being a law professor at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and a political activist, he is “a journalist.” He is also a correspondent in Mexico for Russian Television (RT), the Russian government’s official mouthpiece.

Nevertheless, in the Milenio News interview, Ackerman, a member of Morena party but also deemed “an ideologist,” kept his tongue lashing at Monreal going by saying: “Monreal is the main cancer of Morena because he moves depending on money, blackmail, pressure. And that is not a political culture that should brand the new democratic era.”

Monreal this time kept mum to Ackerman’s allegations, but Ackerman’s attempt to ignite a confrontational fuse were inflammatory because these are delicate political times.

The first upcoming move will be on July 22, when the Mexican Congress must approve four new members of the National Electoral Institute (INE) who will replace four outgoing INE councilors.

Ackerman, promoted by controversial National Human Rights Commissioner Rosario Piedra Ibarra, was one of the interviewers who helped select the still-unknown councilors.

Morena opponents – mainly the Mexican Employers’ Confederation (Coparmex) — have begun a campaign calling on Mexicans to be on the lookout since the four new councilors will most likely be Morena sympathizers.

Both Ackerman, as an evaluator and interviewer, and Monreal are deep in the hole as a result of this Morena party move, so it makes good political sense for Monreal to keep silent.

But does it for Ackerman, who now seems to be wielding his political machete at Monreal?

This is politics in the making, but the curious part of it is that it is a gringo expat who is gaining influence as a radical leftist extremist. even within leftwing Morena.

…July 14, 2020

 

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