By KELIN DILLON
When Mexico’s Va por México Alliance – a coalition of the nation’s once-dominate Party of Institutional Revolution (PRI), conservative National Action Party (PAN) and left-leaning Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) – was once touted as a collaborative solution to the modern prominence of Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s (AMLO) National Regeneration Movement (Morena) upon its foundation in December 2020, recent decisions made by the PRI in opposition to its allies have reportedly put the alliance at risk and created cracks in Va por México’s already-shaky foundations.
The news of internal conflict comes just days after the Va por México Alliance announced it would be continuing its pact throughout the year 2024.
Tensions became clear across Thursday, Sept. 1, when the PRI reached a collaborative agreement with Morena over expanding the presence of the Mexican Armed Forces in the streets until 2028 as proposed by PRI Deputy Yolanda de la Torre – an approach the PRI’s PAN allies staunchly opposed and characterized as supporting the country’s continued militarization.
“I say it with absolute clarity, the PAN does not agree with this modification because what it is doing is continuing to militarize the country, and we are not going to allow it as we continue fulfilling the commitment to society of a constitutional moratorium,” said PAN President Marko Cortés at the time, who likewise has urged for the Armed Forces to return to the barracks in 2024 as planned.
Only adding to the alliance’s turmoil, De la Torre’s proposal purportedly went unshared with the PRI’s fellow Va por México members ahead of its presentation to the Chamber of Deputies, something PAN leadership aims to question with PRI deputy leader Rubén Moreira.
“I hope that they correct, that they withdraw the initiative or that they vote against it, because if they do not do so, the PRI would bear the responsibility and would have to explain why the Va por México coalition could not continue, either in the legislative or much less in the electoral,” said Cortés during a meeting with PAN senators, revealing insight into the steep precipice on which the three-party coalition is teetering.
“The reason for existence of the Va por México coalition is not electoral, if we have to win elections to have legislators, to have good coalition governments we could eventually go into electoral alliances, but if reason is not taken care of in line with what gave this coalition meaning, it just wouldn’t be worth continuing,” said the PAN president.
PRD President Jesus Zambrano said that the Armed Forces proposal “endangers the existence of the coalition, because it violates the programmatic platform of Va por México,” and if it passes, it could put the alliance in jeopardy and “not make sense in 2023 or 2024.″
Meanwhile, PRI President Alejandro Moreno Cárdenas – who recently faced drama of his own as he was unceremoniously ousted from his position as Senate Governance Commission head by Morena, the very party he now looks to collaborate with — took to his Twitter account to respond, saying “The PRI does not receive ultimatums nor does it accept orders from allies or adversaries. We are always going to build, in unity and conviction, for the good of Mexico.”
“The PRI is always on the side of Mexican families. Given Morena’s ineptitude, we have to make decisions with the future in mind,” added Moreno, noting that “I would never dare to ask a deputy from my party to withdraw an initiative.”
While the PAN evidently disagreed with the PRI’s choice to move forward with De la Torre’s proposal, its members most certainly are not alone. In fact, the proposal has revealed fractures within the PRI’s own party, with PRI Senate Coordinator Miguel Ángel Osorio announcing his faction was uninformed of the venture and that he, too, would be inquiring about the proposal with Moreira.
Though De la Torre’s proposal has clearly sent shockwaves throughout the Va por México alliance and the PRI itself, according to PRD Luis Espinosa, De la Torre was not acting on the PRI’s behalf but rather submitted the proposal on her own deputorial accord.
“Neither the PRD nor the PAN nor a large block of the PRI are going to accompany her, because we are precisely into not militarizing the country and she makes an approach in the opposite direction. That is not compliant with the national presidencies of the PRD, PAN and PRI and, therefore, we are not going to accompany it,” said Espinosa.
As the situation continues to unfold, tensions are expected to come to a head on Tuesday, Sept. 13, when the Chamber of Deputies is scheduled to debate and vote on De la Torre’s controversial proposal.