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

By KELIN DILLON

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), incensed by District Judge Juan Pablo Gómez Fierro’s suspension of his controversial reform to Mexico’s electricity sector the previous day, launched a public tirade against anyone and everyone he deemed his enemies, ranging from foreign countries to his own presidential predecessors, during his daily press conference on the morning of Monday, March 15. 

The verbal lashing comes on the heels of AMLO’s accusing Gómez Fierro of “acting as an employee as a subordinate of private companies” the day before, with López Obrador promising to investigate Gómez Fierro and any judges who dare stand against his much-discussed electricity reform, saying “it would be the last straw if the judges of Mexico were at the service of individuals to the detriment of the country.” 

President of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN) and of the Federal Judicial Council (CJF) Arturo Zaldívar Lelo de Larre defended Gómez Fierro that same day, confirming that “federal judges act with independence and autonomy.”

“The CJF guarantees that they can exercise their function with absolute freedom,” said Zaldívar. “Their rulings can be appealed, but always respected from the perspective of judicial independence.” 

On Monday, AMLO made way to follow through on his promise to persecute the district judge by reading aloud a letter he wrote to Zaldívar in an attempt to publicly force the official’s hand to investigate Gómez Fierro further.

“I do not omit to tell you that people, organizations and companies related to the old regime act around this matter that, based on their well-known economic and political interests, had corruption and influentialism as a modus operandi,” read AMLO’s letter, in his attempt to teach one of the highest-ranking officials in the country’s judicial system about corruption. “They have seriously affected the public finances and the economy of the majority of Mexicans, especially, of the poorest.”

López Obrador, never one to shy away from the chance to publicly berate his enemies, took the opportunity with the letter to lash out against former Mexican President Felipe Calderón Hinojosa, claiming he was on the payroll of Spanish electrical companies. 

AMLO then accused Claudio X. González, the president of Mexicans Against Corruption and Impunity, of being “a pseudo-defender of civil society” and a “beneficiary of privatization policy imposed by the government of Carlos Salinas de Gortari.”

Anyway, Mr. President of the Court, it would be regrettable if, after all the damage that the oligarchy has caused the country, we continue to allow abuse and arrogance under the excuse of the rule of law,” López Obrador’s letter ended flippantly and with, ironically, a tone of arrogance, making sure to sign off “with kind regards” following his choice, fighting words.

After finishing reading the letter, López Obrador continued to rant ahead on his claims against named opponents, elaborating with vitriol that didn’t fit in the written correspondence to keep pushing the idea that anyone who isn’t on AMLO’s side is a bad, corrupt person.

AMLO’s disdain spread as far as to badmouth the New York Times for being “biased” and “beyond ethics,” and the complaining about the country of Spain, making vocal note of the atrocities committed during its colonization of Mexico (500 years ago) and how it still sees Mexico as “a land of conquest,” as well as dissing the country’s top newspaper El País.

He then went on to criticize a multitude of Mexican news publications for running stories in disfavor of his contentious new electricity law, including respected newspapers like El Universal, Reforma, El Sol, El Financiero and El Economista.

“I leave (my audience of “journalists”) homework so that they can investigate why they are so angry,” López Obrador said of his disdain for the media outlets, trying to delegitimize their perfectly valid arguments against his ideas. 

Later on in the press conference, the disgruntled president turned his attention back to the country’s courts, which he referred to as “the judicial branch of corruption,” adding on to his lashing from the day before.

“How is it that they remained silent for so long when the country was looted, when serious injustices were committed, and now it turns out that they become champions of freedom, of justice, because they have a conservative thinking and are dissatisfied with the transformation,” said López Obrador about the country’s judges, arrogantly implying that a judge would only suspend his electric reform out of conservatism and not because of a legitimate legal concerns.

The same day as AMLO’s tirade, his close ally and fellow leftist National Regeneration Movement (Morena) member Ricardo Monreal proposed imposing more regulations on the Big Three international credit rating agencies — Standard and Poor’s (S&P), Moody’s Analytics and Fitch Ratings —  due to their “excessive influence” on the loan and debt market, furthering AMLO’s agenda of dismantling international business influence in Mexico, and once again levying unsubstantiated claims of corruption.

AMLO fancies himself a modern-day Don Quixote, wildly brandishing his populist lance against what he considers to be an endless battlefield of anti-socialist windmills.

But López Obrador is no Don Quixote. He is a self-involved, intolerant megalomaniac who seeks only his own glory and is indifferent to the concepts of justice and righteousness.

In AMLO’s world, absolutely anyone or anything that is perceived as standing in his way is fair game for public berating. As López Obrador rants grow longer every day, enemies beware: You could become the next victim on his chopping block.

…March 16, 2021

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