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By KELIN DILLON

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) announced on Tuesday, Feb. 23, that he had sent a letter to the governors of the nation to propose a “national agreement in favor of democracy,” particularly relating to electoral interference.

The day after AMLO announced that he would be handing out three months of social benefits to the elderly, handicapped and young people, López Obrador’s letter asked the country’s government leaders to agree to not use public budgets for the support of any party or to pay off organized and white collar crime, in hopes of keeping Mexico’s upcoming June midterm elections corruption-free.

López Obrador encouraged the nation’s governors to agree to the accord  in an effort to “avoid the hauling and filling of ballot boxes, the falsification of records and all those abominable anti-democratic illegal practices that must remain in the past permanently,” he said during his daily press conference Tuesday morning. 

AMLO had recently been in hot water for his own alleged violations of the electoral process by the National Electoral Institute (INE), though the warnings against him have since been controversially dismissed by Mexico’s courts.

The letter comes after AMLO’s own National Regeneration Movement (Morena) was revealed to have surpassed its own proposed social programs budget by four times the estimated amount. The estimated spending was 166 billion pesos, but the government ended up spending over 672 billion in the year of 2020, in large part due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Mexico’s Morena-led government signed the Austerity Decree back in April 2020, promising not to use more than 25 percent of the designated budget for general services and materials, leaving 75 percent untouched, though it broke its own decree by surpassing last year’s proposed budget by hundreds of billions of pesos.

…Feb. 24, 2021

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