By THÉRÈSE MARGOLIS
INE Tells AMLO to Respect Democratic Process
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) and his bosom buddy Félix Salgado Macedonio just don’t know how to take “no” for an answer.
After Mexico’s National Electoral Institute (INE) banned Salgado Macedonio from running for governor of the Pacific state of Guerrero as AMLO’s leftist National Regeneration Movement (Morena) candidate in the upcoming midterm elections for not declaring all of his campaign funding, López Obrador sent the INE a little presidential nudge in the form of an order from the upper chamber of Mexico’s Electoral Court of the Judiciary of the Federation (TEPJF), demanding that the Institute “reconsider” its decision against the alleged serial rapist and accused embezzler.
But despite Salgado Macedonio’s public tantrums and ominously vague threats that “there will be no election in Guerrero if I am not included in it,” on Tuesday, April 13, the INE stuck to its guns and announced that it was maintaining its decision to ban him from that election.
In response, Salgado Macedonio, in true mafioso form, upped his threats, saying on Wednesday, April 14, that he would “go after” every member of the INE who voted against him, adding that if he did not get his way, he would publish the address and phone number of INE President Lorenzo Córdova and “would not be accountable” if something were to happen to him.
That very same day, AMLO suggested that instead of accepting the INE’s decision, a telephone polling (no doubt, from among his horde of Morena followers) should be conducted to determine if Salgado Macedonio should be allowed on the ballots.
On Thursday, April 15, Córdova reminded AMLO that “in a true democracy, all parties must play by the rules.”
“The defense of democracy is the obligation of all of us,” Córdova said diplomatically trying to defuse the growing political tensions.
“That can only be accomplished by respecting the rules and through mutual tolerance… Democracy is a collective edifice.”
None of which seems to have impacted either the Mexican president or Salgado Macedonio, who is moving full speed ahead with his campaign regardless of having blatantly violated the registration rules.
And judging from how the matter has progressed so far, there is a pretty strong probability that Salgado Macedonio will end up as governor of Guerrero, because in the world of AMLO politics, might is right, and justice be damned.
Deputies Pass AMLO’s Hydrocarbon Law
Speaking of AMLO’s mandates, the latest version of his counter energy reform passed through the Mexican Chamber of Deputies just the way he ordered it to, “without altering even a comma” of his “initiative.”
The law essentially gives priority to carbon-based energy over clean, and less expensive, renewal energy sources, while granting the Mexican government to expropriate national and international energy corporations’ assets.
It is expected to pass the Senate equally untouched.
Have we mentioned that Morena controls not only Mexico’s executive branch but both houses of Congress?
A Not-So-Mexican Patria
On Tuesday, April 13, AMLO proudly announced during his daily press conference that the country’s National Council for Science and Technology (Conacyt) had developed its own covid-19 vaccine, which would be rolled out by the end of the year.
The vaccine, which López Obrador christened as Patria (Fatherland), would, he said, result in saving Mexico more than 800 percent of costs relating to importing vaccines purchased from other countries.
But by Wednesday, April 14, the jig was up.
As it turns out, Patria was developed not in Mexico and not by Conacyt, but in New York at the Mount Sinai Medical Center, with the intention of offering low-income countries access to a viable vaccine.
And Mexico’s involvement, other than the hopes of being able to eventually produce or partially produce the vaccine, is that it will be one of the countries where initial human trials are conducted.
U.S. Goes after Jalisco Cartel
Meanwhile, back in the United States, President Joe Biden is making it clear he is not going to pussyfoot around when it comes to dealing with Mexican drug cartels.
On Wednesday, April 14, the U.S. Department of State announced a $5 million reward for the arrest and conviction Mexican drug lord Audias “El Jardinero” (“The Gardner”) Flores Silva, who allegedly operates meth labs and secret airstrips for the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG).
Flores Silva is believed to be a close ally of the cartel’s boss Nemesio “El Mencho” Oseguera, and has long been And to add fuel to the already simmering bilateral relationship, on Thursday, April 15, Texas Governor Greg Abbott sent a letter to Biden and U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris asking them to designate Mexican drug cartels as foreign terrorist organizations.
The cartels “smuggle narcotics and weapons into the United States to fund their illegal enterprises,” Abbott said.
“They force women and children into human and sex trafficking – enriching themselves on the misery and enslavement of immigrants. They murder innocent people, including women and children. These Mexican drug cartels are foreign terrorist organizations, and it is time for the federal government to designate them as such.”
Biden has yet to respond to Abbott’s letter, but AMLO, who has been known to kiss the hand of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán’s mother and who prefers to persuade organized crime bosses with “hugs, not bullets,” will most certainly make his displeasure known on Friday, April 16, in his usual morning rant.
…April 16, 2021